New Poll Reflects Lack of Education About Guns After Las Vegas Shooting

by Greg Camp ; Opinion
AmmoLand News welcomes Greg Camp to our list of the best and brightest Second Amendment contributors.

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New Poll Reflects Lack of Education About Guns After Las Vegas Shooting
Greg Camp
Greg Camp

USA – -(Ammoland.com)- A new poll conducted by NPR/Ipsos, a majority of Americans favor tightening restrictions on firearms, including a ban on “assault-style weapons,” following the mass shooting in Las Vegas that killed fifty-eight (the shooter’s death not included) and wounded hundreds.

The support for such a ban runs to ninety-one percent among Democrats, while seven out of ten Republicans agree to that idea, as do seventy-six percent of independents. Eighty percent of respondents want “a federal database to track all gun sales.” Whether that means a registry or universal background checks wasn’t specified.

Ipsos is a market research firm that provides polling and other services to clients, and that will raise hackles in the gun community. And rightfully so, since the organization’s accuracy in election polling is rated at seventy-eight percent by FiveThirtyEight, and this particular poll was done on-line, surveying 1,006 adults on the 10th and 11th of October.

The sample size is typical, but polls conducted on the Internet are particularly sensitive to the ways in which they are conducted, and that was not specified in NPR’s report.

That being said, seeing a spike in support for gun control isn’t surprising in the days immediately following a horror such as what was committed in Las Vegas.

In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook mass shooting, support for universal background checks, for example, ran to ninety percent, and that’s the number that advocates of gun control have cited ever since. In June of this year, the Pew Research Center found that the belief that gun rights need to be protected runs about half in half with support for more controls.

That is called into doubt for being vague, while questions about specific proposed laws yield higher numbers in favor, but again, the desire to restrict or ban the thing that was used in an attack on large numbers of innocent people is to be expected in the days right after the event.

The details of this poll reveal an anticipated divide in thinking between respondents on the left and the right wings of American politics. A small majority—fifty-three percent—either strongly or somewhat agree that “the benefits of gun ownership outweighs the risks.” Among Democrats, sixty percent somewhat or strongly disagree, while sixty-three percent of Republicans take the opposite stance, and sixty-two percent of independents side with Republicans on this question.

But there’s a large error in the assumptions made by the pollsters.

The questions included the following statement that respondents were asked to declare true or false or to state that they did not know: “Households with guns are more likely to experience a fatality from crime, accident or suicide than households without guns.” Ipsos Public Affairs President Cliff Young declares the correct answer to be true, and that’s what a lot of people take as factual, though things aren’t so simple.

As I’ve written about in the past the article of faith among gun control advocates that having a gun in one’s home is a risky behavior goes back to studies like the infamous one conducted by Arthur Kellermann in 1993. The flaws in Kellermann’s work are that he looked at one neighborhood a piece in three cities that were more violent than average across the nation at the time and that his focus on homicide victims and their families meant that he had a higher concentration of people with a history of risks in their lives—domestic violence and substance abuse, for example.

Each One, Teach One: Preserving and protecting the Second Amendment in the 21st century
Each One, Teach One: Preserving and protecting the Second Amendment in the 21st century

This study, now almost a quarter of a century old, is treated as the last word on the subject, without any recognition of its methodological errors or of the significant reductions in violence that have occurred in the years since.

What all of this indicates is that those of us who support gun rights have work to do in making the case to the public at large for the rights and benefits of gun ownership.

We have the good fortune of Congress and the courts leaning toward our side at the moment, but that’s not a luxury that we can rely on always. We also need public opinion—not because rights are based on those, but because the law indirectly is.

 

About Greg Camp

Greg Camp has taught English composition and literature since 1998 and is the author of six books, including a western, The Willing Spirit, and Each One, Teach One, with Ranjit Singh on gun politics in America.  His books can be found on Amazon. He tweets @gregcampnc.
  • 26 thoughts on “New Poll Reflects Lack of Education About Guns After Las Vegas Shooting

    1. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.” – from the Declaration of Independence.

      This shows that we Americans hold the right (and the DUTY) to throw off the yolk of tyranny, and this long train of abuses and usurpations has gone on since 1935 when it comes to guns. The Declaration is not a one time good deal, it is the Cornerstone of our American beliefs! Remember that freedom is never free!

