Mass public shootings are typically followed by a spike in gun sales as well as calls for stricter gun control laws. What remains unclear is whether the spike in gun sales is motivated by increased threat perceptions or by concerns about gun control, or whether the sales are mainly driven by non-owners purchasing guns or gun owners adding to their collection. Two surveys of gun owners and non-owners, conducted immediately before and after the Orlando shooting, allowed us to assess its impact on threat perceptions and on gun-purchasing intentions. Although there was a minor impact on threat perceptions of non-owners, neither group reported any increased gun-purchasing intentions or an increased need of a gun for protection and self-defense. We suggest that these responses are representative for the majority of Americans and, therefore, people who are influenced by mass shootings to buy guns are probably an atypical minority.
Stroebe, Wolfgang, N. Pontus Leander, and Arie W. Kruglanski. 2017. "The Impact of the Orlando Mass Shooting on Fear of Victimization and Gun-Purchasing Intentions: Not What One Might Expect." PLOS One (August). http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0182408