Manasquan, NJ --(Ammoland.com)- Its the hot meme’ of the moment in the debate over gun control, specifically the Manchin-Toomey Compromise on Expanded Background Checks.
The defeat of which is certain to be used as a political football in the coming days,weeks and months since we learned this morning that the two terrorist brothers responsible for Monday’s Boston Marathon Bombing Attack were involved in a running gun fight with Police last night. As well as the vow by The President to resort to executive fiat to dictate that which he could not achieve via the vote in Congress.
But is it true? Do 90 percent of 300 million plus Citizens really support expanded or Universal Background Checks? That would be an astounding number in a Nation that hasn’t been so polarized and divided since the Civil War Era.
Ok so 90 percent of the population supporting the concept is quite a stretch, unbelievable actually, thats 9 out 0f 10 people!
Nine out of ten Americans wouldn’t agree if it was partly sunny or partly cloudy on any given day. In fact, its a flat out lie, as a Gallup Poll on Monday, just 48 hours before debate in the Senate on the Gun Control Package showed that only 4 % of the Public felt that Gun Control as an issue was the “most important issue facing the Country”. The topic ranked as the ninth “most important issue” in the poll, with issues like the Economy, Jobs, the Federal Deficit, Debt, Immigration and the like all ranking higher as important to American voters.
Well, maybe they meant 90 percent of poll respondents then?
And that in fact is significantly more likely to be accurate, but it is totally dependent on the way the poll questions were worded, as a well known and documented concept known as selection bias comes into play, as does sampling size.
Lets look at two differently worded examples of the same question. We will use the Expanded or “Universal Background Checks” issue as the subject for obvious reasons.
Here’s how the question is worded when the poll is paid for by a particular anti rights group or even media outlet that commissions the polling company to produce the results they seek.
1) In order to prevent criminals, terrorists and the mentally deranged from easily obtaining firearms, do you support or oppose Legislation that requires background checks be completed on every person that attempts to acquire a firearm?
Worded that way it should be no surprise, and its not at all newsworthy that the answers would be overwhelmingly in support of such a law, perhaps even the 90 % range of support the President, Anti-Gun Groups and their shills in the media have been claiming.
Because even those that fall squarely on the side of support for Gun Rights, as well as the “fence sitters” and “FUDS” that are really ambivalent about the topic still want to keep bad people from doing bad things.
But lets look at the same question, worded differently, and in such a way that is actually representative of what the defeated Manchin-Toomey Amendment would have made law.
1) In an effort to make it more difficult for criminals, the mentally ill and possibly terrorists from obtaining weapons, do you support or oppose Legislation that would require mandatory background checks for every person attempting to acquire a firearm , even during private sales, trades or transfers amongst people that are well known to each other, such as co-workers, distant relatives, long time neighbors and or friends, even though numerous studies have shown that criminals most often obtain their weapons from black market sales and from theft then any other source ?
Worded that way, chances are better than good that you would see support for such a law plummet. For understandable reasons. Its instinctive to immediately recognize how ridiculous it would be to require that people submit to such a law, particularly when they have long established connections with the prospective purchaser or transferee, especially in light of the fact that criminals already acquire their weapons from sources that “universal background checks” would never apply to anyway.
By the way, the industry jargon for the careful wording of poll questions to get the desired answers to support a pre-ordained, paid for result is known as “push polling”.
That is why polls such as those paid for and marketed (really a self congratulatory circle jerk) by Anti Gun Groups like MAIG (Mayors Against Illegal Guns), a poll that claimed that 2/3rds majority of NRA Members supported Universal Background Checks are so suspect.
The NRA doesn’t publish or release the membership information, so how can MAIG be reasonably certain that those polled actually were in fact NRA Members ? They CANT!
The MAIG Poll about NRA Member Support for Background Checks was conducted on less then 1,000 people, only half of which claimed they were “current or past NRA members” by their own admission. The NRA has somewhere between 4 and 5 million members. Even if every single one of the 1000 or so people surveyed were provably actual current or former NRA members that affirmed support for expanded background checks, that would mean that MAIG’s poll was relying on the answers of less then 0.0002% of the total membership, then marketing it to the gullible public and the media as representative of “an overwhelming majority”.
Then there’s the polling company who is hired to conduct the poll to consider. In MAIG’s /NRA Poll, that company would be “The Word Doctor” owned by Frank Luntz, a company that has been censured in the past by the (professional group American Association for Public Opinion Research, of which Luntz was not a member, criticized Luntz for refusing to release poll data to support his claimed results “because of client confidentiality”. Diane Colasanto, who was president of the AAPOR at the time, said
“ It is simply wanting to know, How many people did you question? What were the questions? We understand the need for confidentiality, but once a pollster makes results public, the information needs to be public.
People need to be able to evaluate whether it was sound research or their methodology and who openly brag in the advertising of their services on their website that
“Our creative team is made up of expert wordsmiths that know market research as well as they know language. And here is what matters most for you: as a result, you get language that is tailored specifically to shift support towards your issue.”
The 90 percent support for Expanded Background Checks is a myth, nothing more, a creation; like every other one of the talking points and so called “facts” of the Anti Gun left.
Maybe that’s why they and the President were so shocked and angry at the results of Wednesdays Vote, they believe the validity of their own lies and presume that the American Public believes them as well.
About Dan RobertsDan Roberts is a grassroots supporter of gun rights that has chosen AmmoLand Shooting Sports News as the perfect outlet for his frank, ‘Jersey Attitude’ filled articles on Guns and Gun Owner Rights.As a resident of the oppressive state of New Jersey he is well placed to be able to discuss the abuses of government against our inalienable rights to keep and bear arms as he writes from deep behind NJ’s Anti-Gun iron curtain. Read more from Dan Roberts or email him at DRoberts@ammoland.com You can also find him on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dan.roberts.18