Thursday, February 10, 2011

Results From My Quick Poll

Yesterday I posted a simple poll on this blog.  In the poll, I asked, "I'd like to get an idea about the philosophy of visitors here: Do you consider yourself for or against stricter gun legislation?"  And, boy, was there a response!  Thank you for responding.

Here is the final tally at the time I posted this:  (out of 600 votes)
Very much for stricter legislation:  10 (1%)
Somewhat for stricter legislation:  2 (<1%)
I could go either way:  0 (0%)
Somewhat against stricter legislation:  1 (<1%)
Very much against stricter legislation:  586 (97%)
No opinion, but thought I'd like to have my vote counted:   0 (0%)

Wow!  At first glance it seems I'm very much in a tiny minority.  97% as "very much against stricter legislation" to control firearms! 

Gee, I imagine the casual observer would say, "Well, Baldr, you anti-rights, anti-liberty Joyce Foundation shill (to use the not-as-bad terms that others have referred to me as), I guess it's time to give up your futile attempt to advocate for safer gun laws and practices.  Get your camo on, go to a gun store, take your 5-minute background check to get your first AR-15 assault rifle and start shootin' up the woods, boy!  You're outnumbered!  Love 'em or leave 'em!" 

Shucks.   I guess I have to admit that....    Oh, wait, what's this?  Why, it's the digital age.  And there seems to be... well, well, what have we here...  web stats  and searches!

You see, on an average day New Trajectory gets between 200-300 hits.  But after yesterday's post, this blog got an AMAZING 1207 hits and counting (see attached graph)!  Great balls of fire!  Either I've suddenly become extremely popular reading for the pro-gun crowd, or <GASP >  there's some sort of fraudulent mis-representation going on!

Well, I should come clean and admit something.  My intention wasn't really to find out what percent of visitors were pro-gun or pro-control (truthfully, I think most are pro-gun since most comments and trackback links come from them).  My intention was actually to test the ethics of the pro-gun folks.  But I figured I'd give you the chance.

You see, guys, if you had been representing yourselves in an honest manner, the number of hits would have remained relatively constant from previous days, whatever the results from the poll.  But if you instead put out the word on forums and tweets and such that there was a poll that needed to be overrun with responses from your side, hits would go way up and the results would be skewed.  I figured that would be the case, but you far exceeded my expectations.

Now, before you call me a bigot and a liar (as you often do), let me show the evidence.  On THIS and THIS pro-gun forums, "DanM" started a discussion with,
"This Ceasefire-Oregon weenie put a poll up on his blog's main page. Hit it hard!"  
The readers didn't disappoint.

 At Joe Huffman's Blog, he posted about the poll and how only pro-gun people visit, adding about folks like me,
"Online life for them must feel a lot like showing up alone at a NAACP convention dressed in their whitest sheets and pillow cases—as it well should."   
(No racist undertones there, Joe!  As if advocating for reducing gun violence is anything at all similar to centuries of racism and slavery!)

Over at the extremist Forum, Shizzlemah began simply by posting the link and stating "link left cold on purpose" (meaning it's not a "hot" link you can click on, or track back from my site, so I wouldn't know they were posting about it.  His readers didn't listen.  Here are some of their comments:
-- made it hot 
-- Please do not make it hot - no need for trackbacks to ARF!
-- Don't, if we hotlink they'll find us out. 
-- Keep pounding. This is funny.  And kill that hotlink up there.
-- Lol 98% against stricter laws. I would say most lopsided poll in ARFCOM history. 
-- Damn Eugene limpdicks. Half of them are from CA.
-- Nope, it's just getting hammered and we are winning!
At all of these sites, person after person stated they had "hit" or voted on the poll.

Meanwhile, I was home from work because my daughter was sick with a cold, and I watched as visitors popped on and popped off, most without even enough time to read two full sentences.  In other words, they were coming over for the express purpose of voting and then leaving without reading anything at all.  In fact, one commenter on one of those forums stated:
"Just out of curiosity I read a little bit of that blog. Don't make the same mistake that I did. Just vote and move along."
Well, at least one guy read a little!

One commenter at THIS site said about me,
"This guy could really use a few hours of zen at his local range. What a complete douche-bag."

So what's the moral of this story? 

First off, many (600, at least) of you pro-gun guys must be awfully insecure about your stances if you have to resort to this sort of fraudulent mis-representation and name-calling, and for my little site no less!  You aren't doing your cause any good that way.  Stacking the vote on my little poll on my little-read blog hardly changes anything other than the opinion others have of you.  This isn't some national election you need to rig.  It's just me and my opinions.  (And this is a good example of why online polls are typically not valid.)

Secondly, you guys are certainly cohesive about your gun-love passion.  It's an important lesson to the pro-control side that, within only 15-20 minutes of posting, you had hundreds of your adherents flooding my little poll with their votes.  One of you shouts, "Jump!" and the rest shout, "How high?!"  I haven't seen that kind of mindless devotion for any stance outside of religious-political ones (anti-gay rights, anti-evolution, or anti-abortion, for instance).  I guess that's a compliment to you guys.  Those who campaign against gun violence, like myself, have a lot to learn in garnering that sort of cohesiveness and fast response.

Finally, this is the sort of polarized response that makes honest discourse so difficult for this topic.  Most gun owners are not so bully-ish.  Most are honest, good people, and some of you occasionally comment here.  I appreciate those honest discussions, like from my "neighbor," Orygunner.  It's why I allow comments (Yes, they're moderated, but you should see the sort of off-color comments that come in!  I admit some are not posted for other reasons, though, due to their extreme length, redundant comments, or vast deviations from the topic, and occasionally I sit on a few in order to research a response, and don't always get back to them).  

If you consider yourself a more reasonable person than the bunch who flooded the poll and made those comments, now is your chance to change the atmosphere.  Speak out and represent.

Very soon I'm going to post on real national and regional surveys, and you'll see that the average public are clearly in favor of stricter regulation of guns.

