Work Needed

Some of you may remember this:

As part of this:

So I know that to many people, this might seem to be good news*:

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) reported Monday there are an estimated 434 million firearms in private possession in the United States of America.

But if you consider that that number represents only about 2.4 firearms per adult person in the U.S., and most people reading this may well own more than two guns [eyecross], it means there’s still an awful lot of work to be done if we’re to turn America back into a Nation of Rifleman.

And I admit to some lollygagging on my part:  I don’t think I’ve taught a new shooter to shoot for over two years, now.  That’s inexcusable.

Let’s get onto that, folks.

*Quite a few people are going to be horrified at that number, but I’m not interested in the feelings of timorous people and statists [some overlap] .


  1. When I lived in FL I knew a few people that didn’t possess guns but I didn’t *know them well*. I now live in southern IN and everybody I know behaves as if gun possession is completely normal and expected. **People that do not possess guns are partially mind handicapped and seem a little weird – sort of like people that do not possess a hammer.

  2. A lot of the lefties are giddy with anticipation – they’re certain that Biden/Harris will step in and change things perfectly, forever.

    They’re confident that not only will they be able to pass gun control legislation without problems (assuming that they get control of the House and the Senate), but that there won’t be any successful challenges to those laws in the Supreme Court.

    Even if you get them to admit that they might not be able to pass the laws, they’re sure that Biden can just drop an Executive Order that will override the law, by regulations like “taxing AR-15s $200 a year through the NFA.”

  3. On reading the NSSF number of firearms in America I wanted to find the article posted by Weaponsman a number of years ago. He was very meticulous in his analysis of FBI ATF historical and industry data. His conclusion then was upwards of 600 million guns floating around. NSSF has always underestimated the count. The only link I could find was a 3rd order report over on TTAG. Here is the link to it…

    But in researching the original article I sadly discovered that the author had passed away. His brother posted an announcement on his blog. RIP belatedly to Weaponsman. A patriot, Green Beret who loved America and served her well…now I am bummed out for the morning.

    1. The mistake mad on any guesstimate of the number of guns in America is that they’re going just on the NICS reports. Each report can have more than 1 firearm on it and that isn’t noted in the count. Then we have milsurp firearms from more than one country, which add up to a few million more. Add in those firearms manufactured before the Brady Bill (1995?). There were over 4 million Winchester Model 94s made and most are probably still in working condition. I own 5 guns made before 1904 and all work. Conservative guess would be that there are a billion firearms in citizens’ hands.

      1. Looking at the numbers for other countries that have had gun control for the better part of a century would support the higher numbers. Germany and France are estimated to have 10s of millions of firearms in private hands, half of them unregistered. Perhaps the most striking estimate was the one done by the KGB in the last days of the Soviet Union. The guessed 17M, all illegal. Stuff that Ivan brought home from the wars and stashed under the floorboards. Subsequent events suggest that this was a serious underestimate as things like APCs and attack helicopters showed up in private hands. At Beslan, many, many citizens with relatives inside showed up with their private arms. As always, there was no organization and being Russia, much drunkenness. When TSHF, it was pretty much free fire.

    2. Yeah, Hognose is muchly missed. I would give a great deal to have him here with us. Fortunately, both Bill St. Clair and Looserounds mirrored and saved his website, so his legacy is still around.

  4. Now what’s needed is to increase the number, and accessibility, of ranges, particularly in towns and cities.

    1. A few years ago, I led a small group of like-minded citizens who were trying to open a range in Northern Virginia. We met with one of the largest indoor range management companies in the US (out of Idaho), who asked us how much money we had. Not for the range, for the legal fight. Now, this is in the same county as the NRA headquarters, in fact, within a few miles of it. We had a bankrupt bowling alley for space (with parking for 200 cars), in a light industrial area, and a line of credit a mile long. They advised against even trying, as they had tried to plow that ground before and gave up after several million spent.

      The NRA was zero help. Less than zero as a matter of fact. No amount of money was going to get an indoor range approved. Local, municipal, county and state government regulations are structured to make it impossible.

      To illustrate the point, about 10 years ago, when I lived a few towns over (same county) I bought my then 12 year old daughter a beginner’s archery set. I set it up in the back yard and starting teaching her basic bow skills. A day or two later, my neighbor (A nice WWII veteran, retired patent attorney and decent fellow) kindly informed me that while he had no objection, the city and county would. No archery inside the city limits. No BB or pellet guns, no slingshots. Nothing with a target was allowed. That’s the mindset of Northern Virginia. Sadly, law enforcement leadership is 100% on board with this.

      I hate this place and can’t wait to move back to Arizona.
      Or Texas.

      1. The NRA has their own range, so in some respects you were like Burger King asking McDonalds to help you open your restaurant “within a few miles of it”.

  5. I recall reading somewhere that the (then) estimate that there were 300,000,000 firearms in civilian hands in the United States was based on the highly questionable assumption that firearms wore out in (I believe) 20 years. Now, I have no idea whether this assertion is based in fact or fancy, but that kind of half-assed assumption sure SOUNDS like government work. Come up with a way to rationalize not saying “we just don’t f*cking know” and put a number out there.

