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Abstract

Objectives: The attitudes of gun owners and non-gun owners appear more polarized in the last two decades. We posit that divisions between gun owners and non-gun owners reflect emerging political identities, especially among gun owners. Methods: Using data from the General Social Survey (1972-2012) we examine if and when this gun ownership divergence began to shape the political behavior of the two groups by analyzing voting patterns in presidential elections. Results We first observe that relative to conventional predictors of vote choice, gun ownership is important, reliable, and robust across election cycles. Since the 1970s, possessing a firearm increases the likelihood of voting for Republican candidates. Second, we find that the impact of gun ownership on the likelihood of voting for a Republican candidate increased across elections, reaching a level in 2012 nearly 50 percent higher than in 1972. The voting choices of gun owners and non-owners are therefore distinct and increasingly so over the past several decades. Conclusions: Given the significant proportion of the electorate that owns guns, the prominence of guns in social and political culture, and the weight of gun lobbies in political affairs, the growing divide between gun owners and non-owners will likely continue and significantly impact electoral politics. Gun owners are developing a powerful political identity that rivals other group’s characteristics in its ability to predict voting behavior.

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... Some go further to suggest that the overlap has created two opposing cultural identities whose members either support or oppose gun control (Mencken and Froese 2019). Such identities assist in recruiting support for political parties and the gun control and gun rights movements (Joslyn et al. 2017). As a result, national-level organizations have mobilized large-scale demonstrations, which assist in accumulating resources to defeat their opponents (Laschever and Meyer 2021;Steidley and Colen 2017;) Recent efforts by gun rights advocates may have been successful. ...
... Furthermore, this decline appears to be driven by partisan politics: Republicans registered a 12 percent drop from 2019 to 2021, with only 22 percent of Republicans supporting stricter policies, whereas 91 percent of Democrats support stricter measures in 2021 (Brenan 2020). This divergence suggests that two gun cultures exist, each united by political (and perhaps also religious) identities (Joslyn et al. 2017;Lacombe 2019Lacombe , 2021Mencken and Froese 2019). ...
... Membership in each of these gun cultures conveys an important social identity that has become more prominent in recent decades (Joslyn et al. 2017;Lacombe, Howat, and Rothschild 2019). Similarly, Joslyn et al. (2017: 383) document the existence of two distinct and oppositional gun cultures in the U.S. that "impose meaning and significance on guns." ...
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The author thanks superstar research assistants Carolina Sculti and Daria Tabea Lenz for their comments, suggestions, and excellent research work. I also thank Trent Steidley for his useful comments on an earlier draft and for sharing his panel data on state-level membership in the NRA over time. Eulalie Laschever, David S. Meyer provided excellent suggestions and recommendations. The author also thanks Carol Boyer, Maureen Eger, Mike Hannan, Gaël Le Mens, Sarah A. Soule, and two anonymous reviewers for providing insightful suggestions, advice, and criticisms on earlier drafts. ABSTRACT Scholars document that attitudes toward guns and gun policy reflect deeply entrenched cultures that overlap with ideological affiliations and party politics. Does exposure to dramatic events such as school shootings and protests regarding gun control affect these patterns? I first argue that school shootings are significant triggering events that will become associated with attitudes favoring gun restrictions. The second argument holds that rising protests by one's opponent can be transformed into mobilizing opportunity by a focal group. To examine these ideas, I combine information from a national exit poll data on respondents' attitudes on gun policy with state-level information on the counts of recent school shootings, gun-policy protest, existing laws restricting gun use, and membership in the National Rifle Association. To minimize bias, the analysis of public opinion applies Coarsened Exact Matching techniques followed by analysis using mixed-level logit. The second analysis uses data on gun control protests, school shootings, and NRA memberships in states over time. Results show that conservatives (but not liberals) exposed to more school shootings favor more restrictive gun policies. The second, longitudinal analysis found that there is a significant interaction effect between increases in school shootings and gun control protests that diminishes NRA memberships significantly.
... Although gun control has long been a key component of the conservative agenda (Karol 2009) a greater clarity among party elites facilitates more sorting among citizens (Levendusky 2009(Levendusky , 2010. Gun ownership is now an important predictor of vote choice, such that gun owners now consistently vote for Republican candidates (Joslyn et al. 2017). Consider the partisan gap in gun control policy preferences among American National Election Study (ANES) respondents. ...
... 17 This result is consistent with our prediction that the role of trust should increase over the years 2000 to 2016 due to increasing partisan divides. Although we make no a priori predictions that the role of trust would increase in 2008, this pattern is consistent with Joslyn et al. (2017). 18 This provides initial evidence for the relationship between trust and the fear of a slippery slope, conditioned by a polarized context. ...
... We argue that the polarization on gun policy is the key to understanding why trust matters in recent years, but not earlier in the century. This is consistent with evidence that partisan elites have polarized on gun control policies, and that gun ownership is a polarizing issue for voters (Joslyn et al. 2017). Finally, we focus on the case of gun control, a policy area in which the rhetorical approach of the slippery slope has often been invoked. ...
Article
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Declining trust in government is often cited as the cause of declining support for policies that require ideological sacrifices. Yet pivotal to the effect of trust is the broader political context, which can vary over time. In a context of deep partisan divisions, for individuals who do not trust the government, even small ideological costs can signal the beginning of a process that leads to much larger ideological costs down the line—a process akin to a “slippery slope.” We demonstrate the conditional relationship between partisan divides, governmental trust, and support for policy through empirical tests that focus on the case of gun control. We first show that the effect of trust in government on conservatives’ gun control attitudes increases as polarization over the issue grows. We then use a continuum of gun control policies to demonstrate that the effect of trust on policy support can follow a slippery slope structure during polarized points.
... First, we expect that belief in supernatural evil will be associated with more liberal gun policy attitudes (i.e., those that increase the availability of firearms to civilians). Second, given the associations between supernatural evil belief and political ideology (e.g., Wilcox et al., 1991;Wilson and Huff 2001), and the increasing politicization of firearms policy issues (e.g., Joslyn et al., 2017;Miller 2019), we expect that the associations described above will be partly mediated by political ideology. ...
... Some readers might be curious as to whether the effects of supernatural evil on gun policy beliefs withstand controlling for gun ownership. Briefly, gun owners may be more resistant to restrictive policies due to self-interest (e.g., Wolpert and Gimpel 1998) or because gun ownership is emerging as a salient political identity that may shape policy preferences and voting behavior (e.g., Joslyn et al., 2017). To address this issue, we ran a series of models including a control for gun ownership (not shown, but available upon request). ...
Article
Although debates over guns and gun control have roiled the contemporary political scene, the role of religion has received only limited attention from scholars. We contribute to this literature by developing a series of theoretical arguments linking one specific facet of religion –belief in supernatural evil (i.e., the Devil/Satan, Hell, and demons)—and a range of gun policy attitudes. Relevant hypotheses are then tested using data from the 2014 Baylor Religion Survey (n = 1572). Results show that belief in supernatural evil is a robust predictor of support for policies that expand gun rights. Overall, the estimated net effects of belief in supernatural evil withstand statistical controls for a host of sociodemographic covariates, and, importantly, political ideology. Very few other aspects of religion are associated with any of these gun policy attitudes. Implications and study limitations are discussed, and promising directions for future research on religion and guns are identified.
