How Does Ones Political Affiliation Effect Their Views on Gun Control? SOCI

How Does Ones Political Affiliation Effect Their Views on Gun Control?
SOCI 3312
ABSTRACT
This project focuses on the relationship between gun control and political affiliation. Politics have become a major influence in deciding what people think about gun laws and gun ownership. The hypothesis that was stated at the beginning of this project was that political affiliation will have a correlation with whether people believe stricter gun laws should be in place. After going through the data, it is clear that the hypothesis from the beginning of this project is in fact true.
INTRODUCTION
It can be argued that gun control has always been a controversial topic in society especially in recent years. The increase in violence cases has prompted the need to create and implement gun control policies to control the use of firearms. Victims range from everyday people on the street, to influential leaders in society. Thus, in 1968, the Gun Control Act was first enacted with the intention of monitoring the ownership of firearms (Pew Research Center, 2021).
In the Constitution’s Second Amendment, American citizens have the right to possess firearms (Newport, 2021). Statistically, about a third of American adults own a gun. Their reasons for owning guns vary from hunting, recreation and sport, profession, and personal collection to the most significant reason being protection (Pew Research Center, 2021). Today, with the increased rate of deaths due to gun violence, and even with policies and regulations about gun control, people still do not seem to have a common opinion about gun control. The issue of gun control seems to have become is politically driven.
Excluding politics, the general American public seems to be conflicted about whether strict rules or local legal gun ownership will reduce mass shootings and gun violence in general. On the one (too casual) hand, about 49 percent of American adults claim that mass shootings would significantly decrease if people found it harder to own a gun legally. On the other hand, 42 percent of American adults says that changing policies would have no difference, while 9 percent claim that mass shootings would continue to increase (Jaffe, 2018).
In terms of gun politics, the issue of gun control is not firmly partisan. There seems to be more support for laws regarding gun control among people of the Democratic Party than the Republican Party. On the other hand, the Libertarian Party, which favors federal policies, vocally presents its points towards gun control (Miller, 2019). Recently, President Biden and his administration and policymakers proposed new firearm access restrictions to tackle the problem of gun violence that varies from mass shootings to increasing murder rates in major cities (Schaeffer, 2021). 
Since 2019, more than half of Americans feel that gun laws need to be stricter. Democrats and other individuals who lean towards the democrat’s side claim that gun laws should be severe. In other words, Democrats favor more stringent gun policies. In addition, a considerable majority of Democrats support more stringent gun laws (Dorris & Murphy, 2021).
Overall, about a third of the population feels that if more people have access to guns, the crime rate will increase. (Cite this) Another third says that there would be no differences in crime rate, while the other third feels that the crime rate would reduce. With these statistics, the discussion about gun legislation continues to intensify. While Democrats favor stricter laws for gun control, most republicans tend to be inclined toward gun rights (Dorris & Murphy, 2021). The research question that is being asked asks if there is a statistically significant relationship between political affiliation and gun control, if so what is the nature of the relationship, and is there a difference in the years of 2012 and 2021.
LIT REVIEW
Gun control and policies in the United States often take political discourses with two main opposing arguments. A group supports increased gun control policies by the state or federal policies to reduce accessibility and use of this weapon by licensed citizens. On the other hand, opponents of gun control policies underscore that it violates the pertinent right to bear firearms for self-defense as envisioned in the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Moreover, the gun control laws take the political perspectives with the Democrats versus Republicans, often becoming a stumbling block in many contexts. Thus, gun control often takes the political affiliation in the context of the views, beliefs, and perspectives connected to human rights, racism, and constitutionality. Proponents are worried about many licensed gun holders, which increases the instances of mass shootings and homicide. At the same time, opponents believe measures should be used to assess the suitability of the owners. The contrasting views about the subject underscore the difficulties and political cards that play in the gun control policing and regulations in the United States.
