Once upon a time…
… and the blissful ignorance of Washington Post readers is left undisturbed!
Here’s the badly flawed piece from the Washington Post:
…[D]ata released this week from the General Social Survey, widely regarded as the gold standard for social science survey research, shows that in 2014, the number of American households owning guns remained at 40-year lows.
It must be true of course, because the author of this screed,says the General Social Survey is the gold standard of social science survey research!
Whoa. Not so fast.
From the comments in the WashPo story:
The”drop” in household gun ownership reported as news here (based on the self-proclaimed “gold standard” U. Chi. GSS data), incidentally, has not only been questioned by national news organizations and the Crime Prevention Research Center, it is also directly contradicted by Washington Post’s own (ABC News/Washington Post) polls that shows steady gun ownership at about half (+/- 45%) of US households for the last 20 years. See also Gallup, in October 2011,: “At 47%, reported gun ownership is the highest it has been in nearly two decades.”
And, John Lott told us all we needed to know about the head of the head of the General Social Survey:
A few years ago, while I was doing research at the University of Chicago, I had lunch with Tom Smith, who is the director of the General Social Survey at the National Opinion Research Center (NORC). This private organization conducts many important national surveys for the government as well as other clients. During lunch Tom mentioned how important he thought the General Social Survey was. He felt the large drop in gun ownership implied by his survey would “make it easier for politicians to do the right thing on guns” and pass more restrictive regulations. His surveys have traditionally shown one of the lowest gun ownership rates among any of the surveys: for example, almost 20 percentage points lower than recent polling by John Zogby. . . .
What’s more, this wishful thinking and make believe flies directly in the face of hard numbers from the Illinois State Police.
What’s more, at the end of 2014, the Illinois State Police tell us there were right at 1.8 million active FOID cards. That’s a 50% growth in the number of Illinois FOID card holders (gun owners) in a mere five years.
That’s not a faulty survey. Those are real numbers.
Illinois is surely not an outlier, given the intensely brisk sales of guns since Obama was elected.
Barack Hussein Obama has earned the title of America’s greatest gun salesman.
Reality is vastly different than the make-believe results from a faulty “survey”. The “gold standard” survey relies on people to answer honestly about something many view as intensely personal and none of a stranger’s business. It’s like calling families up and asking mom and dad when was the last time they had extramarital sex. What’s more, the head of this survey group acknowledged a gross bias as he seeks to shape public policy with his junk “surveys”.