... Republicans and independents are also more likely to personally own a gun than Democrats are (Parker et al. 2017). Furthermore, gun owners have become increasingly likely to vote for Republican candidates over the last few decades (Joslyn et al. 2017). ...
... These divisions are so deep that Joslyn et al. (2017) characterize the United States as "one country, two cultures," in reference to gun ownership. This cultural dimension is key to understanding the role of gun ownership and rural living in shaping political attitudes. ...
Conference Paper
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The question of how the political attitudes and behaviors of those living in rural areas compare to those living in suburban or urban areas has become increasingly important to understanding national elections in the United States in recent years. Those living in urban areas tend to vote for Democrats and those living rural areas tend to vote for Republicans, while the suburbs have become relatively competitive. Additionally, the political views of rural Americans are often characterized as being relatively conservative, especially regarding social or cultural issues. The question at hand is how suburban and urban attitudes compare, especially in an era of increasing rural-urban electoral polarization. Using data from the 2006 – 2018 Cooperative Congressional Election Studies, I compare rural, suburban, and urban political attitudes concerning the issues of gun control, abortion, and same-sex marriage. These issues are typically identified as “culture war” issues and stereotypes about rural Americans purport that their views on these issues are very conservative. The results indicate that there are differences in political issue preferences between urban Americans and those living in the suburbs, small towns, and rural areas. Those living in small towns and rural areas did have some of the most conservative views on these issues, but many suburban residents also held similar views, implying that is it not so much an urban-rural divide that is present in American politics, but instead a divide between those who live in the urban core and outside of it.
... The gun world is a world of ideological commitments, a world in which laying claim to the ownership of a gun is about laying claim to the ownership of a set of beliefs" (Shapira 2017, 225). Gun ownership, then, has been conceptualized as a social identity (Lacombe, Howat, and Rothschild 2019) and an emerging and salient political identity (Celinska 2008;Joslyn 2020;Joslyn et al. 2017;Middlewood, Joslyn, and Haider-Markel 2019;Vegter 2018). While we find this approach compelling, particularly for understanding patterns in civil engagement and voting behaviors, we contend that gun ownership is also a form of agency, something that involves negotiating a wide range of ideological positions along with the many activities required of gun-owners. ...
... Gun-owners are more politically engaged than non-owners (Joslyn et al. 2017); if this is also true of maybes, gun-owners' policy debates may be substantially shaped by gun-owners and those open to future ownership. While conceiving of gun ownership as a political identity holds a great deal of explanatory power for understanding voting and civic engagement, we argue here that gun openness and ownership are more clearly understood as a strategy of action in response to a myriad of social and political effects. ...
Article
We explore patterns and correlates of gun ownership in the United States, with a particular focus on differentiating those who will never own a gun (“nevers”) and those who are open to ownership in the future (“maybes”) from current‐owners. We use the Guns in American Life Survey (GALS), collected in September of 2018 (n = 3,103), to explore the role of several classes of factors in shaping experiences and attitudes, including socialization, fear and victimization, ideology (confidence in the police, punitiveness, justifiable violence, and gun “science” research), and preparedness. Descriptive findings suggest that maybe‐owners are similar to never‐owners in some ways in background factors (e.g., tending to be women, lower‐income, and not living in a rural area) and more like owners in other ways (e.g., conservative, Republican, and with children in the home). Regression results reveal some anticipated patterns and other unexpected ones. For example, past victimization differentiates the maybes from the nevers but not from the owners. Worry about mass and school shootings leads one away from gun ownership, while worry about terrorist attacks leads toward it. Curiously, greater confidence in the police is highest for the maybes. They are solidly in the middle on other ideological issues, including beliefs in justifiable violence and gun “science” research. We find different ideological issues come together as a continuum of gun ownership status. Finally, those most likely to buy a gun have owned one previously and cycle in and out of gun ownership. They have also used agency by taking other steps to protect themselves. Our findings identify a new subset of occasional owners and illuminate the process of moving toward gun acquisition.
... Using polling and Congressional data, this paper compares support for gun rights between party elites and partisan voters over a wide period of time, then makes a straightforward inference. This strategy differs from a more recent publication tracking over time the link between gun ownership and presidential voting (Joslyn et al., 2017). Those important behaviors, gun ownership and voting, are indeed crucial for understanding the role of guns in American politics. ...
... Beyond GSS polling, we consider three additional poll questions spanning seven decades, all of which depict divergent partisan support for gun rights. This sorting, when considered alongside Congressional signals on gun rights, is the partisan manifestation of the cultural significance of guns in America (Joslyn et al., 2017;Kohn, 2004). ...
Article
Issue Evolution is a rare form of voter realignment where a single issue drives massive partisan shifts. These types of realignment occurred regarding race relations in post-war America, and regarding reproductive rights beginning in the mid-1980s. The current American gun rights debate meets the requisite conditions for issue evolution: longevity, salience, and ease of acquisition. Opposition to gun rights requires organization, attention, and political activity, whereas visible support for gun rights can be as simple as owning a firearm; the expression of advocacy for this issue is inherently asymmetric. This paper presents seven decades of persistent national polling (N = 79,608) alongside Congressional voting records that portray steady partisan divergence and asymmetric support slowly shifting towards gun rights, away from gun control. The gradual process by which new voters have joined the Republican Party on the merits of gun rights foreshadows an enduring association between gun rights and the Republican Party.
... Recent evidence shows that gun ownership is emerging as a salient political identity (Joslyn et al. 2017). This of course implies that the Republican Party's ownership of gun rights issues most likely advantages it among the share of the electorate possessing the gun owner identity. ...
... Have gun owners sorted into the Republican Party? It is the case that gun ownership overwhelmingly predicted vote choice in the 2016 presidential election 9 and has increasingly predicted Republican presidential support across elections since 1972 (Joslyn et al. 2017). In light of partisan sorting, it becomes even more understandable that gun owners overwhelmingly vote Republican. ...
Article
The NRA has long been the dominant player in the battle over gun control. Scholars have attributed this dominance in large part to the NRA’s ability to mobilize its membership when necessary. Lacombe (2018) has written of the NRA’s cultivation of a politicized social identity around gun ownership that assists it in doing so. In this thesis, I show that the NRA has tied this gun owner identity to conservatism and to the Republican party. I find that the NRA’s homogenous membership composition advantages it in its strategy of developing a partisan politicized gun-owner identity among its members. The NRA deliberately taps into members’ existing identities in the process of cultivating such an identity. Using Liliana Mason’s (2018) work on identity reinforcement as a framework, I demonstrate that the NRA has much to gain from facilitating the alignment of a gun owner identity with a Republican partisan identity. The alignment of identities tends to strengthen all identities involved, making individuals who hold them more susceptible to action-driving emotions, like enthusiasm and anger. These individuals thus become more likely to engage in politics and are easier to mobilize. With this in mind, I argue that identity reinforcement has been a driving factor in the NRA’s success in overcoming the problem of collective action.
... These meanings reflect political and gendered narratives and identities (Melzer 2012;Mencken and Froese 2019). Attitudes towards guns are staunchly divisive, with all sides of the debate grounded in distinct social, cultural, and political camps ( Joslyn et al. 2017;Kalesan et al. 2016). Hence, attitudes towards guns become emblematic of political identities, and these attitudes are shaped by the gendered meanings tied to gun ownership. ...
