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stricterBy Nick Leghorn and Dan Zimmerman

Since yesterday was a day that ended with a ‘y’, The Washington Post ran another hand-wringing head-scratcher, asking why, despite Americans’ overwhelming support for expanded background checks, Congress can’t seem to pull the trigger. So to speak. Striking a blow for full graphic artist employment, The Post broke out a lot of little grey and red silhouettes — all of them male, do doubt for some war-on-women reason — to illustrate the findings of a recent Quinnipiac poll. According to the results, it apparently doesn’t matter if you’re left, right or center. Male or female. Young or old. If you’ve been Q-Polled and asked, “Do you support or oppose requiring background checks for all gun buyers?” you probably answered yes. But that’s not all they asked . . .

The Q-polsters also queried, “Do you support or oppose stricter gun control laws in the United States?” And as the graphic above illustrates, the long-term trend is unquestionably against stricter gun control laws.


So when it came time for the The Post’s Photoshop wizzes to illustrate the “do you want more gun control” results, they had to use a lot more red electrons than they did for all those background check graphics. You probably won’t be particularly shocked at conclusion The Post draws, either.

People support background checks. But opponents of expanded background checks, who see that expansion as a form of gun control, have been effective at linking the two. Combined with the political power of groups like the National Rifle Association, that’s enough to keep Congress from doing anything at all.

You didn’t think they’d get through a post like that without pointing the finger at every hoplophobe’s favorite boogie man, the NRA, did you? Philip Bump did everything but call for an executive order to borrow the power from Congress in order to do something.

If politicians are good at anything — and that’s an increasingly large if — it’s wetting a finger, raising it over their pointy little heads and determining which way the winds are blowing. And if their staffs are any good, most of them have probably seen some recent findings from Qunnipiac’s rival, Gallup.


With the obligatory caveat that correlation does not equal causation, it’s hard not to notice that, over about the same time period as the Q-Poll covers, Americans’ faith in government has nosedived while their distaste for any more restrictions on their natural, civil, Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms has increased. Trends so significant and obvious that even the members of the media have have noted them.

The problem in all of this for gun control activists is that we’ve seen their proposals. Over and over again. Americans may support background checks, but the way in which the Democrats and other anti-gunners propose to make that happen has been proven so abhorrent to the American appetite that their legislation failed to pass even the Democrat-controlled Senate.

When the Democrats proposed universal background checks last year, they didn’t just demand background checks — they also tacked on a backdoor registration system, wanted to force people to use gun stores, and would have turned a staggering number of gun owners into felons for common sense activities like sharing firearms while shooting on private property and leaving your gun collection at home while traveling. When afforded a glimmer of hope that they could make a small change that might prove popular, the Civilian Disarmament Industrial Complex shot itself in the foot by showing their hand and falling prey to the temptation of over-reach.

As we’ve seen time and again in poll after poll, the preference for the American public is for Congress to focus on anything but gun control. Just because Americans support an abstract idea doesn’t mean that they necessarily of how legislators would make that happen. Sure they would like background checks for every gun purchase, but the actions of Democrats in recent years have so scared the American public that they’d rather stay with the status quo rather than roll the dice with any new legislation Congress might concoct.

The gun-grabbing community is pushing this poll result (the first part, anyway) as much as possible because they feel it backs up their position. Unfortunately they don’t seem to understand that what the poll really shows is little they’re trusted. Even when a majority of Americans supports one of their positions, their underhanded tactics and massive over-reach have turned an increasing majority of Americans off to the prospect of additional gun control legislation in any form whatsoever.

This poll doesn’t show support for more gun control. This poll shows how much Americans distrust gun control activists.

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  1. So the real message is that the general public doesn’t want those who are a clear and present danger to have a gun, but the government should keep their noses out of our business.

  2. The article states in the first paragraph that “Americans overwhelmingly support expanding background checks” yet I don’t see anything in the poll results where the questions was about expanding checks.

    • So apparently anti gunners have realized they can’t veer away from all facts whatsoever…

      So the new strategy is to present facts, but then state their conclusion is the opposite of what said facts actually illustrate.


      • That’s not new at all. Goes back to that Harvard paper on gun control and homicide/suicide.

        The data showed by their own admission a lack of correlation. However, their conclusion was that the data doesn’t matter and the “burden of proof” is still on the pro gun side. Why? Because there isn’t a comp-able population to the U.S. with as many guns to allow a comparison.

        I.e., Where just a statistical outlier.

