Wyoming probably loves guns more than anything else.
More than chocolate, rodeo, horses, University of Wyoming sports teams or Yellowstone National Park.
And according to a CBS news report, Wyoming loves guns more than anybody else in the United States.
If someone asked you to rank the states (plus the District of Columbia) based on how many guns were registered per capita without consulting data, which ones would you put on top?
In fact, Wyoming has 300 percent more guns than the second-ranked location, which might surprise some as D.C., not Montana (tied for 25th), Alaska (ninth) or Idaho (sixth).
Ranked No. 51, with the least number of guns per capita, is New York. The rate is 3.3 guns per 1,000 residents, or about 64,000 guns for about 20 million people.
Rhode Island and Delaware are low on the list, which might have been easy to guess. The first surprise was Michigan being just 48th. Michigan has a very large number of hunters.
Montana is actually tied with Connecticut, which is counter intuitive. Texas is just 19th with a rate of 12.8 guns per 1,000. Maybe Texas Rangers were overlooked.
Other states with large numbers of gun owners are No. 3 Arkansas with 41.6 guns per 1,000 residents, No. 4 New Mexico and No. 5 Virginia. Maryland is No. 11, meaning the nation’s capital, encompassing D.C. and Maryland and Virginia suburbs, is about as heavily armed as it was during the War of 1812.
What is going on there?
When this was mentioned to someone she suggested all politicians must have armed bodyguards. Or was it all the military guys stationed at the Pentagon? It is probably not because there are a large percentage of elk hunters in the neighborhood.
It makes you wonder if heated debates in Congress over healthcare reform and tax cuts might conclude with gunfights at high noon.
So D.C. was listed as having the second highest rate of gun ownership in the US of A at 66.4 guns per 1,000 people, or 42,897 firearms spread among 646,449 people.
The District just kills Arkansas.
But everybody, from the District to California to Georgia to Maine, are so far out of the statistical picture they can’t see Wyoming with binoculars.
If you want to own a gun, shoot a gun or merely fondle a gun come to Wyoming. You can light cigarettes with a .45. You can start campfires with rifle fire. Thank Butch Cassidy and his pards for the atmospheric conditions.
The rate of gun ownership of 195.7 per 1,000 residents is three times D.C. There are 114,052 registered firearms in the Cowboy State where 582,658 people live.
And that doesn’t include the probably overlooked 7,000 or so in the Cody Firearms Museum.
The Firearms Museum could be the O’Reilly Auto Parts store of the gun world if it wished since it also has 30,000-plus firearms-related artifacts in its inventory, likely including everything from bullets to shooting sticks.
Fair warning. Don’t make anyone in Wyoming choose between a lethal weapon or Old Paint, or a firearm and a Ghirardelli bar.