Common myths about guns and gun owners
One of the most divisive arguments Americans have been having with one another for the last several decades involves gun control and ownership. As this battle rages on, both sides seem to have more difficulty finding common ground, and misconceptions are formed. That’s a shame, because as both parties would be quick to tell you, nothing is as important to them as safe environments and responsible gun ownership. Indifference to public safety is one the many misperceptions “anti-gun” activists have about firearm enthusiasts. Below are some of the more common “myths” that are unfortunately keeping the gun ownership divide unnecessarily deep.
Guns Are Inherently Dangerous
Even when loaded with ammunition, a firearm is a metal paperweight until someone makes a deliberate decision to pick that piece up and discharge it. We’ve all heard stories, read news accounts, and certainly seen fictional stories about firearms “accidentally” discharging, usually when dropped. And this is indeed fiction, because the design of these firearms does not allow them to discharge upon simple impact. This is especially true of modern weapons, since mandatory drop testing became required with the Gun Control Act of 1968.
Plastic (Ceramic) Guns Are A Real Threat
Gun control advocates point to the rise of plastic guns in the hands of inept hobbyists and desperate terrorists as a real threat. Anyone can manufacture these guns, even at home with a 3-D printer! Criminals and terrorists can smuggle them past alarms and through security check points because they don’t set off metal detectors! The ability of the world’s bad actors to produce unregistered, undetectable firearms in one’s bedroom should give anyone pause. It certainly gave the United States Congress pause, which passed the Undetectable Firearms Act of 1988 and has extended it twice since. This law mandates that all firearms be manufactured with at least 3.7 ounces of steel, and contain components capable of setting off detectors. These means that despite what Bruce Willis assures us in the original Die Hard, terrorists aren’t purchasing and smuggling ceramic guns through checkpoints because these mass produced guns simply don’t exist.
But what about amateurs, you ask? After all, the world’s first all plastic functioning gun was produced by a hobbyist in Arkansas in 2013 using a 3-D printer. But experts and law enforcement authorities acknowledge that given the great expense of both these printers and the materials needed to make firearms, current plastic guns are little more than an experiment. Plastic guns probably will be an issue to deal with in the future. In the meantime, security agencies probably want to focus on upgrading metal detectors, as stories abound of firearms being carried past security points inadvertently by travellers.
All Gun Owners Are “Blue Collar”
What’s the stereotypical image presented by the media of a gun owner? A middle-aged white male, whose education never went beyond high school, who is likely to be living in the mid-west or one of the deep southern states, and primarily votes Republican. The reality? While the previous description is indicative of some firearm owners, many more hold college degrees and beyond, are women, multi-racial, come from all parts of the country, and have occupations ranging from taxi driver to physicist.
The NRA Is Simply A “Shell” And Lobbyist For The Firearm Industry
The National Rifle Association is a non-profit organization that was designed to promote sports like hunting and target shooting, in addition to firearm safety and education. In more recent years it has focused on acting as an advocate for citizens’ rights to bear arms in self-defense under the Second Amendment.
All Gun Owners Are NRA Members
Approximately a third of American adults own a firearm, which means there are roughly 71 million to 83 million gun owners in the US. The NRA has approximately 5 million registered members. That means that only 6% to 7% of gun owners in the US are registered NRA members.
Gun Owners Don’t Feel That Gun Education Is Necessary
On the contrary, all responsible owners feel that firearm education is essential to insure the proper handling, firing, transportation, and storage of their pieces. Many firearm users feel that training for both non and firearm enthusiasts helps to demystify firearms, adding to both greater understanding and safety. And in almost all states for permits ranging from concealed carry to hunting licenses, educational classes and subsequent testing are mandatory.
About the author: This article was contributed by Joe from SmokingBarrelUSA.com. Joe is a gun enthusiast that started his blog specifically to not only learn more himself, but to also share what he learned with others in the community.