18 Things People Believe about Guns and America That Just Aren’t True

Written By Jill Taylor

Guns and their place in American life can be pretty confusing. There are a lot of myths and misconceptions out there. Let’s clear things up with 18 common beliefs about guns in America that just aren’t true.

Guns Are Only Owned by Rural Americans

Photo Credit: Dejan Dundjerski/Shutterstock

According to Pew Research, “Three in ten U.S. adults say they own a gun.” Gun owners come from all walks of life, and despite popular belief, gun ownership isn’t just a rural thing.  People in cities, suburbs, and rural areas all own firearms. City folks might have guns for protection, sport shooting, or collecting historical pieces.

Most Gun Owners Are Men

Photo Credit: Roman Chazov/Shutterstock

While men still make up a big chunk of gun owners, more women are jumping on board. Some of the reasons why women are buying guns include personal protection, sport, and hunting. It’s great to see this shift, showing how attitudes change and the firearm community becomes more inclusive.

All Gun Owners Are Republicans

Photo Credit: danielfela/Shutterstock

Political affiliation among gun owners is more mixed than you’d think. Sure, a lot of gun owners lean conservative, but plenty of liberals and independents own firearms, too. The right to bear arms isn’t just a one-party thing; it covers a wide range of beliefs.

Guns Are Easy to Purchase Without Background Checks

Photo Credit: Nomad_Soul/Shutterstock

Federal law requires background checks for all gun purchases from licensed dealers. However, private sales between individuals might not need these checks in some states. So, the idea that guns are super easy to get without any checks isn’t quite right. Work is being done to close these loopholes and make transactions safer.

Owning a Gun Guarantees Safety

Photo Credit: PRESSLAB/Shutterstock

Having a firearm doesn’t automatically make you safer. To effectively defend yourself with a gun, you need training, proper storage, and the ability to access it quickly under stress. Studies show mixed results on whether gun ownership actually reduces crime, so it’s important to handle guns responsibly and have realistic expectations about what they can do for your safety.

The U.S. Has the Most Gun Violence

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Even though the United States has a high rate of gun-related deaths, it’s not the global leader in gun violence. Countries like Brazil and Mexico, which have strict gun control laws, sometimes see even higher levels of gun-related violence. This shows that gun laws alone don’t determine how much violence there is.

Gun Violence Is Only an Urban Problem

Photo Credit: blvdone/Shutterstock

Gun violence impacts both cities and the countryside but in different ways. In urban areas, you might see more gang-related shootings, while in rural areas, there’s often a higher rate of firearm suicides. Tackling gun violence means we need customized strategies that address the specific challenges of each sector.

Mass Shootings Are the Biggest Threat

Photo Credit: Prath/Shutterstock

Even though mass shootings are tragic, they actually make up a small percentage of gun deaths in America. Most gun deaths are due to suicides and homicides in domestic settings. If we only focus on mass shootings, we’re missing the bigger issues of gun-related suicides and domestic violence that need our attention.

Gun Control Laws Don’t Work

Photo Credit: Marian Weyo/Shutterstock

Evidence from different states shows that some gun control measures can help reduce crime. Things like background checks, waiting periods, and restrictions on certain firearms have made a difference in lowering gun-related incidents. While they’re not a cure-all, these laws contribute to a safer environment.

All Americans Support the NRA

Photo Credit: chrisdorney/Shutterstock

Not every gun owner is on board with the NRA. A lot of them support reasonable gun control measures and don’t align with the NRA’s extreme positions. This mix of opinions shows that gun owners have varied and nuanced views on regulation and safety.

The Second Amendment Is Absolute

Photo Credit: Victor Moussa/Shutterstock

The right to bear arms usually comes with some limits. When you look at history and the law, it’s clear the Second Amendment allows for reasonable rules. The Supreme Court has even supported some restrictions, balancing individual rights with public safety. So, the amendment isn’t without its boundaries.

Guns Are the Leading Cause of Death

Photo Credit: New Africa/Shutterstock

Firearms aren’t the top cause of death in the United States. Sure, gun violence is a big issue, but heart disease, cancer, and other health problems cause more deaths each year. Knowing this can help us see the bigger picture about the impact of firearms.

Background Checks Are Invasive

Photo Credit: steved_np3/Shutterstock

Some people think background checks are too invasive, but they mainly just confirm if someone is legally eligible. The process looks at things like criminal records, restraining orders, and mental health holds to stop prohibited individuals from buying firearms. It’s all about improving safety without invading privacy too much.

Gun-free Zones Are Safer

Photo Credit: Makhh/Shutterstock

The effectiveness of gun-free zones is a hot topic. They’re meant to prevent violence, but sometimes, they just become targets for those who ignore the rules. To keep these areas safe, we need more than just a “gun-free” sign; we need comprehensive security measures.

Guns Are Only Used for Crime

Photo Credit: sakhorn/Shutterstock

Firearms aren’t just about crime; they have plenty of lawful uses, too. People own guns for hunting, sport shooting, and personal protection. Most gun owners never get involved in criminal activities—they’re just enjoying their hobbies and staying responsible.

All Gun Owners Are Against Gun Control

Photo Credit: PeopleImages.com – Yuri A/Shutterstock

Not all gun owners are against gun control measures. Lots of them actually back reasonable regulations like universal background checks and safe storage laws. This support shows they get that some regulation can go hand-in-hand with the right to own guns responsibly.

Owning a Gun Requires Minimal Training

Photo Credit: Chaleephoto/Shutterstock

Owning a gun safely and effectively usually requires extensive training. Responsible owners invest the time to learn how to handle, maintain, and use their firearms safely. In fact, many states require training courses for concealed carry permits, highlighting the crucial role of education in preventing accidents and misuse.

Gun Myths Are Universally Believed

Photo Credit: esthermm/Shutterstock

Not everyone buys into the same myths about guns. People’s opinions are all over the place, and a lot of Americans get that gun ownership and regulation aren’t simple. By talking and learning more, we can bust some of these myths and have a more balanced view of firearms in America.

Up Next: 20 Personal Things You Should Never Share With Others

Photo Credit: kornnphoto/Shutterstock

Building meaningful connections with others requires a certain level of transparency and trust, but that doesn’t mean you have to tell your friends and family members everything! Some aspects of our lives are too personal, incriminating, or risky to share. This article explores 20 aspects of your personal life that you should always keep confidential.

20 Personal Things You Should Never Share With Others

18 Things Everyone Forgets to Include in Their Will—But Shouldn’t

Photo Credit: JGA/Shutterstock

Wills and estate plans are essential ways to ensure what will happen to your belongings and property when you die or are incapacitated. However, people often forget to include important information in their wills before it’s too late, complicating matters for their descendants. Here are the 18 common things people forget to include in their will.

18 Things Everyone Forgets to Include in Their Will—But Shouldn’t

18 Items at Walmart that Aren’t Worth Your Hard-Earned Money

Photo Credit: PERO studio/Shutterstock

For many of us, Walmart is the go-to superstore. Whether we need groceries, clothing, or technology, Walmart is a one-stop shop for everything you would need. However, there are some Walmart products you should avoid at all costs, such as the following 18 examples.