Not only are guns disruptive, they’re abundant. No one knows how many guns are held in the U.S. but the most reliable surveys put the number anywhere from 270 million to 310 million, or nearly a gun for every man, woman, and child in the country. And guns aren’t only plentiful, they’re durable as well. A gun, reasonably well taken care of, will last 50 to 100 years. The implication Levitt draws is that even our best attempts to regulate the flow of new guns impacts only a small portion of the total stock.
This pessimism is conjecture. It also assumes any new legislation would only regulate the flow of new guns and not address existing guns. In theory, it could do both. It also ignores that guns without bullets are basically useless, and bullets are not infinite.
The logistical hurdle here isn’t the multitude of guns in existence, but the inability of democratic will to prevail in the United States.