Quote of the day—William English

Consistent with other recent survey research, the survey finds an overall rate of adult firearm ownership of 31.9%, suggesting that in excess of 81.4 million Americans aged 18 and over own firearms. The survey further finds that approximately a third of gun owners (31.1%) have used a firearm to defend themselves or their property, often on more than one occasion, and it estimates that guns are used defensively by firearms owners in approximately 1.67 million incidents per year. Handguns are the most common firearm employed for self-defense (used in 65.9% of defensive incidents), and in most defensive incidents (81.9%) no shot was fired. Approximately a quarter (25.2%) of defensive incidents occurred within the gun owner’s home, and approximately half (53.9%) occurred outside their home, but on their property. About one out of ten (9.1%) defensive gun uses occurred in public, and about one out of thirty (3.2%) occurred at work.

William English
May 13, 2022
2021 National Firearms Survey: Updated Analysis Including Types of Firearms Owned
[Via a chain of links starting from Tom Gresham @Guntalk.

Of course, the ownership rate is probably higher because all the usual reasons. But the defensive use rates for those who admit to gun ownership is what interests me.

Read the rest of the abstract too. The demographics and the type of firearms (nearly 25 million AR-15 owners) may interest you.—Joe]


6 thoughts on “Quote of the day—William English

  1. I think the 25 million number is low. While I don’t have hard evidence I have to ask if they are counting manufactured AR patterned rifles as well as receivers. There an explosion of home mechanics assembling their own rifles that I can’t help think are not counted. I could be wrong though.

    • Ya, but what it also shows is 25 million AR’s is the largest standing army in the world. (And as you point out, probably a lot more!), by close to a factor of 10.
      Then consider that most of those AR’s have the best optics, parts upgrades, and practiced shooters the world has ever seen?
      Not to mention that for every AR owner usually has a good pistol or two maybe three?
      That’s a group no one with three brain-cells rubbing together would want to mess with. (Says a lot about communists.)
      Every general in history would piss themselves at the idea of going against such an army! Even de-centralize and scattered as they are just makes that job even harder.

      • I think they believe that as we are the most law abiding segment of the population they we will roll over and comply with their unconstitutional laws. In that they are mistaken. As Mike V would say they know not that they are poking the badger.

        • The Bee did a piece awhile back, where a reporter asks Pelosi: “Do you think if you just outlaw guns, that gun owners just turn in their guns?” To which she replies: “Of course! They’re law abiding citizens, it’s what they do. It’s not like we’re trying to disarm criminals.”

  2. How many people asked did not admit to owning firearms but actually do?
    I suspect the percentage of firearms owners is significantly higher than what
    the reported numbers are.

    • Yes. In the original work decades ago, which came up with quite similar results, the researchers considered that question. At the time the law of self defense wasn’t as well developed or favorable to honest people, so the assumption at the time was that the rate of defensive gun use was a lot higher than admitted.
      Now the same is likely true but for a different reason: defensive gun use is better protected (at least in civilized states) but the hesitancy for people to answer nosy survey questions at all is probably greater. So as you said, significant undercounting but for a somewhat different reason than 40 years ago.

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