Debbie Wasserman Schultz right about far-reaching effects of gun violence
PolitiFact - 07/07/2016
In the wake of the Orlando shootings and lacking congressional action regarding gun reform legislation, many are calling attention to the the devastating truths about gun violence in the United States. One of the vocal supporters advocating for tighter gun restrictions is Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla.
Wasserman Schultz took to her Medium page to lament the occurrence at Pulse Night Club and to express the need for stricter gun legislation that she believes can prevent future gun violence fatalities, especially by suspected terrorists.
In her June 18, 2016, post, Wasserman Schultz wrote that “40% of Americans know someone who has been killed by a gun — gun violence has touched someone you know.”
To contextualize the YouGov poll, we reached out to James Alan Fox, a professor of criminology, law and public policy at Northeastern University. While not debating the results or methodology of the poll, he did offer some caveats.
He noted that suicides account for a large share of the deaths — a fact that may not be obvious from Wasserman Schultz’s statements. He also said that the poll’s wording leaves a fair amount of interpretation to the respondent.
Respondents “have to decide how well they know someone,” he said. “There are better ways to write questions like this so it’s not so vague.”
In all, the way the questions were worded may make the percentage sound “a lot worse than it is,” Fox said.