Press Image of Gun Owner Not Far Off, Except for All Those Women
By E&P Staff
Published: January 04, 2005 10:00 AM ET
NEW YORK A Gallup Poll released this morning reveals that the average American owns 1.7 guns, with the average gun owner possessing 4.4 of them. The press is quick to promote stereotypes of the average gun owner as a white male, most likely Republican, living in a rural area or the South. But how well does reality match the image? The new Gallup Poll shows that the stereotype is not that far off, but with several twists.
For one thing, one out of three American women say they own a gun. That's not much below the overall mark of 40% for all American adults.
As for other elements of the stereotype: More than half (53%) of Republicans own guns, compared with 36% of political independents and 31% of Democrats. Whites are more likely than nonwhites to own (44% and 24%, respectively), according to Gallup.
Residents of the South are significantly more likely than those living in other regions to report owning a gun. More than half of those living in rural areas (56%) own a gun, compared with 40% of suburbanites and 29% of those living in urban areas.
From 1959 through 1993, an average of 47% of Americans reported having a gun in their homes. Since that time, household gun ownership has dropped to an average of 40%.
Gallup also asked those with guns in their households about the total number of guns they have. A majority of gun owners (62%) have more than one gun on their properties, including 29% who say they have five or more guns.
But do guns make you safer? “Americans are divided on the topic,” Gallup reports, with 46% saying that having a gun in the home makes it a more dangerous place to be, and 42% saying guns make households safer.