ILA | Manipulated Public Opinion Polling Should Not Drive Public Policy on Guns

Gun News

A recent study by the Crime Prevention Research Center underscored how easily public opinion polling can be used to distort, rather than illuminate, peoples’ true feelings on gun control. Policy-makers should take note.

Sound policy requires a thoughtful and sophisticated understanding of facts and evidence, not just the shifting whims of public perception.  Emotionalism, on the other hand, is the way anti-gun extremists would like to run our government.  Gun ban advocates constantly point to survey results they help manufacture – usually in the wake of some highly-charged incident, before all the facts are known – as justification for imposing draconian restrictions on our Second Amendment rights.

There are numerous reasons why over-reliance on opinion polling is a deeply flawed approach to good governance.

First, and foremost, the United States was not founded as a direct democracy, where the electorate votes on virtually every public policy issue.  We are, thankfully, a Constitutional Republic.  At the federal level, we elect people to represent us, and they deliberate policy issues and vote to implement them or reject them.  Should they consider public opinion polls when determining how they vote?  Of course they should consider them; but that should never be the beginning and the end of the analysis.

The problem with relying on public opinion polls is that, with complex or controversial issues, how the poll is conducted has a tremendous bearing on both how accurate it is in determining how people feel, and what the results of the poll actually mean.

Recent research out of the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC), founded by Dr. John R. Lott, Jr., highlights the problem of relying on simplistic public opinion polls when considering complex policy proposals.

Lott, well known for his detailed, groundbreaking research on firearms and gun control laws, took a look at public opinion on one of the anti-gun movement’s favorite legislative proposals of the moment: “red flag” laws.  His results illustrate how dramatically opinions can shift when the same issue is presented in different ways.

Using the polling company McLaughlin & Associates, the CPRC surveyed 1,000 general election voters, asking whether they supported “red flag” laws if, the question explained, “their primary purpose is to allow judges to take away a person’s gun based on a single complaint when there is concern about that individual committing suicide.”  The responses indicated 58% support, and 30% opposition.

That “explanation” of how “red flag” laws work is, of course, a vast oversimplification, as the laws are far more complex.  Anti-gun organizations and the lawmakers who support their goals count on opinion polls avoiding details when it comes to questions about “gun control,” and would have preferred the survey stopped with just that oversimplification.

But Lott understands all this, and his survey followed up the initial question with the kind of detail the gun-ban movement hates.

The survey went on to ask, “Would you be more likely or less likely to support ‘Red Flag Laws’ if you knew there are no hearings before an individual’s guns are taken away and there are no mental health care experts involved in the process?”  After learning how most “red flag” laws work, support fell to 30%, and opposition rose to 47%.

In the more detailed breakdown of the results, Lott found that the greatest movement in the views of respondents came in the “Strongly Support” and “Strongly Oppose” categories.  “Strongly Support” fell by more than half when more specifics about “red flag” laws were included; plummeting from 34% with the first question, to 14% with the more detailed second question.  “Strongly Oppose,” meanwhile, climbed from 18% to 29%.

Of course, these kinds of results are not too surprising, and simply add credence to the old saying, “The devil is in the details.”

This survey also bolsters what Lott found to be true in an earlier poll:  When the public doesn’t have all the facts, it can lead to support for bad public policy.  Even worse than just not having all the facts, many, including the current president, affirmatively promote misinformation that can lead to people believing things that are demonstrably untrue.

In his constant war on the Second Amendment, Joe Biden has been trying to paint a picture about violent crime in America that blames everything on guns and their availability to law-abiding citizens.  And, to some extent, that has worked to confuse many Americans.

With Biden constantly disparaging the right to arms as part of his messaging on “combating crime,” and with most in the legacy media supporting and amplifying his messaging, what Americans think about violent crime is not actually true.

Lott found that the “average American likely voter” thinks “that over 46% of violent crime involve guns.”  Actual crime statistics show it is less than 8%.

Even with this wildly inaccurate view of the frequency with which firearms are involved in violent crime, Lott’s research indicates Americans are not exactly clamoring for more gun laws, in spite of what anti-gun extremists would have you believe.  His survey shows that only 21% of the respondents feel that more gun laws will “do more to help fight crime and keep people safe.”  The majority, at 52%, felt that the best solution would be to “focus on arrests,” while another 22% felt the best approach was to “enforce current laws.”

In other words, even without an accurate understanding of violent crime in America, the vast majority of Americans DO NOT support gun control as a response.  That is encouraging.

Another factor to consider, which is not addressed in the CPRC research mentioned here, is that, when asked if “more gun laws” would help, most Americans don’t even know what gun laws already exist.  Again, most Americans do not believe we need more gun laws, but of those that do, how much do they really know about current laws?  How can you justify asking for “more” when you don’t even know what is already there?

