Where does the "90 per cent support expanded background checks" number come fro


April 17, 2013, 06:02 PM
I keep getting that number thrown up at me and would love to have solid facts with which to refute it, if possible.

Can anyone point me in the right direction?


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April 17, 2013, 06:07 PM

A survey of 1,001 "randomly chosen" people.

The result is likely from how the questions are phrased.

Take a look, for example, at this bit of idiotic reporting in which the author splits hairs about how the questions are worded vs the results:


April 17, 2013, 06:10 PM
I was wondering this myself. And I'd swear I just heard Obama, in his speech after the gun bill was defeated, say it was 97%

April 17, 2013, 06:13 PM
They're ignoring this CNN poll, though, that says 86% still support background checks BUT A MAJORITY ARE WORRIED IT WILL LEAD TO A FEDERAL GUN REGISTRY!

The majority ain't stupid, Thank god!


April 17, 2013, 06:13 PM
The statistic is likely true, but the question was probably nothing like they say.

April 17, 2013, 06:13 PM
And I'd swear I just heard Obama, in his speech after the gun bill was defeated, say it was 97%

It is 97% if you take into account all 57 states :evil:

April 17, 2013, 06:17 PM
I bet the vast majority of the people support term limits but do ya think the senate will ever make an issue about it?

April 17, 2013, 06:17 PM
Again, the truth is in how the questions are asked. Lots of respondents have no idea what current laws are, or what the different shades of 'background check' there are (obviously there are many, from the Coburn web-access-to-NICS take to the Schumer no-private-sales-allowed version).

So, if you look at the Slate article I linked above, you'll see that the police survey they are having a cow about asks the background check question two different ways and it gets two significantly different answers.

April 17, 2013, 06:18 PM
I'll cheekily link to a thread I started on this exact question a few weeks ago:


April 17, 2013, 06:49 PM
Here's a nice quote that is significant to the conversation:

Gun-control advocates point to polls that show support for expanding background checks. But members of Congress do not get to vote on broad poll questions. They have to vote on specific legislation.


Blue .45
April 17, 2013, 06:56 PM
And I'd swear I just heard Obama, in his speech after the gun bill was defeated, say it was 97%

Maybe he was confusing it with this.

Gallup: Only 4% of Americans Think Gun Control is an Important Problem


April 17, 2013, 07:01 PM
It is all in the way the questions are worded. I'm sure 90% of Americans are wanting gun violence curbed. I know I do. Every time some nutcase pulls one of these stunts It makes us all look bad. But when you understand the methods they want to use far less than a majority want gun control.

April 17, 2013, 07:01 PM
We the people have spoken through our representatives,they understood EXACTLY what we wanted and what they NEEDED to do to stay in office.

NOW --- remember all that voted against your wishes and FIX IT NEXT ELECTION.

I am a life member of the NRA and a 'few' other pro gun organizations [ aka CIVIL RIGHTS ! ] and no one has voiced the opinions that the prez and all his talking heads are espousing.

I dare them to actually take a REAL poll or how about a vote.

then the numbers would scare the 'you know what' out of all politicians.

April 17, 2013, 07:02 PM
Their A$$

April 17, 2013, 07:03 PM
Honest question here - is there any sort of nationwide census carried out in the US? And if so, would it be possible to poll via that?

April 17, 2013, 07:05 PM
Leftists seem to be prone to pulling numbers out of their respective arses.

During the "health care" debates of 2009, I recall going to town hall meetings where such folk paraded around with "hand-made" signs that said 72/75/76/79 percent of all Americans favored Obamacare. They couldn't even agree on a number. They just scrawled figures that looked good.

I'm sure it's something similar with the UBC figure.


April 17, 2013, 07:12 PM
We just did a census a few years ago. They try and avoid questions like that and keep the questions to about who lives in that house.
The main problem is that any question asked about this needs to have an explanation that in order to do UBC's we would need a national registry. This would change the polls significantly.

April 17, 2013, 07:24 PM
There is not a single issue that you can get 90% of people to agree on.

