Self-Interest, Symbolic Politics, and Public Attitudes Toward Gun Control

Self-Interest, Symbolic Politics, and Public Attitudes Toward Gun Control Numerous studies have found that immediate and tangible self-interest has a minimal influence on public attitudes toward many policy issues. We examine public attitudes toward gun control in order to determine whether gun owners exhibit distinctive policy preferences. Our results indicate that self-interest strongly influences public preferences on gun control and that banning handguns evokes stronger self-interest effects than banning assault weapons or imposing a waiting period on purchases of firearms. We conclude by discussing why gun control evokes self-interested calculations among gun owners, the implications of our findings for self-interest theory, and suggestions for further lines of research. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Political Behavior Springer Journals

Self-Interest, Symbolic Politics, and Public Attitudes Toward Gun Control

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 1998 by Plenum Publishing Corporation
Subject
Political Science and International Relations; Political Science; Sociology, general
ISSN
0190-9320
eISSN
1573-6687
D.O.I.
10.1023/A:1024814624070
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Numerous studies have found that immediate and tangible self-interest has a minimal influence on public attitudes toward many policy issues. We examine public attitudes toward gun control in order to determine whether gun owners exhibit distinctive policy preferences. Our results indicate that self-interest strongly influences public preferences on gun control and that banning handguns evokes stronger self-interest effects than banning assault weapons or imposing a waiting period on purchases of firearms. We conclude by discussing why gun control evokes self-interested calculations among gun owners, the implications of our findings for self-interest theory, and suggestions for further lines of research.

Journal

Political BehaviorSpringer Journals

Published: Oct 7, 2004

References

  • The influence of fear of crime, gender, and southern culture on carrying firearms for protection
    Bankston, W. B.; Thompson, C. Y.; Jenkins, Q. A. L.; Forsyth, C. J.

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