How Anti-Second Amendment Activists’ Surveys Skew Results

How Anti-Second Amendment Activists’ Surveys Skew Results

By Steve Pomper

Radical gun control efforts against law-abiding citizens affect law enforcement officers in many ways. One way is when people aren’t allowed to exercise their Second Amendment self-defense rights, cops are the ones who must investigate the gruesome crime scenes after some murderer shoots up an unarmed family. 

There are places where the government protects people’s natural rights, of which self-defense is one, which is the main reason governments exist. In those places, cops, rather than investigating a bloody crime scene, are more likely to, after congratulating the homeowner for protecting his or her family, follow the ambulance or medical examiner’s van to the hospital or morgue.

However, rather than strongly supporting the Second Amendment, which all Americans should do, some people rely on mainstream news reporting, polls, and surveys to make decisions. We all know the bunk about guns and police the mainstream media news is feeding Americans. 

But what about, as the NRA recently reported in its America’s 1st Freedom, the surveys that supplement the fake news about gun laws? What are they telling people about important issues like gun control activism vs. self-defense rights? Is it the truth? Is it close? Sadly, but not surprisingly, the answer is no.

Everyone knows Mark Twain’s sardonic comment on the issue: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” 

This adage alludes to the inclination for dishonest folks to tweak polls and surveys, so the results serve the preferred narrative. This is a tactic gun control activists use to sway voters.

But Dr. John Lott, author of the seminal book, More Guns, Less Crime, and president of the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC) (full disclosure, Dr. Lott graciously provided me a blurb for my book De-Policing America), isn’t about to let the liars get away with their slanted “surveys” about self-defense, firearms, and where Americans are on gun laws.

There are scientific methods for conducting surveys if the goal is the truth. And while these methods are not foolproof, like any science, there are ways to achieve a less biased result. Skeptical about the gun-control survey results, the CPRC decided to investigate the gun-haters’ survey methods.

Ironically, most gun control advocates are also cop-haters. I mean, what sense does it make to disarm law-abiding people while, at the same time, defunding the police and passing anti-cop legislation, which emboldens criminals? 

As the NRA’s article states, “the impact of how gun-control surveys are worded found that—surprise, surprise—they majorly skew the truth about public opinion.” 

According to Lott, anti-self-defense activists contend over ninety percent of U.S. citizens “support ‘universal’ background checks.” But is that true?

So-called “fact-checkers” like Politifact and Snopes (yes, I’m snickering to myself) have even validated this bogus ninety percent contention. However, Lott examined this contention, and the ninety percent number falls far short once the survey introduced real-life scenarios into the equation. 

A ballot measure for a “universal background” check in Maine failed by four percent. And a similar measure won in Nevada but only by one percent. The votes should not have been so close if the ninety percent number were true. 

Lott also mentions the “overwhelming financial backing…” from folks like an anti-self-defense billionaire for those ballot efforts and the mainstream media support they got. He also found a significant factor is in how the questions are modeled. For example, “Do you support or oppose requiring background checks on all gun sales or transfers?”

Given that binary choice without any discussion about any intended or unintended consequences can hardly produce accurate results about a complex issue.  

Without discussion or thought, many, apparently most, people answer yes. But this is why critical thinking is so important and too often lacking. When someone asks you a question that will affect the natural rights of your fellow human beings, there’s nothing wrong with taking the time to think about it and critically research the issue. 

Lott explains, the laws are much more “complicated” than this simple question “ballot” question suggests. When other consequences of the proposed laws are explained, the support drops off a cliff. The CPRC hired McLaughlin & Associates to survey a thousand people.

First, they asked the same question the anti-gunners asked, and they got a similar result of about eighty-six percent answered in favor of “universal background checks.” However, when they learned about some real-life consequences of the new laws, minds changed. 

Like this explanatory version of the survey question: “These laws are called universal background checks. Let’s say a stalker is threatening a female friend of yours late on a Saturday night. She asks if she can borrow your handgun until she has a chance to buy one. She is trained and has no criminal record. If you loaned her your gun, this law would make you a felon. Would you support or oppose this law?” 

Survey participants now “opposed these background checks by a 44% to 42% margin.” 

Another follow-up asked: “A Boy Scout troop is going for their skeet shooting badges. If you lend the Scoutmaster your shotguns, you would be committing a felony.” Voters then, similarly, opposed the law by 45% to 42%.

How different would the results be if you took away the out-of-state money, favorable media coverage, and added more information about the negative consequences?

Remember, this is not about owning guns. It’s about your God-given right to defend the life He gave you. Guns or firearms are not mentioned in the Constitution. It’s about keeping and bearing whatever personal arms you choose to protect you and your family from criminals or against an oppressive government. 

Some people may not like this view, but the history of the Second Amendment is quite clear as to why the framers thought it was so important, they placed it second in the list of essential and natural rights. 

Once again, no one knows better than cops that people must be able to exercise their Second Amendment rights. As they say, minutes don’t matter when seconds count. Let’s just say, when I was an active cop, I’d much rather have investigated your use of self-defense than your murder.