polls have their place…
…but i feel they get overused.
for the most part, it’s just really lazy journalism. for example, there’s a non-profit that for the last decade has tracked school shootings. all the papers know this. so when they want stats on school shootings, that’s where they go. who named the foremost expert? well, THEY THEMSELVES did, of course! but it’s become what people use to track them, so they not only get to define what IS a school shooting, but as a result how many there are.
i feel like i’ve discussed this before…
it might seem weird i mention they get to name WHAT a school shooting is. seems like that’s a no brainer, right? but is it really? they define it as any time a gun is discharged on the grounds of a school, which seems right until you look at some of the statistics. that time a police officer came to a school to discuss gun safety, and accidentally shot himself when he was holstering his weapon but the safety was off? that’s a school shooting – a gun was discharged on the grounds of a school. that sad guy who drove away from his home with his pistol at 3am, parked, and shot himself? well, he did it in the parking lot of a middle school that was closed due to our recent pandemic and had been closed for literally MONTHS. but it IS school grounds, so that was also a school shooting.
see how the numbers might look a little inflated when you throw in the common sense factor?
so now there’s a new poll out speaking to political violence – specifically people who would have no issue getting violent to get you-know-who back in power. this has the potential to be more dangerous than you might think. that being said, while i do believe this will be a rough race, especially if he makes it in (which it appears he will) i don’t think the violence factor will ramp up. one thing to consider – there is a HUGE difference between ticking a radio button on an online questionnaire that says “would you use violence to make sure trump wins” and ACTUALLY swinging the ax handle or pointing the rifle at a fellow human being or whatever.
it should also be noted that the number has been in decline until recently since the insurrection. and the recent bump, while the first uptick in two years, is a very, very slight one. so while the survey shows a bump and says said bump “represents twelve MILLION americans” i remember being told for every person that called my radio show there were several hundred listening but that doesn’t mean i was some sort of celebrity even remotely. it just means that STATISTICALLY it’s the case. but statistics and reality don’t always intermingle they way people expect – just ask any sports fan.