Quote of the Day: Mainstream Proposals Edition

“Support for reinstating the assault rifle ban hovers somewhere in the mid 50s, while a ban on high-capacity magazines captures anywhere from 51 to 63 percent support, depending on the wording of the question. In all cases, numerous polls show that clear majorities favor the proposals. Interestingly, a Washington Post/ABC News poll found that even Republicans favor many gun control proposals, but lose interest once they’re associated with President Obama. This will be tough to overcome, but it underscores the importance of communicating that these are mainstream proposals that enjoy massive support from Americans, not just liberals and the White House.” – Alex Seitz-Wald in No, really, Americans support gun control [via salon.com]


  1. avatar j says:

    The problem is, He’s right. A fairly large percentage of even “reasonable” people I know favor some kind of gun control…not good…read my take on this at http://www.letthemfight.blogspot.com..

    1. avatar Andy J says:

      Remember allot of what the people are “demanding” is already law… Like banning “machine guns” and “not allowing the mentally ill to purchase them” We need to keep pointing this out…

    2. avatar DBeans says:

      I agree for what ever reason Americans love to be subjugated

      1. avatar Anonymous says:

        > I agree for what ever reason Americans love to be subjugated


  2. avatar My Name Is Bob says:

    Leave my rights alone you buttheads!!!

    1. avatar rosignol says:

      While I agree in principle, your presentation needs a bit of polish.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        “Leave my rights alone you @ssh0les!!!”


  3. avatar Mark says:

    Ask anyone who owns a gun store how many of his customers have gone out of their way lately to keep black rifles, standard capacity magazines and ammo out of the hands of criminals…

  4. avatar brian.z says:

    Civil rights have nothing to do with the majority viewpoint.
    Also I don’t trust any survey put out by Bloomberg unless I see the questions. They could be asking if people want children to be shot and taking a no for wanting the reinstatement of the assault weapons ban for all I know.

  5. One of the reasons the constitution was written was to protect the minority from the majority.

    1. avatar Aharon says:

      True. As I understand it, a Democracy can be majority mob rule whose beliefs and whims can easily be changed or manipulated. A Republic is more based on laws that prevent radical mob emotions from being manipulated by the few to oppress the minority.

      1. avatar IdahoPete says:

        Democracy is defined as three wolves and two sheep voting on what to have for dinner.

        That’s why we have a “constitutional republic” – for now.

  6. avatar Joe says:

    Gawd, read the comments under that article and wanted to barf… I’m not sure where these people are polling but if they did the same poll in some rural towns in the West or South I’m sure the numbers would be very different… I think we are reaching the “reasonable compromise” portion of this situation; now that they proposed such extreme measures, they are willing to “compromise” and only pass a few “reasonable” laws… Until the next time… When they pass a few more things… And the next time… We need to push back and get rid of the NFA rules, open the machine gun registry as well… After all, if universal background checks will prevent crime then I should be able to buy, on a same day basis, a silenced SBR that is select fire since that universal background check proved that I would never commit a crime!

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      Because of course their extreme proposals were, after all, “reasonable.”

  7. avatar Andy J says:

    The thing people are forgetting, is that right before the 1993 ban was passed, the polls said the same thing…. Speaking of polls, what has the New York governors done since he signed the “safe act”?

    The thing about polls is they do NOT measure intensity. And we have that by the truck load

    1. avatar pat says:

      Good point on the ‘intensity’ concept.

  8. avatar Shire-man says:

    The whole point of this nation is so the majority, no matter how insignificant or large, cannot dictate to the minority.

    I wonder if all these “majority rules” goofs would come out for gay marriage bans.

    Majority rules when it’s convenient.

  9. avatar Anon in CT says:

    Anyone think you could have gotten 51% in favor of expelling Muslims in the days after 9/11. I know you could get 51% to severely restrict abortion. How about repealing an Amendment which would make it a lot easier for conservatives to win elections?

    If you want to amend the Constitution, there is a process.

    1. avatar Pascal says:

      Polls are great for two things:

      1) determining which way the wind is blowing at that moment in time
      2) telling us depending on words are used, you get different results

      I have also noticed a trend, that many people who are not gun owners will pipe up and say they are a gun owner to give credence to an opinion. I have caught a few on the left in lie about their gun ownership. it is becoming the new lie.

      1. avatar Jarhead1982 says:

        All you have to see in an antis statement is “I have guns but…..” then you start qeustioning them what they have since they have nothing to hide, why shouldnt they tell you what they have. Then you start asking little details on handling, takedown, safety and the liars get all grouchy and start their demonizations and misdirection tactics.

