The results look vastly different than Frank Luntz’s bogus poll. It all depends on how you ask the question. The more I see of polling, the more I think polling is a refuge for scoundrels, and yet it unfortunately plays a large role in political battles, which is why NRA is doing it. The more important part is many of us will crawl over broken glass to oppose politicians who favor gun control.
12 thoughts on “NRA Polls its Own Members”
Bad link in: “The results look vastly different than Frank Luntzâ€™s bogus poll”
The link is broken I think.
It points to here: http://www.pagunblog.com/2013/01/29/nra-polls-its-own-members/s/2013/01/24/survey-finds-91-of-national-rifle-association-members-stand-united/
but that page is returning your 404
The link has been fixed.
“91% of NRA members support laws keeping firearms away from the mentally ill.”
And that will be our Achille’s Heel, that will be manipulated to get everything else they want, indirectly or directly.
Sort of like how the NRA (et al) propagandized us to support “instant background checks” in the first place.
The limit of what can be accomplished is our own people more often than I’m comfortable with.
Hard to say, “mentally ill” in a telephone survey is too imprecise to know what the membership really means, and this sort of survey is not the place to drill down/educate to get a good answer.
Anyone who’s every been prescribed an antidepressant? I doubt it.
The three shooters previous to the Newtown one (the question from the hearings on why don’t we know anything about the case was very apropos)? Almost certainly, based on the official actions about the VA and Aurora shooters and everything we’ve heard about the AZ one and his adventures in college (with possible official corruption thrown in for the latter).
Drawing the line in-between is where the fun begins, especially when we’re dealing with the openly ignorant who don’t bother to hide their desire to ban all civilian gun ownership.
Don’t count on many or most people being too analytical about what “mental illness” means. They all think they know it when they see it.
I hope most people agree that statistically speaking, we have exhausted the argument that failure to incarcerate enough criminals is the reason behind gun crime — given that the United States already incarcerates its citizens at a higher rate than any other nation on earth. At very least, the lack of deterrence by incarceration has been demonstrated. Yet at another venue, I just encountered gun owners whining about pot-smokers who were caught with guns receiving probation rather than long prison sentences.
That is what will happen with this mental illness meme. Crimes will continue to be perpetrated with guns, and it will be found that the perps once talked with a therapist or took lightweight anti-depressants five or ten years earlier. And gun owners who think it will never affect them will demand that the mental health noose become tighter and tighter.
There’s a difference between incarcerating ‘criminals’ and incarcerating actual violent criminals. What happens to the incarceration numbers when you take all of the non-violent drug offenses out?
There are plenty of news stories about people convicted of serious violent crimes who get tiny sentences. Obviously the plural of anecdote is not data, but the data is probably out there. Looking for it added to my to do list.
Since we’re doing “statistics,” there is plenty of anything you care to cite, in a country of 320 million people. But what percentage of egregious crimes go almost unpunished, following conviction? I frankly believe it’s a manipulative myth that we buy into. And you can go out in the next hour and find a couple dozen anecdotes to make your point, and I’ll still believe that.
Frankly, the anecdotes I know of first hand, among people one degree of separation from me, are all of people getting their asses reamed out for crimes that were relatively innocent; but with mandatory sentences, etc., they go away for a long time. In one (anecdotal) case I know of, even the police involved, and the warden of the prisons where the guy was sent, couldn’t believe the severity of the sentence. So it just doesn’t compute for me that lenient sentences are the rule.
I just finished reading Clayton Cramer’s “My Brother Ron”. Somewhere near the end, Clayton discusses an interesting study that shows that, when you combine the populations of prison inmates with those of people who were institutionalized, there’s a pretty strong correlation between that, and the number of murders in the population.
That is, the more crazy people we have locked up, the less murder we get.
Unfortunately, that means we’re putting a lot of schizophrenics in prison–and since we’re so insistent on waiting until schizophrenics actually cause harm before they get treated, we sometimes get hit by some pretty gruesom harm before schizophrenics are either treated, or put in prison.
We would do well to carefully loosen the laws that prevent us from treating the mentally ill against their will. Clayton even discusses a couple of reforms in his book that, if adopted more widely, will likely make a difference, without as much re-institutionalization to boot!
Something I’ve read but have never verified is that possibly the most successful crime-fighters in history were the Nazis. When you just lock up everyone with few concerns for civil liberties, you are bound to get a lot of the real criminals, too.
I’d submit that if you took any category you cared to — say, gun owners — and locked a lot of them up before they had a chance to do anything, that too would reduce murders. But, if you are not going to wait for people to actually do something, before you lock them up, I’d suggest you had better have some objective standard for predicting that their doing something is very imminent.
Otherwise, I’ll fight you on it.
I don’t know if you have had experience with the mentally ill (I have a sister who is schizophrenic), but when you have schizophrenia, it’s pretty clear that you aren’t acting in a rational way. And while my sister isn’t nearly close enough that she has to be institutionalized, it’s nonetheless something very scary to brush up against.
Interestingly enough, however, some of the reforms that Clayton is discussing won’t necessarily lock people away–it’s often useful enough to loosen the standards to allow for the forcing of medication (such as “the person isn’t an immenent threat, but if the condition deteriorates, the person *will* become a threat to self or others”); he also discusses how some states, like New York, have a system of providing treatment on an out-patient basis.
Finally, it’s well-known that a lot of the people in prison today have mental illness–and that’s problematic for both the mentally sick and the sane prisoners. Indeed, at one point, when someone who was committing small crimes was found to be mentally unstable, that person was given treatment, rather than put into prison–but now, it’s not uncommon for a schizophrenic to be in and out of jail, until they do something serious enough to put them in prison, sometimes for a long time. How is this any better than the previous arrangement, where the mentally ill were taken care of (which, unfortunately, didn’t always mean that they were taken care of *well*), and sometimes even treated?
This is a complex topic, but it’s one we need to grapple with. And frankly, we need to do it because we need to do our best in treating the mentally ill–and not because we need to “stop crime”, as if that were possible.
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