Whoa! I know, I just asked a very charged question. One that perks the mind up and at attention. Obviously there are two sides to this question. One side says absolutely and the other side says no. Too the people on both sides of this argument, you are wrong. Wait a minute, how can that be you might ask. Because like anything in life, like any group of people there are always positive and negative people. It is an amazing constant through civilization. Something you do not see too often. A constant over the course of thousands of years.
So in this discussion we are talking about gun owners. That means all gun owners. So to break it down lets look at the one side first. The negative side. Yes there are gun owners that are bad. There are gun owners who kill people. Not just in self defense, but actually murder people. That is a fact and something that should be owned by anyone who talks about gun owners. There are gun owners who perpetuate threats. Both off the internet and on the internet. There are gun owners who commit mass shootings and who kill their spouses in domestic violence incidents. It is just a fact. An ugly and disgusting fact. For instance, anyone who passed a background check and owned a gun prior to a crime is/was a “gun owner”.
If you look at the whole of gun owners, an estimated 55 million, does this ugly fact fit the majority of them? No. Does it fit half of them? No. Do at least 1% of “gun owners” kill and murder each year? No. There are around 9,000 people killed by others who use a gun each year. That equates to 0.0164% of “gun owners”. Not even a tenth of one percent. Statistically speaking it is zero. We have around 120,000 robberies were the criminal using a gun in the USA each year. Just taking that number on it’s face would be 0.2236% of “gun owner”. Again, not even a quarter of one percent! These crimes encompasses hunters, collectors and self defense “gun owners” alike. Obviously all these crimes I reference are not true gun owners in the truest sense of the word. But I am using the whole numbers to get the point across. Now lets move on to the other side.
Yes, there are gun owners that are good. They go to training courses, take safety very serious, provide a level of security for the American people, etc. We have hunters who provide for their family and others. There are studies, including one sanctioned by the CDC, showing that guns are used in self defense of oneself or of others 55x more than they are used to murder. They are used in self defense 4x more than they are used in robberies. That is using the low estimate provided in the Priorities for Research to Reduce the Threat of Firearm-Related Violence (2013) study sanctioned by the CDC at the request of President Obama. There is an estimated 14.5 million concealed carry permit holders in the USA. That means for every 17 adults you see, one person is a concealed carrier. In Texas, where they have amazing statistics on their Concealed Handgun License holders, 99.98% of their concealed carrier’s do not commit crimes each year. Only 0.02% of 1,000,000+ concealed carriers in Texas commit crimes each year! That includes brandishing and threatening with a gun. No one can say that there are not good gun owners, just as no one can say that there are not bad gun owners.
Now let’s put this all together and see if gun owners are bad for America. Gun owners, at least the majority I have come across, would be willing to put themselves between a bad guy and any innocent bystander. That includes people who are trying to take their rights away! Normal everyday gun owners take to YouTube to interact, learn, teach and maintain their guns. Again, do some bad gun owners take to the “Tube”? Yes, but by and large it is for positive reasons. Gun owners who in previous lives were in Special Operation Forces (Special Forces, Delta, Navy SEALs, etc.) and other government agencies make and participate in videos teaching how to use guns safely and effectively. They accept everyday citizens in their classes. Thousands of citizens attend their classes each year. The main thing I have heard in the numerous classes and interviews I have done is more than anything they teach too deescalate. They do not teach to use your gun in every situation or KILL, KILL, KILL! They are making our homeland more secure through their excellent instruction to everyday citizens. Everyone should be appreciative such a thing in my opinion.
Now does teaching a child about gun safety mean your a bad gun owner? No, it means you are responsible. Less than 1% (0.0631%) of gun owner households have an incident where a child is killed or injured by a firearm. With a 1/3 of households with children having a gun, 53,000,000 households with kids, that means that there are 18,000,000 households that have children and own guns. The recent average of children killed or injured with guns is 16,000 a year. So are there gun owners who have households where children are either killed or injured with guns? Obviously yes. Do the majority of gun owners households have children that are killed or injured by guns? Nope. 99.91% of gun owner households do not have children killed or injured with guns.
The way I see it after looking at the numbers, pulling from my own experiences going to numerous classes and interacting with thousands of gun owners is there are boxes to put them in. Like anything in life you have groups. So as we saw from the data above, even if you just say everyone who murdered someone with a gun is a “gun owner” and they are bad it would come out too under 1/4 of one percent (0.0164%). Committing a robbery with a gun, again is a bad gun owner. That is another 0.2236%. So now we are up to 0.24% of “gun owners” are bad. We add in there gun owners who’s guns were use in household child death and injuries and that is another 0.0893%, now we are up to 0.3293%. So we go through the motions, people who brandish or threaten with a gun and use it unsafely, etc. and you come out too around 2% of gun owners are what I think everyone would call “bad”.
Now let’s look at the overtly good gun owners. Low estimate of 500,000 gun owners use their gun in self defense on themselves or others. That comes out to 1% of gun owners. Thousands go to training each year to better themselves, learn safety and defend. After talking to instructors like the ones mentioned above and looking over some studies there are around 9,000 students per state that take multiple day training each year. That comes out to about 1%. So adding together the people who use their guns in defense of ones self or others and the ones who take intense training each year you get amazingly the same number of full fledged bad gun owners. 2%.
This is kind of how life goes with groups of people. You have a very low percentage that are on the major opposites ends and then the main part. Tons of gun owners buy a gun, lock it up and take it to the range one or twice a year to shoot tin cans. They buy it for protection and never get proper training and it sits in the closet. It is a hobby they get into and then move onto another hobby but the gun sits in their closet. In my opinion after all the research I have done over the last decade that is largely who owns guns. Are gun owners bad for America? No because most of them are lazy and never get past leaving their guns in the locked case it comes in as well as the other reasons outlined above.