The United is the leading country regarding the number of firearms in the hands of civilians, thus putting the nation at risk of possible instances such as mass shootings and security scares. Burton et al. (2021) established the gun owners’ political perspectives and motivations, who have the same status and intentions, but different and diverse opinions on the subject. Consequently, the article posits that the gun owners’ intention is on personal safety in compliance with the Second Amendment but missing out on the political affiliation that ascertains the need to control ownership. The authors approached the subject using a candid discussion with a homogenous group of gun owners, with Republicans and right-winged affiliates more likely to oppose gun control policing than their leftwing and Democrats. Thus, the political affiliations and values play integral roles in the assumptions and beliefs about gun control, according to Burton et al. (2021). Thus, politics play an integral role in the outcome of the discussion on gun control. 
The political affiliations have been a stumbling block in the efforts to instill the gun control policies in the United, with Democrats more liberal to the idea than the Republicans. Burton et al. (2021) determined the impacts of political values and affiliations in influencing the views on the control levels of civilian gun owners. Similarly, Vila‐Henninger (2021) addressed the political affiliations that motivate the American voters to consider regulatory metrics on the subject. In this regard, the author asserts that the voting patterns are value-based to regulate or deregulate the gun control policies, hence the adverse impacts of political affiliations. The voting patterns and the ideologies that define the composition of the legislative assemblies are crucial for influencing policies. The similarities in Vila‐Henninger (2021) and Burton et al.(2021) offer evidence of political affiliations and the overarching impacts on the efforts to regulate gun control. The two articles believe that gun ownership and use are a matter of political ideologies and that there is a need for conservative versus liberal approaches in manifesting the outcomes. Conversely, Burton et al. (2021) focus on the values and ideologies as the foundation of rejecting or supporting the proposed gun control policies, while Vila‐Henninger (2021) contextualizes the framework from the voting patterns. 
Gun control has taken political discourse since the passage of the second amendment of the United States constitution, with more focus on the implementation. However, American society is diverse, and the laws are applied differently to underscore the stratified social and political discourses. One of the main aspects of the dysfunctional aspects of gun control policies is the racial card connected to its implementation. Racial targeting and discrimination have seen more black people killed for their use of guns to protect themselves than any other race in the county. Consequently, Schutten et al. (2022) approached the subject from the perspective of racial resentment and voting patterns. The authors allude to the context and trends that put the blacks at the core of gun control policies, while the whites appear privileged in their efforts to own and use guns for self-defense. The discourses on this subject underscore the essence of social identity elements of gun ownership, with whites feeling more sense of entitlement and favoritism by the law enforcers, according to Lacombe, Howat, and Rothschild (2019). There are instances when mass shooting and related gun crimes are connected to the African Americans as compared to other races. Thus, gun control has taken racial or social identity elements, which impede the strategic and political efforts to reach a national consensus on the subject. 
Gun control takes the social identity and political discourses to underscore the uncertainties of a national position on the legislation and regulation. The social elements include conservative and liberal minds and how the owners perceive their position. Lacombe, Howat, and Rothschild (2019) focused on the subject’s social identity and how it assures the white voters of their status while subjecting the blacks to conservative outcomes. The politics of gun control divide the Americans more than any other issue as it cuts across the ideologies and the voting patterns, like Fleming, Rutledge, Dixon, and Peralta (2016) posited. These authors believed that the events, politics, and voting patterns are central to the mechanical outcomes of the gun control policies in the long run. However, even the governments of the day impede the efforts to have a stakeholder consensus on the subject. Jaffe (2018) determined how the Trump administration failed to fund the CDC’s studies and projects on controlling the guns and limiting the casualties associated with the indiscriminate use of guns. Thus, republic versus democrats is a subject that will continue into the new decade over the pertinent issues related to gun control. 
Fleming et al. (2016) determined the components of political theories of gun control and the challenges associated with its implementation in the discourse of the American society. These manifestations and concepts highlight the current and future metrics limiting Americans’ desire for regulation or deregulation of the subject. Burton et al. (2021) focused on the mentalities, values, and beliefs of the republicans and democrats that have created the current stalemate. Additionally, Miller (2018) engaged in General Social Survey to determine the views and perspectives about the subject, with more partisan polarization and localization of the issue being the subject matter of the contrasts. The public opinion and the attitude towards gun control is a national perspective that defines the diversity of the subject to relate to political components and affiliations. Similarly, Lacombe et al. (2019) defined the problem from the social identity point of view, hence consistently creating its relation to localization and polarization as described in Miller’s (2018) assessment of the general social survey on gun control and policing. These assertions define the political impacts and implications of the gun control efforts in the United States. 
