At The Hill newspaper: “The media plays dishonest numbers game with guns”

24 Jun , 2017  

Dr. John Lott’s latest op-ed in The Hill newspaper starts this way:

A brand new PEW Research Center survey last week shows that gun ownership by households is up to 42 percent — an increase of 5 percentage points in the past four years.

dYet, few mainstream media outlets announced the increase.

In fact, the media goes out of its way to find polls claiming that Americans are turning away from guns. In my book, “War on Guns” the impression, the impression given by the media is 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.”

Just last year 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.”

In 2015, 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. . . .

The rest of the piece is available here.

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