I don’t remember a time when we saw so many polls on support for gun control. However, it now seems not a week goes by that we don’t see yet another poll telling us all about how most people support gun control. The numbers look about the same as they usually do, yet we’re going to continue to see them.
However, some are effectively meaningless. For example, finding out there’s broad gun control support in New Jersey, of all places.
lmost all of the state’s residents, 92%, said they backed universal background checks and increased funding for mental health services.
The poll found that 82% backed allowing police to seize guns from persons the courts deemed to be dangerous, and 67% backed a nationwide ban on assault-style weapons.
Earlier this year, New Jersey enacted a law limiting the maximum magazine capacity, and 66% of residents said they’d support a law doing the same on a national level.
Most residents, 58%, backed a law requiring police to only purchase firearms from companies that promote gun safety.
It seems that only about 30 percent of the state support loosening of the state’s concealed carry laws, though.
This isn’t exactly shocking. Not from New Jersey. It’s also meaningless as there’s no chance in hell of New Jersey’s lawmakers not backing gun control to some degree or another.
However, I still can’t help wonder just what questions were asked and how they were asked.
You see, that’s a very important part of polling. Questions need to be asked in just the right away to get a true response, but questions about guns are often written by people who don’t understand guns or gun laws.
For example, how many of the 82 percent who backed red flag laws understand that the courts deem someone to be dangerous based exclusively on the testimony of others, none of whom are necessarily qualified to render a judgment on someone’s psychological condition? How many understand that a passing comment might be enough to strip someone of their Second Amendment rights?
The questions just ask if people deemed a threat should have their guns taken away. Almost no one will oppose that, unsurprisingly. There’s nothing in there to suggest due process isn’t part of the procedure, but it’s not.
How many of those 58 percent who back requiring police to buy guns from companies that “promote gun safety” even have a clue what that’s supposed to even mean? Do any of them know if gun companies are doing anything currently?
Then there’s the idea of universal background checks. I suspect few of those 92 percent have a clue just how few transactions don’t undergo a background check on a daily basis other than outright black market sales.
You see, polls are often expecting people to understand the facts on issues and are asking very broad questions. Hell, there are a large number of people who think “semi-automatic” and “fully-automatic” are the same thing when it comes to firearms. No wonder so many of them are scared spitless of so-called assault weapons.
Polls are less than useless when it comes to guns, these days, and it’s mostly because the people being asked about these things just don’t necessarily know much about the issue.