Letter: Question can program answer

Published:

 

In the guise of concerned citizen, The Columbian has launched an assault on the rights of Washington citizens. In the March 7 editorial, "Regulate gun sales," The Columbian claims that a whopping 79 percent of polled voters indicated that they would support universal background checks on gun sales in the state. A couple of problems with that. The editorial did not specify the content of the poll question, nor did it define "universal."

As is well known, you can get the desired answer to a polling question designed on how the question is framed. For example, the question, "Do you support universal background checks to prevent felons from obtaining firearms?" would get a different answer than, "In that it is already against the law for felons to purchase firearms, do you support a universal background check on gun sales?" The editorial doesn't specify what "universal" means. Does that mean a background check is required in order to pass my firearms on to my children? My guess is that the editorial board of The Columbian would say "no," but there are others who would say "yes."

Craig Sayre

Vancouver