Entry 778: Twenty Guns Too Many

A new study reveals that there are currently more civilian-owned guns in America than there are Americans.

There are more than 393 million civilian-owned firearms in the United States– enough for every man, woman and child to own one and still have 67 million guns left over. You know, in case one of the others jams.

This leads to the obvious question: My six-week-old granddaughter Sydney does not have a gun. So who has hers?

Seriously, though, my first thought upon seeing that statistic was, who the hell owns all these guns? I, personally, know very few gun owners . . . at least that I’m aware of.  Living in Connecticut as I do, I probably know more people who are hoarding croquet mallets than firearms. Although now that I know there are more guns than people, I’ll be extra careful not to cheat at my poker game. Somebody’s likely to be carrying.

To give you an idea how insane American gun ownership is, the nation with the next highest gun-per-person ratio is Yemen, where there is usually some sort of armed conflict occurring. Whereas the U.S. has 1.2 guns for every citizen, Yemen only has 0.52 guns per resident. And let me tell you–a half gun isn’t even all that dangerous! You can either point it or pull the trigger, but not both.

And here’s an even crazier statistic. Only about 3 percent of Americans–around 9.8 million people–own half of the nation’s  guns. So if there are 196.5 million guns dispersed among 9.8 million people, that means there are almost 10 million Americans out there who own an average of more than 20 guns apiece!

It’s pretty clear to me that anybody who owns 20 or more guns shouldn’t be allowed to own any guns. Consider what you’d think about the sanity of someone who owned 20 cats.

And, remember–for the average to be over 20, there must be literally thousands upon thousands of people across our country with major arsenals in their homes!

It’s easy–and accurate–to blame our NRA-paid lawmakers for our armed-to-the-teeth citizenry. After all, it’s more difficult to lie to get a credit card than it is to lie to buy a gun . . . and charge it to a fraudulent credit card.

But there’s something more pervasive going on here. Even if there were no background checks at all . . . even if there were no restrictions . . . even if absolutely anyone, including convicted felons and six-year-olds, could stroll into a store and buy a gun . . . what the hell is it about Americans that make us want so many guns?

Why does America have 50% of the world’s firearms despite having only 5% of the world’s people?

Is it a Freudian thing? Are gun owners trying to make up for their shortcomings? Do they just sit at home looking at all their guns, like someone else might look at their Hummel figurine collection? Do their Hummel figurines have guns?

Do all those guns really make them feel more secure? Are the guns there because these people live in a perpetually frightened state?

And if they really think they need all those guns to defend themselves, what–or who–do they think they’re defending themselves from? Is Billy Joe Hornswaggle of Boligee Alabama expecting an all-out military assault any day now? And if, say, the Russians invade Boligee, how exactly does Billy Joe think he’s going to stop them, regardless of how many guns he has? Sure, he might take out a few Russkies before they flip a grenade or two through the window of his cabin, but at the end of the day, Billie Joe will be dead, and the Russians will be slightly better armed.

In some fairness, I have to say that the 20-gun average may be somewhat skewed by certain individuals like Mel Bernstein, originally of Brooklyn, but now of El Paso County, Colorado. Mr. Bernstein personally owns over 3,000 working firearms, not counting the two Colt 9mm submachine guns mounted on the front of his Harley Davidson. He also owns a 40-ton Russian tank which is probably not included in the national gun ownership statistics. Here is a photo of Mr.Bernstein in his bedroom, which doesn’t seem to have room for his wife, and probably doesn’t need to.

Americans’ love of guns really has to be its own special kind of insanity.

What the hell is wrong with us?

See you soon.

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