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Monday, October 19, 2009

Most Virginians want tighter gun laws?

According to a report published yesterday by the Virginian Pilot, a poll conducted by the Judy Ford Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University found that:

...eight of every 10 likely voters interviewed wanted to change a state law that allows someone to buy a firearm from an unlicensed seller at a gun show without first undergoing a criminal background check.

Forgive me for being a bit jaded but I find it awful convenient that a poll on gun issues comes out just 15 days before election day and just happens to show that a position held by a particular candidate is shared by a vast majority of those surveyed. The article indicates that the "gun show loophole" has been a divisive issue in this year's campaign.

The poll was a joint effort by The Virginian-Pilot, WVEC-TV and CNU. There is no link in the article to the poll so that one can review the cross tabs to see the demographics of those surveyed but I have a sneaky suspicion that a majority of those sampled were people living in areas of the Commonwealth that are less friendly to firearms. Not to to mention that the wording of the question could have played a role in the response given. If they used the term "unlicensed dealers" instead of "private individuals" it is highly likely the response twould be in line with what the poll found. Most people don't understand that there is no such classification as an "unlicensed dealer." One either is or is not a gun dealer. If one is engaged in the business of selling firearms without a license, it is a federal crime punishable by five years in prison.

The poll also asked whether Virginia's restaurant ban should be repealed.

A strong majority of those polled - 68.4 percent - also do not want Virginia to allow people with concealed-weapons permits to bring their firearms into eateries that sell alcohol. More than a quarter of those surveyed - 26.3 percent - disagreed, saying the ban should be lifted.
This poll is so out of whack with what has been found in national polls lately so I can only presume that the polling group used questions that pushed the respondent to give the more anti-gun response.

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