Kevin Drum in Mother Jones, points to a paradox between an increase in gun sales and a decrease in “households” that own guns. The comment section over there is particularly interesting.
To keep this all in perspective, we’re still a gun owning people. Compared to European nations, we own lots more guns per 100 people than any other nation.
Our own decline could just be the result of urbanization over the past three decades, but it could also be the result of a cultural shift towards what it means to own a gun. When I grew up, my dad had a gun but never told me where. I can still remember being little and being shaken by accidentally catching him putting it away by the nightstand in my parent’s bedroom. Having an instrument in the home that is so closely associated with the production of sudden death (for good or ill) has to impact everyone in the household. I’ve never seen good work on how gun ownership impacts one’s attitude towards life or towards the state. Does a gun owner, knowing what a powerful object they have in their possession, become more confident and self assured in their ability to “keep their loved ones or possessions safe” that they become more trusting of others and of centralized authority or does it serve as a “priming effect” reminding owners that human beings can be base and craven?
What does the crowd think? Does gun ownership and use change one’s outlook towards the world?