As proof that Americans love guns, people cite the high number of individual gun ownership in our country. Because the government doesn't have a national gun registry (at least that's what they say), the actual number of guns owned by Americans is unknown. However, a 2018 survey estimated Americans own over 393 million guns. The population of the US at the time of the survey was around 330 million, which works out to slightly over one firearm per person.
How Many Guns Are There in America—
For some comparison, here are the top 10 countries and the number of firearm per 100 people:
- United States – 120.5
- Falkland Islands – 62.1
- Yemen – 52.8
- New Caledonia – 42.5
- Serbia – 39.1 (tie)
- Montenegro – 39.1 (tie)
- Uruguay – 34.7 (tie)
- Canada – 34.7 (tie)
- Cyprus – 34
- Finland – 32.4
Considering that no country even comes close to the proliferation of firearms Americans possess, it's safe to say Americans love guns, right?
Not so fast.
Do I Love Guns?
I'm not claiming to speak for all gun owners or all Americans by any means. And while I enjoy shooting firearms, train people how to use them and own a few of my own, I don't love guns. However, I love something about firearms.
What I love about firearms is that they are the best tool the individual has to turn back evil governments that would take away basic human rights given to us by our Creator. History shows us that the most brutal and oppressive regimes throughout time imposed their power by taking away the individual's right to self protection. These leaders never gave up their right to protection. Most all of them had a sort of paranoia of plots to end their lives.
Mercilessly killing millions of your own people and imposing brutal oppression of individual liberty puts a target on your back. So it's not surprising that these dictators displayed paranoia, didn't trust anyone and killed those who did not pledge allegiance to them.
American History and Gun Ownership—
And the individual possession of firearms is inseparable from our nation's history. Remove the firearm from American history, and you don't have the country we live in today.
In a PEW Research study, the number one reason gun owners gave for owning a gun was for personal defense. Hunting and sport shooting followed as the second and third reason. Now sure, some of these people could also “love guns” but that wasn't their number one reason. It's fair to say that in the same way one might love classic cars, or antique furniture, guns can appeal to people because of history, craftsmanship, design, or as a collectable, with no consideration of actually using any of them.
Do Americans Really Love Guns?
So do Americans love guns, or do Americans love the freedoms and protection owning guns provides? I think gun owners fall on both ends of the spectrum on this question.
But what's the difference between loving guns and loving freedom? I think practically it matters when we engage with those opposed to firearms. Instead of arguing about firearms themselves, let's rephrase the argument and focus it on the freedoms that firearms allow us to live under.
That's my opinion on the topic. You may agree or disagree. Leave your take in the comment section.
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