The motto of the gun-grabbing crowd (well, besides “Never let a tragedy go to waste”) should be, “Don’t let the facts get in the way of good propaganda.”
As with most of the statistics used to scare people into giving away their rights, the oft-repeated “We need to expand background checks, because 40 percent of gun owners get their gun without having a background check” is a lie – and the people who use it have known it for years.
A recent study – funded by gun control advocates – claims that the number is actually 22 percent, which is closer to the number some have speculated all along. Many people have pointed out that the methodology of the 1997 study the 40 percent number is derived from was flawed because data was gathered before the Brady background checks were implemented and used an extremely small sample size.
None of that matters to the gun control crowd. It’s a number that gets a reaction, so they use it, regardless of its veracity. They use it as proof of a “gun show loophole” that needs to be closed by implementing universal background checks. People who hear the statistic are led to believe that this 40 percent group are finding ways to skirt an existing law.
Interestingly, in a 2015 story (in Bloomberg-funded The Trace) about the progress of the recent study, study authors claimed that their initial findings SUPPORTED the 40 percent number hurried to make that information public:
The Harvard team conducted its survey this summer and had planned to release the full results in the coming months. It decided to move up its disclosure of some of its preliminary findings, including the figure on sales and transfers conducted without government screening, as gun policy returned to the national spotlight. “We’ve moved it up in priority because it’s been such a hot issue,” says Azrael.
Gun control was a hot issue in the 2016 election at both the state and national levels, yet Azrael’s team didn’t release their findings until about six weeks AFTER Election Day. Why would that be? It’s certainly curious timing.
The various gun control groups claim, “We just want common-sense gun control. We just want to keep guns out of the hands of people who really shouldn’t have them. And we just want to have an honest discussion about the problem.” No, they really don’t. They really, really don’t. Ignorance of the facts is a problem, but practicing intentional deceit to deprive people of rights is evil.