I have grown tired of all the hoopla about guns and ammo and Obama.
A common phrase used by many is “gun nut”, which means, I guess, a guy that sleeps with his rifle, and oils and polishes it up daily. These guys are not forcing other people to buy guns. They are not waving their rifles in peoples faces. They are not banding together to force others to buy guns, even though the precedent has been set at the federal level by forcing us to buy health insurance.
I am thinking, here in my old brain, that the shoe of ‘nuttiness’ is on the wrong foot. I believe that it is ‘anti-gun nuts’ that are driving all the hoopla, and are actually driving firearm and ammunition sales through the roof in America. This particular minority group honestly believes that only criminals own guns.
So, let’s have a gander at some readily available numbers:
Number of Guns
Let’s assume for this conversation that the number is 360,000,000 guns in America, but I believe that number is light because the criminal element isn’t included, nor are heritage firearms handed down within families.
Number of Government Employees
For the sake of argument, let’s use 22,000,000 federal, state, county and municipal employees in the country.
Simply, we will use 323,000,000 as the population. To be fair, we will use 76% of that and back out those under age 18, leaving us with 245,480,000 adults.
So, how many own guns according to Newsweek?
If you read this article, you know that this number is under-reported by the GSS and seems to be over-reported by the NRA. Based on the increase in both gun and ammunition sales over the terms of Obama, I tend to go with the NRA. The GSS numbers do not make sense, unless people simply turned in the guns inherited from the previous generations. That alone makes me very suspect of their survey, not to mention that people worried about disclosing they own a gun are not going to tell some random survey they do. In the current atmosphere of hate directed at gun owners, I do not disclose my own firearms. Neither survey takes into account criminally owned firearms either.
I am running with gun ownership of 40% and again, I personally believe that number is very light.
OK, so we have the following:
Gun Count = 360,000,000
Gun Owner Count = 245,480,000 X .4 = 98,192,000
Government Employee Count = 22,000,000
Guns per Owner = 360,000,000/98,192,000 = 3.7
Now, let’s make some honest assessments regarding these numbers.
Government Employee Count is ALL government employees – court clerks, receptionists, aides, politicians, judges, DMV personnel, soldiers, etc. Let’s be generous and assume that 50% of these folks, many your neighbors and fellow gun owners, agree to force the rest of us to give up our guns.
So in the event of government coming to take away your guns, what must they do?
Well, 11,000,000 people must force 98,192,000 people to surrender their firearms. That is roughly 9 gun owners for each gun ‘taker’ and 35 guns of various types for the gun ‘taker’ to confiscate.
Assume only 50% of the gun owners refuse, and you have each of the ‘takers’ responsible for 4 or 5 owners. One must also assume these ‘takers’ are willing to risk their lives to obtain your gun. That being acknowledged, I would stipulate that MOST of the takers are simply not going to risk their lives trying to force you to give up your firearms. Most are just employees, not crusaders. Crusaders abound when there is no risk of losing your life. This would be very different.
So let’s assume the military is ordered to confiscate firearms. That means 1,500,000 military, of which 65% are non-combatants. Remember, armies run on ther stomachs, maintenance and fuel supply – the number of actual, fighting soldiers is much smaller. So now we have 975,000 actual fighting soldiers attempting to take firearms from 49,096,000 citizens (remember – 50% simply surrendered their firearms earlier). This does NOT take into account any soldiers refusing to follow orders to fire on their own citizens, nor does it take into account heirloom or criminal firearms, nor does it deduct headcount for the soldiers required to man the 660 overseas military bases we currently have. If those are factored into this exercise, then the government position is even more upside down relative to the citizens.
In simplest terms, each soldier must personally confront 50 families, which have 3.7 guns per household, or 1 automatic rifle versus 185 miscellaneous firearms.
No matter how you slice and dice the numbers, the government forces will lose if confrontation occurs on a national level. This would instantly DE-legitimize the entire federal government – they require 75-80% obedience to even maintain power.
The short story here is that the LAST thing federal government actually wants is direct confrontation with armed citizens – government will inevitably lose, as the numbers are simply not there for them. The real reason behind the push for more gun laws is to force or coerce the populace into SURRENDERING VOLUNTARILY – as it is obviously the only way they can win.
Now, you can argue as many points as you like, and try to disassemble my simple math with Common Core math – feel free. But just a simple look at 975,000 soldiers faced with 98,192,000 citizens with 360,000,000 guns should make you breathe easier.
