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The Washington Post tries hard, (very, very hard) to come up with six things that they think the NRA won’t like about a recent Pew survey on guns. In fact, they tried so hard to come up with six things, they list out seven reasons in the article.*
- The overwhelming majority of gun owners are not members of the NRA
- Nearly 3 in 10 gun owners say the NRA has too much influence over gun laws in
- Some key NRA policies have little support among gun owners.
- Many gun owners want stricter gun laws.
- A quarter of gun owners say guns are very important to their personal identity.
- Americans say gun violence is shockingly common.
- Gun owners are three times as likely to have been shot as non-gun-owners.
Let’s break down each of those
six, ummm, seven things, and see if they really are things that the NRA will hate.
- The overwhelming majority of gun owners are not members of the NRA. No kidding. The overwhelming majority of car owners aren’t members of AAA, and the overwhelming majority of old people don’t belong to the AARP. However, those two organizations are still the dominant players in their respective demographic groups, and like those two groups, the NRA is the dominant force that speaks for the concerns of gun owners.
- Nearly 3 in 10 gun owners say the NRA has too much influence over gun laws in this country.Or to put it another way, nearly 70 percent of gun owners are satisfied with the NRA’s influence over gun laws in this country, or think the NRA doesn’t have enough influence over gun laws in this country. It’s all in how you spin the data, and this tidbit is spun rather poorly.
- Some key NRA policies have little support among gun owners.Or, 67% of gun owners have no opinion or support concealed carry without a permit. I’d also I’d really like to see the specific wording on the terrorism watch list question: I think you’ll find that everyone, gun owner or not, believes that keeping guns away from terrorists is a good idea. The question is, then, will this happen by using the so-called “no fly” list, a list that has very serious civil rights issues.
- Many gun owners want stricter gun laws. Once again, this is portrayed as something the NRA should be worried about, rather than stating the obvious fact that majority of gun owners believe that the NRA is on the right side of the issue. For myself, I don’t want stricter gun laws, I want better enforcement of existing laws, such as actually enforcing straw purchase laws and put people behind bars when they buy guns for felons.
- A quarter of gun owners say guns are very important to their personal identity. I’m in the “top three percent” of gun owners, and even I wouldn’t say guns are important to my personal identity. My desire to protect myself springs from my desire to keep my loved ones safe, and a firearm is merely one of the more effective ways to do that. If I could keep them as safe by other means, I’d use those means instead of a gun.
- Americans say gun violence is shockingly common. That’s troubling, but I fail to see how that is something that the largest firearms training organization in the world should be worried about, other than it’s an indication that there is more need for safe, effective training in how and when to use a gun.
- Gun owners are three times as likely to have been shot as non-gun-owners. Wait, weren’t there supposed to six things on this list? Where did this one come from? Well, since it’s here, let’s talk about it. In the article itself, the author admits that gun owners are more likely to get shot because they’re around guns more often, and accidents do happen. And in other news, people who own scissors are more likely to be hurt while running with scissors.
One interesting tidbit in the survey that’s not mentioned as something that the NRA should love is the fact that two-thirds of today’s gun owners say they own a gun for personal safety. Not hunting. Not target shooting. Not collecting. Personal safety. And yet, despite this fact, the Democrats continue to conflate the Second Amendment with the right to go hunting or the right to shoot skeet, as if the men who wrote the Constitution were worried about the 13 colonies being overrun by white-tailed deer and clay pigeons, rather than a tyrannical, oppressive government.
* Look at the URL of the story: /news/wonk/wp/2017/06/22/7-things-the-nra-will-hate-in-pews-new-gun-survey-and-5-things-it-will-love/. Somewhere along the line, they decided to change the headline, but nobody told the person who posted it online. Layers and layers of fact-checkers, indeed.