If you have been keeping up with the news cycle then you already know that there is a new “study” that is being circulated that the anti-gun crowd is pretty darn excited about. I want to make few points about this whole thing. The first point I will makes is this. If there has ever been an example of bought and paid for “reasearch” to support an agenda this is it. The second point is that even if you were to take their “findings” at face value its not the death blow that they are trying to make this out to be. Lets delve into this, shall we…
To the first point…
This is some incredibly biased research. I would like to first point out that this study is UNPUBLISHED, however, it is still being fed to the news cycle for the simple purpose of pushing the anti-gun agenda. Not only that, it is specifically being shopped to sympathetic anti-gun media (First rolled out to The Trace, The Guardian).
Why is it unpublished? Because it is NOT peer-reviewed “yet”. The narrative being that ‘since it is sound-science it will of course be vetted in due time’. However, David Hemenway, who is one of the leads over at the Harvard Injury Control Research Center (Org who conducted this “study”) seems to have a history of conveniently never getting around to vetting his work. Why would that be? Because when he does vet his studies, his peers reject the work by a very large margin. And oh, BTW… David Hemenway wrote the anti-gun playbook for ‘guns as a public health crisis’ narrative, and he also wants to mandate smart guns.
I will also point out that the lead author of this “study”, Dr Deborah Azrael has a clear anti-gun bias.
The funding for the study seems to be traced back to the Russell Sage Foundation. While they claim to be non-partisan, go poke around their website for a little while and I’ll let you decide which side of the isle they sound like they are firmly entrenched on.
To the second point…
Lets first take these findings at face value for a moment, shall we? After all, the anti-gun side is acting like they have delivered a death blow to the 2nd Amendment. They are salivating over these findings, recirculating talking points to other media outlets, and writing article after article, and follow-ups to their follow-ups to their follow-up articles. I honestly have not seen them this excited since the children of Newtown were slaughtered.
So the question is, what did they conclusively find? The biggest talking point is that 50% of all of Americas guns are owned by 3% of gun owners. OK, So what? That still leaves 53 million gun owners owning 132 million guns by THEIR measure.
The other big point is that there is a special class of “Super Owners” that own at least 7 guns. Now, I will point out that this is by design. This is supposed to drive fear and drive a new talking point of it being ‘common sense’ to place limits on the number of guns people are allowed to own. Because ARSENAL!
But I digress…
Once again, So what? Owning 7 guns means that you have a gun for self defense (or two – spouse), you might hunt, you probably are smart enough to realize that a couple of .22 caliber guns can save you money on ammo, and you have probably inherited a gun or two from your family or in-laws somewhere over the years. In other words, you are a pretty darn typical gun owner. Heck, by their measure… the non-“Super Owners” own on average 2.5 guns. So in fact, I would estimate that about half of the non-“Super Owners” are one gun purchase or inheritance away from that 7-gun threshold anyway… but like I said, this is done by design to create fear and vilify a segment of law-abiding gun owners – Gun culture 1.0
The last main talking point that seems to be coming out of this is the idea that ‘people are buying guns because they are afraid of other people’. Well, yeah, self-defense is the major driver of gun sales and of gun culture 2.0… but do you notice the wording that they are pushing here? Its the same thing that we see in the UK… That no form of self defense is justified. Killing another human being is never acceptable even if they are attempting to rape/murder you and/or your loved ones. All I will say about this, is that the anti-gun crowd is running the European/Australian gun control playbook to a “T”.
Here is a chart from The Trace explaining the results from this super secret, nobody can look at it but us survey…
First, I would like to point out that only 4,000 people were surveyed. Yes, they are making sweeping end-all, be-all claims about 55 million people (Their number) based on what 4,000 people told them on one single day. Science is settled! – Its laughable.
Now, look at the numbers… and try to figure out what the margin of error is in this polling. Can you do it?
Male + Female for “Any firearm” adds up to 44%.
Age for “any firearm” adds up to 83%
Veteran + non-veteran adds up to 63%
Race adds up to 80% … I will point out that non-white adds up to 55%, but that didnt stop them from claiming that most gun owners are white even though white is only 25%.
“Grew up with a gun” only adds up to 61% Including “Don’t know”. Now, why would anyone ‘choose not to answer’ on a question like that like they might typically do for a question like race or sex?
There are very big holes in their numbers. Very big. The other thing that I will point out is that there is nothing definitive or conclusive about these numbers. Veteran status is a clear swing to one side or the other (but once again 37% either didnt understand that question or didnt answer). Male/Female is also one sided, but that could easily be explained away with mere sample bias (If anyone is ever allowed to see the study). Everything else ranges pretty evenly across the board.
I also love how at the top of the chart they proclaim that the greatest percentage of gun owners is over age 45. Do you see what they did there? By that same methodology I can claim that the greatest percentage of gun owners is age 18-44. I can also claim that urban/suburban gun owners outnumber rural gun owners. That is a huge narrative buster!
Oh, and of course we do have definitive evidence that gun owners always give pollsters the big F-U when asked about guns. So there is always that.
The bottom line here is that honestly “there is no there there”. Even when they moved heaven and earth to commission an extremely biased group of individuals to produce an extremely biased result to facilitate an anti-gun agenda… they still came up empty. Is this really the best that the anti-gunners can do?