So who are the liars?

Additional examples continue to demonstrate how the present “gun control” debate has morphed into 100 percent pure partisan politics.

I’m taking the statistics in this survey at face value and not even addressing flaws because honestly any survey or poll has a standard deviation but by its nature will result in some skewing of the data.  I will point some out some problems with wordings, but want to assert that any poll on any subject would have similar issues.  Others with experience in statistics know that wordings are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the validation of results, but my purpose is not data but perception versus reality.  For that I love this particular poll.

The primary article based upon the above poll can be read here:

Let’s look at this question by question even though some questions merely pertain to the pool which the organization surveyed.

1.  Are you either current or former/retired Law Enforcement?

It seems odd based upon the primary article that 5.2 % responded neither, but that number should not invalidate the responses to subsequent questions. 

2. What is (or was) the size of your department?

I like this question even though subsequent responses are not broken down further in each size subset.  Population may, and I would suspect, would make particular questions more applicable than others to a particular agency base upon its size and location.

3. What is (or was) your highest rank?

Another basic but good question to help define the data pool.

4. What effect do you think the passage of the White House’s currently proposed legislation would have in improving police officer safety?

Here we have a skewing variable in that “the White House’s currently proposed legislation” is not defined.  None or negative accounted for 85 % of answers, but responses to subsequent questions actually endorse this same legislation as being an effective move.  The perception versus reality issue comes into play here.

Some may even ask about police officer safety versus public safety, but I think both can be grouped as one is just as important as the other.

5. What effect do you think a federal ban on manufacture and sale of some semi-automatic firearms, termed by some as “assault weapons,” would have on reducing violent crime?

Violent crimes take place with or without assault weapons.  I would think that it is safe to say that significantly more violent crimes take place without “assault weapons.”  That number would not change, but would a response be different if the question referred to mass murders in particular instead of all violent crime?

6. Do you think a federal ban on manufacture and sale of ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds would reduce violent crime?

Again we have the violent crime confusion, but regardless someone experienced with a particular weapon can change clips within a few seconds.  Depending on circumstances those seconds could save lives, but sadly those seconds might not.  On the other hand, some marksmen are less accurate using the larger magazines as it does change the handling and weight of the weapon.  Some lives might be spared from that small variance in aim, but sadly some lives will not be spared

7. Do you think that a federal law prohibiting private, non-dealer transfers of firearms between individuals would reduce violent crime?

Here’s another which needs some additional information because it conflicts with answers given to subsequent questions.

8. Do you think increasing the severity of punishments for gun trafficking, particularly by unlicensed dealers or “straw purchasers” who buy arms for persons ineligible to own them, would reduce instances of gun crime?

You would think that the general public’s response would be similar or maybe higher than the 58 % of yes responses here.

The question is who opposes increasing the severity and enforcing of punishments?

9. Should citizens be required to complete a safety training class before being allowed to buy a gun?

Good question, and while a clear majority favors training to some degree, the number of negative votes is surprisingly high and conflicts with the numbers of a subsequent question.

10. Would requiring mental health background checks on prospective buyers in all gun sales from federally-licensed dealers reduce instances of mass shooting incidents?

Are we separating mass shootings from violent crimes and victims of accidents here?  If you support mental health screening, how would it be conducted?

11. Do you support the concept of a national database tracking all legal gun sales?

Here is a gray area.  How does this apply to mental health background checks?  How can violations of illegal trafficking and straw purchasing be discovered without accurate and accessible data available in a timely fashion?

12. How big a problem do you feel gun crime is in your jurisdiction?

If approximately 16 % fell that gun crime is significant with the remainder being average or small, where is the evidence that more guns are needed in the hands of civilians to protect themselves from gun crimes?  The responses indicate that the disadvantage placed on law abiding citizens is not extreme when faced with the number of gun crimes with the exceptions of certain regions and of course if you are the victim yourself even though 1 million other people live in the area.