Questions emerge on the commitment of the political class and their understanding of the key issues in the subject to influence change. The number of Americans who are victims of indiscriminate gun use continues with mass shootings and homicide incidents abounding. However, the efforts by the stakeholders to manage these health and wellness risk factors are thwarted by the classical political views of the parties. Jaffe (2018) established how the Trump presidency failed to fund the CDC to engage in research on how to control the casualties such as school mass shootings. These interventions highlight the deep-rooted of this instance in the wake of the Second Amendment to the American constitution. The dominant white conservatives, who mainly affiliate with the Republican ideologies and political values, oppose any legislation that targets gun control and propose other metrics such as assessment and auditing of the owners, as highlighted by Burton et al. (2021). However, Schutten et al. (2022) found that the racial and social identity concepts are part of the discourse supporting or rejecting the change proposals. The findings are consistent with observations in Lacombe et al. (2019) on the subject matter. 
The articles highlight pertinent and consistent themes on the subject, including how political affiliation and values are integral. The gun control efforts in the United have often come short of achieving the set outcomes despite the increasing security threats and casualties it carries. The opponents of the anticipated changes focus on the Second Amendment as the conservative point of reference. At the same time, the proponents cite the issues of security, racial discrimination, and other sense of entitlement. The debate on the subject has taken a political stance, with the two protagonist parties being part of the overarching outcomes and perspectives to advance the needed goals and objectives. The authors have consistent and diverse views on the subject and how politics determines the opponents’ and proponents’ views on the subject matter. The main themes in the articles include the conservative versus liberal view, republican and democrats, racial affiliations and social identities, and the challenges to legislations. Moreover, the social surveys and the voting patterns prove to be integral assessment metrics that underscore the consistencies and challenges of addressing the gun control-related regulations in the United States. 
METHODS
DATA
The two variables that are being used for research are polviews and gunlaw. Polviews survey question is as follows, “We hear a lot of talk these days about liberals and conservatives. I’m going to show you a seven-point scale on which the political views that people might hold are arranged from extremely liberal-point 1- to extremely conservative-point 7. Where would you place yourself on this scale?” The original answers were 1-extremely liberal, 2-liberal, 3-slightly liberal, 4-moderate/middle of the road, 5-slighly conservative, 6-conservative, and 7-extremely conservative. I have recoded the answers into three options, 1-3 as liberal, 4 as moderate, and 5-7 as conservative. The survey question for gunlaw is as follows, “Would you favor or oppose a law in which would require a person to obtain a police permit before he or she could buy a gun?” Gunlaw’s level of measurement is nominal. Polviews original level of measurement was ordinal, and with the recoding it is still ordinal.
