IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/wpa/wuwple/0509002.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Culture Affects our Beliefs about Firearms, But Data are Also Important

Author

Listed:
  • David B. Mustard

    (Universtiy of Georgia)

Abstract

Dan Kahan and Donald Braman’s provocative analysis contends that because people’s beliefs about firearms are primarily formed by cultural values, empirical data are unlikely to have much effect on the gun debate. Their proposed solution to this quandary is that scholars who want to help resolve the gun controversy should identify precisely the cultural visions that generate this dispute and formulate appropriate strategies for enabling those visions to be reconciled in law. In response to Kahan and Braman’s challenge to empirical research, I argue that while culture influences beliefs, it is but one of several such factors. Alongside culture (and presumably other factors as well), empirical evidence has a powerful influence on beliefs about gun control. In the first Part of this Commentary I discuss how cultural beliefs can significantly affect individuals’ beliefs about firearms and discuss strategies for helping people overcome their cultural biases to more honestly evaluate empirical evidence. The second Part provides examples of how data have played an important role in affecting individuals’ beliefs about firearms. I conclude by urging renewed attention to empirical research to inform the gun control debate.

Suggested Citation

  • David B. Mustard, 2005. "Culture Affects our Beliefs about Firearms, But Data are Also Important," Law and Economics 0509002, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwple:0509002
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 18. University of Pennsylvania Law Review, 2003, vol. 151: 1387-1394.
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://econwpa.repec.org/eps/le/papers/0509/0509002.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • K - Law and Economics

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwple:0509002. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (EconWPA). General contact details of provider: http://econwpa.repec.org .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.