The Shooting Cycle and Publicity: An Examination of State Legislator Voting Patterns and Political Transparency Before and After a Mass Shooting
This study looks to answer whether or not citizens have reason to believe the publicity statements from state government officials when speaking about gun-control laws during the time surrounding mass shootings. Citizens in America see the same, consistent pattern that politicians use mass shootings for, known as "The Shooting Cycle." Here, we will research whether or not these politicians are continuing to keep the same voting pattern that they have had in the past, in terms of gun control. This case study uses quantitative research to discover that almost all state representative and senators have consistent voting patterns when it comes to gun control legislation, regardless of time distances around mass shootings. We will then seek out seek out public statements and relevant periodicals and media clips in order to determine whether or not these voting patterns align with the public's perception of a politician's stance on gun control. It also uses qualitative research to discover that publicity from senators and representatives that support gun rights have more consistency in their public statements than those who are either inconsistent or consistently vote for gun control legislation. This study creates opportunities for new research in voting patterns and political transparency on state officials and the significant effects of mass shootings on public opinions and public statements from state officials.