Carl N. Brown
April 17, 2013, 07:31 PM
A drug addict stabbed a woman to death in a boarding house just one block from my apartment in 2004. In 2006 he beat two people to death in their home.

Just recently two home invaders stabbed a disabled Iraq War vet for his pain meds.

I have a wheelchair ramp on my front porch for my disabled wife that amounts to posting "pain meds inside".

I don't worry about gun violence; I worry about violent people, and I worry about Chicago-style gun control spread nationally legally depriving me and my wife of defensive weapons.

90% of the public might like the idea of having universal background checks, but a lot of that support comes from people confused by that 40% stat hammered again and again. And from those unfamiliar with the details of the bill.

MAIG: "40% of all gun sales are by unlicensed private dealers."
Chorus: "40 percent of gun sales take place at the gunshows"
NSPOF: 13% of gun acquisitions from private citizens selling used guns, 3% from swaps or trades, 19% from gifts, 5% from inheritances. Total 40% gun acquisitions not from licensed dealers but scarcely for sources that deserve to be labeled "unlicensed dealers": dealing w/o an FFL is a felony.
NSPOF: All gun show plus fleamarket gun acquistions togetehr were four percent of all gun acquisitions.
Bureau of Justice state inmate survey: among armed criminals all gun show plus fleamarket gun acquistions together were 1.7 percent of crime guns.

The media have even re-circulated the debunked 4 June 2011 video from Adam Gadahn, "the American al-Qaeda" (Adam Pearlman from California who has been in Pakistan since at least 1998), claiming jihadists could buy machineguns at US gun shows without ID. It was a lie when Gadahn told it. It is a lie when it is repeated.

April 17, 2013, 07:34 PM
Their A$$

April 17, 2013, 07:39 PM
Twisted polling. As my late great uncle Ed said in polling I get you the TRUTH OR WHAT YOU WANT TO HEAR. The anti gun folks wanted polls that represents their dream and Not Reality.

Today the people won.

April 17, 2013, 07:45 PM
There's no way you can get a "90% of the public" with a pole of only 1000 people...statistics just won't compute for me. For our population that's, what 0.00000333% of the population? Demographics cannot be sampled with that small of test group. BS is right and the POTUS is still using the 20-year old (pre-NICS) poll for his 40% of guns sold without background checks.

Sure it's a win today, but I'm still sick with the mentality of the left. The war is long from over and most likely never will be; stay vigilant!


Carl N. Brown
April 17, 2013, 07:46 PM
Again, the truth is in how the questions are asked. Lots of respondents have no idea what current laws are, ...

Researchers James Wright & Peter Rossi found that when knowledge of existing gun laws was tested, poll results showed that that the less a person knew about existing laws, the more they supported more gun control. Those who showed knowledge of existing gun laws, were less likely to support more gun control.

April 17, 2013, 07:47 PM
Obama and Biden think that if you keep repeating a lie, it becomes the truth.

April 17, 2013, 08:08 PM
Obama and Biden think that if you keep repeating a lie, it becomes the truth.
That is their only hope on this issue.

April 18, 2013, 12:28 PM
Lenin felt the same way about lying.

April 18, 2013, 12:50 PM
ROCK6, if a sample is truly random, you don't need much over 2 or 3 thousand to be very accurate, like within 2 or 3 percentage points. With 1000 respondents, the margin of error is probably closer to 5%, but still not large. The sample size is not the issue.

It's how the question is asked. I worked in market research, and I could get any answer I wanted if I just asked the question the right way. I guarantee the question was something like "do you support background checks for gun purchases and closing loop holes that allow criminals to purchase guns without background checks." Who wouldn't answer yes to that?

April 18, 2013, 01:02 PM
As Colion Noir put it, there's a word of difference between
"Would you give up your guns to save children's lives?"
"Do you think giving up your guns would save children's lives?"

April 18, 2013, 01:16 PM
The actual question from the survey is:

"Q: Would you support or oppose a law requiring background checks on people buying guns at gun shows?"

It's easy to see why there is so much support based on that wording.

There doesn't appear to be a followup question to determine whether people are aware that Federal law already requires this of all FFLs.

