Pew survey on guns

chisueDecember 23, 2012

Today's Sunday Chicago Tribune has a story in its' Nation & World section: "Curbing violence an old fight". A sidebar notes party affiliation of people responding to a Pew survey of 1,219 people conducted Dec. 17-19.

Bar charts show percentages of each party answering yes.

"Do you have any guns in your home?" Dems, 25%; GOP, 49%.
(Highest percentages were in the Midwest and South. Fifty percent were 'rural'. Forty-two percent were white; 16%, black.

Under 'Views by Party":

"More important to protect the right to own guns." Dems, 20%; GOP, 69%.

"More important to control ownership." Dems, 72%; GOP, 27%.

"Agree to ban semi-automatic guns." Dems, 51%; GOP, 38%.

"Agree to ban high-capacity ammunition clips." Dems, 62%; GOP, 46%.

I had no idea there was such a split by party!

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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

"people responding to a Pew survey of 1,219 people conducted Dec. 17-19."

This means nothing if you mean to apply it to the general population of the whole country. If you do, what is the point?

What people were asked?
Where?
What percentage of people who refuse to participate in surveys own guns?
What percentage of people contacted refused to participate?
What percentage of people answer facetiously?
How were the people selected/contacted?

    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 1:08PM
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lily316(z5PA)

I absolutely knew there was this divide which will never change. The party of Christians with their prolife stance on abortion issues are however not definitively prolife when it comes to guns which are manufactured for KILLING people and animals. The little six year olds were just collateral damage to the gun crowd. BUT if the twenty mothers of these adorable children sought abortions seven years ago, you can damn well bet the Wing nuts would be protesting and bombing abortion centers.

Republicans are like another species to me. Never will I ever understand them.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 1:14PM
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subtropix

Connecticut would certainly be celebrating a happier X-mas if the shooter's mom hadn't decided to move from White, conservative, rural, pro-gun, 'Christian', and Republican N.H. to the blue state of Connecticut.

This post was edited by njoasis on Sun, Dec 23, 12 at 13:58

    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 1:47PM
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marshallz10(z9-10 CA)

Purp, do consider that polling and statistics/statistical analysis do reflect a degree of reality, the limits of which are set by confidence levels applied to the weighted and compiled results. The Pew Research folks really know what they are doing.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 1:50PM
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david52 Zone 6

At the link is the actual survey, the specific questions and methodology.

Here is a link that might be useful: link to the Pew site

    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 2:25PM
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chisue

Maybe there are other surprises in the differences between the two major parties...like wealth/disposable income?

    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 2:54PM
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bill_vincent(Central Maine)

Quite frankly, I strongly believe that this survey is skewed, just from those I personally know on both sides of the equation.

As for this one:
"More important to control ownership." Dems, 72%; GOP, 27%.

I'm reminded of the cliche "Gun control is less about guns and more about control".

    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 10:51PM
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marshallz10(z9-10 CA)

Bill, what an odd conclusion from personal anecdote. Skewing in polling is a lot more complex to execute without howls popping up from competing pollsters.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 10:54PM
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bill_vincent(Central Maine)

Marshall-- I don;'t even believe polls that agree with mu point of view, unless it agrees with what I'm seeing for myself. If I wasn't active in this topic, that would be one thing. But this is only one of several venues in which I take part, and not all of them on line.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 11:24PM
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elvis

So I'm guessing that the president is probably regretting that oh-so-politically incorrect statement he made during his 2008 campaign (referring to the republican campaign) that: "If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun."

The gaffe was explained away, that the candidate was misquoting a movie line, which was: "He pulls a knife, you pull a gun."

My point is that even a Democratic presidential candidate recognized that guns are part of our culture, and even though he was joking (badly), he did advocate gun use as a solution for resolution of a dispute.

Interesting poll, but I don't think assigning labels to individuals based on their political preferences is a good idea.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2012 at 11:50PM
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chisue

This was a POLL by a reputable company. The people responding 'labeled' themselves!

    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 10:35AM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

PEW is not some fly-by-night political hack of an organization that doesn't know how to conduct a reliable poll. It is an established polling organization with a track record to back up its reputable reputation.

By contrast, personal observation and experience are considered "anecdoctal" by experts in the field--anecdotes are unscientific and prove nothing.

