Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), a long-time ally of the National Rifle Association with an “A” rating, appeared on msnbc this morning and expressed his frustration with the far-right group. The conservative Democrat lamented how “disingenuous” the NRA has become, and criticizing the organization for telling “lies.”
Manchin added, “If you lose credibility – if you don’t have credibility, you have nothing.” If the NRA fails to correct its falsehoods, “they’ve lost everything in Washington.”
Clearly, the NRA will take its chances. Indeed, it’s launching a new ad campaign, claiming that 80% of police officers believe background checks will have no effect on violent crime. Is that true? Actually, no – William Saletan explained today it’s a “bald-faced lie.”
If you read the methodology posted at the bottom, you’ll see that it isn’t really a poll, since it wasn’t conducted by random sampling. It was “promoted” to the site’s members and was easy to flood with advocates of a particular viewpoint. (To give you some idea of how biased the sample is, 62 percent of those who participated in the poll say, in question 15, that if they were a sheriff or a chief of police, they would not enforce more restrictive gun laws.) But set that problem aside. The bigger problem, in terms of the NRA’s ad, is that the poll never asks whether background checks will have an effect on violent crime.
In other words, the NRA isn’t even lying well.
And yet, thanks at least in part to Republican obstructionist tactics, the NRA and their falsehoods are poised to prevail on Capitol Hill anyway.
Saletan added, “The NRA’s ad is a lie. It flunks a simple background check. Senators should ask themselves what else the NRA is lying about.”