Polling, like other analytical and messaging tools, is neither good nor bad in itself.  When done with care and without bias, and with the necessary detail for more complex issues, polls can accurately gauge how Americans feel about any number of things.  Those results, in turn, can be used by policy makers to help guide their decisions; but the critical qualifiers in that statement are “with care and without bias” and “help.”  Opinion polls can never capture all the complexity of human understanding and sentiment and should never be used as the only input for determining what laws will govern us.

That said, the most critical poll for the future of the Second Amendment is fast approaching:  The 2022 Midterm Elections.  Some states have already begun Early Voting, and November 8, Election Day, will be here before you know it.  NRA has a number of online resources available to better ensure the pro-Second Amendment community is ready to work to elect a pro-gun majority in Congress that will derail the Biden Administration’s anti-gun agenda, and strip power from anti-gun extremists like Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

Voter Registration Info

NRA-Political Victory Fund

Get Involved

Source link

Articles You May Like

Distracted driving; blood on their hands; fossil fuel protests; old format option
Why Biden’s repeated call for an assault weapons ban could be a political winner
Inland PAC fights for gun rights close to home – San Bernardino Sun
ILA | Ohio: Emergency Powers Bill Heads to the Senate for Concurrence, Contact Your Senator Today!
ILA | NRA-ILA Backed Lawsuit Filed to Challenging Oregon Measure 114


  1. I’ll right away clutch your rss as I can’t in finding your e-mail subscription link or newsletter service. Do you have any? Please allow me realize so that I may subscribe. Thanks.

  2. Thanks a lot for sharing this with all of us you really understand what you’re talking about! Bookmarked. Kindly also visit my site =). We could have a hyperlink alternate arrangement among us!

  3. Thanks a bunch for sharing this with all of us you actually know what you are talking about! Bookmarked. Please also visit my web site =). We could have a link exchange agreement between us!

  4. Excellent items from you, man. I’ve take into account your stuff prior to and you’re just too excellent. I actually like what you’ve acquired here, certainly like what you’re stating and the best way by which you assert it. You’re making it enjoyable and you still care for to stay it wise. I can’t wait to read much more from you. That is actually a wonderful site.

  5. Pretty component of content. I just stumbled upon your website and in accession capital to assert that I acquire in fact enjoyed account your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing in your augment or even I success you get entry to consistently quickly.

  6. My developer is trying to convince me to move to .net from PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the costs. But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using Movable-type on several websites for about a year and am nervous about switching to another platform. I have heard great things about Is there a way I can transfer all my wordpress content into it? Any kind of help would be really appreciated!

  7. I am not positive the place you are getting your info, however good topic. I needs to spend some time studying much more or working out more. Thank you for wonderful info I used to be looking for this information for my mission.

  8. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point. You obviously know what youre talking about, why throw away your intelligence on just posting videos to your site when you could be giving us something informative to read?

  9. Oh my goodness! a tremendous article dude. Thanks Nonetheless I’m experiencing issue with ur rss . Don’t know why Unable to subscribe to it. Is there anyone getting similar rss drawback? Anyone who knows kindly respond. Thnkx

  10. An interesting discussion is worth comment. I think that you should write more on this topic, it might not be a taboo subject but generally people are not enough to speak on such topics. To the next. Cheers

  11. Today, I went to the beach front with my children. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She put the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is entirely off topic but I had to tell someone!

  12. Thanks for any other great article. Where else could anybody get that type of information in such an ideal way of writing? I’ve a presentation subsequent week, and I’m at the search for such information.

  13. I have not checked in here for some time since I thought it was getting boring, but the last few posts are great quality so I guess I?¦ll add you back to my everyday bloglist. You deserve it my friend 🙂

  14. After examine just a few of the weblog posts on your web site now, and I really like your means of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark website listing and will be checking back soon. Pls check out my web page as properly and let me know what you think.

  15. obviously like your website but you need to check the spelling on several of your posts. Several of them are rife with spelling problems and I in finding it very bothersome to tell the reality however I’ll definitely come back again.

  16. Wonderful blog! Do you have any hints for aspiring writers? I’m planning to start my own website soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you advise starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m completely confused .. Any ideas? Bless you!

  17. I have been surfing online greater than 3 hours as of late, yet I by no means discovered any interesting article like yours. It¦s lovely price enough for me. In my opinion, if all webmasters and bloggers made good content material as you did, the net will probably be a lot more useful than ever before.

  18. I have been surfing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It’s pretty worth enough for me. In my view, if all web owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the internet will be much more useful than ever before.