13. Do you believe that use of a firearm while perpetrating a crime should result in stiff, mandatory sentences with no plea bargains?

Here most people would probably poll in line with the survey.  The question is, however, who is fighting against the mandatory sentencing?

14. What is your opinion of some law enforcement leaders’ public statements that they would not enforce more restrictive gun laws in their jurisdictions?

This question and responses are similar to those involving the Civil Rights Movement in the South during the 1950s and 1960s.  History has determined the outcome.

15. If you were Sheriff or Chief, how would you respond to more restrictive gun laws?

Another question and responses that are similar to those involving the Civil Rights Movement in the South during the 1950s and 1960s.

16. Do you believe gun buyback or turn-in programs can be or have been effective in reducing the level of gun violence?

While some programs have been successful, in general the degree of overall gun violence most likely does not decrease.  These programs, however, can be done without any monetary loss or significant loss in work productivity and may not prevent a crime, but may prevent an accident by allowing someone an outlet to properly dispose an unwanted weapon.  While in no means a solution, these programs or similar messaging to turn in an unwanted or “found” weapon can operate in conjunction with other duties and do not incur costs except for when a weapon is delivered.

17. Do you have an active ‘open carry movement’ — individuals and groups carrying firearms as means of political statement —in your jurisdiction?

Another pool question like the initial ones in the survey to help define the data set.

18. Whether or not you have an active ‘open carry movement’ in your jurisdiction, what is your opinion about the concept and practice?

The answers reflect a need to clarification on the terms as concept and practice seem to be interpreted differently by individuals participating leading to plurality response that contains a conflict between concept and practice.

19. Do you support the concealed carry of firearms by civilians who have not been convicted of a felony and/or not been deemed psychologically/medically incapable?

How will these civilians be identified without a comprehensive database?

20. On a scale of one to five—one being low and five being high —how important do you think legally-armed citizens are to reducing crime rates overall:

How does an officer respond to anyone the suspect has a weapon in their possession?  Will the legally and illegally armed wear badges to make identification easier?  Also, compare this question with numbers 9, 22, 26, and 27.  It seems that training and responsibility with a weapon is a greater factor than simply having a weapon, but how can one assure proper training with that weapon?

21. What would help most in preventing large scale shootings in public? Choose the selection you feel would have the most impact:

More permissive concealed carry permits, but what if the person carrying does not know how to properly use that weapon.  Most who have served in combat or law enforcement will state that there is a distinct difference in shooting at an unarmed target versus returning fire under fire.  In the split second situation, how many people will react in the manner in which they believe they will?  As per mental health, how can it accessed without comprehensive screening procedures.

22. Considering the particulars of recent tragedies like Newtown and Aurora, what level of impact do you think a legally-armed citizen could have made? Choose the statement that you feel is most accurate:

Again, the outcome would be determined based upon an infinite number of variables.  People will not always react as they say or that one thinks.  Sadly many on duty law enforcement officers have been brutally murdered or ambushed.  Distinguished military veterans, active members of the military, and even a former Navy SEAL generally referred to as most accomplished sniper in the US military died with a gun on their person.  How do we know that “Henry the Hunter” or “Sally the Sharpshooter” would fare better?

23. Do you support arming teachers and/or school administrators who volunteer to carry at their school? Choose the statement you most agree with:

How additional tasks should be the responsibility of teachers?  The majority of teachers have enough problems with which to work.  Many disagree with paddling, and many school systems have banned the practice.  If “Little Hank” or “Little Susie” continuously disrupts class, begins destroying materials in the classroom, physically threatens and attacks another student or teacher, would you agree with a slug between the eyes to restore order since corporal punishment is barbaric?  Like any profession, some dangerous or corrupt people slip through the cracks.  What if that sick pervert taking advantage of a child also has access to a gun to further impose his or her will on the student?

24. Do you carry a firearm off duty?

I think many do because in many professions when are you really off duty?  If circumstances make your person or services necessary, then most are back on duty.

