Does Anyone Know Anything About Guns?

Mike Weisser
4 min readNov 28, 2023

One of the reasons I have always enjoyed writing about guns is that I don’t have to figure out a story line, or even come up with an idea. All I have to do is scan the daily media and wait for one of the major media outlets to put out a gun story because invariably the story is wrong.

And the reason the media gets it all wrong about guns is that if you’re hired by an outfit like the Washington Post, the chances are you come from a nice, college-educated, liberal background and people from that background don’t usually know anything about guns.

And guns may be a consumer item found in many homes, but a gun sitting on someone’s night table or in a closet off the living room isn’t just like a car sitting out in the driveway or a new set of golf clubs in the car’s trunk.

The gap, socially and otherwise, between people who own guns and people who don’t own guns is as wide as the Mississippi River when it rains for a couple of days and the river overflows its banks. Gun owners and non-gun owners in America may both speak the same language, but the words have entirely different meanings to gun-owning versus non-gun-owning folks.

An example of this mental and cultural dichotomy is an article which just appeared in the Washington Post about a new survey on gun ownership which was commissioned by NBC News. The article was written by one of WaPo’s most active columnists, a guy named Philip Bump, who mostly covers politics, the topic which is usually the reason why people read the WaPo.

The article is based on a poll taken by an outfit called Public Opinion Strategies, whose client list is a standard, D.C.-based collection of lobbying operations, advocacy groups and K Street tenants, none of whom have anything to do with guns. I mean, when was the last time that the Coalition to Protect America’s Healthcare got involved in discussions about 2nd-Amendment ‘rights?

What the new poll showed is what is referred to as a ‘stunning’ increase in the number of homes which contain a gun, from 42% in 2013 up to 52% this year. This increase reflects both many more guns being sold, but also many guns going into households which previously didn’t contain a gun.