UPDATE (2/10/11):  At 776 votes, the votes still keep coming, with the same spread.  But I've made my point and am removing the poll.  However, this time I am posting all but the very worst of the comments, just to exemplify the level of antagonism I typically get, and to display the sore feelings the pro-gun folks feel for this little test.


  1. Or perhaps you realize that people who actually understand constitutional rights and fundamental human rights towards self-defense watch blogs like yours to refute blatantly wrong points and appeals to emotion that the anti-gunowner crowd is so apt to revert to when presented with simple facts, evidence, and reality?

  2. It should come as no surprise that somehow the millions of people passionate about their hobby might voice their opinion if given a poll to do so, and encourage others to do the same. If you for one second deny you would do the same in the same position for your cause, then you clearly lack any passion for your cause which is even more frightening as the entire strategy of "those who should really move to some totalitarian state in training such as Australia or Britain and leave those of us who think freedom is important very much alone" is to prey on the emotions of the uninformed shamelessly whenever an unpreventable tragedy strikes the nation, and it seems like one should at least have the courtesy to possess the same emotions one preys on. Unless of course one has been clinically diagnosed as a psychopath, in which case at least that explains it.

  3. You do realize that only 12 people in the poll voted that they want to have fewer rights? That means that out of your average 2-300 hits only 12 of them wanted to take their and others rights away.

    You're still in the tiny majority, Americans like their rights.

  4. Be sure to only post the surveys conducted by our members and fans, and omit the ones run by pollsters who couldn't care less about anything but ethics and accuracy!

  5. The reason we turn out in such large numbers to vote on polls like this is precisely to prove how useless internet polls like this are. Various political groups (not just gun related) love to quote polls with very questionable methodology. Since we can't prevent them from using bad numbers. We certainly can't get most people to think critically about how those numbers are derived. The only thing we can do is make sure those numbers aren't useful.

    That said; we do have a very large support base. VPC and friends would like to claim that the pro-gun lobby is funded by firearm manufactures and doesn't have large grass roots support. Hitting polls like your allows us to prove the contrary.

  6. Baldr, Thanks for a wonderful post. It doesn't surprise me at all that those rallying cries went up, nor does it matter. In fact the 500 guys who don't normally come here did so because they realize that in a fair sampling, even most gun owners approve of gun control. These people are extremists.

    One good aspect is that some of them may stick around and become regular readers.

  7. So basically you're jealous that your 10 supporters couldn't generate traffic the way we could.

  8. It's called Astroturf where the deck is stacked.

    Anyone dealing with climate change, gun control, reproductive choice, Palestinian rights, and so on has experienced it.

    It's amazing that it has any power in a democracy, but so it goes.

  9. +1 on what #1 said. We must always be on the lookout for bigotry. Your stance against a fundamental individual civil right has drew attention to your blog. You are either pro civil rights, or you support the oppression of civil rights.

    We now know where you stand sir.


  10. I am not seeing how this is any sort of ethics failure or fraud. You put up a poll, people came and voted.

    Three observations-

    1, I have seen a lot of internet polls like this get links from both pro-gun and pro-control people, as EACH side tries to bolster their end of the vote. You just simply don't have enough friends.

    2, Even if you eliminate the extra 950 hits or so that are above average as all against stricter legislation, you still end up with 10 votes for stricter gun control, and 240 against, or 96%.

    3, Generally Internet polls aren't an accurate representation of the general public anyway when it comes to the issue of gun control. I suggest that this may be because computer savvy people are, on average, more pro-liberty and freedom than the "general" rest of society. It may also be because pro-rights people are much more staunch supporters for what they believe in than most people that claim they support gun control. This seems evidenced by the fact that there are FAR more pro-gun rights blogs and forums out there than gun control forums.

    I firmly believe that the reason public phone polls show support for gun control is because of ignorance. I would like to see a poll conducted which actually educates people as to the unbiased truth about what an "assault weapon" really is compared to other firearms. I would like to see a poll conducted which actually informs the people as to the overall success of gun control as a "safety measure" showing people what the actual results have been where it's been implemented. Then let's see what an EDUCATED public answers on these polls.


  11. As a fellow blogger, I have the same results. No sooner have I posted than someone responds- sometimes within one minute! I had to ask one guy where he was since I had barely put up my post and he was responding. I think these folks sit in their darkened homes just waiting for one of us to post something so they can jump on and start in their worn out arguments and start diverting attention from the real problem. It is the same folks who respond, generally, on most of the blogs or articles written by those on the gun control side. They are a small group of very paranoid people who regurgitate what they themselves say to each other every day on their own blogs. The reasonable people are out there but they choose not to get onto blogs and make ridiculous comments because they have better things to do with their time. They are with us, not them. But never mind the facts- they are inconvenient to these folks. I know what your research will show. The majority is on the side of gun control. But the gun lobby has co-opted the message and made so much noise and so many threats to politicians that the politicians have chosen to just be quiet or go along instead of risk the wrath of the gun guys. Shameful, really. Keep up the good work, Baldr. We both know that many others are reading our blogs but are just not responding. We are changing the minds and hearts of many and eventually, it will change the voting patterns of our leaders.

  12. So, the gun guys have access to the internet, are motivated to participate in polls in defense of their views, and come out in numbers to do so.

    Why can't the same be said for gun control advocates?

    I think that is the main question to be concluded from this exercise.

  13. Baldr,

    How is this fraud?

    You asked for visitors to this blog to vote, didn't you?

    You didn't ask regular readers to vote, you asked for visitors.

    Well, you got visitors - didn't you!

    Now. I see an aspect here that I think you are missing.

    How this happened is exactly how you say that most pro-gun control advocacy works.

    People read or see something that is important to them. They contact their friends and people who believe the same way they do.

    Those people take actions -- NON-VIOLENT, Freedom of Speech, Grass Roots Power to the PEOPLE action.

    How does this show fraud?

    The other aspect, the one I find most humorous, is also one you missed.

    Where were your friends?
    Where were the great masses of pro-gun control folks?

    Why didn't all your buddies; MikeB302000, Japete, Laci, er, MikeB302000, Japete, Laci; help out and post on the subject, encourage others to vote?

