Letter: Fact checking ‘the real gun facts’

To the Editor:

“97% of Americans support expanded background checks for gun buyers.”

Last week’s pro-gun opinion disputes this claim, blaming Mayors Against Illegal Guns for a rigged survey and a false conclusion.

For the record, Mayors Against Illegal Guns had nothing to do with the survey, the statistic or stacking responses. While many news organizations reported this finding, Mayors Against Illegal guns did not issue a press release or comment to any media source (both easily verified by Google search). There is also no historical record of their being “caught stacking survey responses,” lately or ever.

Rather the result is from a survey conducted and reported by Connecticut’s own Quinnipiac University, a week after the Parkland shooting. Public surveys are conducted regularly, each covering a variety of subjects.

The question on background checks (No. 56 in February) has been asked in 10 surveys dating back to 2013. The exact wording is “Do you support or oppose requiring background checks for all gun buyers?” The lowest level of support was 89% in the first survey. The highest (97%) comes from the latest survey. Support has not always increased, but it has never declined from one survey to the next. Results are based on telephone interviews, most recently involving 1,249 voters nationwide. (From a “left-of-center mailing list” — don’t you wish.)

Looks like a smart move not even trying to explain the other real facts.

Ron Shirk

Peaceable Street, June 8