I grew up in a semi-rural county of Alabama (Lauderdale). It's safe today to say that 92,700 folks (2013 statistics) live there. We haven't crossed the 100,000 point and probably never will....unless of course this billion-dollar amusement park arrives (a long story for another day).
No one has a firm grip on how many guns exist in the county.....but I'd take an educated guess that if you counted every single gun, in every house, on every farm, or under the seat of every vehicle.....there would be in excess of 250,000 weapons.
I know.....that's a fair number.
Most guys will note that they've got a shotgun for some purpose but admit they haven't fired a round in at least three years. Most guys will admit they've got a pistol....which they tote with them to work or shopping now, and they might have a second pistol in the kitchen or bedroom for secondary protection. I'd take a guess that between five and ten-percent of the women in the county....also have a weapon. If you toss in hunting rifles, and handed down weapons from relatives.....the typical house might have five or six weapons.
Oddly, if you went looking for mass killings or 'problems'......there's probably been one episode in the past five years.
All of those weapons.....hour by hour.....potentially sitting there in a mass of 90,000 people.....and some how life goes on in a relatively safe fashion.
I suspect if you went to Washington DC....where gun control is in firm order.....local folks might be shocked that guns exist there in similar numbers. Well.....you could cross off the shotguns and hunting rifles.....but there's still a large segment of pistols.
In the shadow of this whole argument about gun-control.....you have to ask yourself.....in a population area of 90,000 people.....how many feel safe enough to go without a weapon? The answer I suspect is probably less than ten-percent of the population. Journalists may hype up the anti-gun thing but the fact is that nothing really convinces the public to change the system.
The heartland may have some problems.....but giving up on weapons won't be one of them.