Right To Try Law, Don’t Splurge On Premium Gasoline, Why Only Three Percent Own Ninety-Nine Percent Of Guns

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A recent study revealed that 99 percent of guns are concentrated in the hands of just three percent of the nation. We find out more. Putting premium gasoline in your car may not be worth the extra change– our guest explains why. We also hear about September in Wisconsin, and hear about a bill that would allow terminally ill patients to receive experimental drugs that have yet to be approved by the FDA.

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  • Survey: Only 3 Percent Of Americans Own Half The Guns In US

    While the number of American gun owners has declined, the number of purchased firearms in the United States has increased sharply, a new study found.

    Approximately half of the guns in America are owned by just 3 percent of the population, according to the survey conducted by Harvard and Northwestern universities.

    Christopher Ingraham, a data reporter for The Washington Post, said the percentage of Americans who own a gun has been on the decline for nearly two decades.

    “On the other hand,” he said, “If we look at FBI background check data, that shows us that the number of guns that are being purchased on a monthly basis is just skyrocketing, and, particularly, that’s been happening during the (Barack) Obama administration.”

    The percentage of Americans who own guns decreased from 25 percent to 22 percent, according to the report. It also found about 78 percent of Americans don’t own guns, and 19 percent of adults in the U.S. own the remaining half of firearms in the country.

    The Guardian newspaper referred to the 3 percent group as “super-owners” and said they own an average of 17 guns each.

    “People who don’t own guns might look at these numbers and think, ‘Seventeen guns, oh my God! These people must be all stocking up for the apocalypse or something,’” said Ingraham. “But if you talk to gun owners, folks who do own that, they’re like, ‘Yeah, you know what, that seems like a reasonable number.’”

    Ingraham said there are many reasons why people may own a high number of guns. Many Americans are collectors who appreciate historically significant firearms. Others do so unconsciously, purchasing a gun here and there like how other people acquire shoes or video games.

    “I think that the easy stereotype to go to is that these people are all kind of paranoid and looking to stock up on guns and ammunition in order to stave off the end of the world or some kind of terrible apocalyptic scenario,” Ingraham said. “And that certainly may be the case for some folks, but there’s a real diversity and reasons for why people own guns.”

    The latest survey is one of the more comprehensive looks at gun ownership in America, said Ingraham. But it’s only a snapshot, and social researchers are eager to continue to study the topic, particularly because it’s suspected some gun owners may be reluctant to admit to possessing a firearm.

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Episode Credits

  • Rob Ferrett Host
  • Veronica Rueckert Host
  • Chris Malina Producer
  • Judith Siers-Poisson Producer
  • Haleema Shah Producer
  • Nick Jarmusz Guest
  • Christopher Ingraham Guest
  • R. Alta Charo Guest

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