Political Subgroups, Knowledge, and Information: Gun Issues and Gun Ownership


Fake news, conspiracy theories, and alternative facts crowd our current political climate. Scholars have assessed how such misinformation can impact policy and policy-relevant attitudes in significant ways, especially among partisans (Hoyle 2008; Kuklinski et al. 2000; Nyhan 2010; Porter, Wood, and Bahador 2019; Pratt 2008), yet few have considered how this era of polarized facts operates in the contentious world of gun politics. In this chapter, we aim to assess what the public truly knows about gun ownership, gun politics, and gun-related policies. We first assess whether there is a gap between gun owners and non-gun owners concerning their knowledge about guns and gun policy, and then whether gun knowledge is associated with policy attitudes. Finally, we assess whether new information influences gun policy attitudes by making use of data from an experiment embedded in an online survey.

The Politics of Truth in Polarized America, eds. David Barker and Elizabeth Suhay, 152–176. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Patrick J. Gauding
Patrick J. Gauding
Assistant Professor

Welcome! I am Assistant Professor of Politics at the University of the South. My research and teaching interests lie at the intersection of American politics, public policy, and public administration, and include criminal justice reform, local government, gun politics, and research methods.