This week's outrage comes courtesy of columnist Bernd Debusmann of Reuters News Service, and an article he recently penned. This story, masquerading as a legitimate news article, might as well be an anti-gun organization's press release. Debusmann premises his piece on the argument that the American gun culture is "fading slowly," that gun ownership is declining, that support for stricter gun controls has been growing steadily, and that those in favor of stricter gun control laws represent a majority of the public. The source for this information is, not surprisingly, Josh Sugarmann of the vehemently anti-gun Violence Policy Center (VPC). And where did Sugarmann get his spurious information? From the National Opinion Research Center (NORC), a group who received grant funding from yet another anti-gun group, the Joyce Foundation.
Contrary to Debusmann's (read: Sugarmann's) assertions, statistics show that the number of privately owned guns is at an all-time high. The number of gun owners is at an all-time high. And the number of states with Right-to-Carry (RTC) laws is also at an all-time high, up from 15 in 1991 to 40 today.
No one should be surprised by an increase in the desire for self-defense following incidents such as 9/11 and the illegal gun confiscations that occurred in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. This premise is supported by statistics from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), which has noted an increase in the sales of guns, particularly handguns, in recent years.
Support for stricter gun control has also declined, despite Debusmann's claims. Notably, a recent poll by Gallup concluded that support for gun control is declining. And according to a 2007 Zogby poll, 66% of the American voting public rejects the notion that new gun control laws are needed.
None of the above indicates a fading American gun culture. For Debusmann to declare otherwise just doesn't pass the "straight face" test. His claims are not only untrue and laughable, they're outrageous.