On December 10, Pew Research released a poll showing Americans want gun rights, not gun control. On December 17, the Huffington Post responded by saying pollsters need to reword poll questions so gun control comes out on top.
PEW asked, “What do you think is more important — to protect the right of Americans to own guns or to control gun ownership?”
HuffPo admits the question has been worded the same “for decades”–and that those responding to it were supportive of gun control until recently–but now that gun control is a loser, they want Pew and other pollsters to ask the question differently.
They argue that “the decades-old polling question, which asks voters to prioritize gun rights or gun control, misrepresents what is at stake in the gun policy debate.” As proof of their point, HuffPo then pointed to Everytown for Gun Safety polls that elicited pro-gun control responses.
They did not mention Everytown’s penchant for finding evidence where there is none. Breitbart News previously reported that Everytown’s December 9 list of 100 school shootings includes non-school shootings, shootings that did not occur, and accidental discharges of legally possessed firearms.
Are reputable polling and research groups really supposed to trade their historically reliable and time-tested questions for the Everytown approach?
The Huffington Post seems to think so. They believe pollsters need to “seriously reevaluate” whether their questions “accurately capture voters’ preferences.”
Interact with AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.