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Misleading Questions and Ignorance Skew Poll Results

Facts matter, but they don’t win votes. They also don’t shape public policy or win elections for a government more concerned about re-election than public safety.

Governments, advocacy groups and media outlets use polls to mold public opinion and determine political direction.

The recent Nanos Research poll[i], feverishly embraced by our political foes, is a perfect example. Headlines across the nation were based on the results for this question.

“Handguns are currently restricted in Canada, would you support, somewhat support, somewhat oppose or oppose a total ban on handgun ownership by anyone other than police and other security professionals?”

The results, 48.2% and 19.8%, respectively “support” and “somewhat support” a national handgun ban. 

For this question and its results to be called valid, two conditions must be met.

First, the poll respondent must be wholly ignorant of Canadian firearm laws. 

Second, is the polling firm’s desire to skew results in a particular direction. Both conditions are met in this poll.

It’s not easy to legally own a handgun in Canada.

“Handguns are currently restricted in Canada,” is not explained. 

The length, breadth and depth of those restrictions are not explained.

Absent is any mention of mandatory firearm safety training courses, the practical and theoretical test potential gun owners must pass, or the personal and RCMP criminal background checks one must pass. 

Were the full truth given to participants in this poll, it would return a vastly different result. 

This poll, like the national gun ban currently floated by our government, is not about public safety. It’s about influencing votes and shifting public opinion in a specific direction.





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