Article
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Social movements pushed to reconceptualize intimate partner violence (IPV) as a social problem deserving of intervention rather than a private family matter. However, little work has examined which interventions the public is likely to support. How and where do personal politics affect perceptions of and responses to a social problem? To address these questions, 739 participants read a victim’s narrative from a court case and indicated their concern for the victim and support for issuing a protection order, prohibiting the abuser from owning a gun, or the victim owning a gun to protect herself. Concern for the victim and support for issuing a protection order was widespread, regardless of political leaning, with minor variations driven by role-taking and attitudes towards IPV. Similarly, support for the victim receiving a protection order was high, with political ideology and political affiliation having no direct effects. While concern increased support for each intervention, it held less explanatory power for gun-related interventions. Instead, political ideology and affiliation shaped support for disarming the abuser or arming the victim. Support for these interventions seemed to filter through a political lens. Thus, one’s personal politics drive divergent intervention attitudes, even when concern for a social problem is shared.
... Although public opinion scholars disagree about the extent to which the public has sorted itself into ideologically distinctive partisan camps (Abramowitz, 2018;Levendusky, 2009), as opposed to updating their issue stances to fall into line with the positions staked out by party leaders (Barber & Pope, 2019;Lenz, 2012), it seems clear that the correlation between party and self-described liberalism/conservatism has climbed over time (Bafumi & Shapiro, 2009). At the same time, the parties have staked out increasingly divergent positions on issues that were largely orthogonal to party prior to the 1990s, such as gun rights (Joslyn et al., 2017) and immigration (Fennelly et al., 2015), and the same may be said of high-salience moral issues that are sufficiently resonant with the public to upend their party attachments (Goren & Chapp, 2017). As noted above, the Trump era is noteworthy for its changes in Republican Party stances, and much the same could be said for the increasingly visible Progressive wing of the Democratic Party. ...
Article
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Unlabelled: The past decade has witnessed profound changes in the tenor of American party politics. These changes, in tandem with growing affective polarization and residential segregation by party, raise the question of whether party identification is itself changing. Using three multi-wave panel surveys that stretch from the first Obama Administration through the Trump Administration, this paper takes a fresh look at the stability of party identification, using several different statistical approaches to differentiate true partisan change from response error. Perhaps surprisingly, the pace of partisan change observed between 2011 and 2020 is quite similar to the apparent rates of change in panel surveys dating back to the 1950s. Few respondents experience appreciable change in party identification in the short run, but the pace at which partisanship changes implies that substantial changes are relatively common over a voter's lifespan. Supplementary information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s11109-022-09825-y.
... Otras investigaciones se han centrado en el papel que tienen los medios de comunicación para promover la polarización cuando pierden imparcialidad, producen desinforma-ción y propaganda e impiden el acceso a diversas versiones de forma equitativa. En muchas ocasiones controlan los datos, con lo que promueven posiciones en favor de alguno de los bandos, exacerban emociones, moldean actitudes, generan procesos de identificación con un líder y configuran la forma de interpretar la realidad (Bar-Tal y Halperin, 2013; Duell y Valasek, 2019; Elbaz y Bar-Tal, 2019; Groenendyk, 2018;Hutchens et al., 2019;Joslyn et al., 2017;Levendusky, 2010;Malin et al., 2019;Ordabayeva, 2019;Suhay, 2015). Para ello construyen la agenda pública, conducen la atención hacia ciertos temas en detrimento de otros y manipulan a la ciudadanía, en consecuencia, crean climas emocionales para la acción y refuerzan creencias e identidades que favorecen a un partido político, puesto que someten al público a una exposición selectiva de contenidos que marcan su inclinación y fomentan la polarización (Balán, 2013;Fiorina, 2016;Lee et al., 2018;Martin y Yurukoglu, 2014;Prior, 2013). ...
Article
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La presente investigación explora lógicas de polarización política entre ocho militantes de dos partidos antagónicos: Centro Democrático (CD) y Colombia Humana (CH), significativos exponentes de derecha e izquierda en la política colombiana. Los objetivos se centran en comprender las creencias sociales del grupo político y el partido contrario respecto a determinados temas, sobre la agrupación adversaria y sus militantes, al igual que la orientación emocional en relación con el contrario. La mirada teórica se desarrolla desde el realismo crítico y la psicología social y política, en perspectiva emancipatoria, además, es guiada por los trabajos de Bar-Tal (2007, 2013, 2017), Blanco (2007), Martín-Baró (1990, 2003), Mouffe (2007), Tajfel (1984) y el marco de la macroinvestigación “Barreras psicosociales para la construcción de la paz y la reconciliación en Colombia”. A partir del método cualitativo con enfoque hermenéutico, se realizaron ocho entrevistas semiestructuradas a militantes de ambos partidos (cuatro de cada uno), haciendo un análisis de contenido a través de matrices intertextuales y una codificación teórica de primero y segundo nivel. De este modo, se comprende la forma como se tejen y desarrollan las creencias sociales sobre el adversario político, leído como enemigo, en un entramado de significación que lo interpreta de manera negativa, en términos morales y políticos, a partir de estereotipos, prejuicios y estigmas que obturan las posibilidades de diálogo y consenso, fortaleciendo perspectivas que invitan a su silenciamiento, dilución, cooptación, derrota y exclusión. Todo ello acentúa la polarización como expresión del trauma psicosocial dejado por décadas de conflicto armado en Colombia, convirtiéndose en barrera para la construcción de la paz y la reconciliación.
... Finally, the engagement questions did not include whether the respondents were single-issue voters based on firearm policy, even though gun ownership status is one of the strongest predictors of policy preference (Aronow and Miller 2016;Joslyn 2020;Joslyn et al. 2017;Lacombe 2019). ...
Article
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Background Although gun owners overwhelmingly support violence prevention policies, they are hesitant to speak up publicly to advocate for these policies. We tested a series of communication messages on gun owners’ level of support for various firearm violence prevention policies and on their willingness to engage in gun violence prevention advocacy. Methods We conducted three consecutive experiments, testing a total of thirteen messages on a sample of gun owners over 18 years old who live in the U.S. The first was a random experiment, the second a quasi-experiment, and the third a randomized control trial. The goal of having these varied methods was to develop messages applicable to different contexts with different levels of information about the audience. Results The most effective message was a script showing respect for gun owners’ decisions to purchase a firearm and proposing a balanced policy roadmap to end gun violence, which led to an increase in gun owner’s willingness to engage in eight different advocacy activities. We also found a value-based message conveying loyalty to increase support for domestic violence related prohibitions and willingness to engage in advocacy for gun violence prevention policies. Conclusions Public health professionals need to develop communication strategies that are aligned with gun owners’ values and that affirm respect for gun culture and for gun owners’ decisions to own a gun.
... Rural people are more likely than urban people to be associated with the religious right and Christian nationalism (Wald and Calhoun-Brown 2014;Wilcox and Robinson 2018). Similarly, there have long been important differences in values and attitudes on a number of issues (Glenn and Hill 1977;Willits et al. 1982), including abortion (Dillon and Savage 2006;McKee 2007), gun control (Joslyn et al. 2017;Merino 2018;Whitehead et al. 2018;Wozniak 2017), immigration (Fennelly and Federico 2008;Garcia and Davidson 2013), and climate change and renewable energy use (Hamilton and Keim 2009). Rural people have traditionally had more conservative family structures. ...
