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Thread: Poll Shows NRA Members Are More Moderate Than Their Leaders, Support Some Restrictions On Firearms

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    http://thinkprogress.org/2009/12/10/nra-poll/

    Since the 2008 presidential campaign season, gun associations have been fear-mongering about President Obama to boost their membership, increase their relevancy, and fuel gun sales. The National Rifle Association (NRA) claimed that Obama has a “a deep-rooted hatred of firearm freedoms” and spent tens of millions of dollars during the campaign lobbying against Obama trying to portray him as a threat to the Second Amendment. Even during the transition, the NRA claimed that Obama was discriminating against gun owners in his hiring for government positions.

    The NRA’s campaign has been based almost entirely on falsehoods. As FactCheck.org noted, the NRA largely dismissed “Obama’s stated position [on gun rights] as ‘rhetoric‘ and substitute[d] its own interpretation of his record as a secret ‘plan.’” More recently, the Gun Owners of America has been mobilizing against health care by claiming that “wellness and prevention” provisions would lead the Obama administration to issue a “no guns” decree.

    Part of the NRA’s strategy of instilling fear is a “never-pass-any-new-gun-laws imperative,” which lawmakers often abide by out of concern that they will be punished at the polls by gun owners. But in his Washington Post column today, E.J. Dionne highlights a new survey of 832 gun owners (including 401 NRA members) by conservative pollster Frank Luntz. The poll finds that NRA members are “more reasonable than the organization’s leaders and supporters in Congress in understanding the urgency of keeping guns out of the wrong hands:
    86 percent of all gun owners believe the country can “do more to stop criminals from getting guns while also protecting the rights of citizens to freely own them.”
    78 percent of NRA members support “requiring gun owners to alert police if their guns are lost or stolen.”
    82 percent of NRA members support “prohibiting people on the terrorist watch lists from purchasing guns.”
    69 percent of NRA members support “requiring all gun sellers at gun shows to conduct criminal background checks of the people buying guns.”
    Interestingly, NRA members seem to be overwhelmingly against Rep. Todd Tiahrt’s (R-KS) amendment that would prohibit law enforcement agencies from accessing gun trace data and require the FBI to “destroy certain background check records within 24 hours,” which the NRA supports. Sixty-nine percent of NRA members said that they support the statement that the federal government “should not restrict the police’s ability to access, use, and share data that helps them enforce federal, state and local gun laws.”


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    Poll shows NRA members support gun regulations

    When it comes to passing sensible gun laws, Congress typically offers Profiles in Cowardice.

    The National Rifle Association wields power that would make an Afghan warlord jealous because the organization is thought to command legions of one-issue voters ready to punish any deviation from the never-pass-any-new-gun-laws imperative. Many legislators fear that casting a single vote for even a smidgen of restraint on weapons sales could be politically lethal.

    But imagine if members of the NRA were more reasonable than the organization's leaders and supporters in Congress in understanding the urgency of keeping guns out of the wrong hands.

    NRA leaders, meet your members.

    It turns out that the people in the ranks actually are much wiser than their lobbyists. In a move that should revolutionize the gun debate, Mayors Against Illegal Guns decided to go over the heads of Beltway types and poll gun owners and NRA members directly.

    The survey, which will be released soon, wasn't conducted by some liberal outfit, either, but by Frank Luntz, the Republican pollster lately famous for providing talking points against the Democrats' health care bills. [My emphasis]

    “I support the NRA,” Luntz insists. What he doesn't go for is the “slippery slope argument” that casts any new gun law as the first step toward confiscation. “When the choice is between national security and terrorism versus no limits on owning guns,” Luntz says, “I'm on the side of national security and fighting terrorism.”
    Most NRA members seem to agree.

    In his survey of 832 gun owners, including 401 NRA members, Luntz found that 82 percent of NRA members supported “prohibiting people on the terrorist watch lists from purchasing guns,” 69 percent favored “requiring all gun sellers at gun shows to conduct criminal background checks of the people buying guns” and 78 percent backed “requiring gun owners to alert police if their guns are lost or stolen.” Among gun owners who did not belong to the NRA, the numbers were even higher.

    It's true that these gun owners, including NRA members, don't buy broader forms of gun control. For example, 59 percent of NRA members opposed “requiring every gun owner to register each gun he or she owns as part of a national gun registry,” though I was surprised that 30 percent actually supported this.

    Those surveyed supported the idea that gun laws and gun rights complement each other. The poll offered this statement: “We can do more to stop criminals from getting guns while protecting the rights of citizens to freely own them.” Among all gun owners and NRA members, 86 percent agreed.

