Todd Frankel is one of the Washington Post reporters covering Second Amendment issues, and is a nice enough guy to chat with over the phone.
Unfortunately, Mr. Frankel suffers from the same delusions about how the public perceives the struggle between gun rights supporters and gun prohibitionists as do many inside the Beltway, the media in general, and in gun control groups themselves.
That was painfully evident in his newest contribution to the Post Wonkblog, “Support for gun control isn’t dead, new poll shows. It just matters how you frame the question.”
Frankel’s post concerns itself with studies run by John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, a school financed and dedicated to supporting the gun control policies of New York’s bitter billionaire, Michael Bloomberg, and his tyrannical quest to disarm the American people.
Bloomberg’s School of Gun Control Propaganda (which is what they should be called if there was a “truth-in-labeling” law applied) has continued to run polls in hopes of finding public support for gun control. That’s an increasingly tough challenge.
And so they’ve discovered that if they can’t get the polls to provide them with the answers they want, then they need to change the polling questions:
So the Hopkins professors went back and asked the same questions earlier this year. And once again, the poll found strong support among by both gun owners and non-owners for limits on who can possess firearms and how they are sold.
“This suggests America still supports at relatively high levels a range of policies,” said Colleen Barry, associate professor and the study’s lead author.
The results were published in the Preventive Medicine journal.
Barry said it boils down to how the question is asked.
The Pew poll pitted gun rights vs. gun control, asking respondents which one they thought was more important.
The results appeared to show Americans have lost faith in gun control.
But drill down into specific policies, and you’ll find a broad base of support, Barry said.
The Hopkins 2015 study found large majorities favored gun regulations that are stronger than those currently seen in federal or most state laws.
For example, support for background checks for all gun sales stood above 80 percent for both gun owners and non-gun owners.
And even where support dropped between 2013 and 2015, clear majorities remained. People who supported an assault weapons ban fell from 69 percent to 63 percent. Banning large-capacity ammunition magazines went from 68.4 to 59.9 percent.
“The big picture shows Americans support these policies,” Barry said.
They just don’t support gun control in the abstract.
Frankel’s conclusions about what this study revealed is 180-degrees off from reality.
Those policies, from background checks to “assault weapon” bans, to magazine restrictions, are the abstract ideas and concepts.
Where these ideas/concepts continually fail in the real world is when they are forced to go beyond fuzzy “feel good” concepts into actual language in legislation, and and people get to see the details… and the concrete liberties that would be lost for vague promises of “safety” that have never materialized when a gun control bill passes.
For example, “assault weapons” sound scary as a concept to the layperson, but when you explain to them in detail what an “assault weapon” is in the eyes of gun control supporters—merely a self-loading firearm with a number of arbitrary cosmetic features that do not impact rate of fire, accuracy, or lethality—then the support crumbles for “assault weapons” legislation crumbles among your average voters.
The same thing occurs with “high capacity” magazines. “High capacity magazines” sound scary when supporters of gun control attempt to frame their questions in their misleading polls. When you explain that “high capacity” (greater than ten rounds) is an utterly arbitrary number without any science or reason behind it, and that the standard capacity of most modern firearms is between 12-30 rounds, then that argument, too, falls flat.
We’ve seen this happen time and again around the nation on the state and federal level with various attempts to sell gun control, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Americans simply do not support gun control when facts and evidence are brought to bear against hysteria and vague promises.
“Gun control” has vague support as a feel good concept, but it isn’t viable when the citizenry is educated about the role and importance of firearms in maintaining liberty and in personal defense. Objective analysis of the pros and cons of the guns rights vs. gun control argument always favors gun rights.
These are the truisms of the gun rights battlefield, and perhaps why gun control supporters will never acknowledge that these realities exist.