Just because a poll disagrees with some posters' beliefs does NOT mean the poll is somehow invalid. So let's take seriously some of the findings of the poll by the reputable polling group called PEW:

***two-thirds (65%) think that allowing citizens to own assault weapons makes the country more dangerous.

***more favor banning bullets designed to explode or penetrate bullet-proof vests (56%) and high capacity ammunition clips (53%).

***About seven-in-ten (69%) Republicans say protecting gun rights is more important, while about the same proportion of Democrats (72%) say gun control is more important. Independents are divided

***Women prioritize controlling ownership over gun rights by a 24-point margin, while men prioritize gun rights by a 10-point margin.

***Those with more education (post-graduate degrees) stand out from those with less education in their support for gun control, with 66% prioritizing gun control

***Young people (18-29 year olds) continue to support gun control over gun rights (55% vs. 36%), . . .older Americans (ages 65+) have shifted over the last several months; today they prioritize gun control over gun rights (54% vs. 34%),

***Northeasterners . . . supporting gun control over gun rights by about a two-to-one margin (65% vs. 29%), while those in other regions are more evenly split on this question.

***Majorities of men, whites and Republicans say gun ownership does more to protect people from becoming victims of crime

I, for one, find those results interesting and think we should seriously think about them rather than just relying on our personal anecdotal experiences--which may or may not be reflective of the rest of America.

Kate

    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 11:35AM
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demifloyd(8)

The results of polls are nothing more than a collection of opinions--no different than a single opinion or anecdotal experience.

The fact that more hold one opinion than the number holding a differing opinion is of no significant consequence in and of itself, and does not validate the more popular opinion.

Polls don't mean anything except to the people that need to feel bolstered by others agreeing with them.

Sheeple? ;)

    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 11:53AM
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marshallz10(z9-10 CA)

Nice try, Kate. Politicians seeking re-election will not buck the pro-gun lobby unless their seats are safe. The white middle-aged Republicans (and a significant number of gun-owning Democrats) will carry the NRA banner through the halls of Congress.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 11:58AM
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david52 Zone 6

Yea, well, they have served to predict the outcomes of elections, commercial companies use them extensively to market their wares, they're used extensively in clinical trials and medical practice, and are the basis of lots of valid research in all kinds of fields.

With the Pew survey, I don't think they do themselves any favors by going with self-identified party affiliation - see how the discussion here went off on this tangent?

Missing this: By about three-to-one, more say allowing citizens to own assault weapons makes the country more dangerous (65%) rather than safer (21%).

    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 12:01PM
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Factotem

@demifloyd: Compare and contrast:

[Obama] has fallen dramatically in [the polls in] Ohio these last weeks before the election....Obama had fallen in the polls.
Look at the polls of Ohio in September and look at them now.

...and...

Polls don't mean anything except to the people that need to feel bolstered by others agreeing with them.

Sheeple? ;)

Pot, kettle, and all that.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 12:30PM
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jillinnj

I find this:

***Young people (18-29 year olds) continue to support gun control over gun rights (55% vs. 36%), . . .older Americans (ages 65+) have shifted over the last several months; today they prioritize gun control over gun rights (54% vs. 34%)

very interesting.

Perhaps like many other things (gay rights, for example), the tide will turn as the older generation dies off and the younger generation comes of age.

And this:
***Northeasterners . . . supporting gun control over gun rights by about a two-to-one margin (65% vs. 29%), while those in other regions are more evenly split on this question.

is one of the many reasons I haven't found another region of the US I could live.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 12:53PM
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jillinnj

Polls don't mean anything except to the people that need to feel bolstered by others agreeing with them.

No, some of us care about what our fellow Americans think about important issues.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 1:09PM
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chase_gw

Polls are not to be dismissed but neither should they be considered perfect.

The important point is that if a compilation of polls, surveys etc tend to weigh one way , then it's likely so.

Best poll of all though is the election. No doubt about it, most Americans support the Democratic President and his policies.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 1:59PM
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lily316(z5PA)

Pew is a reputable polling company. After reading it I am not surprised how anti- gun I am. I fit the age demographic, live in the northeast, am a Democrat , am a woman, have a college education. How could I be anything but?

