America may hold a reputation as a country of gun owners, but a new survey shows that roughly half of the nation’s weapons are owned by just three percent of the population.
Three percent of Americans own eight or more firearms, a cumulative 133 million of the country’s 265 million weapons, according to an unpublished survey from Harvard University and Northeastern University, whose results were reported by the Guardian and The Trace on Monday. These “super owners” have a multitude of reasons for accumulating their stash, from the guns' investment value, to their historical significance, to concerns about personal protection, the primary factor motivating about two-thirds of all gun owners, according to the study.That's why I anywhere I drive in Idaho, I see bumper stickers with the Idaho map caricatured into a pistol or some other indication of gun love. (I am part of the "super owners" class and there is nothing of this sort on my cars.)
While many gun owners are staunch in their defense of what they consider their Second Amendment right to protect themselves, some experts say that the fear that motivates many to accumulate weapons can be dangerous in its own right....
And, like the majority of gun owners, some super owners are interested in personal protection against more typical crime. Yet while the idea of self-defense is a powerful motivation to for buy weapons, many public health experts say that concerns about violence are largely unfounded.
“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,” Matthew Miller, a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health and Northeastern University, and an author of the study, told The Guardian.Because after one of these "super owners" commit suicide, the rest of his stash will let themselves out of the safe and go on a rampage? If fear of violence isn't a good reason to own a gun, why is it a good reason for gun control?