Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Who's Behind the Survey?

A rather mysterious online survey on guns and attitudes towards gun control, aimed at conservatives is circulating in Northern Nevada. The author is a graduate student at American University, Rachel Coyle. Her survey came to my attention via an email to the Lyon (NV) County GOP council that I have become privy to.

Several people in the Nevada gun rights community has wondered who the author of this survey is and the purpose of the survey. I feel that it is important for the public to understand who the author is and what her motivations might be for this study.

Ms. Coyle states she is conducting a study on gun control and the Second Amendment and circulating that study to conservatives. Exclusively. If one selects that they are a liberal, they are thanked and the study ends. She states that "My project includes a survey on specific aspects of the gun rights debate, to gauge public opinion and look for overlap. The survey questions are drawn from conversations with several hundred gun rights supporters on social media.”

The Study

Here are some of the questions in the survey she is circulating. Some of them appear to be heavily biased. Note: I am not linking to the study.

The questions about mental illness seem to reflect a misunderstanding that the mentally ill and non-clinically disturbed persons who are guilty of the infamous mass shootings of late were not stopped by existing gun laws. Most passed background checks, and in the case of Adam Lanza, he murdered his mother and stole her guns. 

I don't know what to make of the study and not sure why it showed up in Nevada. I can't find any links to it elsewhere, save for the author's own social media. It does focus on the two hot-button topics around gun rights at the moment, open carry and expanding background checks. The mental health background checks questions as well as those on whose guns rights should be restricted trouble me. My college education was English and Criminal Justice, so I don't have the knowledge to properly analyze the objectivity of a study, however, it does seem biased and given Ms. Coyle's personal beliefs (read on), it's likely she does not support gun rights. 

Who the author is as a person is important, especially in this time of false-grassroots movements, particularly former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg's various gun-control groups. The participants in this study deserve to know if their opinions are being used to malign them and exactly who is collecting them and for what end purpose. Please note that I am not insinuating some sinister tin-foil hat plot against Nevada gun owners; it's just that this whole thing is mysterious, suspicious, and coming at a crucial time in the struggle to maintain and democratically retake our gun rights in Nevada.

The Author Herself

Ms. Coyle, 25, is an employee of Outreach Strategies, a communication agency, and earning a master’s degree in political communication from American University. Outreach Strategies appears to be focused on ‘sustainability’ and has a client list who are presumably concerned about the zeitgeist of sustainable and the ‘green’ movement.

Her Twitter feed is filled with re-Tweets about shooting crimes, mental health issue (her self-admitted area of interest) and an obsession with conservative politicians and figures. One re-Tweet pics on Open Carry Texas members. If you dig through the over 13,000 tweets, you can find more that imply she doesn’t like open carry. She also has re-Tweets from the Violence Policy Center and its ridiculous #ImUnloading campaign with the felon Snoop Dogg.

Then she goes on to show a tweet from Bloomberg’s Everytown that says only 11% of mass shooters showed signs of mental illness, which doesn't do anything for their case that we need expanded background checks. She has several re-Tweets that seem to support universal background checks. I think it’s safe to say that she supports universal background checks (banning private gun sales) and gun control.

She admits that “My politics are moderate-progressive” on her blog of amoderation.wordpress.com. Ms. Coyle is quite obviously a liberal (unfortunately that term is a pejorative now) and has some rather peculiar interests and viewpoints, as her blog shows. 

The most interesting thing on her blog was the disgusting regurgitation of “common sense” gun laws, the new catch-phrase for gun control being bandied about, mostly by the Bloomberg drones. Her post on Kory Watkins, a Texas open carry advocate, correctly points out that the man is rather reckless and does more harm than good to his cause. What stands out about the post are the bolded phrases endlessly talking about ‘gun sense.’ It’s basically a diatribe on how some of the more crass and flamboyant open carry advocates should have their guns taken away and ends up being a flawed argument in favor of background checks.

For example:
“Gun owners should support common sense laws like a fully funded, fully-staffed, background check system – with mental health checks and without loopholes (loophole examples: online sales, personal sales, gun show sales)."
Gun owners shouldn't support "common sense" laws. We have a fully funded, fully-staffed, background check system with mental health checks, that often doesn't stop mass murderers because that's not what it's designed to do. Ms. Coyle apparently is rather naive and bought the anti-gun propaganda hook, line, and sinker. Gun owners need to stop compromising.
 “If we all agree to support laws such as one that would fix our broken background check system, maybe we can weed out some of the people who make all gun owners look bad.”

So gun rights only apply to people who you think make gun owners look good? Like who? This guy?

And background checks are about keeping guns out of the hands of prohibited persons, or at least taking away the easy retail purchase of guns for them. Expanding background checks doesn't make us safer and has nothing to with open carry or asshole gun owners. 
 “Well-written gun control laws would not take rights from law-abiding citizens. There is a middle ground." 

No, there is no middle ground Ms. Coyle. We've tried that way and the gun grabbers simply take and take and now they want more. If you give a mouse a cookie, he'll want a glass of milk, etc.

I'm not sure what her aim is, but she is no friend to gun rights, and this study stinks to high heaven. The likelihood is that it's nothing more than an innocent study, but as I mentioned above, the timing and circumstances in Nevada lead one to be a bit suspicious, especially given the plethora of flawed and misleading studies that the anti-gun crowd has published or cited of late. Let's not support the statist viewpoint, even if it's just for an innocent master's thesis.


No comments:

Post a Comment