      1. The Security of a Free State depends on the People being able to fulfill their duty.
        The organized State militias were fully covered by Article 1, Section Eight of the Constitution. And that is why Patrick Henry opposed the ratification in 1788.
        A partial quote from memory…”Your militia will desert you and fights against you, what will then become of you and your rights” He was speaking to the organized, uniformed, paid militia [aka National Guard].

        The Bill of Rights is the security of a free state, which is why hillary, soros and bloomberg are so against the right of te people to keep and bear arms.

    2. these shooting i feel are a SET UP TO CONFISCATION OF FIREARMS BY THE DEEP STATE AND OTHER DOMESTIC ENEMIES OF OUR REPUBLIC AND WE THE PEOPLE AND OUR FREEDOMS, THOSE WE HAVE LEFT.

    3. Warning to all of those who feel that they’re rights to own guns are not in jeopardy. First of all, in many states, there are already laws on the book that ban gun by name and by features. Those clearly unconstitutional laws have yet to be declared null and void by any court, right up to the Supreme Court, who has lately refused to hear those cases asking for repeal. Secondly, the media is controlled by the Left and continue their barrage of false amd misleading information regarding guns and gun owners daily, without any equal amount of rebuttal by the gun community. The reason is, the gun community only has communication lines that target gun owners themselves. The only way to combat the discrepancy is to develop a network or even many networks that can match the exposure of the main stream media. Lastly, gun owners must stay focused and avoid internal fighting. The anti-2nd Amendment movement must be matched with the same ferocity, passion and resolve that have made them successful in chipping away at our 2nd Amendment rights.

      1. Well said. It isn’t just gun rights. Check out some of the city websites around the country, even in Texas and Idaho, and you will see how deeply Agenda 21/2030 has been embedded, how much our republic has been eroded at every level. We stay within the limits of civil discourse and the law. The leftists have no such compunctions. After all, why would they follow the rules of a system they are trying to destroy? We cannot step outside the law, of course, but it’s well past time to discard civility, the one exception being the education of fence sitters.

    4. It’s not a “lack of information” that’s the problem, never has been. The problem has always been the lying Maggot Media. Some things just don’t change.

    5. Polling firms have about as much credibility as the main stream media. They can , and do twist the facts to say what their sponsor wants them to say. Example: Real Clear Politics had iLIARy winning by a big percentage and went on tv to try to sell this to the people. All these [email protected] need to realize the public is not as dumb as they think we are, or said another way, they are so stupid they don’t know we are not.

    6. It’s tragic that these polls, which are clearly skewed by the gun grabbers, get so much air play. I mean, they turn the question of “Do you support gun safety legislation, IE laws that make guns safer” into “More Americans want stronger gun laws”.

    7. Nothing is more clear than flawed peer reviewed often quoted studies remain forever flawed. So are ancient irrelevant statistics about NRA members wanting “background checks”, a technique we now know is completely ineffective at stopping crime, terrorism or mass shooting incidents. In fact, terrorist organizations have “figured out” the advantages of radicalizing people with clean backgrounds – as proven in a number of recent incidents. Even Senator Feinstein admits nothing in existing or proposed law would prevent these things.

      Enough law exists on the books to allow enforcement to stop a huge number of crimes. The lack of support for civil order and police organizations is more of a problem.

      I think it’s abundently clear – especially after the recent hurricane and wild-fire disasters – that expecting government to solve your problems (a distinctly progressive liberal trait) is a fools errand. Anything that interferes with an individual’s law abiding right to self defense is a serious mistake, and cultural as well as social decay.

      I train people in firearm safety, and the small number of students versus the large number of recently sold firearms is quite telling. Many must think that possessing a tool like a firearm also gives them the skill and gravitas needed to use it properly. Like the gun grabbers, they see power as coming from the tool. Evil power in the view of the grabbers – protective power in the case of the naive gun owners. Of course they are both wrong.

      That said, there is a rather amusing “tweet” going around depicting a Bloomberg gun grabber organization decrying the violent potential of a bump stock on an evil “assault” style bolt action rifle…

      1. Good comments Marc – had to chuckle about the bump stock on a bolt action – reminds me of the ‘mad minute’ that the Brits used on the Enfield – 10 rounds of AIMED fire in less than a minute. The Germans in WW1 thought that all of the Tommies had machine guns…………..
        If name deleted had been operating under that standard,, he could potentially have killed at least 100 plus in the time he (supposedly) actively shot, much less with a semi-auto.

