Do Researchers From Different Fields Have a Consensus on Gun Control Laws and Do Registered Voters Agree With Any of Them?
40 Pages Posted: 7 Sep 2019
Date Written: August 20, 2019
Hundreds of millions of dollars go to firearms research on crime, suicides, and accidental deaths, but the vast majority of the money, particularly government money, is being spent on public health research. We got a response rate of over 43%, or 120, from the 277 researchers we approached, and we found large statistically significant differences in the views of academic researchers in criminology, economics, and public health on 33 different gun control policies for both mass public shootings and murder will reduce crime and save lives. Our sample is much larger than two surveys of 32 researchers by the New York Times as well as larger than surveys done by others. While none of our groups are quite as supportive of gun control as reported by the Times, public health researchers come closest.
We find that Economists and to a lesser extent criminologists rank order the efficacy of gun control policies in the opposite order that public health researcher do. If one believes that any group of the experts have properly ranked the effectiveness of different gun control regulations, registered voters have essentially ordered the effectiveness of regulations entirely randomly.
Keywords: Public policy, expert opinion, registered voters, public opinion
JEL Classification: K, K14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation