Thursday, April 26, 2012

Happiness is a warm gun - to fewer people

Great article in The New Yorker about America's gun culture, and almost in passing it mentions some superb statistics:
  •  The bad news first: The U.S. is still the country with the highest rate of gun ownership in the world. Second place is Yemen, so that tells you the kind of company we keep. And they have half the rate. However, there is good news:
  • In 1973, there were guns in roughly 1 in 2 U.S. households; by 2010 that had dropped to 1 in 3 households.
  • In 1980, nearly 1 in 3 Americans owned a gun; by 2010 that had dropped to 1 in 5.
  • "One reason that gun ownership is declining, nationwide, might be that high-school shooting clubs and rifle ranges at summer camps are no longer common." 
Now if, unlike me, you're a gun advocate, you might be disappointed at these numbers. For one thing, more guns in civilian hands allegedly helps prevent crime. However, since crime has been dropping precipitously in the same time period as the stats above, that link would seem extremely difficult to prove.

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