Mass Shootings in America: How the Free Market Responds to Tragedy

Scott Mayfield, Whitworth University

Abstract

With the unfortunate trend of mass shootings happening in the United States, there is a high level of resulting commentary that inevitably surrounds each occurrence. The two extremes of this discussion are that guns are either the root of all evil, or they are source of protection everyone should have the right to have. Are citizens responding to these massacres by arming themselves with concealed weapons? Or are they trusting in the local police forces to protect them and letting the demand for guns dwindle in hopes that the supply will follow? These questions were tested by researching the potential performance of the US gun accessory industry. By collecting organic web traffic data of the industry’s top performing companies and pairing it with state-specific concealed carrying permit rates over time, it was concluded that there was no statistical correlation between shooting events and changes in market performance. However, the government’s response to these events, in the form potentially tighter gun laws, did in fact cause a significant increase in market demand; concluding that this once struggling industry is seeing a much brighter economic future thanks to the authority that was trying to constrain it.

 
Apr 23rd, 9:00 AM Apr 23rd, 10:30 AM

Mass Shootings in America: How the Free Market Responds to Tragedy

Weyerhaeuser 305

With the unfortunate trend of mass shootings happening in the United States, there is a high level of resulting commentary that inevitably surrounds each occurrence. The two extremes of this discussion are that guns are either the root of all evil, or they are source of protection everyone should have the right to have. Are citizens responding to these massacres by arming themselves with concealed weapons? Or are they trusting in the local police forces to protect them and letting the demand for guns dwindle in hopes that the supply will follow? These questions were tested by researching the potential performance of the US gun accessory industry. By collecting organic web traffic data of the industry’s top performing companies and pairing it with state-specific concealed carrying permit rates over time, it was concluded that there was no statistical correlation between shooting events and changes in market performance. However, the government’s response to these events, in the form potentially tighter gun laws, did in fact cause a significant increase in market demand; concluding that this once struggling industry is seeing a much brighter economic future thanks to the authority that was trying to constrain it.