RESULTS (SDA OUTPUTS AND HYPOTHESIS TESTING):
Frequency Distribution
Cells contain:-Column percent-Row percent-Weighted N
polviews
1Liberal
2Moderate
3Conservative
ROWTOTAL
gunlaw
1: favor
84.130.5277.3
76.039.6360.5
65.530.0272.8
74.6100.0910.7
2: oppose
15.916.852.3
24.036.7113.9
34.546.4144.0
25.4100.0310.2
COL TOTAL
100.027.0329.6
100.038.9474.5
100.034.1416.9
100.0100.01,220.9
Means
1.16
1.24
1.35
1.25
Std Devs
.37
.43
.48
.44
Unweighted N
356
460
409
1,225
General Social Survey 2012
General Social Survey 2012
Summary Statistics
Eta* =
.17
Gamma =
.32
Rao-Scott-P: F(2,150) =
13.74
(p= 0.00)
R =
.17
Tau-b =
.16
Rao-Scott-LR: F(2,150) =
13.93
(p= 0.00)
Somers’ d* =
.12
Tau-c =
.16
Chisq-P(2) =
34.84
Chisq-LR(2) =
35.33
General Social Survey 2012
Frequency Distribution
Cells contain:-Column percent-Row percent-Weighted N
polviews
1Liberal
2Moderate
3Conservative
ROWTOTAL
gunlaw
1: favor
81.738.4983.1
67.838.8993.6
46.722.8583.1
65.3100.02,559.8
2: oppose
18.316.2220.5
32.234.8472.8
53.348.9664.3
34.7100.01,357.6
COL TOTAL
100.030.71,203.6
100.037.41,466.4
100.031.81,247.5
100.0100.03,917.4
Means
1.18
1.32
1.53
1.35
Std Devs
.39
.47
.50
.48
Unweighted N
1,309
1,366
1,257
3,932
General Social Survey 2021
General Social Survey 2021
Summary Statistics
Eta* =
.29
Gamma =
.48
Rao-Scott-P: F(2,78) =
131.75
(p= 0.00)
R =
.29
Tau-b =
.27
Rao-Scott-LR: F(2,78) =
133.88
(p= 0.00)
Somers’ d* =
.23
Tau-c =
.30
Chisq-P(2) =
337.34
Chisq-LR(2) =
342.81
General Social Survey 2021
References
Burton, A. L., Logan, M. W., Pickett, J. T., Cullen, F. T., Jonson, C. L., & Burton Jr, V. S. (2021). Gun owners and gun control: shared status, divergent opinions. Sociological inquiry, 91(2), 347-366. DOI: 10.1111/soin.12413
Fleming, A. K., Rutledge, P. E., Dixon, G. C., & Peralta, J. S. (2016). When the smoke clears: Focusing events, issue definition, strategic framing, and the politics of gun control. Social Science Quarterly, 97(5), 1144-1156. DOI: 10.1111/ssqu.12269
Jaffe, S. (2018). Gun violence research in the USA: the CDC’s impasse. The Lancet, 391(10139), 2487-2488. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(18)31426-0
Lacombe, M. J., Howat, A. J., & Rothschild, J. E. (2019). Gun ownership as a social identity: Estimating behavioral and attitudinal relationships. Social Science Quarterly, 100(6), 2408-2424. DOI: 10.1111/ssqu.12710
Miller, S. V. (2018). What Americans think about gun control: Evidence from the General Social Survey, 1972–2016. Social Science Quarterly, 100(1), 272-288. https://doi.org/10.1111/ssqu.12555
Schutten, N. M., Pickett, J. T., Burton, A. L., Jonson, C. L., Cullen, F. T., & Burton Jr, V. S. (2022). Are guns the new dog whistle? Gun control, racial resentment, and vote choice. Criminology, 60(1), 90-123. https://doi-org.proxy.libraries.smu.edu/10.1111/1745-9125.12292
Vila‐Henninger, L. (2021). The Popular Basis of the State’s Monopoly on Legitimate Violence: How American Voters Use Political Values to (De) Legitimate Gun Rights. Sociological Inquiry, 91(2), 367-397. DOI: 10.1111/soin.12404
Dorris, L., & Murphy, A. L. (2021). No more politics over people: The role of helping professions in the prevention of mass shootings and gun-related violence. Traumatology. (check this for creduit)
Jaffe, S. (2018). Gun violence research in the USA: the CDC’s impasse. The Lancet, 391(10139), 2487-2488. (lit review not use for this)
Miller, S. V. (2019). What Americans think about gun control: Evidence from the General Social Survey, 1972–2016. Social Science Quarterly, 100(1), 272-288. (lit review not use)
Newport, F. (2021). American public opinion and gun Violence. Gallup Polling Matters. Retrieved from https://news.gallup.com/opinion/polling-matters/343649/american-public-opinion-gun-violence.aspx 
Pew Research Center (2021). Amid a Series of Mass Shootings in the U.S., Gun Policy Remains Deeply Divisive. Retrieved from https://www.pewresearch.org/politics/2021/04/20/amid-a-series-of-mass-shootings-in-the-u-s-gun-policy-remains-deeply-divisive/ 
Schaeffer, K. (2021). Key facts about Americans and guns. Pew Research Center. Retrieved from https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2021/09/13/key-facts-about-americans-and-guns/