Politifact Gets is Wrong, Again & Again, on So-called “Universal” Background Checks


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Politifact Gets is Wrong, Again & Again, on So-called “Universal” Background Checks

Fairfax, VA – -(Ammoland.com)- The so-called “fact-checkers” at Politifact (a project of the Poynter Institute) continue to provide cover for one of the gun control effort’s most ridiculous talking points. These self-appointed arbiters of reality would have you believe that it is “True” when anti-gun advocates and politicians claim that the overwhelming majority of Americans support the criminalization of private firearms transfers – often sold to the public as “universal background checks.” In order to support their incorrect conclusion, these dubious truth seekers systematically avoid the best data on the subject – actual election results in states where this policy has been on the ballot.

On February 20, Politifact published a piece that purported to fact-check a recent statement Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) made about the criminalization of private transfers. Klobuchar had said, “The majority of hunters now want universal background checks, the majority of Trump voters.” The outlet rated the statement “True.”

The Klobuchar “fact check” came on the heels of a January 26 Politifact article on former South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg. The former mayor had stated during a Fox News “town hall” event that “More than 80% of Republicans think we ought to at least be doing universal background checks.” The outlet rated this statement as “True.”

Politifact has done other iterations of this same article. The outlet has fact-checked individuals on this topic ranging from Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), who claimed a laughable 97 percent of gun owners favor the criminalization of private transfers, to obscure Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele.

To support rating these individuals’ statements as “True” or “Mostly True,” Politifact has relied solely on dubious polling figures.

Consider what a poll is. It is an attempt to gauge the public or a segment of the public’s position on a particular matter by sampling a miniscule subset of the population. Polling is an inferior substitute for the often-impractical task of asking everyone their opinion on a topic – which is what happens in an election.

Concerning what Americans think of the criminalization of private firearm transfers, there exists real data collected from real voters in real elections on real policies. Those seeking to determine the public’s opinion on the topic need not resort to figments of reality when actual reality is right in front of them.

It is probable that the insistence on using polling data when superior electoral data exists stems from the fact that the latter is far less favorable to gun control supporters.

In 2016, gun control supporters asked Maine voters to vote for Question 3, which would have required background checks on private firearm transfers. Mainers rejected the measure 52 to 48 percent.

That same year, an unlawful ballot measure asked Nevadans to support the criminalization of private transfers. The poorly constructed measure barely passed – 50.45-49.55 percent.

In 2014, Washington voters approved the deeply-flawed I-594, which imposed a background check requirement on even some of the most innocuous conduct involving firearms. More popular than the other initiatives, the measure still only passed 59-41 percent.

The New York Times addressed the severe divergence between polling on this policy and the real-world election results in a March 24, 2018 item titled, “Support for Gun Control Seems Strong. But It May Be Softer Than It Looks.”

The author noted, “While a wide range of gun control laws appear popular in polls, support may soften once details emerge and they’re subjected to a robust political debate.”

Politifact’s insistence on repeatedly covering similar statements on the criminalization of private transfers while avoiding the best evidence available could give a cynical observer the impression that the outlet is not seeking to fact-check such statements at all. Rather, such an observer might conclude that Politifact is deliberately working to defend and advance an easily disprovable anti-gun factoid.

National Rifle Association Institute For Legislative Action (NRA-ILA)


Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the “lobbying” arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Visit: www.nra.org

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Gene Ralno
Gene Ralno(@gene-rano)
1 year ago

In my small part of the world, opinions reverse quickly when discussion reveals what the democrats really want is to register transfers between mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, uncles, cousins, friends, and neighbors. The fact that changes minds is that these laws severely punish tens of millions of mourning widows who fail to run background checks on those who were promised their dead husbands’ firearms. Usually, those would be their children. They’re not told by pollsters that democrats demand checks on heirs of inheritances, bequeathals, gifts and sales of inherited collections, however small they are. Democrats who craft these… Read more »

1 year ago
Reply to  Gene Ralno

not to mention HOW things like “transfer” are defined. Washington’s 695 made it so that when YOU come over to my house with YOUR rifle, and we both do some pllinking in my backyard (safe and legal) and after a bit we decide we want to try each others’ rifles, by law we are REQUIRED to put them both in a car, drive to a FFL gun store, have backgroiund checks run (at a cost, plus drive and wasted time), drive back to my house, fire a few more rounds, then put the guns BACK into the car and hope… Read more »

a.x. perez
a.x. perez(@a-x-perez)
1 year ago

2/3 of Americans want laws s\disarming criminals. 2/3 want laws guaranteeing that honest people want laws guaranteeing the right of honest people to arm themselves fi\or self defense. You can phrase a question proving 2/3 want or oppose gun control. Thing is anti -gun politician ask people if they want to disarm criminals then proceed to disarm honest people.

1 year ago

They just make it up as they go.

1 year ago

What’s important to note, and what they are not telling you, is HOW the question was phrased. It’s easy to cherry pick in this manner by making the respondent think they are answering something that they are not. Never attack head-on, what you can subdue with a flanking maneuver. And never let the truth get in the way of a good poll. BTW: All Republicans will be voting on 04 November 2020. See you in the funny papers! (Actual voting day is 03 Nov 2020 [important!])

1 year ago

What a crock of shit.

Ed in North Texas
Ed in North Texas(@ed-in-north-texas)
1 year ago
Reply to  Terry

Which – the “Fact Check” or this article?

1 year ago

A dumbed down populace, product of 30 years of a school system with a growing Marxist influence. We need to take the schools back. Most people under 40 don’t know what the Constitution is. I know a department worker at a universities TN that doesn’t know what Marxism is.

1 year ago
Reply to  GAMtns

GAM you’re on it but off by aobiut sixty years. The marxists got together and formed a plan to take over the education system in the US and remake it, making it universal as well, back around 1910. Perhaps earlier. They’ve done it, with a HUGE bucket of help from the teacher/s unnions, part of why they were formed. Don’t be fooled.

1 year ago
Reply to  Tionico

Tionico, I was going to mention something along that line but sometimes posting here is like speaking into a hurricane and is just tiresome. Thanks for your input.

MICHAEL J(@retaile23)
1 year ago

The truth is what they say it is. Lazy uninformed people get their facts from agenda driven liars masquerading as impartial benchmarks. Do your own research instead of automatically agreeing with someone’s opinion. But in truth, only a handful will do that.