Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Politifact Gets is Wrong Again and Again on So-called “Universal” Background Checks

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Politifact Gets is Wrong Again and Again on So-called “Universal” Background Checks

The so-called “fact-checkers” at Politifact (a project of the Poynter Institute) continue to provide cover for one of the gun control effort’s most ridiculous talking points. These self-appointed arbiters of reality would have you believe that it is “True” when anti-gun advocates and politicians claim that the overwhelming majority of Americans support the criminalization of private firearms transfers - often sold to the public as “universal background checks.” In order to support their incorrect conclusion, these dubious truth seekers systematically avoid the best data on the subject - actual election results in states where this policy has been on the ballot.

On February 20, Politifact published a piece that purported to fact-check a recent statement Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) made about the criminalization of private transfers. Klobuchar had said, “The majority of hunters now want universal background checks, the majority of Trump voters.” The outlet rated the statement “True.”

The Klobuchar “fact check” came on the heels of a January 26 Politifact article on former South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg. The former mayor had stated during a Fox News “town hall” event that “More than 80% of Republicans think we ought to at least be doing universal background checks.” The outlet rated this statement as “True.”

Politifact has done other iterations of this same article. The outlet has fact-checked individuals on this topic ranging from Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), who claimed a laughable 97 percent of gun owners favor the criminalization of private transfers, to obscure Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele.

To support rating these individuals’ statements as “True” or “Mostly True,” Politifact has relied solely on dubious polling figures.

Consider what a poll is. It is an attempt to gauge the public or a segment of the public’s position on a particular matter by sampling a miniscule subset of the population. Polling is an inferior substitute for the often-impractical task of asking everyone their opinion on a topic – which is what happens in an election.

Concerning what Americans think of the criminalization of private firearm transfers, there exists real data collected from real voters in real elections on real policies. Those seeking to determine the public’s opinion on the topic need not resort to figments of reality when actual reality is right in front of them.

It is probable that the insistence on using polling data when superior electoral data exists stems from the fact that the latter is far less favorable to gun control supporters. 

In 2016, gun control supporters asked Maine voters to vote for Question 3, which would have required background checks on private firearm transfers. Mainers rejected the measure 52 to 48 percent.

That same year, an unlawful ballot measure asked Nevadans to support the criminalization of private transfers. The poorly constructed measure barely passed - 50.45-49.55 percent.

In 2014, Washington voters approved the deeply-flawed I-594, which imposed a background check requirement on even some of the most innocuous conduct involving firearms. More popular than the other initiatives, the measure still only passed 59-41 percent.

The New York Times addressed the severe divergence between polling on this policy and the real-world election results in a March 24, 2018 item titled, “Support for Gun Control Seems Strong. But It May Be Softer Than It Looks.” The author noted, “While a wide range of gun control laws appear popular in polls, support may soften once details emerge and they’re subjected to a robust political debate.”

Politifact’s insistence on repeatedly covering similar statements on the criminalization of private transfers while avoiding the best evidence available could give a cynical observer the impression that the outlet is not seeking to fact-check such statements at all. Rather, such an observer might conclude that Politifact is deliberately working to defend and advance an easily disprovable anti-gun factoid.

TRENDING NOW
DHS “Misinformation Governance Board” Could Seek to Sway Gun Debate

News  

Monday, May 16, 2022

DHS “Misinformation Governance Board” Could Seek to Sway Gun Debate

In late April, Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), made a bizarre announcement during a congressional hearing that DHS was forming what it called a “Mis- and Disinformation Governance Board.” The statement came ...

Follow the Science, Unless it Leads Where You Don’t Want to Go

News  

Monday, May 16, 2022

Follow the Science, Unless it Leads Where You Don’t Want to Go

Researchers in California have published the results of a study evaluating the effectiveness of so-called “gun violence restraining orders” (a.k.a. “extreme risk protection orders” or “red flag” orders). Assembly Bill 1014, was enacted in California in ...

NRA Achieves Historical Milestone as 25 States Recognize Constitutional Carry

News  

Friday, April 1, 2022

NRA Achieves Historical Milestone as 25 States Recognize Constitutional Carry

Half the country will now enjoy the freedom to carry a handgun for self-defense without a permit from the state thanks to the tireless efforts of men and women of the National Rifle Association. 

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

Illinois: General Assembly Passes “Ghost Gun” Ban

Monday, April 11, 2022

Illinois: General Assembly Passes “Ghost Gun” Ban

On Friday, the House Judiciary Committee held a subject matter hearing on House Bill 4383 Senate Floor Amendment 2, to ban individuals from making their own firearms for personal use, and voted to advance the measure. ...

New Jersey: “Mandatory Jail” Bill Scheduled for Senate Hearing Thursday

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

New Jersey: “Mandatory Jail” Bill Scheduled for Senate Hearing Thursday

Tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., the Senate Law & Public Safety Committee is scheduled to consider S.513, legislation which would create a rebuttable presumption of no bail for gun offenses.

NRA-ILA Spring 2022 Litigation Newsletter

News  

Friday, May 13, 2022

NRA-ILA Spring 2022 Litigation Newsletter

NRA-ILA’s Office of Litigation Counsel has been busy fighting for our members’ rights in courtrooms across the country. ILA has filed new cases, continued the fight in many existing cases, and scored some good wins. ...

Georgia: Gov. Kemp Signs Constitutional Carry

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Georgia: Gov. Kemp Signs Constitutional Carry

Today, Governor Brian Kemp signed Senate Bill 319, constitutional carry, into law. Georgia is now the 25th constitutional carry state, and the fourth to join that group in 2022. Half of the country now recognizes the right ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Monday, June 30, 2014

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

President Donald J. Trump to Address NRA Members at the 2022 NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits in Houston, Texas

News  

Thursday, May 12, 2022

President Donald J. Trump to Address NRA Members at the 2022 NRA Annual Meetings and Exhibits in Houston, Texas

Former President Donald J. Trump will headline the 2022 NRA-ILA Leadership Forum on May 27, at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.