New Fox News piece: “Gun ownership is up in America. So why isn’t the media telling you about it?”

Sep 9, 2016 | Featured

Fox News Opinion

Dr. John Lott’s newest piece at Fox News starts this way:

Two weeks ago, the PEW Research Center released a survey showing that gun ownership by households is up to 44% — a 7-percentage point increase in the past two years. Another 5% of households won’t reveal whether they own a gun.  Yet, not a single mainstream American media headline has announced the increase.

In fact, the media goes out of its way to find polls claiming that Americans are turning away from guns.  In their War on Guns they want to give the impression that gun owners are a small, fringe group.  Maybe they are hoping that this will have an impact on policy.  As General Social Survey director Tom Smith told me, a large drop in gun ownership would “make it easier for politicians to do the right thing on guns.”

In June, the Washington Post and Time magazine trumpeted a CBS News poll with this headline: “American gun ownership drops to lowest in nearly 40 years” and “The Weird Reason Why Gun Ownership in America Is at Its Lowest Point Since the 1970s.” Last year, an Associated Press headline announced: “Gun ownership in U.S. drops to record low.”  Recent headlines in the New York Times and CNN declared: “Share of Homes With Guns Shows 4-Decade Decline” and “Fewer US gun owners own more guns.”

The Washington Post falsely assured readers, “The downward trend in gun ownership remains consistent across the national polls.”  Bizarrely, if the Washington Post and CNN had relied on their own polls, their headlines would claim that gun ownership has remained constant over the years.  But neither organization has run such headlines.

Only two surveys actually show a drop in gun ownership.  They are by CBS News and the General Social Survey (GSS).  According to the GSS, the percentage of homes with a gun has fallen from approximately 50% in the late 1970s to 32% in 2014.  The CBS poll claimed that ownership had fallen from 51% in 1978 to 36% this year.

But many other surveys have obtained very different results. . . .

The rest of the piece is available here.

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1 Comment

  1. Bartosh Rudnicki

    Great article.

    CBS News poll, conducted right after the terrorist attack on a night club in Orlando, with president Obama and others calling for gun control, found that the percentage of households with at least one gun owner had declined 10% since 2012. It is absurd and it doesn’t take a Ph.D. to know the reliability of these results should be questioned, if not discarded entirely.