Less than a third of Americans live in a household that contains a gun. As recently as 1974, it was more than half.
This comes from Think Progress, the author is Paul Waldman, Contributing Editor at The American Prospect, - it is part of a series on the National Rifle Association's exaggerated role in American politics.
...statistics obscure a trend that has gone largely unnoticed: fewer and fewer Americans own guns. Data from the General Social Survey show that rates of gun ownership have been decreasing steadily for three decades. In 1977, 54 percent of American adults lived in a household that contained a gun. By 2010, that figure had declined a full 22 percentage points to 32 percent.So where does that leave the Republican strategy of God, guns, and gays? That three-legged stool looks more and more wobbly all the time.
The explanations for this drop vary; a declining interest in hunting and the steady exodus from rural areas to suburbs and cities almost certainly play a role. Whatever the combination of causes, there have been steady declines in gun ownership among all age groups. Of particular note is the decline among young adults. In the GSS studies in the 1970s, around 45 percent of respondents under 30 years of age reported that their household owned a gun; in the most recent surveys that number has fallen below 20 percent, a decline of more than half. The decline has also occurred among all birth cohorts.
Barring a wholesale return to rural living or a boom in hunting, it seems unlikely that this trend will reverse. Demographic diversity will also likely contribute to a continued decline in gun ownership. White males own guns at higher rates than members of other groups, while gun ownership among African-Americans is lower, and ownership among Latinos and Asians is lower still. Every projection by demographers shows whites declining as a proportion of the American population in the next few decades, and Latinos are now the country's largest and fastest-growing minority group. These factors will likely produce a continued, if not accelerated, decline in gun ownership.
And speaking of demographics: why are the Republicans scrambling around this week trying to lock in the misogyny vote?
Did they fail to notice that around 9.5 more women than men voted in 2008*...and that Obama's margin of victory was around 9.5 million votes**?
* According to Pew Research Center tabulations from the November 2008 Current Population Survey, Voting and Registration Supplement, 70.4 million women voted in 2008, compared with 60.7 million men. That comes from a footnote from this report(warning, PDF).
**According to Wikipedia, the 2008 popular vote was 69.45 million Obama, 59.93 million McCain.