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Originally published Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at 05:55a.m.

There are two predictable responses to any mass shooting. First, Dollar Stores in the vicinity run out of candles and second, the left tries to exploit the death of innocents and use the tragedy as another political talking point.

The “we know what’s best for you” left doesn’t think Americans need to own guns in the first place, regardless of what that dusty old Constitution says. That’s the bedrock, inescapable issue that really drives the gun control debate.

The issue isn’t so much safety as it is gun owners possess something the cultural elite fervently believes they shouldn’t be allowed to own. Adding guns to the list of banned items that includes incandescent bulbs, plastic grocery bags and Confederate statues is simply a logical progression.

These national nannies feel perfectly safe and personally immune to violence. Or, if they are Prof. Jimmy Kimmel, they can hire bodyguards with guns. Thus they still don’t own a weapon themselves, they just rent people who do, keeping the gun oil off their hands.

The fact that if their wish came true it would return the streets of the US to a state of nature where the physically weak are at the mercy of the young and strong is immaterial. Victims have only to endure from 3 to 30 minutes of agony – your mileage may vary – before the authorities arrive to stop the crime, take the report or notify next of kin.

The Washington Post has a prime example of the gun-banning mentality as it tries to marshal logic and “science” to make it harder for law abiding people to own guns.

Christopher Ingraham uses a spectacularly dishonest poll from the New York Times to make his case that: “Experts and the public agree on how to stop gun violence. Politicians don’t.” He then proceeds to chide the federal government for inaction on gun-related issues that are already illegal.

Anytime you read poll results, regardless of the topic, do not draw any conclusions until you can read the exact wording of the question. Ask yourself if this is how you would pose a question if you wanted to get a completely honest answer.

Ingraham’s example fails and fails completely. What the poll proves is if you preface every question with “Do you support or oppose the following policies to reduce gun homicides” or “Do you support or oppose the following policies to reduce mass shootings” people will agree to almost anything.

If you asked the public if they support or oppose the following policies to reduce prices in grocery stores everyone would agree to ban kale.

To prove my point look at the question that concerns requiring states to honor concealed carry permits from other states and creating a national “stand–your–ground” law that allows people to defend themselves with a firearm without first retreating.

You would have to pry the talking points out of their cold, dead hands before leftists would agree to support either of those positions. They claim red states with flimsy gun regulation would loose trigger–happy pistol-packers on respectable blue states. “Stand-your-ground” laws – wrongly blamed as a contributing factor in Trayvon Martin’s death – are almost as big a boogie man.

But put the magic “to reduce gun homicides” or “reduce mass shootings” at the beginning of the question and support for reciprocity is 73 percent and “stand–your–ground” is 71 percent. This indicates one of two conditions. Either the poll sample is remarkably ignorant or the deck is stacked to generate support regardless of the question.

The use of leading questions in this “scientific” survey means the evidence Ingraham cites is not a legitimate research tool, but is instead designed solely to advance a gun control agenda that can’t generate the necessary support without cheating.

The other problem with the “survey” is the ignorance of the question designers. I often wonder why reporters who don’t know a cannon from a carbine won’t call the NRA press office to get the answers to basic firearms questions?

Poll respondents were asked if they support “universal background checks,” banning “sales to violent criminals” and banning sales to people “convicted of…domestic assaults.” The problem with these questions is federal law already requires background checks and bans the other sales.

But the final blow to the survey’s credibility is the 63 percent that support “Banning the sale and ownership of all semi-automatic and automatic rearms.” If enacted that would return us to the Constitution’s militia, because the only guns remaining would be reenactor’s muskets, cowboy six–shooters and derringers.

It makes me wonder how a poll designed by duplicitous ignoramuses could have any credibility in the media or Washington? But then I look at the media and the members of Congress.