According to thetrace.org: 41% of Americans Think the United States Already Has Universal Gun Background Checks, Survey Shows And 100 percent of them are wrong. What Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun agitprop propagators don’t tell you: the new survey concludes that 71 percent of respondents favor “universal background checks.” Not the endlessly quoted figure — mooted by Quinnipiac University and cited again here by The Trace — of “90 percent.” Funny how they left that out. But hats off to the hired hoplophobes for highlighting the fact that . . .
your average American has a better idea of how many men walked on the moon (12) than what the term “universal background checks” means. Which makes any cogent analysis of Americans’ views on “universal background checks” completely unreliable. Like this:
[Yale researchers Peter Aronow, assistant professor of political science, and Benjamin Miller, above, a third-year Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Political Science] found that among Americans who strongly favor universal background checks and know that the government does not mandate them, 89 percent support stricter gun laws. But among a second group who favor universal background checks and believe such a mandate is already in place, support for stricter gun laws dips to 74 percent.
Only 47 percent of those surveyed knew that a background check is not required for many sales and transfers by private, unlicensed parties, while 12 percent believed that background checks aren’t required for any firearm purchases.
Here’s a question: what was the question? With such conflicting results, we really need to know the exact wording used by the survey takers. Did they use the words “many sales” in the question? If so, that’s a problem in and of itself.
According to the researchers’ article in The Lancet — which does not link to the study — the Yalies responsible say they “undertook a nationally representative survey through [Harvard University’s] 2014 Cooperative Congressional Election Study.”
So the questions were tacked onto a larger survey, whose results are now two years old. More to the point, the raw data for 2014 isn’t on Harvard’s website. So we don’t who was asked what or when. But we sure know why [via news.yale.edu] . . .
We’re considering performing an experiment. We have this correlational finding that, among the people who strongly favor universal background checks, knowing that they don’t currently exist is predictive of support for stricter gun laws. That’s not necessarily a causal finding. So what we want to do now is a survey experiment where we inform people about the current laws — the existence of the gun show loophole and the Internet loophole — and see if that causes people to be more in favor of stricter gun laws.
“Gun show loophole.” “Internet loophole.” No bias there. [/sarc] Here’s better, not-to-say more accurate news . . .
Miller and Aronow’s research also corroborated evidence of an “activism gap” among proponents of gun restrictions. Despite earlier polling showing that more than half of Americans support new gun restrictions, people who oppose such regulation are more likely to be politically active on the issue or base their vote on gun rights. Miller and Aronow found that among respondents who thought gun laws should be less strict, 71 percent said they would never vote for a candidate who didn’t share their views on gun control. Only 34 percent of the respondents who supported stricter gun measures said the same thing.
And that, my friends, is why we’re winning. At least at the polls. In some places. Here’s hoping gun voters’ extra juice helps elect a Republican (i.e. pro-gun right) president. Again.