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Researching Gun Control Attitudes With Web Surveys

Case
By: Published: 2018 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases in Sociology
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Abstract

Legislators and other policy-influencing groups in the United States have recently called for more research about smart guns, weapons that can only be fired by an authorized user. Very little systematic study has been conducted on this topic. Results of existing studies contradict one another. The project discussed in this case study used a nationwide web survey to collect detailed demographic, attitudinal, and other characteristics from a sample of more than 500 Americans to shed light on this issue. The project investigated what types of Americans favor one gun type over another, and possible reasons for why. This case study details key planning challenges related to funding, the use of web administration instead of other survey administration methods, national representation, and survey question formatting. A discussion of practical details associated with implementation centers on checks for data quality. Practical implications for policy and practice are also discussed.

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