proposed laws

PA Bill Number: HB2291

Title: In firearms and other dangerous articles, further providing for limitation on the regulation of firearms and ammunition; and, in home rule and ...

Description: In firearms and other dangerous articles, further providing for limitation on the regulation of firearms and ammunition; and, in home rule and ... ...

Last Action: Referred to JUDICIARY

Last Action Date: Feb 18, 2020

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PA Firearms Law Seminar with Lodestone Training and Consulting - 03/7/2020
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Zem Zem Shrine Club 2525 W 38th Street, Erie, PA

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Dana Loesch Dismantles ABC-Washington Post Poll :: 09/11/2019

On Monday, I wrote about a poll from ABC and the Washington Post. I offered some thoughts on the poll, mostly taking the numbers at face value, which I really know better than to do. However, the numbers appeared to be a slight improvement over previous polls, which may have fed into my own confirmation bias. It told me something I sort of liked–it could have been more likable, but I saw it in a “glass half full” kind of way–and failed to delve much deeper.

Dana Loesch, however, had no issue looking under the surface.

The polling here is problematic. I’ll explain why in a thread — and on air.

— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) September 9, 2019

It’s like the people crafting the questions weren’t familiar enough with current law to accurately conduct polling. BGCs are standard (unless you’re in antiquities or legal and still-regulated transfer, neither of which are part of income) and online buys MUST go thru FFL.

— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) September 9, 2019

Apparently recidivism, pattern of reducing penalty for or dismissing altogether charges for felony gun crimes isn’t part of this, despite driving the homicide rate of felonious activity involving an illegally possessed firearm. Also not mentioned: actually following current law.

— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) September 9, 2019

The likelihood that those being polled think this means full-auto firearms is high. That’s the error in using made-up terms.

— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) September 9, 2019

I owe everyone an apology. I didn’t go as in-depth on that discussion as I should have. Dana did my job for me, and there’s really no excuse for that. None whatsoever.

Now, I don’t necessarily agree with everything Loesch notes. For example, I’m not sure most people are thinking full-auto capability when they think of the term “assault weapon.” I’m sure some do, but I don’t know that the numbers are all that high. Then again, that’s just my hunch versus something I can readily prove, so it’s not worth arguing about. Especially considering some of her other points.

For example, her point about the sample size is right on. Fewer than a thousand people nationwide isn’t a very good sample size on a national political issue. It’s small enough that you’re likely to get some statistical noise thrown in there, especially if you poll heavily in urban areas.

There is also a high degree of ignorance suggested by some of the questions. Particularly the one regarding background checks.

In a lot of people’s minds, the “gun show loophole” is that you may have to get a background check at a store, but not at a gun show. That’s not accurate. Licensed gun dealers are required to undertake a background check with every sale regardless of where it is. If they sell it to you out of the trunk of their car, they’re required to conduct a background check. They don’t get to skip that because of geography.

Yet most people don’t really understand that. They also think you can buy a gun online and have it shipped to your house, which you can’t. Not legally.

Support for universal background checks hinges not on an understanding of existing law, but on scare tactics that misrepresent facts to overstate the potential risk.

Loesch did a fine job dismantling that poll in her Twitter thread, and she should be commended for it. Again, I apologize for dropping the ball on it as it’s my job to catch this kind of thing too. You all deserve better from me.

To Dana, thanks for picking up not just my slack but the slack of others as well who should have been more critical of the poll itself rather than just focused on the findings. While those can and probably should be discussed, this poll shouldn’t be taken as anything other than a glimpse at what some people in the American population seem to think about gun issues. Nothing more, nothing less.

Tom Knighton is a Navy veteran, a former newspaperman, a novelist, and a blogger and lifetime shooter. He lives with his family in Southwest Georgia.