Honors Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Political Science

First Advisor

Matthew DiGiuseppe

Relational Format



The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between terrorist activity and public support for gun control. This thesis tests three hypotheses: 1) that out-group violence causes greater support for gun control than in-group violence, 2) that the method of violence determines support for gun control, and 3) that the results of the first two hypotheses are dependent on the conditional variables of gender, fear of Muslims, and residence in an urban or rural area. To analyze these relationships, a survey experiment was conducted to determine if out-group violence and method of violence had an affect on public support for gun control. The results of this study showed no significant increased support for gun control when violence was perpetrated by an out-group member, and the method of violence also appeared to have no affect in the general population. However, when these relationships were analyzed across conditional variables, certain characteristics, especially gender, had an affect of gun policy opinions and other security preferences. This study concludes that although no generalizable results were found in this analysis, there is much room for greater exploration of the topic along other conditional variables.



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