Article
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A long line of sociological research has found that rural residents tend to be more conservative than urban residents in the U.S. on a wide range of attitudes and behaviors. Two primary arguments have been utilized to understand why these differences exist. First, rural/urban differences were thought to be largely a function of rural isolation and differences in types of employment. As rural areas have become less isolated and employment differences have diminished, rural/urban differences are thought to diminish as well. Any remaining rural/urban differences can largely be explained by social class variations. Second, differing interaction patterns in rural areas resulting from fewer people and lower population densities continue to make rural areas unique. This manuscript found strong support for the second argument that rural areas remain unique. Even when statistically controlling for race/ethnicity and social class, rural residents were much more likely to vote for Trump in the 2020 presidential election, were more likely to choose the conservative side on six controversial political issues than urban residents. These findings have important implications in understanding our deeply divided nation. The need for quality social science research to understand modern rural America is apparent.
... On the one hand, gun owners may resist limitations on the types of firearms and ammunition that citizens can own out of (real or perceived) self-interest, perhaps envisioning that such restrictions could adversely affect their own options (Wolpert and Gimpel 1998). On the other hand, gun ownership is increasingly important as a source of personal, social, and political identity (Joslyn et al. 2017;Lacombe, Howat, and Rothschild 2019) and thus may influence political behavior and policy preferences (Joslyn 2020). Therefore, controlling firearm ownership will be important as well. ...
Article
Do veterans of the U.S. armed forces, a population with unique knowledge of and experience with guns, have distinctive views of gun control policies? While veterans are commonly assumed to be conservatives and Republicans, an emerging body of work has begun to explore the complexities of their policy opinions, partisanship, and voting behaviors. Such work provides needed nuance about this symbolically and politically important group. Using the Guns in American Life Survey (2018, n = 3103), we test whether veterans (with combat and noncombat experiences), family members of veterans, and nonveterans have different perspectives, even after taking into account factors such as gun ownership and partisanship. The findings indicate that veterans (and particularly combat veterans) are more supportive than nonveterans of expanding civilians' gun carrying rights. On the other hand, veterans with and without combat experience are more likely to favor banning AR15 and military‐style rifles and high‐capacity ammunition clips. Veterans are also more likely to favor a 14‐day waiting period for all gun purchases, but they do not have unique positions on mental health screening for gun purchases. Taken together, these findings appear to reflect a veteran population that is positively disposed toward guns in general but also understands the destructive power of military‐style weapons.
... Other scholars have also demonstrated the concerted efforts by the National Rifle Association (NRA) to construct social identity around gun ownership (Lacombe 2019), and in turn, that social identity can structure other political attitudes such as ideology and views on policy, including gun control (Mason 2018). A 2017 study on the voting habits of gun owners versus non-gun owners revealed a sharp divide in the voting habits of each group, finding that gun ownership better predicted voting behavior than education, age, and gender and did nearly as well as predicting voting behavior as ideology, race, and party identification (Joslyn et al. 2017). ...
Article
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This work explores the ways that federalism exacerbates gender inequality among women by explaining the adoption of domestic violence laws across different states in the context of policy diffusion. Using an original dataset of domestic violence firearm law (DVFL) enactments across all 50 states in the United States from 1990 to 2017, we analyze the circumstances under which states will adopt these laws. Using a set of political and demographic indicators as independent variables, we find evidence that state and federal factors influence policy adoption. In particular, the number of gun-related homicides, partisan control of the legislature, citizen ideology, federal policy, and election years each influence the likelihood of DVFL enactments. We find support for the effects of vertical policy diffusion on initial enactment of federal laws in this domain, but not for reauthorizations, which raises important questions about the continuous influence of the federal government on state policies.
... In the current era of mass shootings (Burton et al., 2021b), it is not uncommon for gun owners to be vilified in political and media discourse (Hallman, 2017;Kohn, 2004) and to be stereotyped as violent and selfish (Joslyn, 2020;Kleck et al., 2009). Indeed, although gun ownership is legal and most uses for guns are legitimate, many perceive guns to be a threat to social cohesion, an expression of social distrust, and a symbol of indifference toward the safety of others (Joslyn et al., 2017). Therefore, those most sensitive to harm may be more concerned with the broader social damage caused by guns than the prospect of personal defenselessness and thus avoid gun ownership in an effort to circumvent contributing to what some call "America's gun problem" (Lybrand, 2021). ...
Article
The gun ownership literature is vast, with dozens of studies seeking to explain who owns guns and why. We build on this literature in two key ways. First, we introduce a new variable into the fold: sensitivity to harm. We theorize that this concern actively inhibits gun ownership. Second, we direct theoretical and empirical attention to a predictor that has frequently been overlooked in the contemporary gun literature even though its timing makes it the proverbial confounder: childhood gun socialization. Using data from a national sample of 1,100 adults and controlling for other known predictors, we find that sensitivity to harm is negatively related to gun ownership, whereas childhood socialization is positively related to it. Furthermore, we find that childhood socialization is not only the strongest predictor of owning guns, but also confounds the relationship between racial resentment and gun ownership, and fully mediates the effect of gender.
... Джослин и др. [12]) рассмотрели вопросы контроля за гражданским оружием. Статья «Возникающие политические идентичности? ...
Article
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This review of articles follows the Snyder methodology (2019) and is based on a study that was the collection, analysis and comparison of relevant publications on the topic of identity over the past fve years by quantitative and qualitative methods in the Web of Science and Scopus repositories. The scientometric analysis representing the research macrolevel made by means of the VOSviewer_1.6.16_exe CitNetExplorer_1.0.0_exe programs made it possible to distinguish in a vast array of publications the most relevant and cited articles, verified by the scientific community, focused the attention of scientists on semantic “nodes,” that is, values that guide social practices, and also allowed questions to be answered on background practices, organizing knowledge within the framework of discursive analysis M. Fuko. Micro-level, — analytical reading of texts, — made it possible to analyze the main trends in the development of identity studies and summarize the findings. The research undertaken shows that the concepts of political identity and youth identity are not limited to the traditional framework of ethnicity and race, but include a wide range of social and personal conditions, the study of which has great theoretical and practical significance. The study of the identity of emigrants, students, women, former military and many other social groups makes it possible to adopt more effective public policy measures and reduce the distance between managers and managers. Dedicated semantic clusters can be investigated in the new social conditions of Russia, and future finds of domestic researchers in this area will become a resource and contribution to the development of science and society. The absolute predominance of Anglo-Saxon studies in this topic, coupled with the obviously growing attention of researchers to unique and, sometimes, autonomous social groups, as well as identities in a state of transit, opens up great opportunities for Russian researchers to disseminate Russian empirical material and include examples from domestic social and political practices of transformation in the wider context of international sociology and political science.
... After all, it is elected officials who determine criminal justice and gun control policies. Research on the political impact of gun attitudes suggests that, in general, they strongly influence political outcomes through voting behavior (Joslyn, 2020;Joslyn et al., 2017;Middlewood et al., 2019) and through support for powerful gun lobbies like the NRA (Lacombe, 2019;Steidley, 2018). Studies like ours build on this line of research by demonstrating the mechanisms through which gun attitudes influence voting behavior, and how political candidates might capitalize on them. ...
