Lott on that meaningless BBC poll

Lott has a post (scroll to 1/10/04 entry on his blog) on the meaningless poll that discussed earlier. Lott’s headline is:

A BBC Poll Shows that Most British Want a Law authorizing homeowners to use any means to defend their home from intruders

Of course, as I explained earlier phone-in polls are not at all representative of the population. Nor in any case was there majority support for the shoot a burglar law, which received 37% of the votes.

Lott links to a post by Eric Rasmussen, who also seems to think that the poll is representative of public opinion in Britain. Sigh.

Comments

  1. #1 Kevin P.
    January 15, 2004

    You are correct that phone-in surveys are not representative in general, but in this particular issue, they seem to reflect the views of Britons as a whole:

    http://observer.guardian.co.uk/crime/_story/0,13260,942118,00.html

    Quote:
    Do you think it is acceptable or unacceptable for householders to use potentially deadly force to protect their property against intruders?

    Acceptable 68%
    Unacceptable 32%

  2. #2 Kevin P.
    January 15, 2004

    Of course, the two questions were slightly different: “any means” vs. “potentially deadly”, but I can’t think of “any means” that would be worse than “potentially deadly”, other than perhaps pouring boiling water and acid on someone.

    In the US, the laws that delimit the legitimate exercise of self-defense usually use the phrase “use of deadly force”. This reflects the understanding that you have to be justified in using deadly force against someone attacking you or someone else. If you are justified in doing so, then the end result of the deadly force is not that important, from a legal perspective. The means of deadly force are also not that important – a baseball bat or an automobile could be used as a deadly weapons.

  3. #3 :
    January 15, 2004

    May be I am missing something but Lott’s post notes that the BBc survey is not a scientific one. His also makes it clear about that proposal getting the “most votes.” CCan’t you read?

  4. #4 :
    January 15, 2004

    May be I am missing something but Lott’s post notes that the BBc survey is not a scientific one. His also makes it clear about that proposal getting the “most votes.” CCan’t you read?

  5. #5 :
    January 15, 2004

    May be I am missing something but Lott’s post notes that the BBc survey is not a scientific one. His also makes it clear about that proposal getting the “most votes.” CCan’t you read?

  6. #6 :
    January 15, 2004

    May be I am missing something but Lott’s post notes that the BBc survey is not a scientific one. His also makes it clear about that proposal getting the “most votes.” CCan’t you read?

  7. #7 Tim Lambert
    January 15, 2004

    Yes, I can read. Right at the end Lott admits that the survey is not scientific. That means that his headline is utterly wrong — the poll does not show what “most British” want.