    If gun control has the massive support you say it does -- where were those people?

    Isn't amazing that your poll doesn't show the support you claim to have?

  14. Seems kind of like sour grapes to me. Things didn't work out the way you wanted so you changed the conversation to "ethics". Yea, I meant it to work out that way.

    Perhaps the anti gun crowd almost certainly put the word out as well to hit your poll but after all their tweeting and posting on the anti gun forums only got 9 other people to vote. The truth is that pro-rights people are very passionate about this topic and most people that aren't passionate on it fall in the middle. Only a small minority is passionately against freedom.

    I think the real lesson you learned here is that non-random un-controlled sampling is worthless to truly determine public opinion.

    P.s. I would have volted against stricter legislation.

  15. Thats right cohesive is the word. New gun laws WILL NOT STAND. And some old ones should go too...
    This isnt like the bad old days of clintonista style "executive order" bans and "assualt weapon" bills. We are organized, we are well funded, the NRA has 4 million, 4,000,000,000 individual dues paying members. Not to mention countless other orgs like Second Amendment Foundation, Calguns Foundation, Jews for the Protection of Firearms etc...
    You may have the media, but the internet has evened the score. Freedom haters and gun grabbers are going to have to put in a lot more work if they want citizen disarmament. Dont even mention "reasonable restrictions". Is there any restrictions you find UNreasonable?

  16. Sounds to me like your feelings are hurt because you have virtually no support for your bigotry. Boo hoo.

  17. Even if you assume all 10 votes out of 200 ~300 regular visitors are your regular readers, that is not a strong endorsement for more gun control.

  18. (No racist undertones there, Joe! As if advocating for reducing gun violence is anything at all similar to centuries of racism and slavery!)

    Do you truly not understand that gun control is based on racism and discrimination?

  19. I love how anti-gun activists LOVE to tout that Luntz poll which polled 400 people, and take it as Gospel to say that 52% of americans support stricter gun control (yes, 208 people i guess constitutes a "majority") yet dedicate a whole 20 paragraph post to attempt to discredit the results of this poll because you didn't get the results you liked.

    If nothing else, this Poll shows where the real grass-roots are in the gun control debate and why gun control is is spiraling into the abyss of irrelavency. Anti-gunners just can't mobilize their base like pro-gunnies can. Blame the Interweb Tubes, blame Twitter, blame gun blogs, blame Bush, blame someone...but god forbid we look at reality and realize that gun control does not, and has never kept criminals from committing crimes with guns, and American citizens are catching on.

  20. You gave people a chance to express there opinion and now you're upset that they did so?

    Anti gun folks could have (and frequently DO) encourage each other to vote on polls.

    But hey, you asked.

    And the fact is, there are more of us 'gun nuts' than there are of you 'guns r bad,mmmmmm k' people.

    80 million households in the US own firearms

    there are more than 300 million firearms known to be in civilian ownership.

    the most popular firearm in the US is now the AR15 rifle.

    Those who are opposed to firearm ownership are in the minority....

  21. So you lied about the reason for your poll to show the ethics of others? LOL

    At least you didn't ask if we supported restricting mental patients from getting guns and then loudly perpetrate (because of the number who would agree to THAT) that has been a mandate by the majority of Americans for all kinds of gun restrictions, which is the bias of most poll results. To ask something very specific that nobody would deny and push that the results show a more generic result.

    As for others writing about it, I sometimes read your blog to see what you are saying (and to argue against most of it), but I haven't in a few days. Another blogger posted about your poll (never pushing anyone to go vote) and I came and voted. You said you wanted visitors and readers to vote. We did.

    Where are thousands on your side (because you have the majority opinion in America, supposedly)? Probably where they are when it comes to votes of other sorts. Sitting in their homes because when it comes down to it, they really don't care about gun control. They just talk about it.

  22. Well, where were the people from the anti-gun forums voting in your poll?

    That's right, they don't exist. You don't have an active grassroots community.

    This same thing happens when we call our representatives in congress. One thread on can result in hundreds of calls to congress-critter offices in our favor.

    How's the view from over there on the wrong side of history?

  23. This proves one thing, and one thing only. We have a support network. One that's in almost total agreement when it comes to such a question, one that is capable of responding in an organizing fashion with a singular purpose in no more than a few hours.

    My only question is, where is yours? Why is it you only have 12 votes in your favor? Where are your gun control forums and blogs pointing out your little poll to people that agree with your gun control ideals? Surely there are more than 12 people out there that think stricter gun regulation is a good idea... so where are they?

    I see several possible options here.

    1. In keeping with your stated purpose, you warned them off. I find this unlikely. I'm sure you wouldn't compromise the integrity of your poll by purposely acting to stack the results against you just to prove some point.

    2. There is no support network. There are few, if any at all, gun control forums. Your blogs have little, if any, pro gun control traffic outside of your very few fellow bloggers. And to top it all off, people that share your opinion are a tiny minority among the American people. I think this is the most likely reason.

    3. Your potential support network simply does not care. They have no motivation, no desire, to pursue their opinion on gun control any further. It begins and ends at just that, an opinion. No action, nothing. I think that this, along with number 2, pretty much covers it.

    As for some 'real' national surveys, you aren't going to include any sponsored, conducted, or even endorsed by organizations, people, and localities such as the Joyce Foundation, Brady Campaign, NRA, GOA, SAF, Michael Bloomberg, Richard Daley, Chicago, New York City, and similar entities are you? You're going to use surveys from well known and respected neutral parties such as Gallup, Rasmussen, and other such polling organizations... right?

  24. Wait, what? Let's logic this one out.

    1. On an average day, you get ≈ 300 hits.
    2. On the day of the poll, you got ≈ 1200 hits.
    3. You estimate that the ≈ 900 hit difference came from fraudulent pro-gun forums rather than real readers.
    4. That means that 75% of the hits on that day were not representative of your readership.
    5. We can also deduce that 75% of the votes for pro-gun positions are fraudulent, too.
    6. As of today, there are 736 votes, with only 12 for "want more control"
    7. If we assume that 75% of the responses for "against more control" (724) are fraudulent, we can discard 75% of them.
    8. The remaining 25% of 724 votes is 181 "genuine" votes against gun control.
    9. That leaves us with 12 wanting more control, and 181 wanting less control.
    10. That's still only 6.2% wanting more control.

