Happiness is a Warm Gun

Lynette Dufton
2 min readMar 27, 2023

Americans love their guns. That love was all over this morning’s news.

Philadelphia’s District Attorney decried shootings over the weekend in that fair city. He noted that gun violence might be expected when 58,000 firearms permits were issued in Philly last year. It could have been worse. 70,000 applications were filed. 12,000 felons and people under Protection From Violence orders could not get their AR-15’s. A mere 11,000 firearms permits were issued in Philly during each of the previous two years. Why the surge in guns on city streets last year? The Republican-dominated PA state legislature loosened gun control laws.

The Washington Post published a study on the ever-popular AR-15 this morning. Bear in mind that semi-automatic weapons like the AR-15 were illegal for civilian purchase from the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan (glory and honor to his Holy Name) in 1981 until 2004. In less than twenty years, more than 16 million Americans own an AR-15. That’s one in twenty US adults. That’s three times more AR-15s in civilian hands than in the US military.

Was this what the Founding Fathers meant when they put the 2d amendment in the Constitution? “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed. (And civilians should have three guns to every one that the Army has). The part in parentheses is written in invisible ink but the Supreme Court knows all about it.

Who are these AR-15 toting civilians? Compared with Americans as a whole, AR-15 owners are more likely to be White, male and between the ages of 40 and 65. They’re also more likely to be Republican and to live in states Donald Trump won in 2020. What a surprise. I’ll bet they are also more likely to complain about the “guv-mint”.

An interesting tidbit from the Post’s study concerned ammo magazines. When I was in the Army, my trusty AR-15 (along with everyone else’s) had an eight round magazine. After blazing away eight times, we had to re-load. There is no limit to magazine capacity in 46 of the 50 states. Sandy Hook, Parkland, Buffalo et.al. featured “high capacity” magazines of more than twenty rounds. To have an effective massacre, you really can’t stop and reload all the time.

Four “woke” states capped magazine capacity in 2022, but at 10 to 17 rounds. Even their citizens have more firepower than a US Marine.

America’s love affair with guns continues.

By Ed Dufton



Lynette Dufton

These posts are written by my father, Ed Dufton, who has an incredible knack of condensing the day’s news into a witty and insightful commentary on society.