Thursday, October 08, 2015

Guns begone


Our one and only local gun store is closing for good. It's a few blocks from our house; it's been there longer than I've lived in the city, a long time.

The owners want us to believe that creeping over-regulation of firearms is killing the store. I doubt it.

More likely the business is in decline because, despite the awful gun massacres this country goes in for, gun ownership is in decline.

The [General Social Survey (GSS), which is conducted by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago] finds that the percentage of Americans who reported personally owning a gun dropped more than 26 percent from 1985 to 2014. In 1985, 30.5 percent of Americans said they personally owned a gun. The percentage is now down to 22.4 percent, or a little more than one in five.

Not surprisingly, most gun owners tend to be white men who live outside cities.

Drawing from data from 2010 to 2014, NORC found that 39 percent of white respondents said they lived in a household with a gun. During the same period, 18.1 percent of black respondents and 15.2 percent of Hispanic respondents said there was a gun in their household. NORC found that "households with firearms are concentrated in rural areas and in regions with more residents living in rural areas."

San Francisco is simply unpromising turf for a gun business.

The sort of people who insist that they must be allowed to threaten their neighbors anywhere and everywhere with their hardware are a dwindling minority. The tyranny of gun culture will be ended when the rest of us simply bring our numbers to bear on the problem. We are letting a small number of gun nuts wave their uninsured, over-powered, fetishized guns in our faces.

Through our sheer numbers, we can make these men earn their safety credentials, lock up their killing gear except when in use for sport or on a licensed range, carry insurance commensurate with the harm their killing tools can do, and, if necessary, replace a Supreme Court that misinterprets the Second Amendment as a personal entitlement to instruments of death.

But we do have to be a little bit brave, because we are dealing with scared bullies -- and we have to care enough to organize over time.

2 comments:

Michael Strickland said...

I wanted to hit the Like button on this, but there wasn't one, so let me just say that I adore your particular flavor of sanity.

janinsanfran said...

Mike: whether or not the "like" button shows up seems to be completely random. I've lost control of my template and am too lazy to try to fix it ...

Thanks for kind words.

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