    It may not be scientific, but even after you do a reasonable job of scrubbing out the fraudulent votes, the picture doesn't change significantly. Either way you slice it, only 12 people voted for more control. No matter how many fraudulent pro-gun votes were cast for other choices, you can't ignore that fact that "more control" is unbelievably unpopular. The only way your position could possibly win is if fewer than 12 votes were cast for the pro-gun choices, and with a readership of ≈ 300/day, that doesn't seem likely.

    Face it, your position is unpopular. But so what? Gun rights were unpopular from the 70s to the 90s, and we persevered because we thought it was the right thing to believe in.

  25. First, you have got to be the only blogger I know that is upset at getting over a thousand hits per day.

    Next, you think it is dishonest that we can effectively levergage social networks and new media to virtually "flash mob" a site of interest? Well, now you know how a politician feels when all of a sudden they get a thousand phone calls or letters over a gun rights issue. Please--that's not dishonesty, its effectiveness.

    Even if you go down to your normal traffic of ~200 hits/day, you have 12 hits for and 188 hits against.

    This is not surprising. While gun control polls at around 1/3 of the general population supporting it (more or less depending on location, demographic, poll questions, etc), it seems that most of those people are not "committed" or activated followers. Brady Campaign -- your flagship organization -- only has 50K dues paying members. On the other side, gun rights organizations can bring orders of magnitude more active members to the party. I would think that blog readership would probably reflect active, committed members of either side of the issue more than the Joe Blow public.

    Finally, many folks set up links without trackbacks because they don't want to enhance your search engine results. The more "follow" links Google or other engines find, the higher your page rank gets. Why would your political opponents from significantly higher trafficked sites really want to help you out by boosting your page rank off their traffic?

  26. (quote)My intention was actually to test the ethics of the pro-gun folks. 

    If you told your online readership about another bloger's poll on oh, say, restricting divisive political speech online- And they dropped by to defend their (and your) views on the first ammendment- Would that be unethical and immoral too?

    Yes, I read the whole post before taking the poll. And the comments. Have YOU never found someone taking the same side as you in an online debate but showing that all too human tendency to jingoistic, lable and disengage frontal lobes flaming stupidity? Because I see people everywhere and of all politics behaving online in this fashion.

  27. BTW, your site would not let me post with name and URL, hence my anonymous post. It also isn't mobile friendly...

  28. If you can tell me how stricter gun laws keep firearms out of the hands of criminals that don't abide by the law I'd be for them. The fact is that criminals are the ones that are causing gun violence. Instead of trying to take away guns from law abiding citizens why don't you come up with ways to get the people in charge to keep criminals off the streets. Until that happens I will exercise my RIGHT to carry a gun to protect my family and myself from criminals that illegally have guns.

  29. I thought you were going to reveal how pro-gun people unethically did multiple votes. Instead you showed how we tend to mobilize each other to get out and vote. And this is supposed to be some kind of black eye? It is exactly what you have to deal with on the political scale, not just opinion polls.

  30. Is someone a little sour??

    Of course this would be spun in to something its not. That's what the anti 2A gun grabbers do when they don't get their way. You're the minority in this country Mr. Baldr Odinson.
    Of course you would spin the reason for results into some thing for your own gain. Didn't you call an "equal opportunity poll"?

    Also get the hell off internet blogging or stop trying to spread your gun grabbing disease on the people's Fundamental Rights in this country if you don't want or agree to have your site posted elsewhere. Your anti 2A gun grabbing dribble is nauseating. Free people are sick and tired and are no longer going to stand for any more attacks or infringing on their God given civil rights to Keep (possess) and Bear (carry) arms, PERIOD!

    You're lucky that the 4.3 MILLION members of the NRA didn't get your site link. You're outnumbered by FREE people and so is your anti agenda. Get a grip on reality of the UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION, and the BILL OF RIGHTS or get out.

    Do you like apples now??

  31. Go ahead and try it! Clinton learned the hard way about restricting the 2nd Amendment, and Obama's been smart enough to keep far, far away from it. In fact, the thing that makes me laugh is that he rode the coattails of people like you into office, claiming how he would ban everything and make the world a shiny, rainbow happy place, and then promptly turned around and did none of it at all. You liberals are such dreamers that you actually BELIEVED a politician. Lol.

    Good luck to you - you'll need it!

  32. Gun-control originated with centuries of racism and slavery. From Cramer In the seventeenth century, the aristocratic power structure of colonial Virginia found itself confronting a similar challenge from lower class whites. These poor whites resented how the men who controlled the government used that power to concentrate wealth into a small number of hands. These wealthy feeders at the government trough would have disarmed poor whites if they could, but the threat of both Indian and pirate attack made this impractical; for all white men "were armed and had to be armed..." Instead, blacks, who had occupied a poorly defined status between indentured servant and slave, were reduced to hereditary chattel slavery, so that poor whites could be economically advantaged, without the upper class having to give up its privileges. [37] In 1796 the Tennessee Constitution was revised from: "That the freemen of this State have a right to keep and to bear arms for their common defence," [9] to: "That the free white men of this State have a right to keep and to bear arms for their common defence."
    During Reconstruction following the Civil War, gun-control was introduced in the South as a means to control and prevent former slaves from being empowered. The most ardent supporters of gun-control were the Klan and the racist Dixiecrats who needed to suppress the Black vote. They imposed gun-control, poll-taxes, segregation, and literacy requirements to disenfranchise Blacks.
    Prior to that there wasn't much "gun-control" of any kind in the US except that which favored the powerful and the white.

