… The idea that events should change policy is appealing. After each incident of gun violence in the U.S., someone retells Australia’s story. Twelve days after a mass shooting there in 1996, the legislature took up anti-gun measures, including a buyback program and various restrictions on the types of guns that could be sold. But in the U.S., gun control policy has often appeared impossible to pass at the federal level: A common response after Las Vegas seemed to be, “If nothing changed after Sandy Hook, nothing will change now.” Does public opinion — and, as a result, the policy process — actually respond to events? Let’s look at a few schools of thought in political science and public policy. CONT.
Julia Azari (Marquette), FiveThirtyEight