    1. FOR SALE: Colt SP1 AR-15 w/serial nr. 00011xx. A nice wall hanger, but the arthritis it has is driving me nuts. Make offer, or I’ll put her down./s

  6. I well remember those days, Kim. And in my neck of the woods, if you *don’t* have at least 2-3 guns, people look at you cross-eyed. I’m trying to get a local colleague, and particular his wife, to the range; he’s a non-shooters, she’s apparently actively anti. He’s a history guy, so shooting old Garands and Lugers will help.

    BTW – I, like many of your readers, suspect that number is dramatically low. The truth, of course, is, we don’t really know how many. Only four states, as I understand it, require registration of any firearms; even more specifically BAR registration. If the Biden administration thinks Americans are going to line up to register – or pay taxes on – firearms that they don’t even know exist, well, good luck with that.

    That said, don’t think that TPTB can’t crack down and discern who owns firearms if they really want to. Ever paid for ammunition with a credit card? Ever gone online to buy a part for an AR build? Bingo. You’re ID’d.

    Remember – jury nullification is, at times and if necessary, a good thing. A reader wrote of refusing jury duty a few days ago. On the contrary – get ON those juries. You are the check on the state, interposing the people between the state and the citizen. And you have the power to refuse to countenance enforcement of unjust or unconstitutional laws. That’s what juries are for.

    1. GMC70
      you’re absolutely right about getting onto juries and the concept of jury nullification!!

      I had a legal studies class in high school that required us to read “Anatomy of a Jury” and ever since I have wanted to get onto a jury. I want to see how the legal system operates. Notice I didn’t use the words “justice system” or the word “works.” Jury nullification is a very powerful concept. I’m sure that is the reason why it isn’t taught.


      1. I’m a trial attorney. And judges actively deny letting attorneys call for jury nullification. It can be done, however, in the right case, under the right circumstances.

        It should be rare. But the time may well come when it is necessary.

        1. I’m not surprised that jury nullification is discouraged by attorneys and judges. That would undermine the legal system and possibly the legislative process. If people knew that they could reject laws once they reach the courtroom, then the politicians and judges would lose power.

          Maybe someday I’ll hang outside a courthouse and pass out fliers on JN. Do it for a little while then take off. Pass out 10-20 fliers then take off before the authorities could catch me.


  7. I recommend an Appleseed event as often as I can. The Appleseed folks will teach you in a weekend what the Marine Corps takes two weeks to teach. By the end of the weekend you’ll know where you stand, and what you need to improve.
    Are you a rifleman, or a cook?

  8. And another thing.
    Having firearms is MUCH less effective if you don’t train. REGULARLY.
    Get out there and train, as Lars of Survival Russia would say.

    1. Good question, JQ … glad you asked it.

      In lieu of said “Nation of Riflemen” shirt, I have a “Group Therapy” shirt … It works.
      Every once in a while when I’m feeling adventurous, I wear it in places like Highland Park, IL. The looks I get … priceless.

  9. Darlin’ Daughter now has my NOR shirt as it mysteriously shrank over the years.

    The other problem with it is the quote is on the back of the shirt, and I never go out in public without a cover garment of some sort. One with that logo and quote on the front would be nice.

  10. My NoR tshirt is hanging in the closet as well. It, too, has mysteriously shrunk… or maybe I’m just a lot bigger than I used to be. It’s also getting kinda wore out, though… sure would like to be able to put a new one on my Christmas wish list! What would it take to make that happen, Kim?

  11. Wyowanderer has it right.
    The Appleseed folks take a two day weekend and do in that time an excellent job of teaching basic safety firearms handling and rifleshooting. Their courses are all taught by volunteers. The course of instruction after safety, covers position shooting (standing {offhand} sitting & prone), sight pictures, Natural Point of Aim, (NPOA!) trigger control, proper use of a sling etc. They also have a short period of talk about our countries history and history with firearms. I believe that the cost of the course is about $75.00 for the two day weekend. Start early and work as late as possible.
    You will be expected to supply your own .22 rifle of any sort although repeaters are pretty much needed, at least 200 rds of your own ammo, a mat, blanket, etc to shoot prone with, a sling too.
    My STRONG suggestion is to bring elbow pads because you will be prone a lot.
    My club (Hollywood Rifle & Pistol Club Ft. Lauderdale FL) offers Appleseed access to our range twice a year. The range is usually sold out too.
    Probably the best two days of rifle training short of the USMC and no DI screaming in your ear.

    1. Since velocette brought it up,
      At the Appleseed event I attended, they had us do a NPOA drill-we set out a sheet of white paper at 25 yards and instructed us to shoot at it in our natural point of aim…with our eyes closed.
      I put 10 rounds out of 15 into a circle you could cover with the cap off a spray paint can, the other five were on paper.
      Honest injun.
      Best money I ever spent for training.

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