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Response to jimmy the one (Reply #37)

Tue Jan 6, 2015, 03:38 PM

49. Our of curiosity where were you living in 1950s ...

You state:


And it was indeed prudent for gun owners to be quiet about their gun ownership back then, even to the 1950's, since gun owners were then considered radical - parents would advise children to cross the street walking home from school, if a known gun owner was on the route.


I was living in Ohio in the 1950s and almost everybody had a shotgun or rifle in their home. Nobody ever felt gun owners were "radical" or worried about their kids walking past or being in a home with firearms. Most of my friends owned a .22 caliber rifle and had learned gun safety from their parents.

I seriously doubt that you knew many gun owners in the 1950s and still don't.

I am not misinforming readers about the percentage of gun owners in our nation. It's far higher than you wish. As I said it has increased since 1973 and is now most likely around 60%. Firearms sales have absolutely skyrocketed in the last couple of decades and show no signs of slowing down. I see a lot of first time gun owners at the ranges I shoot at and often help them learn the basics of accurate shooting.

I also understand statistics and I realize that garbage in means garbage out. Since a significant percentage of gun owners like me are willing to lie to any surveyor who knocks on our door or calls on the phone, any statistics on gun owners are questionable at best.

But you will agrue that what I am saying is just my opinion.

The (in)accuracy of gun ownership surveys
POSTED BY DAVID HARDY · 1 DECEMBER 2014 11:05 AM

It's been widely assumed that telephone surveys of gun owners understate the real numbers, because some proportion of them are reluctant to disclose ownership to a stranger. I recently found two pieces of research on the question.

Arthur L. Kellerman, et al., Validating Survey Responses to Questions About Gun Ownership Among Owners of Registered Handguns, 131 J. OF EPIDEMOLOGY 1084 (1990)... yes, that Kellermann. They surveyed 35 households in Seattle and Memphis (I wasn't aware that either had registration) who had a handgun registered to them. 31 said that they did have a gun, 1 denied ever having had one, and 3 said they'd had one, but didn't now (which the study counts as a valid answer, but I'd classify it as fishy, at least). So 3% gave an incorrect answer and 9% gave a fishy one.

Ann C. Rafferty, et al., Validity of a Household Gun Question in a Telephone Survey, 110 PUBLIC HEALTH REPORTS 282 (1995). A larger sample (around 190) of households that have a registered handgun, or had a hunting license. 13% of the first and 10% of the second denied owning any type of gun.

These suggest that telephone surveys result in numbers that are significantly too low, as by an eighth to a tenth, even when the ownership is completely legal.
http://armsandthelaw.com/archives/2014/12/the_inaccuracy_.php



11:30 pm ET
Mar 22, 2013 POLITICS

Guns Present Polling Conundrum

***snip***

Questions about gun ownership don’t fit neatly into typical polling categories, pollsters say. On the one hand, the question of whether the respondent owns a gun, or whether there is a gun in the respondent’s home, should be “really cut-and-dry,” Dimock said. But some guns may have been inherited and may hardly be used. “It’s there but not present in people’s mind or their lives,” he said.

Who answers the phone in the household could affect responses. “We know that in a survey where respondents are randomly selected from adults in the household, a household headed by a married couple is substantially more likely to report guns in the home if the husband is selected than if the wife is selected,” said Philip Cook, an economist and gun-violence researcher at Duke University.

Also, some gun owners may be reluctant to tell researchers they own guns, because of legal and political considerations, which makes the question more like behavioral or attitudinal questions than like questions that ask basic facts about respondents. “This is an unusual demographic-type question,” said Frank Newport, editor-in-chief of Gallup.

That is the argument cited by those who think Gallup’s higher counts for gun ownership are more realistic than lower counts from the General Social Survey, which is run out of NORC, an affiliate research institution at the University of Chicago. Gallup’s survey, and some others that count more gun owners, are conducted over the phone, while the GSS is fielded in person.

“People are very reluctant to admit they own guns in phone surveys,” said Andrew Arulanandam, spokesman for the National Rifle Association, which uses Gallup’s numbers, not GSS’s. “We suspect they would probably be more reluctant to disclose that to someone at their front door asking them pretty personal questions.”(...emphasis added)
http://blogs.wsj.com/numbers/guns-present-polling-conundrum-1223/

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