Here’s something you may not realize: Gun ownership has been declining for decades. According to the University of Chicago’s General Social Survey, in 1977, 54% of American households had guns. By 2010, the number had fallen to 32%. Yet gun sales are at record highs. That means that existing gun owners are buying more and more guns. It’s not enough to have a hunting rifle over your mantle; you need an entire arsenal, just in case the government falls, society disintegrates, and you have to protect your cave — sorry, your home — from the marauding hordes.
That’s exactly what the gun manufacturers want you to think, so you keep buying. They know that hunting will never again be the pastime it once was, and as more Americans move from rural areas to the suburbs and cities, their natural market withers.
That “responsible gun owner” politicians talk about, the one who reverentially passes down to his son the bolt-action rifle his father gave him? That guy isn’t good for business. The manufacturers need the other guy, the one who fears he may not be all the man he could be.