School shootings create ‘durable’ spike in support and donations to NRA groups: Study | News

Second Amendment

A new study reveals donations to the National Rifle Association have consistently surged in counties where school shootings have happened.

The research study for Science Advances published on Wednesday found that following a school shooting, total NRA donation money increases by 30% on average, while the number of NRA donors spikes by 40% in the counties hit by tragedy.


“It isn’t too surprising that people’s interest in safeguarding that ability to protect themselves and their families increases when there is more of a threat,” Crime Prevention Research Center President John Lott told the Washington Examiner. “Giving to the NRA seems like an obvious way to help protect that ability.”

“It is well known that concealed handgun permits and gun sales increase after mass public shootings or violent crimes occur,” the author of More Guns, Less Crime pointed out.

The study conducted by Tobias Roemer, Ph.D. candidate at Nuffield College, Oxford University, shed light on “the mobilizing responses of gun rights supporters in the aftermath” of school shootings.

Roemer found that the “counter-mobilizing responses of the pro-gun political right after shootings” tend to be more “durable” than the efforts from gun control movements, which he described as “transient” in nature.

He described how this trend aids “our understanding of the complexities of, and obstacles to, gun regulation in the United States.”

While both sides of the matter may be “mobilized” immediately following a school shooting, the anti-gun campaign runs out of steam or moves on to the next tragedy rather quickly, as the bolstered pro-gun campaign keeps the momentum going for “multiple years after the incident.”

The spike in pro-gun support is not limited to donations, as the study showed an additional trend of “non-electoral political participation” by the political Right following a school shooting.

The study found the states that experienced the greatest spike in NRA donations and pro-gun mobilization were also the ones that had the most relaxed gun regulations in the country.

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“The fact that such states also witness the greatest backlashes against gun control further adds to the intricate challenges involved in enacting comprehensive gun regulation measures to reduce shootings,” Roemer wrote in the study.

“Tragedies are a stark reminder that life is fragile and the importance of self-defense,” NRA spokesman Billy McLaughlin told the Washington Examiner. “This uptick in support for the Second Amendment is a sign that Americans value their self-defense rights.”


“This shows that when our rights are under threat, people don’t just stand by — they take action to safeguard their freedom and safety,” he continued. “Perhaps anti-gun politicians, the gun control lobby, and their promoters in the media should take note.”

The Washington Examiner reached out to Roemer for comment.

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