        Then you post where and how they screwed up and by their actions alone, they reveal they are a liar!

        They usually get spitting mad or just S%FU at that point.

  10. avatar Anmut says:

    So if the majority of people think that black people should wear RFID tracking devices to reduce crime, are we going to pass that law?

    How about if a majority of people think that anyone that buys more than a six-pack of beer a week has a drinking problem and shouldn’t own a car?

    Or maybe we could take any children we deem as “loners” and ship them off to mental hospitals – or maybe just shoot them in the streets…

    I mean – any one of these proposals could “save just one life…”

  11. avatar Mike S says:

    Which is exactly why the Admin is trying to ram something through before Americans regain their senses. A year from now, the numbers will look like they did a year ago.

  12. avatar Matt in FL says:

    Remember that many of these people are saying ‘yes’ to the surveys from a position of ignorance.

    This was linked yesterday, but bears repeating: http://reason.com/blog/2013/01/30/assault-weapon-described

    Educate the proles whenever possible.

    1. avatar Aharon says:

      The most pathetic case I saw was a video of a man pretending to be a reporter asking a few inner city young adult women if they support Obama’s right to abolish the 1st Amendment to help unify America. The women responded enthusiastically with a yes.

      1. avatar Henry Bowman says:

        I remember a comedy show (I think it was The Man Show) that asked women to sign a petition to “End Women’s Suffrage.”

        Most eagerly obliged.

  13. avatar Crazed Java says:

    Standard polling has a 3% margin of error in most cases. 51% is not a clear majority unless you have an agenda. If they were on the other side of the issue they would not being using that term.

  14. avatar O.E says:

    Like Jonestown, it seemed plausible at the time, yet in retrospect totally bizarre.

  15. avatar Michael B. says:

    You know nothing, Jon Snow.

  16. avatar Jeff O. says:

    The line about how the questions are worded makes me think of The Simpsons:

    Barlow: Mayor Quimby, you’re well known for your lenient stance on crime. But suppose for a second that ~your~ house was ransacked by thugs, ~your~ family tied up in the basement, with socks in their mouths! You try to open the door, but there’s too much blood on the knob!!

    Quimby: Ah, er, what is your question?

    Barlow: My question is about the budget, sir.

  17. avatar HeartbreakRidge says:

    Lies, damned likes, and statistics.

    and polls.

    1. avatar AlphaGeek says:

      It appears that you have some Facebook contamination in your library of quotes.

  18. avatar HeartbreakRidge says:

    or LIES

    *sigh* Time to drink more coffee.

  19. avatar Henry Bowman says:

    There was a time when racial segregation was a mainstream idea. There was even a time when people claiming to own another human being was mainstream.

    Mainstream has absolutely nothing to do the morality, legitimacy, or justness of an idea!

  20. avatar OK S. says:

    Well, we know what NRA members think:

    NRA National Member Survey Final (PDF)


  21. avatar Fred says:

    The fact that support changes depending on the wording of the questions just shows people aren’t really educated and don’t have a solid base of facts. The outcome should not change depending on the wording because the meaning does not change, the only thing that changes is the level of confusion due to unfamiliar or misleading terms and emotional pull.

    Would you favor banning standard and factory magazines over 10 rounds that have been the norm for decades?
    Would you favor banning high capacity magazine clips with a total capacity over 10 rounds used in 30 to 40% of fatal Police shootings?

    Pretty easy to see how the wording can change the situation if the question is providing all the facts. That’s not to mention we are conditioned to assume the parameters of the question are true and universal.

    My senator actually responded with a template letter with that 30-40% statistic. I had to reply to inform him 30-40% is not a majority, and considering finding magazines that are 10 rounds or less is pretty rare (besides 1911s) and Glocks are so cheap and prevalent I’m surprised it’s not higher. So not only are they targeting an area that will do nothing to reduce crime, they justify it with statistics that aren’t even favorable.

  22. avatar WoodyTX says:

    I’m very curious as to the wording of the questions. Questions can be asked in such a way that the ignorance of the respondent is easily manipulated. “Are you in favor of a ban on assault weapons like the one used in the Sandy Hook massacre?” is quite different from “Are you in favor of banning firearms based on cosmetic features, like a pistol grip?”

    Also, some surveys have a pre-question statement that can be used to build in a bias. “A gunman used a legally owned AR-15 assault weapon to kill 26 people, including 20 first graders at Sandy Hook Elementary. Are you in favor of a ban on such weapons?”

