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View Diary: Daily Kos/PPP Poll: NRA and GOP grossly out-of-step with America ... including Republicans (235 comments)

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  •  I have several issues with this post (1+ / 0-)
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    MPociask

    I find that a number of these polling questions appear to have been written specifically with the intention of maximizing the difference between the two choices.  As everyone here knows, you can alter polls dramatically by the words you chose to use.

    The use of "assault rifles" in all the queries instead of "semi-automatic rifles" for example.

    In terms of functionality, the two are the same.  But if you were to ask "Do you think semi-automatic weapons are necessary for hunting?" instead of "Do you think assault weapons are necessary for hunting?" I bet you get two different poll numbers.  As the majority of hunting rifles sold today are semi-automatic, I would expect that to hunters, the question would often times be yes, they are.

    I agree with the mental health assessment question, but worry as to its implementation.  It's often a slippery slope, and I can imagine the more liberal areas of the country taking advantage of such a rule and pushing their own agendas (ie. you want a gun? you must be crazy ...).

    Context and buzz words do matter.

    •  Yes, this (1+ / 0-)
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      deepbreath

      Even if you had said assault rifle, that would be one thing, but to say assault weapon, that's a very ambiguous phrase.  People who don't know guns will says, of course not!  People who do know guns may or may not think of what qualified as an assault weapon under the old ban, and think, well, no, not that.

      These polls are great for making an argument - but not great at finding out what people think.

      •  If it is true that 54% of respondents own guns (1+ / 0-)
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        belle1

        then a lot of (ignorant?) gun owners answered that question with a preference for banning.

        The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain, is floating in mid-air, until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life. Jane Addams

        by Alice Olson on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 07:48:34 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I was not saying they were ignorant (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          deepbreath

          Let me say this a different way.

          The phrase "assault weapon" does not refer to any particular type of gun.  As pointed out by others, the 1994 Assault Weapon ban is based upon types of guns that have a variety of cosmetic features attached - essentially, scary looking guns.  

          If you're not familiar with that history, you just hear the phrase assault weapon, import your own understanding of what that means, and say yes, we should ban those.

          If you are familiar with the history, when someone asks you, "Should we ban assault weapons?" you may understand the question to mean, "Should we reinstate the Assault Weapons Ban"?  You could very well answer that question yes, but while thinking about a different class of guns than the ones imagined by the people in the first category.

          I think gun owners are more likely to be in the second group than the first, but the real problem is the ambiguity in the question which allows people to hear the same thing but understand it to mean completely different things.  

          I'd like to see a poll that got down to brass tacks, and avoided the use of jargon.  For example, "Would you support banning handguns that can fire more than 6 shots in less than X seconds?  Would you support banning rifles that can fire thirty shots in X second?  Would you support banning ammunition cartridges than enable you to fire X shots in X seconds?"

      •  If you went hunting with an AWB "assault weapon" (1+ / 0-)
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        MPociask

        I'd think you were a--well, all sorts of descriptors come to mind, none of them flattering (and several would probably get me yelled at by other posters.) If you asked me if an assault weapon was needed for hunting, I'd say no. A semi-auto, I'd say yes. While I don't really see a need for most of the features that were listed under the 1994 AWB (I understand wanting a magazine and an adjustable stock) I don't like the idea of banning guns on what are essentially cosmetic features. But I reserve the right to laugh at a collection of military-pattern AR-15s the same way that I laugh at people who collect those cheap katanas. Use the right tool for the job (which might just be a non-military style semi-automatic .223.) Collect guns if you like to collect guns. But don't make me think that you're like a thirteen-year old boy with a flashy (and barely useable) knife you bought at a flea market.

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