Surveys are virtually worthless.
I say this because public opinion has been molded by a false dialog for most of the past three decades.
In February of this year, Marist conducted a poll commission by NPR and the PBS Newshour. The survey included questions about various proposed gun laws.
The last question asked was, “From what you have seen or heard, do you think, compared to 25 years ago, the per capita gun murder rate in the U.S. is higher, lower, or about the same?”
59% of those responding, said it was higher; 23% said it was about the same.
2017 is the most recent year for which the CDC has reported full-year data. This would make 1993 the first year in a 25-year span. Over the period 1993 to 2017, the per-capita gun murder rate in the U.S. plunged 36.43%.
Based on initial 2018 data from the FBI, it appears the homicide rate in the U.S. declined slightly in 2018 but even if it had remained the same as the 2017 rate, it would have still been significantly lower than the rate in 1994.
Remember, these answers were based on what Americans had see or heard. This means that what they had seen of heard was untrue. Not only was it untrue, it was grossly untrue and challenges to its veracity were almost totally missing from the rhetoric of politicians and pundits and reports in the media.
This is the phenomenon of the Big Lie. If a lie is big enough and repeated often enough, it becomes accepted by the people as truth. It doesn’t make the Big Lie true; just believable.
If the public perception of the rate of gun murder is incorrect, how much credence should we give public opinion on gun control laws based on information from the same unreliable sources?
There is no independently verifiable evidence that shows the popular gun control methods would have any beneficial impact on crime, violence, and most particularly, the frequency or lethality of mass shootings.
Studies by both the CDC and Rand Corporation were unable to find conclusive evidence that gun control laws affected rates of gun violence on way or the other. They appear to be irrelevant.
An idea can be popular but popularity doesn’t make it a good idea. The same is even more true of laws.