This is also a far cry from the actual bill that Schumer put forth, and only part of the Manchin-Toomey bill (Internet and publications, whatever that means)

Outlaw Man
April 18, 2013, 02:05 PM
Take a look, for example, at this bit of idiotic reporting in which the author splits hairs about how the questions are worded vs the results:

62% don't agree with me, so the poll must be rigged. :banghead:

As John Adams said, "facts are stubborn things," but it seems they're certain if they ignore the facts enough they'll go away.

April 18, 2013, 02:21 PM
Where does the "90 per cent support expanded background checks" number come from?

Bend over .... waaaaayyyyy over.

now look up

April 18, 2013, 02:22 PM
I don't support a single thing that comes out of D.C.

Show me 9 people who do, and then I might believe in that statistic.

April 18, 2013, 05:53 PM
bhesler, thanks for providing the actual question. As I suspected, it's worded in a way to get only yes answers. It certainly doesn't say that they want background checks for all transfers, and doesn't, as you identified, explain to low information people that the law already requires this of all licensed dealers.

April 18, 2013, 06:01 PM
They pull it out of their ass where most every other thing they say comes from.

April 18, 2013, 06:20 PM
If you believe the poll that says 90% support increased backgrounds checks, then you also have to believe the poll that says only 4% think it is important.

April 18, 2013, 07:01 PM
90% of Americans can't agree which direction is north. It's ridiculous. If I could see even ONE other poll that corroborated that level of support, I might be more inclined to believe it.

Maybe they should be a little more specific - as in "Do you support the 'Univeral Background Check' amendment as proposed by Senators Manchin and Toomey?" I quite doubt they'd get 90% or 88% of gun owners in favor of that (ridiculous numbers).

April 18, 2013, 08:33 PM
Maybe they should be a little more specific - as in "Do you support the 'Univeral Background Check' amendment as proposed by Senators Manchin and Toomey?" I quite doubt they'd get 90% or 88% of gun owners in favor of that (ridiculous numbers).

A poll question asking do you support background checks on criminals trying to buy guns is a far cry from "Do you support the bill currently up for debate in the Senate?" What we really need in this country is "Media Reform." Hold the media accountable for the misinformation it spreads claiming poll numbers that have little to nothing to do with the facts and politicians that spew these misguided poll numbers as facts.

April 18, 2013, 09:53 PM
if a sample is truly random

And that's the key phrase.

What's our definition of random and what's the anti-gun folks definition of random?

Suppose the sample was kept to within a mostly anti-gun area such as Washington DC, Montgomery County MD, and Prince Georges County MD?
I guarantee you that they'd get that 90% easily.

Target a specific demographic and then claim that it's random. Who's going to call them out on it? The news media? The academic circles? Heck no. They're all in it together and to them the ends justify the means.

Honesty and fair play is totally out the window with the anti-gun people. They're willing to lie cheat or do whatever it takes to get what they want.

April 18, 2013, 09:57 PM
It's a false loaded question since gun shows don't sell guns at all. FFL's can sell at gun shows, which require checks. Individuals can also sell privately owned guns without a check.

Try this question:

"Do you think the federal government should prosecute individuals for selling guns which are legally owned?"

April 18, 2013, 10:08 PM

Heywood Case
April 19, 2013, 07:45 AM
These types of polls usually do start off with reasonably random samples, but they also usually only go for 2-3 days, which means they only interview the people who are easy to reach and the response rate is in the single digits. But I think the disconnect between poll questions and legislation is a better explanation, plus the fact that legislators aren't elected by random samples.

April 19, 2013, 07:49 AM
I will agree that polls can be worded to skew the results to what is desired but, at least in some polls, the 90 percent results are taken out of context and not all the information is reported.

At least one poll from Quinnipac University had other questions that indicated a majority of folks believe background checks could lead to confiscation of legally owned fire arms.

See link:


Both sides selectively delete undesirable information. It is a shame that a major news outlet does not take up the challenge to report all the information.

Yes, I know, it is not news anymore, just opinion and agenda reporting.

