While there are more guns in the US than there were thirty years ago, less households actually have guns. According to UPI, over half of US households in 1977 had guns; now less than a third have guns. According to UPI, the reason for the steep decline is “aging of the current-gun owning population, a lack of interest in guns by youth, the end of military conscription, the decreasing popularity of hunting; land-use issues that limit hunting and shooting and the increase in single-parent homes headed by women.”
Needless to say, gun sales are increasingly to households that already have guns, reflecting the sales pitches after the election of President Obama and the Sandy Hook massacre that new guns laws, if not outright confiscation, would ensue. Right. Actually laws became even more gun friendly after Newtown.
Households that were already armed are even more armed today. It is reminiscent of a New Yorker cartoon that said, “Let’s say you have up to six hundred intruders per minutes,” as he tries to sell a military style weapon.
Still, the post Newtown profit party is over. In December, both Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. and Remington Outdoor Co. reported profits down, according to the Wall Street Journal. Outdoor retailer Cabela’s Inc. also reported sales of firearms and ammunition down, as much as 50 percent. Chief Executive Thomas Millner admitted the feeder frenzy after Newtown was “a bubble.”
The sinking of gun culture, whether for self-defense or hunting, is especially apparent in young people. Half of all millennials now support stricter gun laws and only 18 percent of 18 to 25 year olds even own a gun! Hunting is not cool anymore compared to soccer, snowboarding and social media.
Kids are more involved with “cars, girlfriends or hanging out” and “think it’s boring to sit in a tree for hours and have nothing walk by,” said Kevin Kelly, a college student, to the lower Hudson Valley’s Journal News. It’s not popular in middle school either agreed Carmel student Nick Sadowski.
“Only a couple of my friends really hunt,” high school student Jonathan Gibbons told to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “The rest have never really found the appeal of sitting out in the cold to shoot an animal.” According to the Wildlife Service, the number of young hunters, aged 16 to 24, fell by 300,000 from 1996 to 2006.
The message of the young people statistics is clear. The old white men of the NRA who have terrorized this country and caused 30,000 gun deaths a year are on the wrong side of history. So are the old white lawmakers who do their bidding.