The media likes to do this. They blurt out polls. They say that 93 percent of voters want universal background checks.
However, there is a state where the people actually voted on that. And it proves that their polls are blatantly dishonest and wrong.
Washington had a vote on Initiative 594, which was the universal background check initiative for the state. The results show that at most the people support universal background checks at a rate of about 60 percent support to 40 percent oppose.
The voter turnout for the state was 54.16 percent.
Overall the voting age turnout for the national election in 2014 was 36.3 percent. This means that 81.6 million people turned out for the election out of the total number of people at an age that could also vote. It, however, is not representative of the percent of people registered to vote. If we take into account previous off year elections, a good middle ground may be 150 million registered voters. So voter turnout for the nation would more likely be around 54 percent. So, it appears Washington is likely a good example to go with as far as voters.
Now, let’s look at the 93 percent figure. 93 percent of 81.6 million voters is 75.9 million voters. That leaves 5.7 million voters opposed to universal background checks in the entire country.
The NRA claims on their home page that they are over 5 million members strong. Gun Owners of America has over 300,000 members. The National Association of Gun Rights makes claim to about 3.5 million members. The Second Amendment Foundation boasts 650,000 members.
Now, there likely is some overlap in memberships. But, I would imagine that if you count all the overlap, the membership to pro-gun organizations is roughly equivalent to the number of voters opposed to universal background checks according to the polls. Each of those organizations were opposed to I-594 in Washington. If we use the NRA as the example, they actually lobbied against it in the legislature when the legislature was deciding if they would address the initiative. So it is within reason to believe that NRA members are opposed to universal background checks, but far from within reason to suggest that 93 percent of the membership of these pro-gun organizations support universal background checks.
Gun Owners of America is actually opposed to all forms of background checks. That means 5% of those opposed to universal background checks are members of GOA.
I want to get back to the numbers for I-594 though. 853,990 people voted against background checks in Washington. That means that 15 percent of the voters opposed to universal background checks live within the state of Washington. With Washington setting the precedent, as earlier the voter turnout is about the same as the national turnout, it would only take 7 states if each state contributed to 15% of opposed to universal background checks to reach the number of people who are opposed to universal background checks according to the 93 percent polls.
Washington isn’t really a highly populated of a state either. California had a total of 7.5 million voters turnout in 2014. If 40 percent of those voters would be opposed to universal background checks, then there would be 3 million voters opposed to universal background checks that come from California. 52 percent of the voters opposed to universal background checks would come from California.
Washington is a blue state. It cannot be denied that democrats do tend towards gun control. Yet this blue state wasn’t 93 percent for Universal Background checks, and we cannot expect any other blue state to be the same. The red states would be even farther away from any kind of super majority like that. You can add maybe 3 blue states together and get to the numbers of voters opposed to universal background checks.
There is nothing true about the 93 percent claim. I don’t know how the polls got to that number, or even why the media is so obsessed with that number.
The I-594 vote in Washington proves that the polls are wrong and I believe that is one of the positives that came out of our state voting on I-594 instead of the legislature enacting it. Perhaps the false number is being espoused in order to pull the majority over into believing that most people actually want universal background checks. the idea of herd mentality, maybe?