  33. "I haven't seen that kind of mindless devotion for any stance outside of religious-political ones"

    Yep, pretty amazing how people might be a bit devoted to The Constitution of the United States of America. Do a poll on whether the 4th Amendment is good or not, and I bet you'll get a similar response.

  34. Every time you pistol grip a rifle, baby Jesus cries a tiny tear. So sayeth the wise brother Helmke.

  35. Actually, I don't think you have the ability to claim a lack of integrity on the part of gun owners, bloggers and so forth. Your supporters had every bit as much chance to spread the link to your poll far and wide, but either did not do so or did not reach as many people.

    See, here's something that people on your side of the issue don't consider. When someone makes the decision to buy a gun for self defense, they have to go through all the steps in the process to get one, and they generally are smart enough to realize that they need some training and need to familiarize themselves with the available equipment and options. Buying a gun isn't a simple decision, you have to find what works for you, what is reliable, and if you're going to carry it concealed you have to think how it works into your wardrobe. Essentially, it's as much work as buying a decent new car. You have to do test drives, weigh pricing, and many other factors. In all of that process, a person realizes that there's other people who want to take away their legally purchased property and who are doing their best to make them criminals because they chose to do something to protect themselves. It doesn't take long before someone who didn't have much of an opinion on firearms ownership or politics starts feeling pushed by the people who are for gun control. Little secret about Americans: They don't like being pushed or treated like children, and they don't like being insulted. It doesn't take long before they see gun control people using insults like "a gun is a penis substitute" and "stupid cousin-humping rednecks". Needless to say, this has a polarizing effect, and causes people who were previously ambivalent to become very protective of their right to own and possess guns. One result is that when someone puts up a poll, we'll come give you our opinion.

    Frankly, I believe that people on the gun control side of the fence are their own worst enemies. Quit name calling, quit dealing with the gun control thing from an emotional standpoint, start using logic and legitimate numbers, make sure that any polls you use aren't slanted. Stop comparing the US to some other country, we don't CARE how they do it over there, we aren't them. If you can't acknowledge that other countries have a different emotional makeup than us, you're already behind the 8 ball. I live in the South, and "We don't do it that way back North" is a common phrase here, as is the response "Well, you can just go back there, can't you?" Try to win over people without using tricks, you might find you have more success.

  36. "The reasonable people are out there but they choose not to get onto blogs and make ridiculous comments because they have better things to do with their time."

    They apparently also choose not to join gun control organizations, donate money to gun control organizations, attend pro-gun control protests in any significant numbers, or bother to lobby their representatives.

  37. Wow, you guys really don't like your true colors showing.

    With all this traffic, it's a shame I don't run ads. You guys would have raised a fair penny for Ceasefire Oregon!

  38. "start in their worn out arguments and start diverting attention from the real problem"
    The real problem being criminal behaviour.
    How will more laws (which criminals ignore) restrict criminal behaviour?
    Answer: they won't. Never have, never will.

    "Instead of trying to take away guns from law abiding citizens why don't you come up with ways to... keep criminals off the streets"
    And if they're on the streets, let good citizens protect & defend themselves. Police can't do it - there are more criminals than police - and police aren't required to protect citizens, only the community at large.

    "restricting mental patients from getting guns"
    There's a BIG difference between someone who's being treated for a condition & someone who's been adjudicated mentally incompetent.

    Being found by a court to be mentally incompetent, or a danger to self or others, is a very difficult thing, & is a matter of public record. That's how it can be found on background checks.

    Being treated for ANY medical condition (other than maybe epilepsy or Parkinson's or some other neuromuscular disorder, where they can't control their body) shouldn't be a disqualifier.

  39. Can't resist the cheap shot.

    If you would have raised a fair "penny" would that have doubled the coffers?

    Badda Bing.

  40. I'm not at all worried about raising a penny or two for your anti-rights group. I hope you spend it wisely promoting your cause. 'Cause the truth is the more people read about and learn both sides the more people realize that more gun control laws is not the answer.

    As far as your cries about this showing how unethical pro gun right citizens are - BULL. You asked for votes - you got them. Just because they didn't reflect your minority viewpoint does not in anyway reflect poorly on those who took the time to read your screed and take up on your invitation to participate in the poll.

    Your logic on this poll matter is wanting - so it's no surprise that your thinking re: gun laws is also as deeply flawed.

  41. Baldr, is that the best response you have?

    Lol. Seriously, you aren't even worth our time. I had thought that maybe, MAYBE, you were willing to be an adult and not act like a petulant teenager who has to posture to make himself feel better when he ends up looking like an ass. I was wrong.

  42. "Wow, you guys really don't like your true colors showing.
    With all this traffic, it's a shame I don't run ads. You guys would have raised a fair penny for Ceasefire Oregon!"

    Get off it Baldr.
    Your Blog and your ideals are pure FAIL.
    You continue to dig yourself deeper in a hole with every pixel you type. Now you think its a "shame" that you didn't make money off of it. Never let a tragedy go to waste right? Are you now going to go internet ambulance chasing to dig up a story about a shooting then post another "TEST" poll so you can get money??
    Your dribble is not only a waste of bandwidth but an insult to ethic morale. You anti's are the ones who love to show your true colors and everyone sees it.

  43. Given your blog's readership, maybe you should contact Brownells and MidwayUSA to see if they would advertise on your site.

  44. No matter what after the fact rationalizations you come up with the fact remains.

    Only 10 people agreed with you.

    Throw out all the extra traffic over even your lightest day in that graph, which appeared to be around 150 hits, and you still end up with 93% of people who came to this site disagreeing with you.

  45. Why won't you post my reply?? Censoring the 1st now? Or because you know I'm right???

    Baldr writes: "Wow, you guys really don't like your true colors showing.
    With all this traffic, it's a shame I don't run ads. You guys would have raised a fair penny for Ceasefire Oregon!"

    Get off it Baldr.
    Your Blog and your ideals are pure FAIL.
    You continue to dig yourself deeper in a hole with every pixel you type. Now you think its a "shame" that you didn't make money off of it.
    Never let a tragedy go to waste right? Are you now going to go internet ambulance chasing to dig up a story about a shooting then post
    another "TEST" poll so you can get money??
    Your Blog is not only a waste of bandwidth but an insult to ethic morals.
    You anti's are the ones who love to show your true colors and everyone sees it.

