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America, land of gun lovers? Statistics show that's a myth.

To the editor: Matt Welch should refrain from citing statistics that refute his point of view. For example, he asserts that “the American people” do not share former New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's anti-gun principles. ("Ted Cruz is right—most New York values don't work for the rest of the country," Opinion, Jan. 28)

First, Welch implies that almost every person supports private gun ownership by noting that the domestic number of guns roughly equals the number of U.S. residents. He ignores the fact that at least thousands, if not millions, of individual gun supporters own multiple guns, sometimes more than 100.

Welch notes that 1 out of 3 U.S. households contains a firearm. Maybe Welch isn't paying attention, but this means that 66% of households don't contain a firearm.

In fact, using 2007 statistics, the firearm and household data taken together indicate that roughly 300 million guns were packed into 39 million of the total 116 million households at the time. Not only does this fact not support Welch's premise, it decimates it.

Far from showing that most people support individual gun ownership, these statistics show that only a distinct minority chooses to own a gun.

Ray McKown, Los Angeles 

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