Sunday, February 23, 2014
Gun Policy and Law Enforcement Survey
I found this article recently swirling around on social media. It's about a survey taken by over 15,000 law enforcement officers back in March of 2013. The survey questions span the topics of gun control, gun rights, and gun violence.
I was pleasantly surprised by the questions. Unlike a main stream media survey, these questions seemed to be pretty specific. The offered answers I think were a mixed bag. Something is always missing when the answer of "Other" or "Unsure" gets a large percentage of hits in comparison to other answers for the same questions.
Of those taking the survey, the majority were sergeants or below. So that tells us that at least half of those answering these questions know what it's like on the streets. It would be nice to know what states these officers are in as I think it has some bearing on the outcome.
For the most part, the answers represented a common sense, pro-2A viewpoint. It's quite obvious in the results of many of these questions, law enforcement officers do NOT believe you can legislate the people into a safer environment.
The question that startled me was Number 9 - "Should citizens be required to complete a safety training class before being allowed to buy a gun?" Forty-three percent said "No", 42% said "Yes", and 14% said "Yes, but only for certain weapons". So 56% of the officers taking this survey apparently don't take the second amendment literally. But scroll down to Number 19 - "Do you support the concealed carry of firearms by civilians who have not been convicted of a felony and/or not been deemed psychologically/medically incapable?" Ninety-one percent answered "Yes, without questions and without further restrictions." So what happened to the thought that we require training?
I think they saved the best question for last. Number 28 - "What do you believe is the biggest cause of gun violence in the United States?" Thirty-eight percent said "Decline in parenting and family values." THANK YOU! I'd like to know what the specifics that the "Other" answer produced.
Overall I'm pretty pleased with the results of the survey. But with over 765,000 sworn state and local officers in the United States, I would like to see what a larger sample size would do, if anything, to change the results.
You can look at the survey with the results here and form your own opinions.