Mike,

Anytime you’re called-out on your extremist views (i.e. every time you call gun owners names), you reply “I didn’t mean YOU. I’m just railing against the bad apples.” We agree that there are many such rotten fruit. Well, I agree that there are many in absolute terms. As both our blogs illustrate, there are plenty of media stories about gunloons gone bad. But you see these gunloons as statistically significant minority—or a majority depending on your whim—of all legal gun owners. I’ve seen you peg the percentage of dangerous gun guys and gals at 10 percent. And 30 percent. I find that odd. You’re basing your credibility on . . . what? A gut feeling? Where’s the data?

You reject a simple comparison between the total population of gun owners and confirmed examples of gunlunacy (or even ALL murders). I get that. In your world view, society must screen against potential gunlunacy. From that point-of-view, confining your statistical condemnation to confirmed cases would be illustrative—but misleading.

Which leaves us where? As far as I know, no one’s ever surveyed gun owners for the “symptoms” of gunlunacy that you regularly decry—now including racism, homophobia and misogyny. So let’s do it! Let’s survey at least 100 gun owners for their potential gunlunacy quotient.

Obviously, we want this survey to be as credible as possible. No matter what we do, it will be attacked by both sides of the gun control debate. To give it some power on either side of the great divide, let’s BOTH devise the questions.

Before submitting the survey to an independent third party to implement, I’ll run the proposed questions by TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia. They’ll screen for any inherent bias, helping us find mutually acceptable language to put to the survey takers. Your readers can do the same.

This will not be definitive nor particularly cheap. But I’m tired of your sarcastic libelous remarks about gun owners, and subsequent weaseling when called on your prejudice. OK, I like the sarcasm. But you’ve made it personal, calling all (many? most? some?) gun bloggers racist homophobes. Including me. So it’s time to put up or shut up.

I’d be honored if you could write-in your proposed questions below. Let me know if you want me to begin the process. That would be a real challenge, as I’m not seeing what you’re seeing. But if it’s the truth, I want to look at it with both eyes open. Your move.

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22 Responses to Challenge to Mikeb30200: Let’s Do a Survey

  1. Here’s the problem: I’ll guarantee that if you polled KKK members on their attitudes toward minorities, a large majority of them would say they don’t hate minorities or bear them any animosity. Probably the most you’d get from them is that they believe whites are getting the short end of the stick and/or some variation of they’re just showing pride in their race.

    It’s disturbing (actually disingenuous) to say you don’t see it. Have you never been to a gun show? Have you never heard of Jeff Cooper or Ted Nugent? Mike Vanderboegh? Larry Pratt?

    • So you choose not to participate? Robert asked for your master’s / demi-gods input on creating the questions. You criticise the questions before they are created?

      Is this what liberals call being open minded?

    • Those KKK members you mention sound a lot like the NAACP, and sound better than the clearly-racist Congressional Black Caucus that doesn’t allow white members.

      What’s wrong with Ted Nugent? He likes guns, he likes to shoot guns, he likes to hunt with guns, he likes to be able to defend himself with guns, and, as far as I know, he’s pretty much a law-abiding citizen with guns or else he wouldn’t be able to legally have any. Yeah, he might be opinionated and loud, but there aren’t any gun laws about that.

  2. RB211: Didn’t say that. What I did write is that it’s pretty tough sledding to try and poll attitudes that deal with behaviors that are pretty much vilified by society.

    How many people will admit to racist or homophobic or misogynistic views? Pretty few. People will tend to respond in a manner that puts them in, if not the best possible light, at least a light that isn’t too objectionable.

    • Is there any way around that? Maybe something like: do you believe that all Americans should have equal access to a firearm for self-defense? No. Of course they’d say yes. How about, do you believe that certain ethnic groups should be prevented from owning firearms? Or . . . Are you now or have you ever been a racist, misogynistic homophobe? Not easy, this one.

    • What you did say was that no matter what the questions, people would lie. He asked for your input, and you invalidated the answers before the questions were even created. I have to wonder what it is you are afraid of. The truth? The fact is that no matter how the questions were worded, you would never like the answers. Oh well, its not like he didn’t offer.

      I don’t know who you have been hanging around with but it sounds like a really crappy bunch. Maybe you should find a better class of people that are not homophobes, misogynists or racists. I meet nice people at my local gun range. Maybe you should find a hobby besides attempting to instil your fears on everyone else?

      The funniest thing is that every time I meet people like you who like to call names, it usually turns out that it is you who has the problems. There is a shrink term for it, but I cant remember. No pun intended, but you seem a bit jaded.

  3. There are three problems with any kind of survey like this. The first one is the “self reporting” bias. IOW, the kind of people who respond to a survey are also the kind who would be less likely to be prejudiced. The second problem is the cognitive dissonance problem as JadeGold stated: People will not neccessarily respond with their “true” feelings, rather they will respond with what they want others to think of them. And the third problem is that definitions of things like “homophobia” or even “racism” are elusive, ever shifting, dependent on one’s political orientation, and subject to change at the drop of a hat.

    You might as well poll gun owners on who was the best Beatle or how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

  4. So let me get this straight; gun owners are all (or most, or a minority greater than or equal to 10%) racist, misogynistic homophobes according to assertions by someone with no obvious experience in social sciences, and no statistical evidence to back his claim. When an offer is presented to conduct an actual survey of gun owners’ attitudes on race, gender, and sexual orientation, an associate of the person making assertions comes out and says not to bother, it might be a bit difficult?

    Studies are conducted by economists, sociologists, and political scientists all the time dealing with potentially embarrassing or sensitive topics. There are techniques for ensuring anonymity when conducting surveys. Mail-in questionnaires, for example.

    Also, 100 gun owners if far too small a sample size to draw any sort of conclusion. A thousand should be the minimum.

  5. In the event that a valid survey is built, should it not also be administered to non gun owners? The percentage of racist homophobes among gun owners means little unless it’s compared to the percentage of same in the general population. Maybe 10% is right for gun owners. But what if the number is 15% among non gun owners? A presumption exists, for some, that there is a higher percentage of racist homophobes among gun owners. Is there? It seems logical to me that a group of people interested in the Constitution, individual rights, the rule of law and personal responsibility would be more likely to respect the rights of others, not less so.

  6. I think it would probably be important to establish what percentage of the general population are racist, misogynistic, homophobes. And also what percentage of non gun owners are racist, misogynistic, homophobes.

  7. What a surprise. An antigun troll is called out to help prove his statement, and then they backpedal and say that it’s too difficult, even though they say these things with confidence.

    Another idiotic case of “I feel” rather than “I think and I have proof.”

  8. ~tongue-in-cheek~

    Based on what passes for political commentary on thesinister side of the political spectrum, a one-question survey ought to do the trick:

    “Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the Republican Party, or a supporter of any Republican candidate for public office?”

    Anyone who answers “yes” is, by definition, racist, sexist, homophobic, et cetera ad nauseam.

    ~/tongue-in-cheek~

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