I’ve seen people who don’t own guns react with surprise or concern upon hearing that I, or another law abiding citizen, own several firearms. This article provides information about why people often own multiple guns, and how owning multiple guns is not “bad”:
Guns are often specialized for a particular task
A bolt action rifle can be great for hunting, but is not well suited for home defense. A .22 caliber pistol is fine for target practice, but generally makes for a poor self defense weapon. A long barreled shotgun is useful for skeet or trap shooting, but is too cumbersome for defense within one’s home. Just like other tools, firearms tend to be specialized, which is why gun owners tend to have multiple guns.
Collecting guns is a hobby in and of itself
Just as stamp collectors tend to own more than one stamp, gun collectors tend to own more than one gun. In fact, collecting guns is a hobby enjoyed by many Americans. Some may only own a few guns of relatively low financial value, while others have millions of dollars worth of guns. Going off on a bit of a tangent, a former colleague of mine owns a collection of about 200 firearms, the vast majority of which are at least 50 years older that I am, and having the honor of viewing his collection was truly amazing. It is one thing to learn about the revolutionary war in school, but to hold a musket that was used in combat really brings history to life. Gun collecting is the collection and preservation of history.
Owning multiple guns does not mean that one will go on a shooting rampage
The people who own the most guns tend to be the most law abiding, and I can think of a few reasons for this. For starters, convicted felons are prohibited from owning guns. This means that a person who owns thousands of dollars worth of guns could lose their collection if convicted of a felony, which is a strong incentive to not commit a felony. Secondly, the people who commit violent crimes tend to be poorer and less educated, which leaves them without the money to amass a collection of firearms, as opposed to owning an illegal handgun or two. Most importantly, it is the decisions of criminals that result in shootings, not the presence of guns. Guns do not cause crime.
I hope this helps the non-gun-owning people out there to understand that a friend or neighbor who owns a bunch of guns is not some maniac who will go on a shooting spree, but is instead an asset to the community who appreciates history, fine collectible items, and the constitution.