Poll Backing Biden On Crime Proves How Useless Reports on Polls Are

(AP Photo/John Locher, File)

Polls matter. Polling tells us the will of the American people. That’s why gun control groups routinely point to polls that show public support for gun control.

Of course, that’s all a bunch of BS. We all know it is.

Polling really just gives us a glimpse of what a small group of people believes. You need a lot of polls telling you the same thing before you should even think about taking it seriously.

Which is why I’m not overly worked up about this one.

A large majority of voters agree that 2021’s rise in violent crime in the United States is a significant, increasing problem, according to a new Morning Consult/Politico poll, but Democrats and Republicans have starkly different views about its contributing factors and how to fix it.

Roughly 3 in 4 voters (78 percent) said they believe violent crime is a “major problem” in the United States, and a similar share (73 percent) said it is on the rise after weeks of news about shootings and the proliferation of videos online showing violent incidents nationwide.

In the meeting, Biden said that while there’s no “one-size-fit-all approach” to curbing the violence, “we know there are some things that work,” including “stemming the flow of firearms.”

That message – tying the increase in violent crime to the accessibility of guns – is resonating with much of the U.S. electorate, especially Democrats.

In the meeting, Biden said that while there’s no “one-size-fit-all approach” to curbing the violence, “we know there are some things that work,” including “stemming the flow of firearms.”

That message – tying the increase in violent crime to the accessibility of guns – is resonating with much of the U.S. electorate, especially Democrats.

Roughly half of voters (52 percent), including 3 in 4 Democrats and 47 percent of independents, identified “too many guns on our streets” as a “major reason” that violent crime is increasing in the United States. A similar share of voters (49 percent) said the defunding of police departments – a rallying cry of some liberal activists that has been weaponized against Democrats despite its rarity in practice – has contributed in a big way to the crime surge, driven by 74 percent of Republicans.

So that many people think too many guns are on our streets? It’s all the evidence some will need that we need to curtail gun rights. It’s even one of the bullet points at the top of the article, so you know it’s important.

Yet there’s more to the story than that.

When it comes to addressing crime, roughly 3 in 5 voters agree that stricter enforcement of current gun control laws, hiring social workers to help police defuse situations with people having emotional problems and increasing funding for police departments would at least somewhat decrease the rate of violent crime in the United States.

In other words, roughly 60 percent of those polled favored stricter enforcement of current gun laws over passing new ones. This, however, got buried beneath a whole lot of other stuff that gives the quick skimmer the impression that gun control is the answer the American people are clamoring for.

Hell, that’s what I thought they were pushing on my first read-through as well.

The truth is, though, that nothing could be further from the truth. This matches with a couple of other recent polls that also found the majority of people want stricter enforcement of current laws, rather than still more gun control.

Personally, I don’t want any of those laws. However, if you’re going to tell me that we need additional gun control laws when you’re not even enforcing the existing ones worth a damn, I’m going to look at you like you’ve lost your mind. If those laws are going to be on the books, especially with regard to things like straw buys or criminals attempting to buy a gun, then use them before you come begging for more infringements on my rights.

Dec 04, 2021 11:30 AM ET