Poll Bias-Gun Control Essay

885 WordsNov 12, 20124 Pages
The debate over gun control has been raging through the American political systems for years. Almost daily, political polls are presented and the news media continues to fuel the flames of the “gun control” debate. Groups that continue to support an increased invasion upon lawful gun ownership are referred to as caring concerned organizations or citizens’ groups, whereas those that support guns are gun-rights groups, gun- toting groups and are unreasonable and uncompromising. However, both sides present a compelling argument, and those arguments should be considered prior to making any changed decision in legislation. In recent news, the mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado is unlikely to move poll results as it pertains to guns rights and controls in any definitive way. Another shooting that occurred was the Columbine High School shooting that took place thirteen years ago, and not far from Aurora. The Columbine High School shooting gained the most public interest than any other news story during that time. According to Pew Research Center (PRC), “during that week more than 68% said they had followed that story closely” (PRC, 2012). This tragedy helped initiate a national debate over gun control laws, which then produced an increase of polls to obtain the opinions of Americans on gun control in today’s society. As always, general views in stricter gun laws versus stronger gun rights can translate into very different attitudes based on how pollsters deliver specific questions. Polls can be slanted by carefully worded questions to achieve a desired outcome. A poll was presented to registered voters in the state of Utah in 2011. It was presented by a news website related to the debated “Open Carry” law on university campuses in the state. The poll question presented was “Should those on the University of Utah campus be able to carry a big iron on their hip?” (Gehrke,

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