    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 2:21PM
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art_1(10 CA)

I tend not to think in terms of party affiliation and consider the matter itself when voting, but I find the demographic information interesting.

Women, 18-29 year olds, 65+ year olds, and post-graduate educated all favor gun control.

I agree with what's been said above - one poll can be iffy, but several different polls tending to agree can provide a pretty good picture of the popular opinion.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 2:26PM
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chisue

Still guessing the 'why' for gun sales. Is it easier to 'sell' Americans? Are we more advertised-to, less educated or more gullible than people in other, older first world nations? Do we have more citizens with disposable incomes? Is there an economic demographic relating to gun sales?

    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 2:30PM
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bill_vincent(Central Maine)

This was a POLL by a reputable company.

PEW is not some fly-by-night political hack of an organization that doesn't know how to conduct a reliable poll. It is an established polling organization with a track record to back up its reputable reputation

No, some of us care about what our fellow Americans think about important issues.

Pew is a reputable polling company.

And yet, a few short months ago, when Pew was saying Romney had it all wrapped up, all these same people were talking about how "Pew is so named for a reason-- THEY STINK", or other similar derrogatory comments.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 4:45PM
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chase_gw

Actually PEW was reporting polls back and forth between the two.....

    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 4:48PM
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marshallz10(z9-10 CA)

That is correct, chase.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 4:50PM
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bill_vincent(Central Maine)

Doesn't change the negativity that was seen in this forum toward Pew by the liberal side of this forum.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 5:02PM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Pew Research Conducted a national presidential poll that had President Obama up by 3 points. Obama was at 50% compared to 47% for Romney. Third party candidates were at 3% nationally. Pew Research released their national presidential poll on Sunday, November 4, 2012.

ARe you trying to confuse things, bill? As the quote above shows, PEW was NOT saying Romney had it all wrapped up. Instead, PEW was showing Obama winning shortly before the actual Nov. 6 election. So why would liberals be derogatory about PEW?

It was Romney's private polls that told him he had it all wrapped up. That was why he didn't believe the public polls that had it very close but slightly favoring Obama.

At any rate, I never have said PEW "stinks"--and now that I checked their polls right before the election, I see that as I noted above, PEW was right about who was winning. The only "error" they made was that they under-estimated by how much Obama would win--though they were closer to the correct number than many of the other polling places.

I stick by my statement. PEW is a reputable polling group with a track record to back up its reputable reputation.

And as I also said above, just because its poll results disagree with your personal opinion does not mean its poll results are wrong.

Kate

Here is a link that might be useful: Presidential Polls

    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 8:07PM
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chase_gw

Bill , my recollection was that the liberals on this forum were critical and and skeptical of Rasmussen.....not Pew

    Bookmark   December 24, 2012 at 8:19PM
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jillinnj

Chase is correct. It was Rasmussen that liberals thought was not reliable and conservatives liked the best. And we were right. Attached is the ranking of how polls did in the 2012 Presidential Election. Pew is tied for 6th. Rasmussen 14th.

Here is a link that might be useful: Poll Rankings by Fordham U

    Bookmark   December 25, 2012 at 1:45PM
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marshallz10(z9-10 CA)

You lose, Bill. At the time of the great confusion about polling results, I spent too much time tracking down why there was such differences between polling results favoring Romney by wide margins and those showing a very close contest with a slight edge to Obama or too close to call. The Ladies above are correct and you mis-remember.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2012 at 1:59PM
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fouquieria(10b)

The fact that more hold one opinion than the number holding a differing opinion is of no significant consequence in and of itself, and does not validate the more popular opinion.

Polls don't mean anything except to the people that need to feel bolstered by others agreeing with them.

Sheeple? ;)

Invasion of the body snatchers.

-Ron-

    Bookmark   December 25, 2012 at 4:52PM
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marshallz10(z9-10 CA)

Something like that, Ron, perhaps from the Planet of Denali

    Bookmark   December 25, 2012 at 5:09PM
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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

Jill, thank you for the link ranking the polls. NPR was very far down the list so I'll be wary of other presidential polls coming from that source.

As I have mentioned several time before, Rasmussen was embarrassingly wrong on the 2010 California gubernatorial and senate races -- as in inexcusable wide margins between its numbers and the actual election results.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2012 at 4:28PM
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