After the shootings at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., two years ago, the National Rifle Association stood resolute against new federal gun-control measures. And its head, Wayne LaPierre, often repeated the same 18 words.
"The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."
As it turns out, a strong majority of Americans agree with this statement -- at least when it comes to their own homes. And while most social movements are slow-changing, Americans have moved toward embracing guns in the home rather rapidly.
Gallup has long asked Americans whether they thought having a gun in their home would make their home "safer" or "more dangerous." In 2000, 35 percent of Americans thought it would make them safer. Today, that number is at 63 percent.
Here's the progression. It's almost totally linear:
What's nearly as interesting is that, even as people are increasingly embracing the idea of guns in the home, the number of homes with guns in them hasn't really risen.
In fact, the percentage of homes with guns in them -- while steady during the 21st century, is actually down from the 1960s, '70s, '80s and even early 1990s. Currently, 42 percent of Americans have a gun in their home, according to Gallup's data.
While the Senate was debating increased background checks after Newtown, gun-control supporters were fond of citing polls that showed as many as 90 percent of Americans supported the concept of the legislation. It wasn't enough to get the bill across the finish line, and the NRA won.
Part of that debate involved LaPierre pressing for the installation of armed guards in schools for the purpose of defending students from armed intruders.
At least when it comes to their homes, Americans seem to agree with that philosophy.
Updated at 4:21 p.m.