NRA's Amped-Up Ad Campaign is a Low Risk, Professor McDaniel Says

Monday, August 28, 2017

THE TRACE -- To help make sense of the National Rifle Association and the president’s messaging, and to evaluate the outsized role guns have played in escalating tensions, I convened a Slack roundtable with three political scientists who have published research in the past year about firearms and politics.

I invited Donald Haider-Markel of the University of Kansas, who edited a special issue of the Social Science Quarterly devoted to gun politics; Alexandra Filindra of the University of Illinois-Chicago, who studied gun policy attitudes among different racial groups and published a paper on racial resentment and gun control; and Jason McDaniel of San Francisco State University, who analyzed voting record data to correlate gun ownership with attitudes toward race.

“I am not sure that the NRA risks much by slight changes to their narratives,” McDaniel says. “The issue of gun control is very polarized across the parties, but I would say that has probably more to due with activism by gun-control groups to move the Democratic party politicians firmly in their direction.”