There are many gun myths out there, and as soon as one pops up it gets mowed down by researchers armed with facts. But right behind it another one pops up. Kyle Wintersteen is one of the mowers.
Before the Senate bill to expand background checks flamed out, Obama kept saying that 90 percent of the American people were behind such legislation and that only recalcitrant uninformed Republicans bullied by the NRA were keeping them from seeing the light.
And then along comes Pew Research with the results of their poll the day after:
The key Senate vote that halted gun control legislation last week is drawing a mixed reaction from the American public: 47% express negative feelings about the vote while 39% have a positive reaction to the Senate’s rejection of gun control legislation that included background checks on gun purchases.
Overall, 15% say they are angry this legislation was voted down and 32% say they are disappointed. On the other side, 20% say are very happy the legislation was blocked, while 19% say they are relieved.
I’m no mathematician but this is a long way from 90 percent.
Here are some other myths that Wintersteen mows down:
Myth No. 1: A gun in the home is more likely to kill a family member than an intruder. This is probably the most widely circulated gun control myth ever. It’s been argued that a gun in the home is 43 times more likely to kill a family than an intruder. You’re actually safer, argue anti-gun folks, in a gun-free home. That may help them sleep at night, but it isn’t true.
Wintersteen then quotes a study done by Gary Kleck, a researcher with anti-gun bias (which makes his research even more credible):
according to Kleck’s exhaustive research, a gun in the home is three to five times more likely to help stop a crime than commit one.
Myth No. 2: Forty percent of guns are purchased without a background check.
In pushing for “universal” background checks, Obama has repeatedly said, “As many as 40 percent of guns are purchased without a background check.” Vice President Joe Biden has also pushed the stat, and their lapdogs at The New York Times, USA Today and other media outlets have reported the stat as fact without questioning the source.
This is another made-up statistic which melts away upon closer inspection. Glenn Beck covers this well in his latest book, Control: Exposing the Truth About Guns about which I riffed just the other day. Here’s Wintersteen on it:
As professor John Lott demonstrates, the number is actually closer to 10 percent.
To reach the 40-percent number, one must count family inheritances and gifts as “purchases.” The number is also based on a Clinton administration survey in which many respondents erroneously indicated they had not undergone a background check to buy a gun.
Here’s one more that’s prevalent:
Myth No. 3: Fewer people own guns today. Given the spate of gun buying over the last few years, it’s hard to believe anyone could perpetuate this myth with a straight face. According to FBI data, there have been a rather incredible 70,291,049 background checks for gun purchases since Obama took office. Gun control advocates argue it’s merely existing gun owners making all the purchasing. However, according to a 2011 Gallup poll, at least 47 percent of Americans own guns, compared to 41 percent in 1993. By most indications, gun ownership is on the rise.
There are many more myths that Wintersteen mows down, including “criminals obtain their weapons at gun shows,” “people hardly ever use guns for self-defense,” “your gun is more likely to be used against you by an attacker,” “we can’t trust people with concealed carry,” “urban areas especially need gun control,” “guns teach kids to be violent,” and “gun control prevents crime.”
This is such an important article that I’m linking it again for you here. I’m putting my copy into my “important articles” binder.