American Government and Politics

Does Mass Shooting Influence Attitudinal Change? New Evidence from Orlando 2016

Muzhou Zhang University of Essex
Joseph Kelly University of Essex


Does mass shooting event influence gun control attitudes? Previous research conducted by Rogowski and Tucker (2019) suggests that attitudes towards gun control remained unchanged following the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Given this finding’s counterintuitive nature and significance, we further investigate gun control attitudinal change using an exogenous event. Here, we employ a similar method while using the 2016 Orlando shooting as a new case to explore the extent to which the previously reported null effect holds. By leveraging the pre- and post-shooting responses for wave 55 of The American Panel Survey, we show that American’s gun control attitudes are unmalleable and deeply entrenched following mass shooting events. Our null finding has meaningful implications for the deadlocked gun control issue in the US.


Thumbnail image of main.pdf
download asset main.pdf 0.13 MB [opens in a new tab]

Supplementary material

Thumbnail image of appendix.pdf
download asset appendix.pdf 0.09 MB [opens in a new tab]
Table A1-18 show supplementary information and results.

Supplementary weblinks

GitHub repository
It hosts replication files.


Log in or register with APSA to comment [opens in a new tab]
Comments are not moderated before they are posted, but they can be removed by the site moderators if they are found to be in contravention of our Commenting Policy [opens in a new tab] – please read this policy before you post. Comments should be used for scholarly discussion of the content in question. You can find more information about how to use the commenting feature here [opens in a new tab] .