    NRA members also oppose the idea behind the so-called Tiahrt amendments passed by Congress. Named for Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Kan., the rules prevent law enforcement officials from having full access to gun trace data from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and require the FBI to destroy certain background check records after just 24 hours. Talk about handcuffing the police. The mayors' poll offered respondents this statement, antithetical to the Tiahrt rules: “The federal government should not restrict the police's ability to access, use and share data that helps them enforce federal, state and local gun laws.” Among NRA members, 69 percent agreed.

    This survey should empower Congress to take at least some baby steps down the safe path the mayors' group is trying to blaze. They could start by overturning the Tiahrt rules and keeping guns from those on terror watch lists.

    Mayor Tom Barrett of Milwaukee said in an interview that he and his colleagues are trying to send a clear message to gun owners: “If you have a gun you use for hunting or for self-defense in your home, I don't want your gun.” What he does want are tougher rules on purchases that might have kept six of his city's police officers from being shot with guns bought at the same gun store. A lot of gun owners get that.



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    Luntz found that 82 percent of NRA members supported “prohibiting people on the terrorist watch lists from purchasing guns,”
    Well, that just shows that 82% aren't very smart! EVERY SINGLE LAW ABIDING CITIZEN is against allowing terrorists to have guns. The problem is who the government determines is a terrorist and puts on the "watch list". The socialists currently in Washington have already said that soldiers returning from war are possible terrorists. Anyone with one of those "Don't Tread On Me" flags might also be a terrorist. How about anyone that doesn't believe in socialism or that doesn't worship Mao as their favorite philosopher? Maybe anyone that watches Fox News or attends a tea party rally? Those radical Christians - DEFINITELY!

    This is NOT an issue about slippery slopes. This is about preventing an oppressive government from taking away our guns. Guns are not only for hunting and defending us in our houses. One of the main purposes of a well-armed citizenry is to protect us FROM THE GOVERNMENT! Allowing the government to control people by putting them on a "watch list" is WAY PAST A SLIPPERY SLOPE!

    The poll offered this statement: “We can do more to stop criminals from getting guns while protecting the rights of citizens to freely own them.” Among all gun owners and NRA members, 86 percent agreed.
    That was a VERY poorly worded statement. Again, everyone is against criminals having guns. However, I am NOT for punishing law-abiding gun owners with stricter laws. There are PLENTY of laws on the books RIGHT NOW that are not being properly enforced. The solution to criminals with guns is to PUNISH THE CRIMINALS. A great example is the shooter in Washington State. That scumbag should have been in prison his entire life. However, a bunch of do-gooder liberals (starting with Gov. Mike Huckabee) felt sorry for the scumbag (I mean disadvantaged victim of society) and let him out of prison. The result, a police officer assaulted; a child raped, 2 robberies, and 4 dead police officers! The convicted felon was ALREADY PROHIBITED from possessing a gun. Here's a newsflash: CRIMINALS DON'T OBEY THE LAW!

    Let me cut to the end. The answer to the gun crime problem is NOT more gun laws. The answer is to allow (and encourage) both open carry and concealed carry by all law-abiding citizens (which deters violent crime) AND to severly punish criminals.

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    I smell some fish here does any body else?

    I would like to know how Frank Luntz gathers up those 832 gun owners for his poll before I agree with his results. There are probably over 100,000,000 of us in the county, so a sample size of 801 is not all that convincing. At the same time, sampling 401 NRA members out of over 4,000,000 sounds pretty small too. How were these people picked. Where they a bunch of liberal yankees that just happened to like hunting? Where they from southern new england? The upper mid west? west coast? cities? rural areas? These are important questions that need answered before I will accept the validity of his study.

    I am also leary of anyone who claims to support the NRA then immediately goes off on some rant about all the things they do wrong, cuz they says you clearly don't support what they do. It sounds like Luntz has a personal beef with gun owners.

    That being said, the NRA does get kinda liberal sometimes, but currently they are the best chance of getting any meaningful reforms done. Since the last eleciton, we've only had pro-gun bills considered by congress such as the repeal of the national parks ban, repeal of the amtrak ban, and an attept at national reciprocity (which got 57 votes to end the fillibuster) with they help, and not advancement on anti-gun legislation nationally.

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    How were these people picked.

    I'm sure questionaires were evenly distributed among a wide range of college campuses asking for NRA members to volunteer for a survey.