    • As I recall, the question was do you support background checks? There was nothing about expanding the background check system. Another question was who was more correct about gun control, Wayne LA Pierre or Barrack Obama? The majority supported Wayne.

    • Yeah they polled 1,400 people total. I’m kind of curious what states, cities, etc. they chose to call. If they called 300 people in NYC and 300 more in Chicago then I can see some horribly inaccurate information.

  3. I’m disappointed that the primary question of, “Do you support greater gun control?” is met with a majority of people saying, “Yes” or “Hell, yes”. More people answer “Hell, yes” than even the ones who answer “Hell, no!” At least our side causes more fear to obey in the politicians we elect than the other side. The pro-2A side has always seemed to be more actively involved in making our side’s politicians tow the line!!

    • Much of the trickery surrounding such polls is where the polls are conducted. Pick the right location and you can skew the results of your poll without too much trouble.

      • My favorite explanation about this came from the Yes, Prime Minister episode, “The Ministerial Broadcast”, about leading questions in polls.

        Bernard Woolley: Well the party have had an opinion poll done and it seems all the voters are in favour of bringing back National Service.

        Sir Humphrey: Well have another opinion poll done to show that they’re against bringing back National Service.

        Bernard Woolley: They can’t be for and against

        Sir Humphrey: Oh, of course they can Bernard! Have you ever been surveyed?

    • It is the Obama Effect. A large # tend to express opinions that align with populist perception of what is the “correct” (PC) answer. Unfortunately this can lead into the voting booth. For Obuma this lead to winning the election in 2008. Can’t vote against the affirmative action candidate. Thus the Obama Effect.

      However in 2014 Obuma’s “chickens have come home to roost” and the rebellion against the pressure of the Obama Effect is strong. Likely to lead for HUGE anti dem vote in Nov. Not just libtards staying home but active stronger than normal turnout to vote against Barry, Dumbass elections such ass in MS with RINO turncoat Chochran likely to be an exceptions where conservatives will keep their Senate vote in their pocket (or stay home). Not good.

  4. Let’s take a little of the mystery out of it. The actual question is so generically written that a person who is simply satisfied with the present status quo could likely answer “yes”, as might a person who is under the impression that no background checks are currently being employed. A more meaningful question would somehow correlate the answers with the respondent’s knowledge of how expansive the present system of “background checks” is. But that probably wouldn’t yield the answer the folks at Quinnipac are looking for.

  5. The Anti’s should face facts, there movement is bankrupt. That’s the reason why they’re doing this I respect people’s Right to Keep In Bear Arms but just with common sense laws song and dance.
    People are starting to wake up.

  6. You are missing a few words from the article btw.
    “doesn’t mean that they necessarily [approve] of how legislators…”
    “the poll really shows is [how] little they’re trusted…”
    Otherwise good article. Unfortunately, polls in general are getting more and more biased. Gallup is one of the better ones, but you can bet that if a news report doesn’t cite their sources for polls, it’s probably off the streets biased BS.

  7. It fascinates me that people vehemently support gun control, yet turn a blind eye to all the other insane shit going on. Never mind that ever growing 17 trillion dollar debt, patriot act II, the illegal acts of the IRS, healthcare “reform”, drones killing US citizens without due process, or fast and furious scandal.

    Keep blaming the NRA and those fat white guys who live in the south. Maybe if you focus enough energy on them you can forget what’s really going on. After all, it’s those evil corporations taking away “your right” to birth control in the 28th amendment. I don’t think they understand the difference between a right and blind entitlement fueled by their hatred of successful people.

    • It’s just a part of the ever present political song and dance. Provide an obvious distraction and pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. Nothing to see here, move along.

    • If you read the original petition Hobby Lobby was not against birth control and in fact their plans cover preventive birth control. The objection was with the government mandating drugs such as Plan B and Levonelle since they believe these drugs were a form of abortion:

      It’s rather silly objecting to the use of these drugs since they’re defining life literary at the moment of conception in the broadest terms. Do doctors using in vitro fertilization perform abortions when they discard unused embryos?

      The media and those on both ends of the political spectrum have been obfuscating these little details turning it into another “war on women” versus “religious freedom” cage match. Panem et circenses.

  8. 100% of non-gun owning Americans and 50% of gun owners actually believe that the purpose of background checks are the background checks and not the Form 4473.

    Meanwhile, 50% of Americans, gun owners or not, distrust the government. It’s amazing how much cognitive dissonance the human mind can generate without blowing up like in that scene from “Scanners.”