As an aside, around election times, a local television station will do segments on local candidates and investigate their campaign claims. It is quite interesting.

April 19, 2013, 01:20 PM
I Suspect they polled incoming freshmen at a liberal arts college in a liberal state on the first day of school, after being given candy and ice cream by the cheerleading squad.

That isn't any sillier than some of the other ideas being floated around. . .

we are not amused
April 19, 2013, 06:30 PM
Their A$$
You beat me to it!

we are not amused
April 19, 2013, 06:34 PM
Personally, I can't believe anyone taking the figure seriously!

The President was clearly out of control! Watching the speech, I kept expecting him to fling himself on the floor and threaten to hold his breath till the Senate did what he wanted.

April 19, 2013, 06:44 PM
Rumor has it that it was pulled straight out of Bloomberg's cranky butt.

April 19, 2013, 08:37 PM
CNN is saying 74% of NRA gun owners support the universal background checks. They are going to just keep saying things like this over and over till it becomes the truth to the low information voter.


April 19, 2013, 08:44 PM
90% of polls and statistics are made up. ;)

That goes for both sides of the aisle.

April 19, 2013, 09:20 PM
Where's it come from? Same place as every other stat Bad Check Barry, Baron of Bullcrap, cites: he pulls it from somewhere between his external and internal sphincter ani.

April 20, 2013, 12:43 AM
It's all about people being uninformed.

Much like DF's ban on Aw's with the also ban on the one's with rocket launchers.
People who don't know better go, SOB!!! I sure don't want people buying and owning rocket launchers bought at walmart!!!
They don't know assault rifles don'thave rocket launchers, but if she said she wants them banned, they must exist.

April 20, 2013, 01:45 AM
The "secret" to managing poll results lies in how you frame the question. Then you massage a small sampling to make it seem significant.

In any "poll" you want to look at the sample size/demographics - i.e. age, gender, location, economic status, etc - in order to determine if the poll's degree of validity. A 500 unit sample in a 250 M population isn't going to be very accurate. >MW

April 20, 2013, 10:53 AM
Odds are.....90% of folks legally buying guns, buy them from dealers and already submit for a background check. Not a problem. 90% of folks that don't buy guns don't know this.

April 20, 2013, 08:10 PM
No one has ever asked me or anyone I know.....
I can find at least a couple hundred folks that will NOT agree with that poll (The 90% one).
I too have wondered where the libs & O are getting their facts.


Black Knight
April 20, 2013, 11:31 PM
Do you think they actually poll the general populace or democrat supporters? I would guess they poll democrat supporters. I'm sure they have a list handy somewhere.

April 21, 2013, 07:47 AM
I prefer to believe the opinions on the website Popvox.com in reference to specific pieces of legislation as being more representative of overall will of the people. This website includes a broad spectrum of America, not just pro or anti opinions that may come from a poll on a gun enthusiast or liberal slanted forum. On Popvox, when the question is asked in general terms like "Do you support commonsense legislation to reduce gun violence?" you get something like 79% in support, but specific bills show much smaller support for new gun control legislation (somewhere in the neighborhood of 5% or less). If our congress critters are paying attention it is no wonder the recent bill failed.

We just need to follow up now with the coming elections to really let them know how we feel!

April 21, 2013, 09:47 AM
The poll in question was conducted by Quinnipiac University, which has a very good reputation for conducting polls according to best practices for statistical methodology.


A couple of things to note about this poll, however:

1: The sample size is about 1700 people. This seems fairly small to me. I'm also generally skeptical of phone polling, as the population of people available to chat on their phones in the middle of a weekday is not representative. I'm also going to go out on a limb and suggest that few pro RKBA people are willing to answer demographic questions from strangers and then questions about their views on firearms.

2: The poll is being used to argue that S.649 and the Manchin-Toomey amendment had the support if 90% of the US population. This is not the case. The relevant poll question merely asks if respondents feel that all potential firearm buyers should be subject to criminal background checks. It does not get into the specifics of any putative legislation. In other words, the poll question was too vague to be of use determining the hows if legislation, but does show that people (in a select, nonrepresentative population) want 'something' done.

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