Article
Two principal movers of American politics appear increasingly to be connected: racism and guns. The racial content underlying gun rights rhetoric, however, is rarely made explicit during political campaigns. As such, it is possible that espousing pro‐gun messages may be an effective way to surreptitiously court prejudiced voters without transgressing popular egalitarian norms. In other words, gun rights rhetoric may function as a racial dog whistle. In the present study, we test this theory using data from a survey experiment conducted with a national sample of registered voters. The findings from our experiment show that election candidates’ National Rifle Association (NRA)‐funding status and position on gun control impact voters’ evaluations, and racial resentment moderates these effects. Racially resentful voters are more likely than low‐resentment voters to say they would vote for a candidate when the candidate is funded by the NRA and does not support gun control. This is true among voters who own guns and among those who do not, and it is true regardless of the candidate's political party. The findings also show that there is a backlash effect among low‐resentment voters—such individuals are aversive to NRA‐funded candidates but strongly supportive of pro‐gun control candidates.
... Attitudes about firearms and race are two cornerstones in that contemporary US culture war, and thus at once deeply tied to identity and for many also considered sensitive topics for discussion and disclosure to strangers (Lawrence, Huffmon, and Belk Jr, 2010;Urbatsch, 2019). Discussion of such personal details in the context of a survey interview can sometimes engender discomfort or an inclination to withhold the details of one's own private life, and as firearms ownership has increasingly become connected to social group identity, this may be increasingly true for many (Joslyn, 2020;Joslyn, Haider-Markel, Baggs, and Bilbo, 2017). This connection can lead to a refusal to respond on some questions such as those about firearm ownership, leaving non-random "holes" in the data. ...
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Research has long documented the fact that sensitive items on surveys are subject to relatively high levels of item response refusal, but the role played by respondent characteristics in shaping who refuses is underexplored. The present study integrates this methodological literature with a growing body of research concerned with the racializa-tion of attitudes about gun ownership and policy among Whites in order to address this question. Specifically, this project investigates how racial attitudes influence survey item response refusal on items about gun ownership. Analyses of four distinct nationally representative samples suggest that racially conservative White respondents are more likely to refuse to respond to items concerned with gun ownership net of a host of relevant controls. Implications for the measurement of racial attitudes and gun-related survey questions are discussed.
... It is widely perceived that there is a polarizing split between firearm violence prevention advocates and gun owners (Joslyn et al., 2017) that contributes to the paucity of legislative action (Metzl, 2019). The truth, however, is more nuanced. ...
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Background No previous study has identified the specific brands of guns owned by gun owners. This study aimed to: (1) ascertain and describe patterns of brand- and model-specific gun ownership among US gun owners; and (2) investigate the relationship between gun owners’ brand and model preferences and their attitudes towards common firearm violence prevention policies. Methods Using a national, pre-recruited internet panel of US adults in 2019, we surveyed gun owners ( N = 2086) to ascertain their opinions regarding firearm violence prevention policies and to assess the brands and models of guns that they owned. Results Brand-specific gun ownership was highly concentrated and was dominated by three pistol brands, two revolver brands, three rifle brands, and three shotgun brands. There was wide variation in policy attitudes among owners of different gun brands, but little variation across owners of different gun types (i.e., pistols, rifles, revolvers, shotguns). We were able to identify the specific gun models owned by 1218 (59.4%) of the gun owners. Based on the classification of these gun models into three types we categorized the gun ownership pattern of the sample as 33.4% recreational, 45.5% self-defense, and 21.1% tactical. There were marked differences in support for firearm-related policies among the three groups, with support generally highest among the Recreation group and lowest among the Tactical group. Conclusion We conclude that gun brands and models are strong predictors of a gun owner’s attitudes regarding firearm-related policies. This information could help public health practitioners develop segment-specific communications that will appeal to each group in order to more effectively engage gun owners in firearm violence prevention.
... Why do guns matter so much in election outcomes? Some have posited it may be due to the intensity of gun owners' support for candidates who are progun (Bouton et al., 2014;Joslyn et al., 2017;Wozniak, 2017). For example, while only making up a minority of the voting public, gun owners view gun policies as a central voting issue and thus intensely endorse candidates sharing their views toward guns (Goss, 2006;Lacombe, 2019a). ...
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... Others connected their belief in supernatural evil to the very existence of gun violence and especially mass shootings, suggesting that Satan himself is to blame. Given the political power of gun owners as a coalition (Joslyn et al. 2017), our results indicate the need to include the ways that citizens use beliefs about supernatural evil to justify ownership and construct policy opinions. For example, some respondents believe that the best policy solution to evil in the world is to "bring God back into schools" effectively bypassing other structural and organizational policy options, such as increased mental health resources and social support programs. ...
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This question on how religious beliefs shape attitudes about guns has received little attention in the literature. We use the religious concept of supernatural evil, or beliefs about Satan, Hell, Armageddon, and demons, to provide context for ideas about gun ownership and the development of attitudes toward gun policy. While this has been explored quantitatively using national survey data, we argue that an in‐depth qualitative approach provides necessary nuance. As part of an ongoing ethnography in Northeastern Kansas, we conducted interviews with 55 women and 7 men who own and shoot guns. For this paper, we report on a religion module subsample that probes religiosity, spirituality, and gun ownership. Based on the rich contextual information from the interviews, we illuminate a package of beliefs that come together as an ethic , a set of moral principles guiding gun ownership for a subset of gun owners. We suggest the spirit of gun ownership is a bundle of duties that guide individual gun owners to stress the need to protect, be diligent, and defend. Moreover, belief in supernatural evil is bound up in policy attitudes that protect or expand gun rights.
... But most Americans consider guns to be a major political issue (McCarthy, 2015), and other academic fields have heeded the call in Science for increased research on gun ownership (Underwood, 2013). Epidemiologists recently named health consequences predicted by gun ownership (Cook, Rivera-Aguirre, Cerdá, & Wintemute, 2017), and in a special issue of Social Science Quarterly political scientists addressed demographic (Filindra & Kaplan, 2017;Goss, 2017), electoral (Joslyn, Haider-Markel, Baggs, & Bilbo, 2017), and criminal (Pearson-Merkowitz & Dyck, 2017) factors contributing to the gun rights debate. ...
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For almost forty years gun ownership and the motivational underpinnings of why guns are valued has received little attention in psychology. Using motivation science tools that explain value creation (regulatory focus and regulatory fit), we tested for fit between the prevention orientation and gun ownership. Our field experiments demonstrate fit between gun ownership and prevention. Our research is agnostic regarding the legal and moral components of the gun rights debate. Instead, we examine the malleability of gun value as a function of regulatory focus and regulatory fit, and provide evidence for fit effects with distinct motivational environments.
... Ownership of a firearm in fact represents an increasingly important political identity (Joslyn et al., 2017). Gun owners are a formidable political constituency, exhibiting identifiable characteristics, and share a distinct ethos (Spitzer, 1995). ...
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Gun ownership is a highly consequential political behavior. It often signifies a belief about the inadequacy of state-provided security and leads to membership in a powerful political constituency. As a result, it is important to understand why people buy guns and how shifting purchasing patterns affect the composition of the broader gun-owning community. We address these topics by exploring the dynamics of the gun-buying spike that took place during the COVID-19 pandemic, which was one of the largest in American history. We find that feelings of diffuse threat prompted many individuals to buy guns. Moreover, we show that new gun owners, even more than buyers who already owned guns, exhibit strong conspiracy and anti-system beliefs. These findings have substantial consequences for the subsequent population of gun owners and provide insight into how social disruptions can alter the nature of political groups.