    • +1.

      If what they actually wanted was “background checks”, they could have had that done a while ago. Open up the NICS and give anyone who used it before making a sale good-faith immunity from prosecution — whether or not it’s a good idea, that would probably pass Congress with minimal fuss.

      The fact that the anti-self defense crowd aren’t trying this indicates that it isn’t what they actually want.

  9. We already have registration if you purchase a gun from the gun store. We will never beat the controllers. We will never come close because we accept certain controls on peaceful adults such as gun free school zones, permits to carry, requirements to conceal, restrictions on guns that are too short or fire too quickly, etc.

  10. It’s like the “74 school shootings” and “(insert large number here) kids a day die from gun shots” and every other inflated lie anti’s spout as “fact.” There is some grain of truth in every stat they espouse. Have their been other shootings at schools since Newtown? Sure, but when your statistics include a guy committing suicide in his car at 2 am at a college parking lot, you have a credibility problem. The same credibility problem arises when 18 through 26 year old “kids” are included as child victims. I say give them more rope.

  11. “Quinnipiac poll” – isn’t that the one that prints random questions on the inside cover of matchbooks? Or calls ten of their friends and relatives to ask them their opinion? Their answers attain a -5% degree of confidence. A waste of time and electrons.

  12. Now that Barry Soetero is officially the “WORST president EVER” it seems the tidal wave of gubmint distrust is spreading. And the lame stream media helps when they lie and defame the POTG. Or the NRA. We are winning the court of public opinion. Please don’t screw it up at Target . Happy Independence Day all.

  13. Kind of like the Gallup Poll that shows a decreasing number of households with guns in them.

    Who is going to tell someone they don’t know, calling from an 800 number (ever heard of spoofing?) if there are guns in the house? Anyone? anyone? Bueller?

    • I’d say, “Dear me, no! Guns are icky.” Or maybe “Guns? Are you serious? Guns are for puss1es. I have tactical thermonuclear weapons!”

      It depends on my mood at the time.

  14. Similarly, there was a Fox News poll from last week that showed 50% of Americans thought that owning a firearm was an act of patriotism.
    Pretty neat.

  15. I don’t care if 99.9% polled are in favor of “gun control” or not. My RIGHTS are not granted or removed by popular vote. They are not bestowed on me by the government, how can they be removed by government? People talk all the time about “Our Democracy”, but we do not live in a democracy, we live in a Constitutional Republic, where the rights of the “minority” are guaranteed by law. I ,personally, have about had it with the busybodies of all stripes using “polls” to create and shape public opinion. I don’t care what your opinion is regarding my rights. FOAD.

  16. FYI, the poll generally focuses on 9 northeastern states. Students and staff are homogeneous, being white, upperclass. Tuition is about 60k, their endowment is about 285 million.. . . . which should raise the issue of why private schools have such high endowments.

    Can’t find out where the poll was conducted but my guess is the 9 northeastern states, where they say they traditionally poll, not in free states.

    I don’t buy the majority of people support checks. The public has seen how useless they are.

  17. Pretty much everyone who already commented has hit upon some aspect of the problem with these types of polls.

    Having been deeply involved in this issue for 20+ years, here’s the summation of what people really need to understand about polling on this topic:

    Support for gun control at election time is a “mile wide and a quarter-inch deep.” The people who are “for” gun control just toss it onto the heap of issues that they’re voting for/about, even when they claim to “strongly” support gun control.

    People who are against gun control make it one of their top three issues come election time. The much deeper polling on gun control shows a huge gap in the intensity and importance of the issue to the people who claim to hold a particular position, and the anti-gun side has never, ever had our side’s level of intensity – not since the the issue started in the mid-70’s.

    Our success of recent in election results has come about from the “oppose” side. Look at the progression of both the “strongly” oppose and “somewhat” oppose numbers in the chart up at the top. The middle ground is disappearing, and the numbers are converting to the “oppose” side. This is the “polarization” that the press loves to lament of recent.

    The big-picture take-away from the top polling graphic is that the larger trend is in our direction, and while we might never get to a 70% oppose level (because there appears to be a hard floor of 35 to 40% dogmatic liberal support, no matter how egregious the failures of liberal governance), the key over the long term is moving the “strongly oppose” numbers towards 50%. The intensity of electoral turnout will do the rest.