  46. Oh please. "test the ethics"? "true colors" showing? You make it sound like the good guys in the debate are the dishonest ones.

    Let's see, which side of the debate:

    -*Lies* about certain rifles, misrepresenting them with false descriptions such as "rapid-fire" or "weapons of war".

    -*Lies* about the same rifles, making the false claim that they have "no legitimate sporting purpose", despite all evidence to the contrary.

    -*Lies* about ammunition magazines for most weapons, branding a large number of standard-sized systems as "high-capacity".

    -*Lied* about the 5.7mm pistol, claiming it to be a "cop-killer", omitting the fact that only certain ammunitions were armour-piercing, and were legally unavailable to civilians.

    -Continually *lying* about laws banning one or more of the above, describing them as "sensible" when they are no such thing.

    These are just five of the most damning examples. When these lies (and they are most undisputably lies) are corrected, then I believe a debate on ethics is appropriate.

    Until then, you have no right to make allegations of unethical behaviour.

    I daresay most of them voted not to skew the poll, but because they want to show their support for the good side of the debate.

  47. Hi, I guess there is no more poll so my vote does not count. (Against any restriction) While trying to be respectful I do need to comment.
    It seems just a bit lame to run head on into a lot of people from all over America who believe in their freedom and their constitution and then after the fact say you were really just testing their ethics. If that was your intent YOU should have been a bit more ethical about it and simply put up a poll on gun owner ethics. If you are really into "honest discussion" why the bait and switch? If I read a pro-gun blog and it refers to your poll am I somehow unethical if I like my freedom enough to tell you so? (I live just down the river from you right here in Oregon too). (hey Orrygunner, great blog!) Also, to me it seems lame to associate the strength of our grass-roots unity with fraudulence of any sort simply because you got a big response. You don't like what you hear so you say after the fact it was something else and that you got "flooded", that the "vote was stacked"? Weak. It seems even more lame to vaguely associate our views with bigotry of whatever sort while saying WE resort to name calling. ("mindless devotion", "anti-gay rights")On behalf of gun owners everywhere my sincere apologies for the name calling you did get, it does not have any place in a civilized discussion. But my views are not unethical and my devotion is far from mindless. Can you truly say the same? Your regurgitation of the same worn out memes from the anti self defense side of the fence really make me question how mindful you are, and the bait and switch seems crooked to me. Unethical and mindless name calling? Do you have a mirror?

  48. Irony: an anti-rights cultist tries to use an "Appeal to Popularity" logical fallacy to bolster his position, fails miserably, and closes down the poll when it does not give him the answer hen wants, and then lectures other people on being "insecure".

    Yup, this is me, pointing and laughing.

  49. It's okay to advocate stricter gun legislation in the same way it's okay to advocate white supremacy.

    Keep it behind closed doors and I won't bug you, but don't expect to have a rally in a park (or the internet) without being laughed out of town.

  50. Interesting. Of course I totally missed the poll, but put me down as "Against stricter regulation' (typed with a smile..)

    I really only take issue with the "mindless devotion" comment.

    There is nothing mindless about it. We might just as well say that you clinging to you anti-gun stance in face of such opposition is 'mindless'.

    I will grant that you truly believe what you are saying, if though I totally disagree.

    Grant us the same respect.

    Actually it seems the ratio played in your favor.

    wikipedia lists the BradyCampaign has having membership under 28,000 The NRA lists it's (again on wikipedia) as 4,000,000

    It would make sense that if the passionate on both sides voted 100% then you would have only had 0.7% of them on your side.

    You managed 1.6%

  51. Apparently the NRA communication tree works. You all got the call right?

  52. Perhaps you didn't consider that I had never heard of your blog until reading it on one of those "unethical" boards.

    Because I do believe in investigating all sides of an issue, I bookmarked your site yesterday. Now I'm thinking that may have been a mistake, but perhaps not.

    Most bloggers *prefer* to have their sites found.

  53. Gun laws- and those most affected by them know most about them, and an average person may not have the insight to answer a poll question like that adequately. Would you walk up to folks at the mall and ask about the FDA's approval procedures ? And if so, would you want to follow their suggestions ?

    Baldr, if you want to talk gun laws I'd love to entertain that debate. I'm very sharp on federal gun laws and not so shabby on state. I promise I'll keep it just to facts and cite laws.

  54. Must really suck getting your lifes worked ridiculed so soundly.

    Oh by the way, your mom wants you to take the trash out whe you come upstairs to go to bed.

  55. "But if you instead put out the word on forums and tweets and such that there was a poll that needed to be overrun with responses from your side, hits would go way up and the results would be skewed. "

    There was nothing stopping people from your side from doing the same. The reality is simple: Pro-rights advocates have a very big pool to draw power and support from. I'd even go so far as to say the dedicated pro-rights people outnumber your side by an order of magnitude. This is reflected in the funding, the active participation, and at the polls.

    Or as someone from your side once said, "The gun rights lobby consists of a grass-roots membership who are gun enthusiasts. The gun control lobby consists mainly of the family members of crime victims. And the number of gun enthusiasts dwarf the number of victims."

  56. I have one thing in common with the gun-rights advocates. I only like polls and surveys that support my beliefs.

  57. You only got 12 anti-gun responses. Scale that down to your 200-300 visits. Not a lot of support even with 12 out of 200. Or even 12 out of 100 if only half of the visitors vote.

  58. "Apparently the NRA communication tree works. You all got the call right?" - Patrick

    Yes. My NRA-issued Insurrectionist Pamphlet advising me to hop on over to New Trajectory and vote was included with this months "Wheelbarrow Full Of Cash(tm)" that the NRA sends me for supporting terrorists, mass murderers, and child-killers. ;)

  59. This is why anti-rights groups have taken such a hard shellacking in recent memory. You start with an honorable goal (reducing gun violence, gun crime, and gun-related fatalities) and pervert it into an all-out attack on law-abiding gun owners. By continuously harassing and criminalizing gun owners, you've made enemies of us. Powerful enemies. Enemies that can mobilize by the millions to project political force.