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Although it is clear that gun issues often shape the electoral preferences of some voters and the electoral success of some candidates, there has been little effort to examine the factors that shape electoral outcomes in direct democracy contests involving gun rights. We use weighted ordinary least squares analysis of county‐level data to predict where support for gun rights will be higher. The data include demographic and political variables and are based on a universe of 515 counties drawn from eight states that held direct democracy elections on virtually identical measures solidifying the “right to bear arms.” Although all of these measures passed, our analysis suggests that support for these measures is higher in counties that had more support for Republican presidential candidates, an older population, and fewer non‐white residents. Support was lower in counties with higher education, more women, and greater population density. We conclude that the partisan and urban/rural divide on gun rights drives electoral results in these direct democracy contests.
Chapter
Black youth violence remains a topical issue for Canadians. It is not unusual to wake up to daily media news of Black youth shootings, stabbings, and beatings in Toronto and surrounding areas. As usual, media’s discourse and public debates around Black youth violence are framed in languages that ultimately suggest that violence is congealed in the culture and DNA of Black families. In such a colonial and racist-charged discussion, differences in Black culture are conflated with physical, biological, mental, and emotional characteristics of Black people. Our central thesis is that Black youth violence in Toronto is neither a pathology nor is an aberrant behaviour of Black families, but it is a symptom of a colonial, racist, and classist society. As such, we argue that increased policing and harsher penalties for perpetrators of violent crimes, as well as draconian policies do not address systemic and institutional anti-Black racism and classism that create displacements, alienation, rejections, and a sense of hopelessness that can motivate Black youth violence. How, then, do we approach the challenge of Black youth violence in Toronto? We explore this question with the premise that Black youth violence concerns all sectors of our society. Accordingly, a collaborative approach among stakeholders and decision-makers is necessary to ensure that the situation is adequately addressed.
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Objective: Research surrounding firearm ownership is often contextualised within the perspectives of older white men. We expand this description using the perceptions of a diverse group of firearm-owning stakeholders. Methods: We conducted semistructured interviews from October 2020 to May 2021 with Colorado/Washington State stakeholders representing (1) firearm ranges/retailers; (2) law enforcement agencies or (3) relevant state/national firearm organisations. Data were analysed using standard qualitative techniques and included 25 participants, representing varied sociocultural groups including racial and ethnic minorities, political minorities and sexual minorities. Results: Participants for this analysis were of different self-identified sociocultural groups including racial and ethnic minorities (African American, Hispanic and Asian), political minorities (liberal) and sexual minorities, defined as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT). Perspectives on firearm ownership included an idea of gun culture as a component of (1) personal identity, (2) an expression of full citizenship and (3) necessary for self-protection. A strong subtheme was the intersection of minority group and firearm owner identities, creating a need for divergent social communities because of ideas on traditional gun culture. These communities are a safe place for individuals belonging to minority groups to escape negative external and internal group associations with firearms. Conclusion: Perspectives on firearms and firearm ownership in the secondary analysis were heterogeneous and related to personal experiences, external and internal group pressures that influence individual behaviour. Understanding the breadth of perspectives on firearm ownership is imperative to engaging individuals for risk reduction. This study adds to the literature by expanding an understanding of the motivation for firearm ownership among diverse communities.
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Researchers have considered the role of perceived threat and fear of crime in shaping attitudes about gun regulation. We contribute to this literature by examining whether gun owners, who tend to oppose gun regulations, moderate their gun views when exposed to a gun-related threat. We argue that although exposure to threat can increase the desire to be armed, gun owners primed with a threat may soften their views on gun regulation relative to non-gun owners. We employ an experiment embedded within a nationally representative survey to test our hypotheses. Our analysis of the data from our survey supports the notion that gun owners generally oppose gun regulations, but exposure to a gun-related threat moderates their opposition to gun regulations. We discuss the limitations of our study and conclude with a discussion of the implications of these results for understanding public support for gun regulation in America.
Chapter
Politics in the United States has become increasingly polarized in recent decades. Both political elites and everyday citizens are divided into rival and mutually antagonistic partisan camps, with each camp questioning the political legitimacy and democratic commitments of the other side. Does this polarization pose threats to democracy itself? What can make some democratic institutions resilient in the face of such challenges? Democratic Resilience brings together a distinguished group of specialists to examine how polarization affects the performance of institutional checks and balances as well as the political behavior of voters, civil society actors, and political elites. The volume bridges the conventional divide between institutional and behavioral approaches to the study of American politics and incorporates historical and comparative insights to explain the nature of contemporary challenges to democracy. It also breaks new ground to identify the institutional and societal sources of democratic resilience.
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There is a fairly well‐established demographic profile of gun owners in the United States, yet much less is known about the meaning and importance individuals attach to guns, their right to own them, or the varying facets of gun owner identity. Unknown is if and/or how the attitudes, fears, concerns, and anxieties that influence gun ownership also shape the significance of guns in individuals’ lives. To that end, we examine three assessments of gun meaning: the importance of the right to own guns for one’s sense of freedom; the importance of being a gun owner to one’s personal identity; and the extent to which owners find guns emotionally and morally empowering (e.g., guns making one feel confident, important, in control). Using data from an original Mechanical Turk survey (n = 876), we show that diffuse political, social, and cultural anxieties shape gun meaning more so than do instrumental fears around crime and victimization.
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How does social identity shape Protestant attitudes about guns in the United States? Numerous studies show that religion shapes attitudes about guns, but the role of Protestantism in forming those attitudes is undertheorized and undertested. We draw from the extensive literature on religion-as-identity and the burgeoning literature of gun-ownership-as-identity to test the theory about the role of Protestant religion in cultivating a gun identity. We argue that for many Protestants, gun ownership has taken on the characteristics of a distinctive social identity, but that there are clear differences between different types of Protestants—notably, evangelicals and mainliners—that render the expansive category of “Protestant” largely irrelevant as an explanatory variable. While that finding might seem straightforward to scholars of religion and politics, the broad categorical approach—that is, treating “Protestant” as explanatory—has proven surprisingly durable in studies of gun ownership and attitudes about gun control. The analysis uses a recent Pew survey with batteries of questions about gun identity, gun policy, and religion. While this research note does not fully test why this relationship between Protestantism and gun identity exists, we do show that the relationship not only exists but also affects gun policy attitudes.
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In the United States, Blacks overwhelmingly bear the brunt of gun violence. While Blacks are more likely to favor gun restrictions than are Whites, the influence of Black gun death on Whites’ attitudes about gun control has not been investigated. We advance a theory to explain White response to Black firearm fatalities: Black gun death is explicitly and implicitly racialized in the public discourse and imagination. The roots of the gun control debate are themselves likewise racialized, and portrayals of Black gun death has the potential to tap latent racial biases among Whites. As a consequence, exposure to routinized Black gun death either fails to move White opinion, or moves Whites to greater support for gun rights. The influence of race on White public opinion is particularly concerning in an era when health officials consider gun death a public health crisis. First, we evaluate this theory with a regression discontinuity (RDD) analysis of the effects of a highly salient gun death of a young Black boy in Chicago on Whites’ opinions about gun control. Relative to White people interviewed before the death, White people interviewed after the death record greater opposition to gun control. Second, we fielded a survey experiment, exposing respondents to the reported gun homicide of either Black or White thirteen-year-old boys. Relative to a control, respondents in the Black death condition are unmoved, whereas respondents in the White death condition report greater levels of support for gun control. Implications are discussed.