{Note:  while also numbered 24, I believe a typographical error is present where the following is actually question 25} 

24 (25) Do you think proposed new legislation setting a limit on magazine capacity would negatively affect you?

There is some conflict with question 6 in that if limitations will not affect criminals why should the limitations affect a law abiding citizen or officer?  You would anticipate that a trained officer would be more proficient in changing magazines than a lay person.

26. Do you regularly do firearms proficiency training with your setup (assuming a different weapon, holster, carry position, etc. than on duty)?

Over 96 % train, but yet feel that armed civilians who may or may not have had any let alone intense repeated training would have reduced victims of two mass shootings referenced in question 22 according to 80 % of respondents.

 27. If you do all the above mentioned training, do you also train your family members?

This question will be addressed in reference to question 4

28. What do you believe is the biggest cause of gun violence in the United States?

This question will be addressed in the conclusion.

Let’s apply some of the vilified White House gun control endorsed legislation and the Executive Actions signed by the President in January 2013. 

7. Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.

12. Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations.

 18. Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.

 19. Develop model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education

How do those White House positions differ with Question 27 or those involving schools?

There is opposition to background checks although support seems to be there for checking to make sure someone is not a felon or has mental condition which makes gun ownership and usage unsafe, so do these White House positions cover the same issues?

1. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.

2. Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system.

3. Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.

4. Direct the Attorney General to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks.

5. Propose rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.

16. Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.

17. Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.

20. Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover.

21. Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges.

22. Commit to finalizing mental health parity regulations.

23. Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health.

There seems to be favor for private sales and exchanges but concerns over trafficking and straw purchases.  Why don’t these White House positions apply?

5. Propose rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.

6. Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.

9. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.

10. Release a DOJ report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement.

We need stricter penalties according to number 13 of the survey.  Interesting that Number 13 of Executive Actions signed by the President that day in January reads:

13. Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.

What is the greatest cause of gun violence?  Well the survey has a plurality believing in the decline of parenting and family values.  So maybe if professionals in various fields did a little research, we might discover some specifics to turn those declines into risers.  Well, the White House proposed these orders that day in January:

 14. Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.

15. Direct the Attorney General to issue a report on the availability and most effective use of new gun safety technologies and challenge the private sector to develop innovative technologies.

Now let’s look at a few other realities concerning “gun control.  Where does the NRA stand?

From the Washington Post

Funding for Firearm injury prevention

Actions to prevent federal enforcement of gun trafficking laws

From the Economist

From Wayne Lapierre

As to enforcement of laws and imposing stiff penalties, let’s look at perceptions versus reality.

Ted Cruz

Restrictions placed by Congress on enforcement on behalf of the gun lobby

The plan to filibuster this bill, S. 649

How about stopping gun trafficking

How many guns are being banned if S. 649 passes as written?  Why not have it discussed on the Floor of the Senate?

Is the President really after your guns or is someone just wanting you to believe that?  Could it be that they are the ones with ulterior motives?  Maybe increasing gun sales, and if you pay by credit card and can’t make a payment coming to confiscate your gun themselves.  Could it be that they want to avoid addressing economic issues because there is another election next year for all 435 Members of the House and 33 percent of the Senators?

For a look at interpreting the 23 Executive Actions please see

If we can, please try to leave any partisan political thoughts at the door, read the actual bill, and think about reducing violence in general.  Guns are really a separate issue.  Sadly, no law will prevent all crimes or tragedies.  Traffic lights and speed limits don’t stop all accidents or loss of lives, but the goal is to limit the possibilities of accidents and fatalities while making driving as efficient as possible.  I think gun laws should be based on that same level.  Nothing will prevent past or future tragedies, but we can find a balance to try to limit the bad as much as possible while preserving the freedoms of ourselves and others.  That balance isn’t easy to find, but it will be impossible if those who care nothing about either you or me can dominate the Congress of the United States of America and then get everyone to pass the buck and blame the President.  While people talk about this and that, look at what is actually being proposed and possibly being blocked from even being discussed.

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