    If you had instead focused on reducing poverty, on improving firearm safety, on measures that actually reduce crime, you would find the same millions-strong NRA on your side. I don't know of a single law-abiding gun owner who doesn't wish there was less gun crime and less gun violence in this country. The same swiftly-moving networks, immense fundraising power, and political clout would be levered behind you to accomplish your goals.

    Sadly, decade after decade of your screeching, empty-headed, malicious, illogical fallacies and attacks on american gun owners, we don't care to hear it from you. We don't trust you. We don't like you. You will lose case after case until you have all gone to your cold graves bitter with failure.

    If you truly, honestly, wish to prevent gun violence, you must do a complete and utter 180 degree turn.

  60. Let me make sure I understand this. Your only poll condition was that people vote just once. But when the pro-gunners turned out in force, you call "foul"?

    Perhaps you should just take this as a sign that you really are part of a minority. Doesn't make you wrong (though I think you are for other reasons), just a minority.

    What were you really looking for? A little affirmation of your own views? Nobody here believes your weak explanation that this was a "test" of anyone's commo network. Because that could cut both ways.

    Gun owners have learned to be really vigilant about people or groups posting gun control propaganda, because it is often factually wrong, subjectively and emotionally interpreted, and if left unchallenged passes out a lot of untrue info.

    I think you need to come to grips with the fact that stricter government control of firearms in this country is not possible, despite your wishes. If the last 45 years have shown us anything, the trend is going the other way now. Welcome to the United States of America.

  61. You seem a bit disappointed that pro-gunners can get together and do something. I bet if you anti-gunners did the same thing you would all be jumping for joy right now.

    You choose not to carry or own a weapon, don't make that decision for me. I am a person who earned my right, just like you.

  62. Hey chucklehead...maybe our "worn out" stances are still being used because FACT and TRUTH rarely change...its your whiny emotional questioning of that FACT and TRUTH that is getting old!

    Check this out...this will help you understand where we come from

  63. Look what's happened in Egypt. Baldr and his fellow anti rights cronies are like a Mubarak dictator really. Then they try to backpedal and make excuses, calling "Fraud" for their own tyrannical screw-ups. When THE PEOPLE know their constitutional freedoms are being attacked they will MASSIVLY assemble and take you down. As in the case here with your little twisted poll.

    Gun grabbers are like predatory child molesters but rather they prey on the innocent by molesting the 2A, trying to chip away at the people's fundamental rights a little at a time.
    Touching a little bit here, grabbing a little bit there, seeing how far and what they can get away with. Ultimately to reach their personal goal by screwing innocent Law-Abiding people as hard as they can for their own personal power, control and gain.

    Baldr, you have made a choice...either continue being the attacker on innocent law-abiding people's freedoms which you will ultimately lose. Or come to terms by what you're promoting is not just "stopping gun violence" but it's continually adding to the aggression of attacking THE PEOPLE'S free 2A civil liberties. You seem extremely new to this by following the same tired old footsteps as your failed fellow gun-control anti rights activists. You're joking yourself if you don't think this is the way you're perceived, no matter how much you say "Its only to stop gun violence". Because in the end, gun control ONLY effects the law-abiding and the majority of everyone knows it.

  64. There's a name for what you pro-gunners are doing: it's called "astroturfing"

    What is supposedly a "flash mob" of grass-roots support from honest citizens is in actuality a swamping of supposed opinion polls by an organized faction. This is not democracy in action, or a representation of society at large. It is unethical (though not illegal) manipulation and sabotage of the democratic process. This little poll is simply a demonstration of this behavior which, when magnified to a larger and more serious polling process can irresponsibly sway public policy.

  65. This test has shown more than "astroturfing" (or "poll-stacking"). It has also shown the level of bullying and name-calling that people like myself face who work to reduce gun violence. Many pro-gun extremists out there, such as many who commented here, show a great deal of disrespect and an attitude of crassness that poisons our democratic process and polarizes us into stagnation. It is the reason I moderate the comments on this blog (and then I'm accused of preventing free speech!). You won't see this sort of behavior from those who advocate for stricter regulation, which is one reason why the pro-gun side has no need to moderate their blogs.

    As example, from the comments above, in the order I found them, came the following slurs directed toward me and others like me, simply for pointing out their unethical method of astroturfing:

    douche-bag; lack any passion for [my] cause; psychopath; tiny minority; sour; gun-grabber; freedom-hater; bigot; comparable to advocating for racism or white supremacy; anti-gunner; "guns r bad, mmmmmm 'k" person; liar; unpopular; stupid; jingoist; unethical; deeply flawed logic; petulant teenager; an ass; pure FAIL; dribble; ridiculed; childish; anti-rights; harassing and criminalizing gun owners; screeching; empty-headed; malicious; illogical; crybaby; chucklehead; like predatory child molesters

    Wow. Like I said, you guys are showing your true colors. Name-calling is pitiful and childish.

  66. Instead of Astroturfing, couldn't you accurately call it an effective use of social media? I found out about this from a link that someone put on Facebook.

  67. Personally, I'm not a part of any organization. I'm not paid, I don't pay dues to any group, I just read blogs. Astroturfing is what you people paid by the Joyce or Brady groups do. We're just a bunch of folks that are tired of you getting away with it and we're calling your hand.

  68. @Baldr,

    So if this were a REAL, actual ballot issue, where people had to go to the polls and vote, is gathering together as many of your friends and like-minded voters to go to the polls and vote also "manipulation and sabotage of the democratic process?"

    If NOT, then how is what happened to YOUR poll any different?

    If YES, then please explain how? Nobody broke any rules, stuffed any ballot boxes, so how is that cheating or otherwise corrupting the process?