Now, how about another reason – that even accurately counting firearms is impossible. Let’s look at the process a dealer with a Federal Firearms License goes through when selling a gun. The following steps occur:
- I say I want a gun and we agree on price
- ATF Form 4473 filled out and transmitted to FBI (https://www.atf.gov/file/61446/download)
- Four outcomes are possible for this transaction: Proceed, Denied, Cancelled or Delayed
- If delayed, gun seller has right to proceed with sale in 72 hours if the FBI does not follow-up on “Delayed” reply to background check
- Gun seller has right to refuse to sell a gun to ANYONE for ANY REASON
- Sale is logged in Registry with MFG, SER#, GUN TYPE, IDENTIFICATION INFO. This registry is PAPER, and is held by the FFL dealer.
- FFL dealers are (legally required and supposed to be) audited yearly by the ATF for current inventory matching the registry documentation. ATF does not copy or otherwise duplicate the registry of the FFL dealer.
- If the FFL is surrendered, then the ATF requests the registry be sent in to their office.
Please note Item #5. Regardless of what the ‘anti-gun nuts’ try to intimate or slur about FFL dealers, most of them have common sense and their livelihood depends on following the law much more strictly than the average citizen. A guy obviously high or drunk or agitated emotionally or saying stupid things is just not going to be sold a gun. The FFL dealer just has to tell him it was Denied and is out of his hands; or that the FBI server is being hacked or most anything – including “I am not going to sell you a gun.” Period. I have seen this happen at a gun shop myself…
There is NO federal database of gun owners – the ATF does not and has not collected this data from FFL dealers. Let me repeat this – there is no federal database of gun owners. There is a database of Form 4473 applicants, but that is all the government is supplied in the event of a legal sale from an FFL dealer. Serial numbers were not even required until the GCA was enacted in 1968, and older firearms often cause inexperienced ATF auditors to freak out as they are not serialized.
Once the transaction is concluded, the government is out of the picture.
So this is what registering your gun really means, and who carries the information of the initial purchase. This is the only information the government has – if you give firearms away, there is no tracking mechanism at the federal level. If you own a CCL, then the Form 4473 is not applicable – you can just buy another gun without any background check.
Why is this important? It’s all in the numbers – again!
The ATF has 4900 employees trying to ride herd on about 15,000,000 legal gun sales per year – not to mention their alcohol and tobacco duties. There are roughly 130,000 FFL dealers in the country, thus 130,000 gun registry books kept. 130,000 registries and 260 working days per year equals 500 audits per day, excluding federal holidays. Each audit takes a day minimum, and much more for places like Academy or other large outfits, and this isn’t counting travel time. If 100% of ATF employees audited FFL registries, then they might get the job done in a theoretical 6 months. In short, the government cannot and does not even comply with its own rules for auditing due to manpower and budgetary shortfalls.
ATF is always looking for illegal gun sales or mass quantities of illegal firearms – their enforcement division is much more concerned with this than legal gun sales, and rightly so. They need to do as every federal enforcement agency does – go for the big violators that have no political pull – to keep their funding going and their visibility during the budget process.
There are an estimated 360,000,000 firearms in this country – but that estimate is based on very little hard data. There is little historical data available, as most of the documents never made it into the digitizing pile because of the sheer number of them. If everyone tried to turn in their guns, the government has insufficient storage space for them – and insufficient workers to receive them or document receipt. They would have to crush and bury them on the spot.
As with the scenario of government coming to take firearms away, there is just no way to track firearms past the initial sale – there are too many of us and there are 2-3 times as many guns in this country. ATF does not have the manpower to do much of anything except make examples of a few to keep the others in line.
This is the way the entire government functions, if you simply look at the numbers presented in this little exercise. That is why they actually step very carefully and work in small increments – lest they rile up the entire ant pile (we being the ants) and get bitten.
I am not telling anyone to simply ignore what the government is trying to do with respect to gun laws. What I am saying is that it does not matter – it is irrelevant unless they try to force the issue, and then they lose. The agitation the “anti-gun nuts” have caused has actually boosted gun and ammo sales, along with FFL and CCL applications.
Remain calm, review the math outlined in this exercise and know that it is the ‘anti-gun nuts’ and various politicians driving this to gain voters and funding. The issue is pretty well settled in my mind – all we need to do is resist, if or when necessary, and vote appropriately on local and state ballot issues.
Yes, the Governor of Texas tweeted Obama to “Come and Take It!”
Why not? He knows they can’t, and won’t….