  19. I precisely had to thank you so much again. I am not sure the things that I might have sorted out in the absence of these tricks shown by you directly on such a topic. It has been the traumatic situation for me personally, however , being able to see your specialized way you dealt with the issue took me to jump for delight. Now i’m happy for your information as well as sincerely hope you know what an amazing job you have been putting in instructing others using your blog. I know that you have never got to know all of us.

  20. I like this website so much, saved to my bookmarks. “Respect for the fragility and importance of an individual life is still the mark of an educated man.” by Norman Cousins.

  21. Hiya very cool blog!! Man .. Excellent .. Amazing .. I’ll bookmark your site and take the feeds alsoKI am satisfied to search out numerous useful information here in the publish, we want develop more techniques in this regard, thank you for sharing. . . . . .

  22. Thanx for the effort, keep up the good work Great work, I am going to start a small Blog Engine course work using your site I hope you enjoy blogging with the popular you express are really awesome. Hope you will right some more posts.

  23. obviously like your web site but you need to check the spelling on several of your posts. Several of them are rife with spelling issues and I find it very bothersome to tell the truth nevertheless I’ll surely come back again.

  24. I like the valuable information you provide in your articles. I will bookmark your weblog and check again here regularly. I am quite certain I will learn plenty of new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next!

  25. Definitely believe that that you said. Your favorite justification seemed to be at the web the simplest thing to consider of. I say to you, I definitely get annoyed even as folks consider concerns that they just do not recognise about. You managed to hit the nail upon the highest and also defined out the whole thing without having side effect , other people can take a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thank you

  26. Hello, i read your blog from time to time and i own a similar one and i was just curious if you get a lot of spam comments? If so how do you reduce it, any plugin or anything you can recommend? I get so much lately it’s driving me crazy so any help is very much appreciated.

  27. Nice read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing some research on that. And he actually bought me lunch because I found it for him smile Therefore let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch!

  28. Thank you, I’ve recently been looking for information about this subject for a while and yours is the best I’ve came upon so far. However, what about the conclusion? Are you certain in regards to the supply?

  29. Hi! This is kind of off topic but I need some guidance from an established blog. Is it tough to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty quick. I’m thinking about setting up my own but I’m not sure where to start. Do you have any ideas or suggestions? Thank you

  30. I?¦m now not certain the place you are getting your info, however good topic. I must spend some time studying much more or understanding more. Thank you for wonderful info I used to be searching for this info for my mission.

  31. Do you mind if I quote a few of your posts as long as I provide credit and sources back to your webpage? My website is in the very same area of interest as yours and my visitors would really benefit from some of the information you provide here. Please let me know if this alright with you. Thank you!

  32. I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good. I do not know who you are but certainly you are going to a famous blogger if you are not already 😉 Cheers!

  33. I’ll immediately grab your rss feed as I can’t find your email subscription link or newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Kindly let me know so that I could subscribe. Thanks.

  34. I?¦ll immediately take hold of your rss as I can’t in finding your email subscription hyperlink or newsletter service. Do you have any? Please allow me know in order that I may subscribe. Thanks.

  35. Hi there, You have performed an incredible job. I’ll certainly digg it and personally recommend to my friends. I am sure they will be benefited from this site.

  36. An impressive share, I just given this onto a colleague who was doing a little analysis on this. And he in fact bought me breakfast because I found it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the treat! But yeah Thnkx for spending the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love reading more on this topic. If possible, as you become expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more details? It is highly helpful for me. Big thumb up for this blog post!

  37. Good ?V I should definitely pronounce, impressed with your site. I had no trouble navigating through all the tabs and related info ended up being truly simple to do to access. I recently found what I hoped for before you know it in the least. Reasonably unusual. Is likely to appreciate it for those who add forums or something, website theme . a tones way for your customer to communicate. Nice task..

  38. Can I just say what a relief to find someone who actually knows what theyre talking about on the internet. You definitely know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people need to read this and understand this side of the story. I cant believe youre not more popular because you definitely have the gift.

  39. I precisely wanted to thank you very much again. I’m not certain the things that I would’ve done in the absence of these creative ideas revealed by you concerning such concern. It was actually a real frightening circumstance in my opinion, however , looking at this skilled style you treated it took me to weep for delight. I’m grateful for your information as well as trust you really know what an amazing job you happen to be providing teaching others by way of a web site. Probably you have never encountered all of us.

  40. Greetings from Carolina! I’m bored at work so I decided to check out your blog on my iphone during lunch break. I really like the knowledge you provide here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home. I’m shocked at how quick your blog loaded on my phone .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, good site!

  41. I do enjoy the manner in which you have presented this difficulty plus it really does give me personally a lot of fodder for consideration. Nonetheless, because of what I have seen, I simply just wish as other commentary pack on that men and women remain on issue and not get started upon a tirade involving some other news du jour. Yet, thank you for this outstanding piece and whilst I do not necessarily go along with it in totality, I respect your perspective.