    1. avatar IdahoPete says:

      Absolutely right. I majored in sociology in college (hard to believe now), and I will guarantee you that I can word the questions and the precursor statements of a poll in a way to get you any result you want. This is why you NEVER see the actual questions reported in any of the media polls.

      As they said in the article, “… anywhere from 51 to 63 percent support, DEPENDING ON THE WORDING OF THE QUESTION.”

  23. avatar racer88 says:

    It doesn’t matter if a “majority” want to restrict or regulate a Constitutionally-protected right. It’s MOOT! The whole purpose of the Constitution is to restrict government infringement upon the rights of citizens…. effectively protecting a minority (all the way to the individual) from a majority.

    If they want to change the Constitution, they are cordially invited to AMEND it. But, they can’t just make up new rules in violation of the Constitution. Until then, the majority can just SUCK IT.

  24. avatar Aharon says:

    Elsewhere, I read a comment on the Internet by a woman gun owner. She wrote that women who are in support of the pro-abortion law to kill their babies are telling her that she should not have the right to own a gun to protect her baby. Note: I am not making a political statement in support of or against abortion. I just found her comment interesting.

  25. avatar Silver says:

    As other people have said, too bad for fools like this that the majority don’t dictate rights. The founding fathers were smart enough to realize that the drooling masses could easily be manipulated into a thugocracy.

    Anyone who quotes the majority as a legitimate reason to change a right is essentially endorsing mob rule. And they can FOAD.

    1. avatar crndl says:

      +1, especially last 2 sentences. thank you. 🙂

  26. avatar k4R-15 says:

    I hope you all take this news serious and react by contacting your Congressional Reps to make sure they know how you feel about this malarchy.

    congress.org has a convenient one click way to email your reps. If you’re REALLY serious call and leave a message at their office.

    The time you spend on this now will far outweigh the struggle to overturn laws- unconstitutional or not.

  27. avatar Mikeb302000 says:

    The pendulum is swinging in favor of gun control, but will that momentum be enough to overcome the NRA/gun lobby influence and the inexplicable Obama hatred? I say yes.

    1. avatar Not Jimbo says:

      1. The anti-constitutional gun-control advocates are *trying to swing the pendulum, but it’s clearly not working.
      2. The NRA influence is due to its huge membership, a significant portion of the US population. The NRA is as mainstream as any lobby out there.
      3. What you call inexplicable hatred towards Obama, I would call shock over inexplicably overt, unconstitutional power grabs.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        Oh, I can explain the hatred. So that makes it explicable, not inexplicable.

        1. avatar Badger 8-3 says:

          Ralph, it’s inexplicable if you believe that a certain individuals actions are sacrosanct.

      2. avatar crndl says:

        +1 to your point #3.

  28. avatar jwm says:

    I read an article on CNN this morning about the Anderson Cooper “Town Hall” Meeting about guns. At the time I viewed it all of the comments submitted were against new gun laws.

    And, as I’ve stated many times before. We’re winning in the courts. Look at Ill. Even more counties are shall issue in California now.

    We have the Constitution, BOR, and the courts on our side. No compromise is needed.

  29. avatar Josef Kozlov says:

    It doesn’t help when all major news sources magnify this issue. Even Fox News has been twisting its stories. I don’t know if it’s to influence public opinion or just to improve their ratings, but on Jan. 30 Fox posted an article stating that the crazy old guy in Alabama that’s holding that boy hostage would regularly patrol his land at night with a “flashlight and shotgun,” and today’s article says that he patrolled his land with a “flashlight and assault rifle.” WTH? They literally changed the quote they received from one of the guy’s neighbors.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      Fox, I sense because of Murdoch being the owner, is definitely NOT pro-gun, or more specifically, anti- MSRs and large capacity mags.

    2. avatar William says:

      “Even Fox.” That’s a pretty good one!

  30. avatar William says:

    That’s HIM? THAT whiny-looking PH wrote THAT? HAHAHAHA.

  31. avatar SGC says:

    I don’t even understand the use of a poll anymore. If you read the fine print on most, it’s something like 500-1500 people involved. Any cross section there? Any diversity? Is this 500-1500 people in upstate New York or in Texas (bet that would swing the stats a bit). I’m just saying…I’ve even googled for open polls or surveys to participate in and I can’t find a single one.

    1. avatar Matt in FL says:

      As far as cross-section and diversity, I think a lot of polls now are done by random number auto-dialers. The geographical spread on the numbers is determined by the people running the survey, but it’s often nationwide. One point of note though: it’s only landlines. Anyone who doesn’t have a land line (like me and everyone I know of my generation) is self-selected out of the ability to respond.

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