MSNBC misses mark with Texas gun law survey

MSNBC misses mark with Texas gun law survey

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WASHINGTON June 2, 2014 — MSNBC has posted a poll on gun control in Texas which is likely to yet again inflame the gun debate in America.

The poll, which will be cited as evidence of the gun lobby’s impending meltdown, was conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research. The firm leans decidedly left, evidenced by the fact that it congratulates the election of several Democrats on their news feed.

MSNBC does some interesting analysis on the poll, starting off strong with a Texas sized statement: “The majority of Texans support stronger laws to prevent gun violence.”

The survey included “1,000 likely 2016 voters” on the issue of enacting new gun laws in Texas. The poll covers a number of issues concerning guns in Texas, including thirty round magazines, military style “assault rifles,” and the idea of a registry for the mentally ill to prevent them from purchasing firearms.

MSNBC emphasized one particular data point from the poll.

“Eighty-five percent of Texas residents recently said they favor background checks on all gun sales, according to a poll released Sunday by Americans for Responsible Solutions.”

American for Responsible Solutions was founded, and is currently run, by Gabby Giffords.

It is hardly surprising that 85 percent of Texas residents said they favor background checks on all sales, according to the poll. With the exception of private sales, which make up a very small percentage of the market, you need a background check to buy a gun.

MSNBC cited different information. They hauled out a 1997 DOJ report which shows that 40 percent of firearm sales were conducted without a background check.

Interestingly, that same study identifies the group most likely to own firearms in the United States as college educated white men in rural areas.

MSNBC also claims that “79 percent of Texas Republicans and 65 percent of National Rifle Association members in the state said they prefer background checks, according to the poll. Seventy-nine percent of Texans also support denying convicted domestic abusers access to firearms.”

However the research firm does not provide any support for this claim on the poll. The poll also does not mention the political party of those surveyed, but they go out of their way to mention in particular the numbers they found among Latina women. No political party information, no indication as to the level of knowledge each respondent had concerning gun laws, but there was enough information to discern that Latina women in particular were very fond of gun laws.

“Forty-four percent of Americans said they opposed open-carry laws, and 39 percent supported such legislation, according to a Huffington Post/YouGov poll released Monday.”

Here is the poll.

According to the Huffington Post, 44 percent of Americans are “opposed to open-carry laws.” That particular poll which was supported and endorsed by the scion of the Liberal media polled 352 Democrats, 416 Independents, and 232 Republicans.

All of this is business as usual, nothing in here should surprise anyone.

But when you look at the actual poll conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner it yields some interesting results.


Seventy-eight percent favor keeping firearms from “mentally ill people.”

The middle issues are easy wins, saying no to these particular questions makes for an awkward interview.

Responses to the “assault weapon” question are split nearly down the middle, at 50 percent in favor of a ban, and 48 percent against. This is a loaded question and decidedly biased. Calling something an “assault weapon” gives it a negative connotation that is likely to skew the response. “Assault weapon” is not an NICS or ATF classification for a firearm; there is no “assault weapon” category on the 4473 form. This question was meant to divide and to get people to answer in favor of the ban.

Forty-nine percent do not support a ban on magazines holding more than 15 rounds. MSNBC does not mention this at all, likely because it does not help their cause.

MSNBC also does not mention the numbers on open carry for CCW holders. According to the poll, 54 percent supported open carry, with 44 percent against. Why didn’t this make it into the story?

The poll makes it clear that those surveyed do not want teachers and students carrying firearms on campuses.

Then we get to the end of the poll. Take a look.


This graphic, right from the researchers’ website, shows that Hispanics, especially Hispanic Women, want tougher laws concerning gun sales. That’s what it looks like it says. But why are there two sets of responses? This poll shows greater support for restrictive gun laws at the end of the survey compared to the beginning. What questions were asked, or what information was provided, that would sway the answers of the respondents?

The MSNBC article may be used as evidence that one of the reddest states in the Union is not as pro-gun as we believe. The cowboy state, the butt of nearly every political gun joke ever made, is actually not as gun crazy as the NRA and the devil would lead you to believe it is.

The MSNBC article is based on a survey that uses left leaning, loaded questions. Using surveys conducted without objectivity, based on a study nearly 20 years old, and relying upon conclusions made by the Huffington Post, MSNBC has done nothing but pull together a mass of misinformation and half-truths. They leave out the fact that the poll they base their entire article on shows support for open carry and split views on “assault weapons” and 15-round magazines.

Look to see this article and this study repeated in the news over the next few weeks. The UCSB shooting has revitalized the gun debate, and this poll is exactly what gun control proponents will use to justify pushing their agenda.

After all, Texas now supports gun control, so the argument is over.


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