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One of the more absurd claims made by liberty control cultist Josh Sugarmann in his pre-NRA Annual Meeting snooze-fest of a phone briefing is that gun ownership in the United States is in decline. In Sugarmann’s fevered mind, the record-breaking gun and ammunition sales made across the nation in recent years must be the result of just a small-number of ultra-wealthy gun owners buying everything that manufacturers can produce.

He cannot allow himself to believe that gun ownership is expanding, leading to stories like this:

When Brian Kossof, founder and president of Concealed Carry of Illinois, began offering Illinois State Firearm Safety and Concealed Carry classes in September of last year, the room was filled with men and perhaps a handful of women. “To be honest, I wasn’t at all surprised by the male to female ratio,” says Kossof, a Highland Park resident whose interest in firearm safety prompted him to become fully licensed to teach at the state certification level. “For the first few months, men definitely dominated the classes, which is what we all expected,” he says.

But then, a very noticeable change occurred. More and more women, as well as seniors, began registering for Kossof’s course. “It was interesting and exciting to see this kind of a shift” says Kossof, who noted that many of the women came with a female friend or accompanied their boyfriends or husbands. The seniors (the oldest of whom was in his 80s) either attend on their own or with a family member (typically a son or a daughter).

“In our experience, we noticed that women and seniors are primarily interested in educating themselves about gun laws and learning about firearm safety,” explains Kossof. “They aren’t necessarily taking the course to carry a firearm,” he adds. “However, they do want to know that they can safely handle a gun and protect themselves should the need arise.”

“We’ve found that a majority of women and seniors in our classes have never held a firearm before,” says Kossof, whose course includes hands on firearm training at an approved shooting range, as well as a variety of “real-world” scenario tests to sharpen the participant’s ability to react properly, accurately and responsibly.

This incident took place in Illinois, but the wider story has been playing out across the nation. “New” shooters are coming in from everywhere, and they aren’t following the traditional path of rural youth being introduced to firearms by adult relatives. More and more, today’s shooters are being brought in by their same-aged friends, and adult children are bringing in both their parents and their children.

Americans are more fond now than ever of their Second Amendment rights, as the attendance of 75,267 hinted.

The weak attempt to “counter-rally” by Michael Bloomberg’s paid attendees in Shannon Watt’s backyard was a bit less crowded, with even the bused-in rented protesters being so small in number that they barely spilled over into the grass.

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