The Commodification of Public Opinion, Nefarious Political Interests, and Estimates of Gun Ownership


The latest Gallup-NRA whore poll is once again touting the meme that Americans don’t want gun control, and that we are all rushing out to buy guns before the Godless Communist Kendonesian Homosexual Usurper sends the blue hatted UN troops to take us away to the FEMA reeducation camps. They bolster this claim with the very real increase in sales of guns and ammunition that has been constant since a black guy got elected President by the vast majority of American voters. But, as I said before in my post on attitudes toward gun control, these fake trends are very strong evidence that the decline in quality of survey research from for-profit pollsters like Gallup are leading to erroneous inferences.  And, Gallup (perhaps because they are under contract with NRA?) has been pushing a line which says “Americans don’t want gun control.” Something which is completely false. A HUGE majority of Americans want gun control—but only a minority of the respondents to a poll tapping the opinion of 7% of the targeted respondents who answered a landline call and were at home on a Tuesday night in October, clinging to their guns and praying to their gods.

Now, Gallup-NRA want to claim that more Americans own guns. Yes, we’ve been rushing out to the local AK-47 shop with the Confederate Flags out front ever since November of 2008. Gun industry analysts know that part is true. However, the right-wing gun nuts who have been mortgaging their farms to buy more guns and ammo ALREADY OWNED GUNS. People who don’t own guns voted for Obama, and they want Obama to take the guns away from the nutjob at the end of the street who lets his pit bulls run wild and frequently pops off a shot or two when he’s drunk.

Reality is the opposite of what the Gallup poll shows—shit polls should not be given any credence. Let’s move to the General Social Survey’s estimates of gun ownership for a comparison, and a little inquiry regarding statistical estimates and whether or not they can be concluded to having been drawn from the same population (ie. are “real Americans” the 7% (or less) who answer shit polls?).


The GSS has been asking a very similar question about gun ownership to the one used in the NRA poll since 1973. Notably, in `1991 the Gallup poll already tracked over 10% higher in its estimates of gun ownership than the GSS. And, while the GSS shows a fairly linear decline in gun ownership across the four decades of high quality data collection, the best description of the “trend” in the NRA-Gallup poll is random fluctuation. At the end, Gallup is saying that nearly half (47%) of Americans own guns, while GSS puts the population parameter at about 30%. Indeed, Gallup-NRA claim that  6% of Americans rushed out to become first-time gun owners between 2011 and 2012. 6%. First time gun owners. That’s fucking bullshit. Most people who own guns have owned guns all of their lives. I got my first gun when I was 8, a single shot 16 gauge shotgun—kicked like a mule. Like many Americans, who aren’t raving right wing pussies who are scared, I didn’t like the risk of having a gun in the house when I had young children, and I don’t hunt anymore (it’s boring),  so about 20 years ago my three guns moved to the Iranian Redneck Ranch in Weleetka, Oklahoma—and if a researcher asked me if I owned a gun, I’d say “no.”

So, I wonder, are all the Nate Silver fans who love shit polls going to say that I should take seriously the Gallup estimates? Are they just as good at estimating the proportion of Americans who own guns as the GSS estimates—which differ by over 10% (probably more when we can compare 2012 with the NRA poll)? Of course, Silver has been having a pissing match with For Sale Frank Newport about Gallup’s Presidential estimates, so maybe the crapigators will simply dismiss this. Oh, right, of course. And the polls with NO standards are even better than Gallup? Sure.

We all know this is really about people wanting to justify their wet dream data collection project which they can pull off for $100k if they could sell shit data to people who review for ASR. Crap is Crap, and this crap is for sale to manipulate public opinion and squelch the gun control movement. In reality, fewer and fewer Americans own guns, the proportion of Americans who hunt is in rapid decline, there have been 60 mass gun slayings since the assassination attempt on Gabriele Giffords in 2011, and most REAL AMERICANS want gun control. Now.


One Response to “The Commodification of Public Opinion, Nefarious Political Interests, and Estimates of Gun Ownership”

  1. Why Female-headed households decrease violent crime « Iranianredneck's Weblog Says:

    […] take it seriously—it’s their statistics they are worried about, as much as anything. It also doesn’t hurt that gun ownership is also at a historic low, and that younger cohorts are especially less likely to own […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: