Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Deceptive Use of Background Checks as Indicator of Gun Ownership

Local news in Utah reports on the numbers of background checks and how that might relate to gun ownership.

The report from The Daily Beast places the Beehive State only behind Kentucky among the most armed. The analysis takes into account federal background check applications related to gun sales and permits over the past 18 months. Utah had 46,898 National Instant Criminal Background Check System checks per 100,000 residents. That's well behind the 78,703 checks per 100,000 Kentucky residents, but far ahead of third-ranked Idaho with its 16,888 checks.

The pro gun folks keep using this as an indicator of how many guns are being bought or, even worse, of how many new gun owners there are. This is mendacious claptrap, nothing more.

State officials also take issue with the correlation between concealed weapons permit applications and gun ownership. Baird said applications are not a good indication of who actually has guns.

"It's hard to really look at the numbers and say for certain that's what you're dealing with," Baird said. At Impact Guns in Ogden, workers and shoppers alike were far more welcoming of the lofty ranking.
Of course the numbers of background checks are not a good way to gauge anything about gun ownership. We've covered this already, but wouldn't it just take a little common sense.If half of the population of Utah were buying guns EVERY 18 MONTHS, what would happen over the course of say five or ten years. It's like doubling a penny every day for a month.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.


  1. You take great comfort in the delusion that gun owners are a tiny minority. Whatever gets you through the day, Mikeb. Do you have a point beyond that?

  2. Well, I don't think "gun owners" is a tiny minority. There are lots of them. But when you remove the ones who are on our side of the argument, and then remove the apathetic ones who couldn't care less, now you're getting down to a pretty small minority.

    You can reduce it further to the true gun-rights advocates, and you've got your "tiny minority."