The number of households in the United States with guns has been on the decline for the past 40 years. We would have thought it would be just the opposite.

With the increase in gun sales the past four years, we would have thought guns would be in more households.

A national survey by the General Social Survey, a public opinion survey group, conducted the survey. The results were reported in The New York Times Sunday.

The household gun ownership rate has fallen from an average of 50 percent in the 1970s to 49 percent in the 1980s, 43 percent in the 1990s and 35 percent in the 2000s. The rate has dropped in large and small cities, in suburbs and rural areas and in all sections of the country, The Times reported.

While we don’t question the professionalism of the survey company, we can’t help but wonder if people were honest in their replies. There are many people in this country who believe the federal government wants to confiscate their guns. To other people that is a ridiculous concern. However, the fear is there! It is real!

One thing about the survey, the results are surprising.