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Do political dynamics inform concealed handguns demand better than crime levels? In this study we argue and find support for the idea that handgun demand is a product of status politics, displays of political symbolism in response to real or perceived threats to those supporting gun rights and conservative values. We also compare this argument with previous explanations of handgun demand such as crime rates and racial demographics. We find locations supporting conservative political views do have greater rates of CHL applications during moments when status politics were most likely while less support is found for criminal justice predictors.
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Gun ownership is a key predictor of gun policy preferences, political advocacy on behalf of gun rights, and political engagement. Theories have linked both racial and gender ideologies to gun ownership among white Americans, but the evidence is spotty. Statistical analyses provide some limited confirmation that racial resentment is a key predictor of gun ownership, but the role of sexism has not been tested quantitatively especially in conjunction with racial resentment. We use the 2004–2016 ANES and a 2015 Gun Survey to statistically test the relative importance of racial resentment and sexism in predicting gun ownership, rationales for owning firearms, and NRA membership among whites. We find strong evidence that racial resentment is associated with gun ownership, rationales for owning firearms, and NRA membership, but the results for sexism are generally not consistent with expectations.
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Mass shootings have a strong impact on public discourse and perception, affecting more than their direct victims. We use data on charitable contributions and criminal activity in the U.S. over the last decade to identify and quantify the effect of mass shootings on prosocial and antisocial behavior. We find that the effect of mass shootings on prosocial behavior, measured primarily by monetary contributions, is positive and statistically significant. However, the directly affected localities react to mass shootings differently than their neighboring communities, decreasing their charitable contributions. Additionally, we are unable to find a statistically significant effect of mass shootings on antisocial behavior, as measured by various crime rates. Furthermore, we show that mass shootings are different than any other type of criminal behavior, including all other violent offenses, in terms of its effect on prosocial behavior.
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Firearms are one of the central flashpoints in American life, and yet the motivations underlying their ownership have been generally understudied by psychologists. In this article, I review work from across the social sciences to model the psychological utility that people get from gun ownership. I propose the coping model of protective gun ownership and argue that those who own their weapon for protection are using their gun symbolically as an aid to manage psychological threats—to their safety, control, and sense of belongingness—that come from their belief that the world is a dangerous place and that society will not keep them safe. I discuss the ramifications of this coping strategy and present a research agenda for exploring this framework.
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Conservatives reject identity politics as un-American, yet a distinct conservative identity has formed around issues of liberty, antagonism toward government, and local control. This identity has been connected to policies, first helping build the coalition necessary to pass policy and later shaped by policy implementation. Policy Feedback theory explains the mechanism that connects conservative politics, policy, and identity. This analysis applies a specific aspect of Policy Feedback theory to the case of school choice to understand how organizations frame issues and shape identity. Using interest group communications data, the findings show differences between and within homeschooling and charter school groups.
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Objective Recent research suggests that a gun owner social identity may undergird the deep political engagement of U.S. gun rights supporters. We adapt social psychological measures to assess whether such an identity does indeed exist, examine the factors that predict whether individuals hold the identity, and assess whether the identity predicts individuals’ political attitudes and participation. Methods We analyze two distinct survey data sets using various statistical techniques: (1) an original Mechanical Turk survey and (2) a survey of gun owners conducted by the Pew Research Center. Results Gun owner identity is an individual characteristic that can be meaningfully measured. Moreover, gun owner identity is predicted by contact with the National Rifle Association and participation in gun‐related social activities, among other factors. Further, this identity strongly predicts firearm‐related policy attitudes, the importance individuals place upon these issues, and their propensity to act in opposition to gun regulations, all independent of gun ownership. Conclusions Our results suggest that nuanced measurement of gun owner identity can provide a richer understanding of gun policy attitudes, identity politics, and interest group influence. In so doing, they help explain gun rights supporters’ unusual dedication and, by extension, the NRA's success in the realm of gun policy.
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We hypothesize that gun ownership among women is an important determinant of political engagement. First, using 2013 Pew Research Center data, we examine different types of political participation concerning gun policy. Next, we examine data from a survey experiment embedded in a unique June 2017 national survey of nearly 900 gun owners. Finally, we analyze 2016 American National Election Studies data of behavioral and cognitive forms of political participation. Gun‐owning women exhibit levels of political participation about gun policy and a greater willingness to engage in political discussions about gun control than nonowning women. We also find greater levels of political engagement among gun‐owning women on measures of participation not related to gun policy. We discuss the implications of our findings for research on political participation as well as for gun policy.
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Although studies have analyzed the effects of “stand your ground” (SYG) laws on violent crime, the question of why states are more likely to take measures to allow gun violence (albeit in self-defense) in the public sphere remains understudied in the literature. Using a fixed-effects event-history analysis of a panel of longitudinal state-level data for the period 2005–2012, we expand upon recent research by testing three competing perspectives on the adoption of SYG laws: group threat, political partisanship, and crime. Despite rhetorical framing of SYG laws as a means of self-defense from predatory criminals by gun-rights organizations, we find no effect of crime on the passage of SYG laws. Nor do we find evidence for group threat. Implications of these findings and directions for future research are discussed. Instead, results support the political partisanship view, providing further evidence of the politicization of gun policy in the contemporary United States.
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This article investigates the gender gap in gun control attitudes, in which women are more likely to support gun control than men. Women are less likely than men to own a gun and to see owning guns as a means of self-protection. Using the 2012 American National Election Study Data, this article tests authoritarianism, which includes the desire for security and a disposition toward higher levels of perceived threat, as an explanation for the gap. The results indicate that authoritarian women are more likely than authoritarian men to support gun control. In fact, authoritarianism appears to have the opposite effect on men and women’s gun control attitudes. Authoritarianism is associated with higher levels of support for gun control among women and lower levels of support among men.
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Why do major events of gun violence (i.e., mass shootings) lead to incremental change or no federal legislative change at all in the United States while major events of gun violence have resulted in large-scale legislative changes in Canada? Exploring the complexities involved in this compelling question, this article conducts a comparative analysis of recent gun control policy gridlock and shift in these two countries. We concentrate on two mass shooting cases in each country: the Columbine (1990) and Sandy Hook (2012) massacres in the United States and the École Polytechnique Massacre (1989) and Concordia Shooting (1992) in Canada. We use veto player theory to gain insights into why tightening gun policy is so difficult to implement in the United States while Canada often follows up with policy transformations after a focusing event. This theory informs the central argument that the key factors underpinning the divergent policy outcomes on gun control issues in both countries involve differences in the structure of government/institutional design and the role and power of interest groups in each case.
