Posted by Curt on 28 April, 2013 at 3:11 pm. 3 comments already!


John Lott

Despite assurances by the likes of Nate Silver that these are solid polls showing “Overwhelming majorities of 80 to 90 percent of the public say they favor background checks,” I have previously noted my skepticism of these claims.  To me, it wasn’t too surprising that the Senate voted down the gun control bill about 10 days ago.  My concern is that people were really just being asked about whether they wanted to keep criminals from getting guns, not about the particular legislation being voted on by the Senate.  Well, now there is another poll by the PEW Research Center that I think is much more accurate.  It asks people whether they are happy that the Senate gun control bill was stopped.  Apparently, both Republicans and Independents are generally happy that it was stopped.  My guess is that Republicans should pay a lot more attention to what Independents and Republicans wanted than Democrats who would never have voted for the Republicans anyway.  It looks to me that Republicans voted the way that their constituents wanted.  So Republicans shouldn’t really care that among all voters the poll showed support of 47 to 39 percent.  They should look at the results by political affiliation.

Many, such as the New York Times, paint a picture of Senators who both simultaneously opposed the will of 90 percent of their voters and at the same time quake in fear of the NRA. Here is a piece by Joe Nocera at the New York Times on April 19th:

The four Democrats — along with many Republicans — quake in fear of the National Rifle Association. In 1994, Baucus voted in favor of the assault rifle ban — and then nearly lost his re-election bid. He never again stood up to the N.R.A. Yes, his phones were undoubtedly jammed this week. Still, it seemed to me that his unanswered phone was a potent symbol. I could almost picture him cowering in his office, waiting for us to stop asking why he sold the country down the river. . . .

Note in Baucus’ case, he is retiring and yet he still voted against the so-called “universal background check” bill.  Might Mr. Nocera re-examine his piece?

Read more

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x