Wendy Cukier’s Latest News Release

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Politicians are forgetting rural women

– Outcry and national poll suggests Canadians and women in particular support gun registry –

I’m not an expert on statistics, so I’m not even going to foray into the meanings of the numbers of this “poll”. Instead, I’m going to focus on the methodology and the content of the issue.

Here’s some info from the CFGC’s website:

Leger and Leger Omnibus Web Poll, 1,506 respondents between December 21 and 23, 2009

I’m not sure how they work this – how do they go about recruiting the respondents to this “Omnibus Web Poll”? How difficult would it be to stack this kind of poll with supporters? Of course, this doesn’t allow for responses from people who don’t have access to the web, or don’t know about the availability of this poll, who might want to be included.

From the Leger website:

Leger Marketing conducts its weekly national,
provincial and local Omnibus surveys on the
internet.

So it would appear that this kind of “Omnibus survey” is conducted on a weekly basis. I assume that the questions are solicited from a number of sources, to take advantage of the “economies of scale” to give their customers the best rate possible.

Speaking of rates, Leger has different rates depending on what kind of questions are asked:

Closed questions
Semi-opened questions
Open-ended questions

How are they different, and which categories do Wendy’s questions fall under?

On to the questions themselves:

Question 1: In 1995 Canada passed a law increasing the controls on firearms. This law requires that gun owners have a license to possess firearms and that each firearm that they own must be registered to them, prohibits certain handguns and military weapons, requires owners to pass a safety test and a safety check, and requires firearms to be stored unloaded in a secure place.

In general, do you support or oppose this law? Would that be strongly or somewhat?

OK, that’s a bit of a long winded introduction.  It only partly deals with “registration”, and asks “In general” – why not ask specific questions?  Why try to obfuscate and confuse the issue?  How many Canadians are even remotely informed on the matter of the Firearms Act?

Here’s the second question:

Question 2- Recently, new legislation was introduced to eliminate the need to register rifles and shotguns. While licenses to own are renewed periodically, registration is a onetime only procedure that occurs when a gun is purchased. A lot of money was spent setting up the system, but the current cost of registering rifles and shotguns is three million dollars a year. Some people say that registration ensures gun owners are accountable for their firearms and that the registry is an important tool used daily.

The concept of registering guns is useful and should be maintained; or
The concept of registering guns is useless and should be eliminated

Now, if that isn’t a leading question, I don’t know what is!  “Some people say” – that would be Wendy and her cohorts in the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police.  Some people say it’s a waste of time and money, too – why didn’t they say that as well?

And again, they ask a general question about “the concept” of registering guns – not a specific question about the Long-gun Registry.

Also, each respondent was asked:

Do you, or does someone in our household, own a firearm of any kind?
26% said Yes.

This is about the only number that really seems to jibe: 26% of Canadian households own firearms.  That has been pretty consistent over the years.

And, last but not least, who payed for this poll, and where did *that* money come from?

As always, you have to use some critical thinking in order to decrypt the actual meaning behind such bloviation from the anti-gun extremists.



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