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The Shooting Cycle and Publicity: An Examination of State Legislator Voting Patterns and Political Transparency Before and After a Mass Shooting

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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

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.

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Date Created
  • 2015-05

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Public mass shootings impact on the public's firearm carrying habits: evidence of a moral panic

Description

Public mass shootings occur at a rate in the U.S. that is higher than any other developed country. These event initiate wide spread media attention. The media attention these events

Public mass shootings occur at a rate in the U.S. that is higher than any other developed country. These event initiate wide spread media attention. The media attention these events achieve have shown to impact the public behavior (e.g., increased firearm sales). However, the impact public mass shootings have on firearm storage and carry habits of the public is not well understood. Using data collected from the Transportation Security Administration, this study examines how mass shootings have led to moral panics occurring within the U.S. through the examination of the firearm carrying habits among the population immediately following mass shootings. The results indicate that loaded firearms with rounds in the chamber detected by the TSA have significantly increased since 2012. Further, firearms detected immediately following a public mass shooting had a higher proportion of firearms loaded with a round in the chamber relative to 7 days prior to the shooting. Moreover, the increase in proportions of firearms found loaded with a round in the chamber exponentially decays as days past the initial shooting, these events occur at a higher rate than the decay rate can normalize these occurrences. I conclude that in the wake of these shootings a moral panic ensues that is partially responsible for the change in the general public’s arming configuration habits. Further research is needed in to determine the impact on crime, and public health related issues due to this change in the public’s firearm carrying habits.

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Date Created
  • 2018