    Wouldn't asking NRA members of Berkely, NYU, Harvard, Yale, Georgetown, Virginia Tech, Colorado State, and MIT provide a wide range of results considering that they are distributed fairly evenly across the nation?

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    Link to the PDF of the survey questions and results:

    http://www.mayorsagainstillegalguns...._responses.pdf

    The survey seems to be broadly representative. The real trick herewas inhow the questions were worded. Also check out the responses where the respondents were asked to weight their priorities against one another. Turns out that the respondents weight their attachment to second amendment values alot higher than their desires to modify the law to go after criminals.

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    The Donkey wrote:
    Link to the PDF of the survey questions and results:

    http://www.mayorsagainstillegalguns...._responses.pdf

    The survey seems to be broadly representative. The real trick herewas inhow the questions were worded. Also check out the responses where the respondents were asked to weight their priorities against one another. Turns out that the respondents weight their attachment to second amendment values alot higher than their desires to modify the law to go after criminals.
    Any survey that is connected to Mayor Bloomberg's anti-gun group Mayors Against Illegal Guns, is suspect and not to be trusted without some serious review.

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    Well nobody surveyed me. I AM the NRA, I VOTE! And I want ALL of the conflicting and stupid laws repealed.
    "Research has shown that a 230 grain lead pellet placed just behind the ear at 850 FPS results in a permanent cure for violent criminal behavior."
    "If you are not getting Flak, you are not over the target"
    "186,000 Miles per second! ... Not just a good idea ... It's the law!"

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    State Researcher lockman's Avatar
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    Can we be sure the did not poll members of the National Restaurant Association instead of the National Rifle Association?

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    The Donkey wrote:
    Link to the PDF of the survey questions and results:

    http://www.mayorsagainstillegalguns...._responses.pdf

    The survey seems to be broadly representative. The real trick herewas inhow the questions were worded. Also check out the responses where the respondents were asked to weight their priorities against one another. Turns out that the respondents weight their attachment to second amendment values alot higher than their desires to modify the law to go after criminals.
    Notice the logo on the cover. "the Word Doctors." Nice.

    Based on the responses, it sounds like they called a lotFudds.

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    Word Doctors is Luntz's company.

    Perhaps someone trusted and competent with this level of statistics (Dr. John R. Lott, Jr., author of More Guns, Less Crime) should be consulted on the competence of this survey.

    ISTR that a survey of about 1000 individuals can properly represent the US population. If that is so, then 400 ought to represent the NRA (four million members strong) or its voting population (that is not advertised).

    I participate in a gun forum, OpenCarry.org's forum. Some correspondents there are disparaging Luntz' Gun Owner Survey for various parochial reasons characterized by misunderstanding of statistics in general and distrust of statisticians.

    Will you, please, examine the survey and comment in a way that a distrusting layman might understand. If you wish, I will be intermediary.

    [ ... ]

    The criticisms at this time are of the selection and numbers of the respondents, as biased and non-representative, and of the wording of particular questions.

    Thank you sincerely and Merry Christmas,

    Doug Huffman, Washington Island, Wisconsin

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    Wiki on Frank Luntz

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Luntz

    Snips:

    Luntz' specialty is “testing language and finding words that will help his clients sell their product or turn public opinion on an issue or a candidate.”[[/suP]

    In 2000 he was censured by the National Council on Public Polls "for allegedly mischaracterizing on MSNBC the results of focus groups he conducted during the [2000] Republican Convention." In September 2004, MSNBC dropped Luntz from its planned coverage of that year's presidential debate, following a letter from Media Matters that outlined Luntz's GOP ties and questionable polling methodology.[13][/suP][14][/suP] In a video piece, entertainers and libertarians Penn & Teller lambasted Luntz for his comment that the key to survey polling is "to ask a question in the way that you get the right answer". The two also popularized the phrase "F**k you Frank" in reference to the bias of Luntz.[15[/suP]

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    NRA on the Poll:



    Bloomberg's Billions Buy Opinions



    Friday, December 11, 2009





    Understanding the Latest Anti-Gun "Poll"

    This week, anti-gun New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg's anti-gun group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, released the findings of a poll conducted by a political consulting firm called "The Word Doctors," whose slogan is "It's not what you say, it's what people hear." Word Doctors' president is a pollster who has been reprimanded by the American Association for Public Opinion Research and censured by the National Council on Public Polls, and who says that the key to polling is "to ask a question in the way that you get the right answer."


    At some other time in our nation's history, an organization like this would not have been commissioned to conduct a poll, and perhaps it would not even have existed. At a minimum, its poll would have been considered biased and rejected by every newspaper in the country.

