The Corner

80 Percent of Cops Say Background Checks Won’t Reduce Crime?

The NRA has been running ads making that claim. Over at Slate, William Saletan takes a close look at the actual survey — which was not scientific, and which did not directly ask whether background checks would lower crime. One question asked whether mental-health checks would reduce mass shootings, and only 45 percent of respondents said no; another asked whether banning “private, non-dealer transfers of firearms” would reduce crime, and 80 percent said no.

Of course, one can argue that requiring dealer-based background checks for private sales is in effect banning “private, non-dealer transfers,” but the results would almost certainly look different if the survey had used the wording the NRA is using in its ad (“Background Checks Will Have No Effect on Violent Crime”).

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