Academia: Seeker of Truth or Agent of Gun Control

number of guns in U.S. households chart

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.

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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.

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Comments (22)

  1. I see permits to purchase going strong, although not quite as hyper as during the nobama years. I don’t see a decline in gun ownership. Just a tactic to make 2nd Amendment supporters seem like a smaller group to marginalize us.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. I have two close friends. They both own firearms. So, by extrapolating that factual data, I must assume 100% of American adults own guns. Even the lefties. So, you see, even the left wingers support us, they just won’t admit it. We should embrace our birkenstock brothers and sisters and help them come to terms with the truth. They own firearms and love them. Problem solved, and all by using simple facts which are irrefutable!

  10. the school shooting that are taking place are mostly fueled and started by social media (I.e. face book. twitter and Instagram ) where kids are bullied by other kids to the point they snap and get revenge with a….. gun …so the liberal politicians and the liberal media are always ready to put blame on the gun. The liberal Media shows prosters of guns yelling for action and DO SOMETHING .well they the kids with the cell phones need to start doing something by respecting what is put on social media about their fellow classmate kids aren’t killing kids for fun. It’s starting with the i phones .ipads. twitter.FaceTime .and numerous other chat rooms that i as a 62 yeard old man doesn’t comprehend but because almost everone has one of these bulling assault cellphones in hand from7years of age. Nowadays. No liberial politician or liberal media will put blame were it should be because they own one or five (i.e. family members) of these hand-held bullying assault devises. And doesent respect his fellow mans fellings and wasnt ever taught as a child to respect others. Then it easier to blame the gun …A drunk driver kills someone… ive never heard the media blame the black ford he was driving or even the black crow that got him drunk they put blame were it should be on the drunk and school well we Americans took the bible out of there a long time ago. Maybe Gods letting us reape what we’ve sowed

  11. Its funny I checked with 20 of my neighbors and they all owned at least one gun – several had a collection

  12. Studies prove that “a vast majority” of Americans, including gun owners, support stricter gun control.

    Studies show that “a vast majority” of Americans agree evil black rifles should be banned.

    Studies show that “a vast majority” of Americans will vote for Hillary Clinton.

    Whenever I hear “vast majority”, I know the study is BS, and the person who’s orifice it is coming out of is full of it.

  13. Decades of studies have shown 40-45% of the population own guns. I’m certain that rural areas have even higher rates than that. Now that gun ownership is being demonized, less people would be likely to respond that they own a gun for fear of reprisal. Concealed carry and sales to women buyers are the hottest segment of total sales, indicating a new market segment and more ownership. If you look at the huge number of FBI background checks and reported sales of guns, either people are amassing arsenals of weapons or there is a rising number of owners. Common sense is often overlooked in these “studies”.

  14. I know vegan left wing-nuts that own guns. They won’t admit it on open forum. And their ownership CERTAINLY wouldn’t come up in their social circles discussions.

    I believe the 43% number can easily be correct. If not, it is more than that number.

  15. I have a graduate degree in criminal justice, 3 decades ago and am familiar with dozens if not hundreds of “research” articles, that simply have no basis in fact and could never be used in court for example because they simply have no verifiable data. Let me give an example, there was a study from the 1970s that said the average felon would commit 168 felony crimes before they were ever sent to prison. The purpose of the story was to say there are no such thing as first time offenders. Sure, there are kids who will sell drugs well more than 168 times before they get caught, we do not know. Then there was the study that said men with the XYY chromosome were likely to become criminals—-then they tested police officers and found it was common along with football players, hockey players, and all contact sports. It was then determined that such a chromosome pattern really was just linked to aggression, not crime. SO, when I see these stories, I just realize, these bozos have an agenda….duh

  16. With the ever increasing prying into our personnel lives and the popular belief among most guns owners that someday the government may actually attempt to take those guns away most would be real hesitant to tell anyone they owned a gun. Since there are an estimated one gun for every man, woman, and child, there is a lot of weapons in the hands of citizens but the percentage of who actually owns them is a hotly debated issue and one that will never be answered especially since those who care not for the law will never divulge their secrets.

  17. I’d guess at least 50% of households have guns – a much larger share having hunting shotguns and rifles, and fewer having handguns and tactical weapons.

    Tagging along with that theme of gun liking folks (and anyone) benefiting from proper due diligence. I read and did basic analysis on the research that gun control advocates cite as supporting the gun dealer licensing bill still in play here in Illinois (reincarnated as an amendment to SB337 that passed the Senate today). The basic analysis shows that the research does NOT support that gun dealer licensing reduces gun violence, and the study authors clearly state that other research is required to draw that conclusion. I guess no one actually looks at the research – they just assume that because the bill sponsors referenced it, it must support their perspective. NOT!

    A suggestion to watch Stefan Molyneux’s video, “The Truth About the Florida School Shooting”, on Youtube. No doubt he’s a controversial guy for some, but he gets to alot of truth about “government sponsored causality” that one doesn’t find presented by our illustrious MSM. Given all the 2A “slurring” that’s emanated from that tragedy, 2A supporters should be forewarned and vigilant on what really happened.

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