    This is why Nurse Bloomberg and his MDA minions wish they had the power of the NRA. They can’t even remotely generate the type of intensity the pro-gun people have at their disposal, and they have to generate at least half of that intensity to even just stop the long term trend where it is now.

  18. Our philosophy going forward should be…”not one more gun, not one more accessory not one more piece of equipment will be surrendered…” There are enough laws and we need to make a stand. If you can…try to get your friends and relatives to get CCW permits, take them to the range, get them familiar with guns…one more gun owner means one less vote to ban our guns and equipment…

    The gun grabbers don’t want common sense gun control…they have shown that over and over as they try to sneak in ways to get guns banned by back door techniques disguised in nice sounding ideas…so let’s not play with them anymore…vote against it, pressure your political representatives and never, ever surrender your guns…

    “not one more gun, accessory or piece of equipment…”

  19. From perusing the comments on anti-gun editorials I’ve come to the conclusion that most anti-gunners have no idea what a background check is. Here in NJ, the average non gun owner has no clue that you need a Firearms ID ( fingerprints, background & mental health checks ) before you even think about a handgun purchase. They think you can buy a gun on line like buying towels from Bed Bath & Beyond. If I read one more letter crying about gun people buying machine guns on line I’ll lose it. Sad to say, these morons vote and that’s why we’re constantly fighting against useless laws like our just vetoed magazine capacity reduction bill.

    • You’re right, they don’t.

      This is one of the side-benefits to being a FFL. The anti-gunners, while being woefully mis-informed about guns and gun laws, do understand government documents.

      When I whip out a the ATF “bible” for FFL’s 5300.4:

      And then pull out a 4474 form… I just lay that out in front of them and ask them “tell me again how loose the regulations are on gun purchases… go ahead. Tell me.”

      The looks of disbelief are usually quite precious. They “had no idea.” These people usually aren’t deliberately stupid, they’ve just trusted the clowns in the news media.

      Per the above URL, you can download the 5300.4, and you can download a 4473 as well. It looks so much more impressive when you have the GPO documents, however.

      • I got into a “discussion” with this Progressive drone i worked with. He said to me “surely we can both agree that a mentally ill person shouldn’t be able to buy a gun.” I E-mailed him a copy of the 4473 annotating the disqualifying question. I was not surprised by his reaction. He thought I had been converted.

  20. Why would you support any action by a government that is constantly seeking to take away your rights and freedoms! Their record with telling the truth is a little suspect!

  21. I would love to see the target demographics for this poll. I’ll bet all of the targeted people live either in a city or close burbs. They are the only area’s who would have that many people wanting stronger gun control and that why they are so shocked at the results

  22. Before you do a poll, you have to decide what is the result you want, then word your questions/answers to fit that result. Like this:

    Would like to have a new car today?

    ___ YES

    ___ NO

    I’m sure overwhelmingly the answer would be YES

    If I wanted answer to be NO

    Would you like to have a new car today and pay for it out of your bank account today?

    ____ NO

    ____ YES

    Then use demographics of where you conduct the poll for desired outcome, now landline vs wireless phones play into demographics of who is contacted, look at how FaceBook used the news feed to play with people.

    Without details or an understanding of the issue a poll is really useless.

  23. Polls: a devious mean of manipulation in most of the cases.

    Nonetheless, looking at it, it seems that over 60% of Americans want some kind of Government control regarding firearms.
    Well, no one said that the Government has to go “full throttle” on gun control. It can be done in steps, one generation after another.
    If they manage to get an inch further in regulating firearms with this generation, that will be the starting point for the next inch, with the next generation. Usually, if trend is so, the fourth generation will relate to firearms through pictures and some stories told by some old fellow.
    And there is no hurry. The Government will push to get as much as possible, but, as long as it gets some of what it wants, it’s good enough. With the next generation, it will get more.
    That’s why, in some matters, matters that are, usually, very important, there is no compromise to be made. Once a compromise made, no matter how small, you will lose.
    And, unfortunately, that initial compromise is made with relative ease by the people, in the name of their comfort, of their “peace of mind”(read laziness) or just to give the opposite side something in order to make it shut up for a while.
    That is why the system always wins: it has patience, goals and a plans. Population is more or less just reactive to those(goals and plans) and they rarely have a perception of history, of the length of time.
    Most people think that the world started and will end with themselves, rarely taking into account all that was before them and all that will be after them.

  24. Even with the press firmly covering for Obama, the trust factor is only slightly ahead of the press’ favorite target W. Very telling.


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