On last Sunday’s show, I chastised Capt. Mark Kelly, husband of former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, for repeating the dishonest, albeit frequently cited, statistic that “40% of gun sales don’t involve a background check.” Our frequent guest Professor John Lott called that out in a piece in National Review last January, but that hasn’t stopped those seeking more pointless gun control laws from repeating it ad nauseum. The One himself used it last week in a speech. Like so much of what issues forth from the mouth of our TelePrompTer-dependent chief executive, it’s a lie. From Fox News:
The oft-cited figure, it turns out, was pulled from a 1997 study done by the National Institute of Justice. In the study, researchers estimated about 40 percent of all firearm sales took place through people other than licensed gun dealers. The conclusion was based on data from a 1994 survey of 2,568 households. Of those, only 251 people answered the question about where they got their guns.
PolitiFact tracked down the co-author of the study, Duke University professor Philip Cook, and asked him if he thought the 40 percent estimate is accurate.
“The answer is I have no idea,” Cook reportedly told PolitiFact. “This survey was done almost 20 years ago.”
This story points out the Washington Post’s “Fact Checker” gave Obama 3 Pinochios for this claim. It’s worth reading the whole piece. Here’s a little bit from it.
This study was based on data collected from a survey in 1994, the same year that the Brady Act requirements for background checks came into effect. In fact, the questions concerned purchases in 1993 and 1994, and the Brady Act went into effect in early 1994 — meaning that some, if not many, of the guns were bought in a pre-Brady environment.
Digging deeper, we found that the survey sample was just 251 people. (The survey was done by telephone, using a random-digit-dial method, with a response rate of 50 percent.) With this sample size, the 95 percent confidence interval will be plus or minus six percentage points.
Moreover, when asked whether the respondent bought from a licensed firearms dealer, the possible answers included “probably was/think so” and “probably not,” leaving open the possibility the purchaser was mistaken. (The “probably not” answers were counted as “no.”)
When all of the “yes” and “probably was” answers were added together, that left 35.7 percent of respondents indicating they did not receive the gun from a licensed firearms dealer. Rounding up gets you to 40 percent, although as we noted before, the survey sample is so small it could also be rounded down to 30 percent.
As we brace ourselves for another round of Obama’s “Big Lie” Road show, which today will travel to Colorado, let’s recap what we’ve seen so far. The “never let a crisis go to waste” playbook on prominent display, as B. Hussein Obama takes advantage of the murder of children to once again trample of the U.S. Constitution, and use disingenuous “studies” to deceive people into going along.
I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again because there is nothing more true in this life. The Left lies.