    8. There are literally millions of people in this country who know little or nothing about firearms and millions who believe anything they see or read in the media; often they are the same. That makes them easy prey for the leftist lying media who deliberately distribute misinformation about firearms in order to sway the politics of the nation in their favor. Polls can be made to say anything.

      1. No, no, no, they are all ‘experts’ because they see how guns are used on teevee and in the movies. They really think that what they see in those venues are totally true and what actually happens. Remember McGarrett on the original Hawaii 50, always made precision shots, frequently at extreme distances with a snub-nose .38?
        I had a room mate that thought that way, until he got involved in shooting sports. So the uneducated can be educated, the willfully stupid, not so much.

    9. Pollsters can select questions but often a customer selects the questions and the pollster then selects the “random” sample. Selection of the questions and the order in which they are asked and the available answers to each question is one way to skew the random answers.
      Selection of geographical area is another way to skew the poll results. An Internet poll can select IP addresses from certain areas. For example a “random poll” that is taken in Los Angeles and San Fransisco and NYC will have a predictable result.
      s the saying goes, Figures don’t lie but liars can figure. Polling is a science that can be used to return any desired answer.
      If polls are to be believed, hillary is our president.

      1. Jim, your comment was mostly on target (gun forum and all 🙂 – but polling is – at best – an inexact ‘science’ for the specific reasons that you cited. IOW – the biases of the people commissioning the poll are the biggest detractor for the accuracy of the poll – they are all too frequently used in an attempt to ‘prove’ a specific view point, as in the last line in your comment. Apparently there are still people who think it is true……………………

    10. First off, RIGHTS are not predicated by laws or public “opinion”. They are based on NATURAL LAW espoused in the founding document of the United States. Thomas Jefferson called them UNALIENABLE rights. That means you can’t take them, can’t sell them, can’t legislate them period. Simply put the one who DECIDES what rights are, are the individual affected by any legislation or other bs pushed on him/her. And the way they decide is simple…if someone wants to ENFORCE that right violation the ENFORCERS needs to find out like King George’s enforcers did at Lexington that it was a bad idea. When enough people grow enough spine to realize some things in life are more important then the fear of dying, then things will change…until then? Let your chains weigh lightly on you and may your posterity forgive you for selling them down the toilet. It all started in 1913 when the control of our monetary system was taken away from “We the people”. RIGHTS are NOT negotiable.

      1. Yes, even in 99.99 percent of the population wanted to outlaw modern sporting/militia standard rifles, We the People have our God given, Constitution enumerated Second Amendment Civil Rights to stand behind, shield like, and not be touched by government, nor agency. Ban the NFA. Ban the GCA. Ban the BATFE.
        Hold your nose, register for a party, vote against the party hacks, flood the primaries.

        1. WB – any totalitarian government – be it a tyrannical one, a benevolent one, or even a sympathetic monarchy (even tempered by a parliament) can enact any law they want – that still does NOT necessarily make it a ‘good’ law – especially if it goes against the will of the people. Witness what happened during prohibition…………

          1. @Gomez, Good point brother. That is why we have to head off this progressive/socialist/Marxist drive to totalitarian government. The next battle will be won or lost in the primary elections and township caucuses.

            1. Correct sir! I hold my nose and register as a republican and vote in the primaries. We have pretty good representation from Texas but it could be better.

    11. @John D, Well, brother, I know one poll that you can believe in. And that is the last presidential poll that says that hiLIARy is not our president! Everybody enjoy that first cup of coffee, and have a nice day!

        1. @JD, How many books has that hag had written for her, anyway? Here is a quote about her book, “Hillary Clinton’s new book Stronger Together is a “flop” after selling less than 3,000 copies in its first week on sale…”
          It appears that she is a flop at legitimate business. It is selling political influence and our national secrets to other countries that she is good at. And let us not forget stealing Whitehouse dinner ware, cattle futures investing, real-estate scams, and bilking the so so astute Secret Service into an addition onto their NY estate.

    12. This comes as no surprise. I put no stock in polls, as we’ve all seen how easily the numbers can be skewed. We just had what may have been a major politically motivated false flag event; whether it was perpetrated by forces on the Left or not, I would have been dumbfounded if they hadn’t immediately pressed their temporary advantage as they have, with their usual emotional, disingenuous, morally and factually bankrupt rants and demands, “supported” by manufactured polling data.

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