    But today, as the distinction between editorials and news has become blurred, information is treated so superficially that a catchy word or two is enough to get someone elected to public office, and some in positions of authority cannot conceive of the concept of shame.

    Thus, earlier this week, Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne and Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) excitedly called attention to the bought-and-paid-for Word Doctors "poll," which claimed that a majority of NRA members and other gun owners support Lautenberg's bills to prohibit the possession of firearms by people placed (often mistakenly) on the FBI terrorist watchlist (S.1317), to require gun show promoters to send ledgers of customer information to the federal government (S.843), and to let the FBI retain records for 180 days of every gun purchase approved by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) (S.2820). The poll also claimed support for Bloomberg's proposal to rescind the Tiahrt Amendment, which prevents unfettered release of BATFE firearm trace data. (Bloomberg, of course, wants to use the data in lawsuits against the firearms industry.)

    But did the poll really show such strong support? Certainly the participants didn't have much information to go on. The poll didn't explain that the watchlist has been under fire by the Department of Justice's Inspector General's office and the ACLU for improperly including the names of innocent people, and that many innocent people have been mistaken for those who are on the watchlist. It didn't explain that Lautenberg's gun show bill would do much more than require NICS checks on private gun sales at gun shows.

    The poll mischaracterized the issue of NICS record retention. Instead of informing poll participants that the accused Ft. Hood murderer had been investigated by the FBI and found to not constitute a terror threat months before he went through a NICS check to purchase the gun he allegedly used in the murders, the poll simply asked whether "the FBI should be able to access and keep information about gun purchases by terror suspects in cases similar to [the accused Ft. Hood killer's]?" Worse, Word Doctors misinformed poll participants by telling them that the accused killer was still under investigation at the time he purchased the gun.

    The poll also asked if participants agreed that "The federal government should not restrict the police's ability to access, use, and share data that helps them enforce federal, state and local gun laws," when in fact the Tiahrt Amendment fully allows access to trace information, as long as it's related to crimes that they're actually investigating.

    And the poll also claimed that a majority of gun owners want to "balance" their rights against the need to stop criminals from getting guns. But what it actually asked was whether gun owners agreed that "We can do more to stop criminals from getting guns while also protecting the rights of citizens to freely own them." Coupled with the poll's findings that an overwhelming majority of gun owners believe "Criminals . . . should be punished to the maximum extent of the law" and "Law-abiding Americans should have the freedom to choose how to protect themselves, based on their personal situation," it's fair to conclude that gun owners understand the two concepts aren't mutually exclusive. Since the ideas are compatible, they don't require a "balance," as suggested by gun control supporters.











    Copyright 2009, National Rifle Association of America, Institute for Legislative Action.
    This may be reproduced. It may not be reproduced for commercial purposes.
    11250 Waples Mill Road, Fairfax, VA 22030 800-392-8683


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    Regular Member KansasMustang's Avatar
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    The terrorist watch list now includes, as I heard it, Veterans and anyone thought to be a "Tea Party" member etc. So I am so against that particular thought pattern. The anti-gunners/anti-Constitution prattle will stop at nothing to get their agenda through. Witness the latest end-around by the EPA on CO2 being a polutant that harms people,,dangerous stuff what we breathe out,,sheesh. The Progressives are about to find their collective asses out of a job. How's that hope and change workin for ya now??
    Keep your powder dry!
    Laws that forbid the carrying of arms... disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man. Thomas Jefferson

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    I have never before heard of the American Association for Public Opinion Research or the National Council on Public Polls or of their standards of performance or of their credence by the NRA.

    Anyone at all familiar with writing, taking or interpreting a poll must know that "the key to polling is 'to ask a question in the way that you get the right answer'." The only other opinion data gathering protocol, the collection of convenient data acquired for some other unrelated purpose, is as easily confounded.

    "At any other time in our nation's history..." is a mute and bald strawman. Our nation is founded on polls as democratic elections bought and paid by the political hegemony.

    Whatever the "claims", by the sponsors or by the NRA, the premises to the conclusions are published and obvious to even the casual observer. The testing protocol is even hinted at with the numbers in the two samples specified with some demographic data. Is the demographic data skewed in a way that might suggest that the samples are non representative?

    If a criminal may be properly disbarred his rights under color of law then we all may be legally disarmed merely by sufficiently lowering the bar of 'crime'.

    Either we are equal or we are not. Good people ought to be armed where they will, with wits and guns and the truth. NRA ******* God damn the Obamination.

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