A new poll from Pew Research has found that 44 percent of American households own guns, up a whopping 29 percent from the figure reported in a poll conducted for the same organization two years ago. Impressed by the incredible trend, the Washington Examiner reported, “more homes are reporting having a weapon inside,” while Bearing Arms said that the poll showed that there is “an increasing number of gun-owning households in the United States.”
However, what these polls really show is that folks shouldn’t put too much faith in polls. It’s no more true that gun ownership has risen 29 percent in the last two years than it declined 26 percent over a two-year period in the early 1990s, as Gallup polling found at the time.
Gallup recognized as much, saying, “A clear societal change took place regarding gun ownership in the early 1990s, when the percentage of Americans saying there was a gun in their home or on their property dropped from the low to mid-50s into the low to mid-40s and remained at that level for the next 15 years.
At the end of the day, no one knows what percentage of American households own guns, and no one should know. The only polls that count are the ones that are conducted on Election Day. If enough of us do our civic duty in November, the message we will send will be anonymous, but the whole country will it receive loud and clear.