Thursday, January 06, 2005


A Gallup Poll released this morning reveals that the average American owns 1.7 guns, with the average gun owner possessing 4.4 of them. The press is quick to promote stereotypes of the average gun owner as a white male, most likely Republican, living in a rural area or the South. But how well does reality match the image? The new Gallup Poll shows that the stereotype is not that far off, but with several twists. For one thing, one out of three American women say they own a gun. That's not much below the overall mark of 40% for all American adults.

As for other elements of the stereotype: More than half (53%) of Republicans own guns, compared with 36% of political independents and 31% of Democrats. Whites are more likely than nonwhites to own (44% and 24%, respectively), according to Gallup.

Residents of the South are significantly more likely than those living in other regions to report owning a gun. More than half of those living in rural areas (56%) own a gun, compared with 40% of suburbanites and 29% of those living in urban areas.

From 1959 through 1993, an average of 47% of Americans reported having a gun in their homes. Since that time, household gun ownership has dropped to an average of 40%.

Gallup also asked those with guns in their households about the total number of guns they have. A majority of gun owners (62%) have more than one gun on their properties, including 29% who say they have five or more guns.

But do guns make you safer? �Americans are divided on the topic,� Gallup reports, with 46% saying that having a gun in the home makes it a more dangerous place to be, and 42% saying guns make households safer.


New Jersey: City merchant kills attacker: "The owner of an East Camden store fatally shot a man attempting to rob the business while holding the owner's wife at knifepoint Friday afternoon, authorities said. ... The man walked into the store and grabbed the proprietor's wife ... 'He reportedly threatened her with a knife and told her he was robbing the store,' said Bill Shralow, a spokesman for the prosecutor's office. The owner, who is in his 30s, drew a handgun and told the man to release his wife, who is in her 20s. When the man refused, the owner shot the man once in the head."

Tucson resident will lead NRA : "Sandy Froman heard a strange noise in the middle of the night. She peered through the peephole and saw a stranger trying to break into her home. Fear gripped her. As she waited for the police, she tried to scare the man off: She banged on the door. Cranked up the stereo. The man left, but the feeling of helplessness was life-changing. 'I realized that no one was going to take care of me but me. The police can't be on every street corner. You need to be prepared,' said Froman, who lived in California at the time but now lives in Tucson. This spring, Froman will takeover as the president of the National Rifle Association, a 4 million-member organization that is one of the country's most powerful lobbying groups. ... Froman's goals are to diversify membership and dispel what she calls the 'myths of the NRA.'"

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