At the Barnesville Pumpkin Festival — The results of an opinion poll, dubbed "Bean Poll" because opinions were expressed by placing dried beans in jars, seem to show many Ohio Valley residents want our country to live in a peaceful world. Another poll sampled attitudes toward guns, war and immigration. Beyond checking the pulse of area citizens, the purposes of these opinion polls are to stimulate thinking and discussion about government and public affairs, and to promote awareness that contributes to intelligent voting and good citizenship.
The two "Bean Polls" were conducted at the Barnesville Pumpkin Festival on Sept. 27-29 by Ohio Valley PEACE. Similar "Bean Polls" were conducted at the Pumpkin Festival in the previous 16 years. While festival visitors were invited randomly to participate, those doing so volunteered. The results of these informal polls do give an indication of the sentiment of folks in this area, though a scientifically designed poll might produce more accurate numbers.
Both opinion polls consisted of six questions or statements, each attached to a pair of Mason jars. Participants chose a response by dropping a dried bean in one of the jars.
The poll titled "War and Peace" consisted of the following six statements with the response percentages:
1. I support peace. (98% agree, 2% disagree)
2. Supporting peace locally helps accomplish peace globally. (91% agree, 9% disagree)
3. The United States is currently at peace, and not at war in the world. (17% agree, 83% disagree)
4. The United States and Iran can both exist peacefully. (78% agree, 22% disagree)
5. The immigrant and refugee situation in our country and at our borders is one of violence. (72% agree, 28% disagree)
6. All people have a "universal human right" to live in peace. (95% agree, 5% disagree)
A second poll named "Guns, War and Immigration" offered the following six questions:
1. Should the United States ban assault weapons? (57% yes, 43% no)
2. Has white nationalism sparked mass gun shootings recently? (55% yes, 45% no)
3. Is the United States beating the drum for war with Iran? (60% yes, 40% no)
4. Should the U.S. be successful in overthrowing Maduro in Venezuela? (54% yes, 46% no)
5. Is it wrong for the administration to separate children from parents at the southern border? (70% yes, 30% no)
6. Are Central Americans seeking refugee status in the U.S. criminals? (40% yes, 60% no)