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en Past research suggests that people substantially overestimate the size of minority populations. Labeled “innumeracy,” inflated estimates of minority populations can have a negative impact on intergroup relations and influence policy attitudes toward minority groups. Our research examines people’s estimates of the gun owner population in the United States. We discover that people vastly overestimate gun ownership and similarly misjudge its future growth. Estimations of size are influenced by several determinants including gun ownership and affective orientations toward gun owners. Gun owners, compared to nongun owners, reported higher estimations of the gun owner population. In addition, positive feelings toward gun owners were associated with increased estimates of gun ownership. Affective orientations toward minority populations are in fact a key predictor neglected by prior innumeracy studies. Finally, estimations of the gun owner population, and judgments about its future growth, were both significant determinants of gun policy preferences. Related Articles Smith‐Walter, Aaron, Holly L. Peterson, Michael D. Jones, and Ashley Nicole Reynolds Marshall. 2016. “Gun Stories: How Evidence Shapes Firearm Policy in the United States.” Politics & Policy 44 (6): 1053‐1088. https://doi.org/10.1111/polp.12187 Cagle, M. Christine, and J. Michael Martinez. 2004. “Have Gun, Will Travel: The Dispute Between the CDC and the NRA on Firearm Violence as a Public Health Problem.” Politics & Policy 32 (2): 278‐310. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1747-1346.2004.tb00185.x Tucker, Justin A., James W. Stoutenborough, and R. Matthew Beverlin. 2012. “Geographic Proximity in the Diffusion of Concealed Weapons Permit Laws.” Politics & Policy 40 (6): 1081‐1105. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1747-1346.2012.00399.x Related Media Pew Research Center. 2013. “Gun Ownership Trends and Demographics.” https://www.people-press.org/2013/03/12/section-3-gun-ownership-trends-and-demographics/ Smith, Tom W., and Jaesok Son. 2015. “General Social Survey Final Report: Trends in Gun Ownership in the United States, 1972‐2014.” NORC at the University of Chicago. https://www.norc.org/PDFs/GSS%20Reports/GSS_Trends%20in%20Gun%20Ownership_US_1972-2014.pdf Abstract es La investigación pasada sugiere que la gente sobrestima sustancialmente el tamaño de las poblaciones de minorías. Se le llama innumerismo a las estimaciones infladas de las poblaciones minoritarias y puede tener un impacto negativo en las relaciones entre los grupos e influir en las actitudes de las políticas hacia los grupos minoritarios. Nuestra investigación examina las estimaciones de las personas sobre la población propietaria de armas en los Estados Unidos. Descubrimos que las personas sobreestiman en exceso el número de propietarios de armas y de manera similar juzgan incorrectamente su crecimiento futuro. Las estimaciones de cantidad están influenciadas por varios factores determinantes, incluidas la posesión de armas y las orientaciones afectivas hacia los propietarios de las armas. Los propietarios de armas, en comparación con los que no tienen armas, reportaron estimaciones más altas de la población propietaria de armas. Además, los sentimientos positivos hacia los propietarios de armas se asociaron con mayores estimaciones de la posesión de armas. Las orientaciones afectivas hacia las poblaciones minoritarias son, de hecho, un predictor clave omitido por los estudios previos del innumerismo. Finalmente, las estimaciones de la población propietaria de armas y los juicios sobre su crecimiento futuro fueron determinantes significativos de las preferencias de la política de armas. Abstract zh 以往研究认为,人们极大地高估了少数人口的数量。被贴上“数盲”( innumeracy)这一标签、过高估计少数人口一事能对团体间关系产生负面影响,并影响对少数群体的政策态度。本文考察了人们对美国持枪人口的估计。本文发现,人们大幅高估了枪支持有人的数量,并错误判断了持枪一事的未来发展。对持枪人口数量的估计受到几个决定因素的影响,包括枪支所有权和(人们)对枪支持有人的情感取向。枪支持有人和非枪支持有人相比,前者对持枪人口数量的估计更高。此外,对持枪人的正面感受和持枪所有权的增加有关。对少数人口的情感定向实际上是一个关键的预测物,但它却被以往研究数盲的文章所忽略。本文结论认为,对持枪人口的估计,以及对持枪一事的未来发展的判断,二者都是枪支政策偏好的显著决定因素。
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In recent years, surveys in the United States have faced increasing refusal to answer questions about firearm ownership, even as other similar questions see no comparable up-tick in item nonresponse. Asymmetrical polarization, elite messaging, and changing media institutions all suggest that the surging nonresponse concerning gun-ownership questions may be increasingly concentrated among those with rightward political and partisan leanings, potentially skewing inferences about gun-related issues. Data from the General Social Survey confirms that the increase in probability of declining to answer firearm-ownership questions is particularly stark among those identifying as Republicans, particularly those with a conservative outlook skeptical of government.
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Preface 1: Introduction 2: How to Test the Effects of Gun Control 3: Gun Ownership, Gun Laws, and the Data on Crime 4: Concealed-Handgun Laws and Crime Rates: The Empirical Evidence 5: The Victims and the Benefits from Protection 6: What Determines Arrest Rates and the Passage of Concealed-Handgun Laws? 7: The Political and Academic Debate 8: Some Final Thoughts Appendixes Notes Bibliography Index
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In February 1994, the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act established a nationwide requirement that licensed firearms dealers observe a waiting period and initiate a background check for handgun sales. The effects of this act have not been analyzed. To determine whether implementation of the Brady Act was associated with reductions in homicide and suicide rates. Analysis of vital statistics data in the United States for 1985 through 1997 from the National Center for Health Statistics. Total and firearm homicide and suicide rates per 100,000 adults (>/=21 years and >/=55 years) and proportion of homicides and suicides resulting from firearms were calculated by state and year. Controlling for population age, race, poverty and income levels, urban residence, and alcohol consumption, the 32 "treatment" states directly affected by the Brady Act requirements were compared with the 18 "control" states and the District of Columbia, which had equivalent legislation already in place. Changes in rates of homicide and suicide for treatment and control states were not significantly different, except for firearm suicides among persons aged 55 years or older (-0.92 per 100,000; 95% confidence interval [CI], -1.43 to -0.42). This reduction in suicides for persons aged 55 years or older was much stronger in states that had instituted both waiting periods and background checks (-1.03 per 100,000; 95% CI, -1.58 to -0.47) than in states that only changed background check requirements (-0.17 per 100,000; 95% CI, -1.09 to 0.75). Based on the assumption that the greatest reductions in fatal violence would be within states that were required to institute waiting periods and background checks, implementation of the Brady Act appears to have been associated with reductions in the firearm suicide rate for persons aged 55 years or older but not with reductions in homicide rates or overall suicide rates. However, the pattern of implementation of the Brady Act does not permit a reliable analysis of a potential effect of reductions in the flow of guns from treatment-state gun dealers into secondary markets. JAMA. 2000;284:585-591
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Data from a US mortality follow-back survey were analyzed to determine whether having a firearm in the home increases the risk of a violent death in the home and whether risk varies by storage practice, type of gun, or number of guns in the home. Those persons with guns in the home were at greater risk than those without guns in the home of dying from a homicide in the home (adjusted odds ratio = 1.9, 95% confidence interval: 1.1, 3.4). They were also at greater risk of dying from a firearm homicide, but risk varied by age and whether the person was living with others at the time of death. The risk of dying from a suicide in the home was greater for males in homes with guns than for males without guns in the home (adjusted odds ratio = 10.4, 95% confidence interval: 5.8, 18.9). Persons with guns in the home were also more likely to have died from suicide committed with a firearm than from one committed by using a different method (adjusted odds ratio = 31.1, 95% confidence interval: 19.5, 49.6). Results show that regardless of storage practice, type of gun, or number of firearms in the home, having a gun in the home was associated with an increased risk of firearm homicide and firearm suicide in the home.
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