Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 5-7-2021

Faculty Advisor(s)

Dr. Ann Gordon


Tensions regarding gun control have increased drastically in American society, particularly due to an increase in mass shootings and their media coverage. Many of these mass shootings have directly influenced the youth of America because of the prevalence of school shootings in recent years. In this paper, I will examine the relationship between age and the fear of gun control, particularly in terms of the life cycle effects theory which explains that political beliefs fluctuate with age due to changing responsibilities. Using an original data set known as the Fear Survey, which gathers information on the various fears and demographics of individuals in American society I found a moderately high relationship between older Americans and fear of government restrictions on guns. Additionally, I find that a moderately high percentage of older Americans report not being fearful of being a victim of a mass shooting while younger Americans have the highest percentage. This research will provide insight on American society in order to better understand when political stances are formed and how malleable they may be. Furthermore, it would explain that while a majority of Americans support stricter gun legislation, no regulations have been passed in recent years due to older Americans being the largest representative demographic in government and favoring conservative political ideologies.


Presented at the virtual Spring 2021 Student Scholar Symposium at Chapman University.