Half the guns in the country are owned by a small subset of gun nuts

Half the guns in the country are owned by a small subset of gun nuts

by digby

This investigative piece in today's Guardian is a must read for anyone who is concerned about the proliferation of guns in our society.It's a very interesting breakdown of who owns guns, what they're used for and why certain people buy them.
Americans own an estimated 265m guns, more than one gun for every American adult, according to the most definitive portrait of US gun ownership in two decades. But the new survey estimates that 130m of these guns are concentrated in the hands of just 3% of American adults – a group of super-owners who have amassed an average of 17 guns each. 
The unpublished Harvard/Northeastern survey result summary, obtained exclusively by the Guardian and the Trace, estimates that America’s gun stock has increased by 70m guns since 1994. At the same time, the percentage of Americans who own guns decreased slightly from 25% to 22%. 
The new survey, conducted in 2015 by public health researchers from Harvard and Northeastern universities, also found that the proportion of female gun owners is increasing as fewer men own guns. These women were more likely to own a gun for self-defense than men, and more likely to own a handgun only. 
Women’s focus on self-defense is part of a broader trend. Even as the US has grown dramatically safer and gun violence rates have plummeted, handguns have become a greater proportion of the country’s civilian gun stock, suggesting that self-defense is an increasingly important factor in gun ownership. 
“The desire to own a gun for protection – there’s a disconnect between that and the decreasing rates of lethal violence in this country. It isn’t a response to actuarial reality,” said Matthew Miller, a Northeastern University and Harvard School of Public Health professor and one of the authors of the study. 
The data suggests that American gun ownership is driven by an “increasing fearfulness”, said Dr Deborah Azrael, a Harvard School of Public Health firearms researcher and the lead author of the study.
And politicians are helping drive the fear:

This psycho is featured in the video:

As is this psycho:

There's a whole lot of gun culture that is also alt-right, including Trump's own family.

Update: Now go read this also in the Washington Post: Donald Trump’s law-and-order approach won’t make us safer.

Neither will gun proliferation, which he proposes along with his "let the police crack some heads" approach to law enforcement. He's prescribing an authoritarian government working with a private vigilante force. We've seen that before. It didn't work out well.