Academia: Seeker of Truth or Agent of Gun Control

By Larry Keane published on in General

Have you ever wondered how politicians can tout numbers or a position, that is so far from the reality we all know, with a straight face? Sure, some of the time it is the politician who is directly responsible, other times it is a the result of data they have been fed. Data from academia, which many of us know to be biased. Of course, researchers from the world of academia are supposed to be unbiased and seekers of truth—and that is about as likely as Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer supporting President Trump and a Pro Second Amendment agenda.

number of guns in U.S. households chart

Is anyone reading this buying these numbers given the proliferation of modern sporting rifles and concealed carry?

The mainstream media just cannot accept the reality that Americans support the Second Amendment, even those who are not gun owners. Case in point – the Washington Post just published an “analysis” by two University of Kansas professors that argue Americans overestimate the number of people who own firearms, then spuriously assert that this inexplicable confusion makes people support the right to own guns.

The first question is why the paper would choose to publish their opinion piece thinly disguised as a research-based analysis. Looking at one of their hyper-political twitter feeds, it’s hard to believe they are capable of pure, unbiased research.

Insulting Americans’ Intelligence

Either way, the article is biased and downright insulting to the general population. Rather than reporting on the fact that public opinion surveys show broad support for the Second Amendment throughout our society, the authors toss out a red herring to explain that when taking surveys, Americans are too stupid to answer questions correctly. If they only understood that they may be overestimating the number of other people that own guns, then they would surely oppose gun rights.

Don’t believe me? Here’s a section from the article:

Drawing on sources cited by gun rights and gun regulation groups, we estimated—generously—that roughly 20 to 30 percent of Americans personally own one or more guns. Our survey respondents, however, estimated that on average 43 percent of their fellow citizens own guns—a significant overestimate. What’s more, nearly 45 percent of our respondents estimated that 50 percent or more of the U.S. population owns at least one gun.

So, these professors from Kansas, the all-knowing Oz’s, have decided 20-30 percent of Americans are gun owners. They then find in a survey that they are wrong and that 43 percent of Americans own firearms. Rather than correcting their ivy-tower estimate to reflect the reality, they look for reasons that the general population is confused.

National Shooting Sports Foundation Logo

We’ve Seen That Estimate Before

Forget for a moment that the 43 percent estimate is in line with other recent estimates and that for reasons we have discussed here before, this is likely lower than reality as gun owners are reluctant to tell random strangers on the phone that they own a gun. The real kicker in this article is that they decide the reason people support gun rights is that they overestimate the number of gun owners. Therefore, if they knew that the professors’ made up number were fact, they would see the light and support gun control policies in larger numbers.

That just doesn’t make sense. Yes, gun owners are more likely to know others that own guns and may report higher guesses about how much of the population own guns. However, if they were to hear that their estimate is too high for the general population, it is a far stretch to argue that they would turn around and support gun control.

‘Resisting Correction,’ Indeed

The article, of course, ends with a discussion of our “post-truth” era and claims that the mass confusion of Americans misleads lawmakers into opposing the gun control policies that their constituents don’t want.

The article truly can be summed up in one of its final lines: “Research suggests that people who believe misinformation often resist correction.” We would offer an alternative assumption for these professors and the newspaper that agreed to publish their intelligence-insulting piece on the American population. Perhaps we can assume that Americans do know what they believe and what they want their elected officials to stand for. Their “resisting correction” is refusing to give up their beliefs for those of the elite academia and mainstream media.

What percentage of Americans do think own guns? Share your answer in the comment section.

Tags: , ,

Trackback from your site.

The mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, "The Shooter's Log," is to provide information-not opinions-to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (22)

  • Michael


    I’m an academic. I own guns for hunting, self defense and because I believe that Americans have a political responsibly to keep arms. I know a lot of university faculty who own guns. I eat lunch every day with a bunch of other PhD scientists, all of whom own guns. Please don’t think that all academics are anti-second amendment because of a couple of political studies professors from Kansas. Higher education does not automatically give you certain political beliefs.


  • Jeffrey Koon


    Ed Dorn makes a very valid statement about “polls” and Constitutional changes. I’d like to add one thought to that – Heavenly Father, God, Aywaa, Buddha, or whatever name you may wish to use is, and it is clearly stated in our Constitution, is the author of the Bill of Rights and he has never cared about polls, opinions, surveys, etc. Those 10 articles of our Constitution are God given rights to ALL MEN! I believe the Founding Fathers were in good communication with Him throughout the creation of this nation and the war that was required to make America.


  • Mike


    Easy resolution to issues concerning Liberals! Relocate all illegals directly into their homes, the number will be according to the size of their Mansions. They will be required to pay all expenses they have from their salaries and they will personally be held accountable for any criminal activity committed, including voting. 2. All Liberals and celebrities immediately get rid of their armed guards and walk among the people!


  • radicalred78


    if we ever get over run with pro gun resistors we will ALL want MORE guns


  • Festus


    Based on recent events, I think it would be foolish to tell strangers you own firearms, to provide a DNA sample voluntarily or to allow yourself to be interviewed by a federal agent!

    You have no reason to believe a DNA sample (or test results) will be destroyed once you are ruled out. In fact, some agencies have shadow databases in which they store such ‘benign’ results for comparison when investigating future crimes. Even if you do not commit a crime, this process can lead to you being charged due to error, misuse, etc.
    Obviously, if they don’t have a DNA sample/result from you, that cannot happen. If a sample is justified, let them secure a warrant after clearing the legal hurdles. This willy-nilly, shotgun approach to DNA is unconstitutional and should stop immediately. DNA is about to be a VERY LARGE issue for anyone whose DNA is on file ANYWHERE! And, that includes these stupid genealogy boondoggles. Even a relative’s DNA can be problematic – See: Golden State Killer.

    Federal law is overly broad with respect to misstatements or lies to federal agents:

    I’m changing my name to Schultz – I know nothing!

    And, NO – I haven’t committed any felonies. My DNA would not be useful in solving any crimes – PERIOD. Nor have I ever provided or been asked to provide a DNA sample. So, currently, I have no ax to grind in a personal sense on this issue. I just ain’t gonna do it!


  • Phil


    I would NEVER admit to a telephone survey I owned any firearm. How many others do that? How about a survey?


  • Ron


    All tyrants like gun control. An unarmed populace is much easier to control. My family watched the local Jews get marched off to the death trains by one armed soldier. Liberals on the east coast are sadly trusting of gov. to protect them.


  • Ed Dorn


    The percentage of persons owning a firearm is irrelevant. Nowhere in the Constitution does it provide a clause that a simple poll of the people can remove or add an article.


  • Stanley Smith


    Whether the number to 30 or 40% doesn’t matter. The US population is 327 million, 30% of that is 98.1 million. 24% or 74 million Americans are under the age of 18 making them less likely to be gun owners. So, if 98.1 million Americans are gun owners, that is a significant percentage of the Adult population.


  • Barrie H. Soetoroe


    Liberal elites are all for guns…. when it comes to arming their personal security guards who surround them 24/7.


Leave a comment

Your discussions, feedback and comments are welcome here as long as they are relevant and insightful. Please be respectful of others. We reserve the right to edit as appropriate, delete profane, harassing, abusive and spam comments or posts, and block repeat offenders. All comments are held for moderation and will appear after approval.

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.

%d bloggers like this: