Dangerous Or Not, Many Are Armed

Who’s packing heat? Lots of people, according to a poll by the University of Pennsylvania’s National Annenberg Election Survey. When asked whether anyone in their household owns “a handgun, rifle or other type of firearm,” 38 percent of adults answered affirmatively. Are owners mainly a downscale bunch? Not at all: 30 percent of respondents with household income under $35,000 said there’s a gun owner in their home, vs. 46 percent of those in the $35,000-74,999 bracket and 44 percent of the $75,000-plus group. If you think people outgrow guns as they move through adulthood, the chart below indicates otherwise. (Note that the 65-plus population skews female, which may account for the dip in gun ownership among those folks.) Conservatives are more likely to own guns than are people elsewhere on the political spectrum (46 percent do so). But plenty of liberals (27 percent) said there’s a gun owner in their household. In a breakdown of the data by level of education, respondents with “some college” were the most likely to say there’s a gun around (42 percent); those with a high school degree or less were slightly more likely than college graduates to say so (38 percent vs. 35 percent). Ethnicity was the sharpest dividing line. Among the survey’s white respondents, 43 percent said someone in their home owns a gun, vs. 18 percent of blacks and 13 percent of Hispanics.