    As far as the name calling, about half of those I believe are accurate opinions of you or your beliefs. Some of them that ARE childish name calling are such, but the ones from your list that I agree with are: tiny minority (when it comes to educated voters), anti-gunner (by your own admission, for SOME guns), unpopular, deeply flawed logic, ridiculed (how is that a name? It's what OTHER people are doing to YOU), anti-rights (unequal protection of rights), harassing and criminalizing gun owners (not directly but pushing for laws that do), and illogical.


    PS. This isn't Astroturfing. Astroturfing is when a grass-roots movement is actually organized by an organization pretending to be individual people spreading the word. This is really real people spreading the word to vote on your poll.

  69. Phillip, I'm not paid to do this, either, including by either the Joyce Foundation or Brady Campaign. In fact, no one in Ceasefire Oregon is paid, including the Executive Director, we're all volunteers.

  70. I just re-read what I wrote and should clarify: Astroturfing is when something APPEARS to be grass-roots when it actually is backed by an organization that tries to hide their involvement and make it look like a grass-roots movement. The Wikipedia page defines it pretty well, and I don't see any of that going on here.


  71. "As example, from the comments above, in the order I found them, came the following slurs directed toward me and others like me, simply for pointing out their unethical method of astroturfing:"

    As other people pointed out, it's not astroturfing. As far as I can tell, they all voted once, so what's unethical about it?

    Is it that the good outnumbered the bad by a significant margin, or is it that they organise to get the most effect out of their numerical power?

    Let's take a look at these names though:

    "douche-bag; lack any passion for [my] cause; psychopath; tiny minority; sour; freedom-hater; bigot; comparable to advocating for racism or white supremacy; "guns r bad, mmmmmm 'k" person; unpopular; stupid; jingoist; petulant teenager; an ass; pure FAIL; dribble; ridiculed; childish; anti-rights; screeching; empty-headed; malicious; illogical; crybaby; chucklehead; like predatory child molesters"

    Okay, I'll admit these ones have no real reason. Emotions do run high, especially when false accusations like yours are thrown about.

    "gun-grabber; anti-gunner;"
    "Grabber" usually refers to someone calling for bans and confiscations from the law abiding, without just cause. I've read at least one of your posts calling for such a ban.

    "anti-gunner" generally is a variation on the same theme.

    "deeply flawed logic;"
    Well, you've made the claim that because the pro-gun, pro-common sense side can organise a large number of people for any poll, they lack ethics. Definately flawed to me.

    "harassing and criminalizing gun owners;"
    Bans do that. When you ask for any ban that unjustly punishes law-abiding gun owners, you're criminalising a large number of them.

    You're also saying they should be blamed for something that wasn't their fault, and that's tantamount to harassment.

    "liar; unethical;"
    Every time you refer to a ban as "sensible", it's a lie. The correct term for any ban that affects law-abiding people is irresponsible.

    I've listed several lies in my last post here that have been repeated several times, even after they were proven lies. Not one group that repeats them, not Ceasefire, not Brady Campaign, not even VPC, have done the right thing, acknowledged the lie and apologised for it. That is indeed unethical.

  72. If you really want us to see how bad pro-gun people are, then why don't you put up *all* the comments? Why should we believe you when you say that the above comments are the tip of the iceberg of pro-gun rage--and if only you could see all the bad ones, you'd see just how bad pro-gun forces are--when you prevent the "evil" comments from showing up?

    If pro-gun people are all that bad, show us! Show every slimy, stinking comment you get, and then throw in a comment here and there saying "see, I told you these people are bad!" If you don't do that, everyone has good cause to believe you're just making it up.

    As for myself, I sent a comment about how stupid it is to rely on *any* internet poll, because of all the different types of statistical biases that make such a poll invalid--and then pointed out that you need a good, randomly sampled pool of people to make sure a poll is valid...yet my comment's not here yet. My comment was certainly innocuous enough that it shouldn't have been moderated out of the discussion!

    Of course, my comment may have just gotten lost in the ether, but I'd be surprised if it did.

  73. Epsilon, I don't know what may have happened to your previous reply, or why I would have deleted if I did. As you see, a lot have come through. I'm glad we agree on the low value of most internet polls.

    I was a bit more lenient than usual with comments on this post in order to make my points. However, the worst replies were not posted due mainly to really foul language, personal attacks (mainly against other pro-control bloggers who weren't even mentioned in this post), or outright racist statements. If you don't believe me or think I'm making it up, tough. I'm not going to justify their ugliness by posting their comments, just to satisfy you.

  74. Thanks for your very interesting post. I don't generally write much about gun issues. But the one time I wrote some humor about "pink guns for girls" female gun enthusiasts got rather angry at me. I still think the idea of pink guns for girls is ridiculous.

  75. "One good aspect is that some of them may stick around and become regular readers."

    Count on it.

  76. Notice the comments from this blog:

    Quote, from a commenter: "Yeah, but the thing about these is that the survey is very biased...
    What happens is that this gets blown up at gun forums and gun blogs etc and then a bunch of pro-gun people flood the site and stuff the ballot box. The findings are not a very accurate representation about the actual public."

    Reply from another commenter: "Shhhhh you're not supposed to tell them that! :D"

  77. The poll raises a lot of questions, but the big one is, why do responsible gun owners let the gun fetishists speak for them? I thought of my dad, a lifelong gun owner and hunter, when Dallas Green spoke out last month about his grandaughter's death in the Tucson massacre. Green said:

    "The one thing that I can't get through my mind, even though I'm a hunter and I love to shoot and I love to have my guns, I don't have a Glock or whatever it is or a magazine with 33 bullets it in," Green said. "That doesn't make sense to me to be able to sell those kind of things. I guess I never thought about it until this happened. … What reason is there to have those kind of guns other than to kill people?"

    There must be thousands of "Dallas Greens" in Oregon. Where are they? Why don't they speak up?

  78. I hate to break it to you Baldr (well, no, not really), but no internet poll that allows anyone to vote on it is unbiased. Never going to happen, for all kinds of reasons.

    And those reasons are why dedicated, professional polling houses do not rely on random, publicly-available polls for their numbers...