  42. Somebody essentially help to make seriously posts I would state. This is the first time I frequented your web page and thus far? I amazed with the research you made to make this particular publish extraordinary. Fantastic job!

  43. I definitely wanted to post a small note to express gratitude to you for all the splendid solutions you are sharing here. My time consuming internet research has finally been recognized with sensible know-how to share with my close friends. I would tell you that we visitors are extremely lucky to be in a fabulous community with so many marvellous people with very beneficial tips. I feel quite grateful to have used the web page and look forward to plenty of more brilliant times reading here. Thanks a lot once more for a lot of things.

  44. Greetings! Quick question that’s completely off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My site looks weird when browsing from my iphone 4. I’m trying to find a theme or plugin that might be able to fix this problem. If you have any recommendations, please share. Appreciate it!

  45. Somebody essentially assist to make significantly posts I would state. That is the first time I frequented your web page and so far? I surprised with the analysis you made to create this actual put up amazing. Fantastic task!

  46. I would like to thnkx for the efforts you have put in writing this blog. I am hoping the same high-grade blog post from you in the upcoming as well. In fact your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my own blog now. Really the blogging is spreading its wings quickly. Your write up is a good example of it.

  47. Just wish to say your article is as amazing. The clarity in your post is simply cool and i can think you are a professional on this subject. Fine together with your permission allow me to seize your RSS feed to keep updated with drawing close post. Thanks 1,000,000 and please continue the enjoyable work.

  48. What i don’t realize is actually how you are not really much more well-liked than you might be now. You’re so intelligent. You realize therefore considerably relating to this subject, produced me personally consider it from numerous varied angles. Its like women and men aren’t fascinated unless it is one thing to accomplish with Lady gaga! Your own stuffs nice. Always maintain it up!

  49. I have not checked in here for some time since I thought it was getting boring, but the last few posts are great quality so I guess I will add you back to my everyday bloglist. You deserve it my friend 🙂

  50. I would like to thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this web site. I’m hoping the same high-grade website post from you in the upcoming also. Actually your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my own web site now. Really the blogging is spreading its wings fast. Your write up is a great example of it.

  51. I precisely desired to appreciate you once more. I do not know the things that I could possibly have sorted out without the type of solutions shared by you directly on this topic. Previously it was an absolute challenging crisis in my view, but being able to see a skilled mode you handled it made me to leap over delight. I’m just happier for this advice and in addition have high hopes you comprehend what a powerful job your are carrying out teaching people via your blog. Most likely you’ve never met all of us.

  52. Thank you for any other informative website. The place else could I get that kind of info written in such an ideal manner? I’ve a mission that I’m just now operating on, and I’ve been on the glance out for such info.

  53. Having read this I thought it was very informative. I appreciate you taking the time and effort to put this article together. I once again find myself spending way to much time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worth it!

  54. Hmm is anyone else encountering problems with the pictures on this blog loading? I’m trying to figure out if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

  55. I simply could not go away your website prior to suggesting that I extremely enjoyed the usual information a person provide in your guests? Is gonna be back regularly to check up on new posts

  56. Good day I am so happy I found your webpage, I really found you by mistake, while I was looking on Digg for something else, Anyhow I am here now and would just like to say kudos for a fantastic post and a all round exciting blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to read it all at the minute but I have bookmarked it and also added in your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a great deal more, Please do keep up the fantastic job.

  57. I have been exploring for a little bit for any high-quality articles or blog posts on this sort of area . Exploring in Yahoo I at last stumbled upon this site. Reading this info So i am happy to convey that I have an incredibly good uncanny feeling I discovered exactly what I needed. I most certainly will make sure to do not forget this web site and give it a glance on a constant basis.

  58. Hello would you mind letting me know which webhost you’re working with? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 completely different internet browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot faster then most. Can you recommend a good internet hosting provider at a fair price? Cheers, I appreciate it!

  59. hello!,I really like your writing very so much! proportion we communicate more about your post on AOL? I require a specialist on this area to resolve my problem. Maybe that is you! Looking ahead to peer you.

  60. You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be really something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and extremely broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

  61. naturally like your web-site but you need to take a look at the spelling on several of your posts. Many of them are rife with spelling problems and I in finding it very troublesome to inform the reality nevertheless I will surely come back again.

  62. Good – I should definitely pronounce, impressed with your website. I had no trouble navigating through all the tabs and related info ended up being truly easy to do to access. I recently found what I hoped for before you know it in the least. Reasonably unusual. Is likely to appreciate it for those who add forums or anything, web site theme . a tones way for your client to communicate. Nice task.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *