Book – The Gun Gap

In The Gun Gap, Mark R. Joslyn advances gun owners as a new classification for understanding political behavior and attitudes. He demonstrates a “gun gap,” which captures the differences between gun owners and non-gun owners, and shows how this gap improves conventional behavioral and attitudinal models. The gap represents an important explanation for voter choice, voter turnout, perceptions of personal and public safety, preferences for gun control policies, and support for the death penalty. Moreover, the 2016 presidential election witnessed the largest recorded gun gap in history. The Gun Gap thus affords a new and compelling vantage point to evaluate modern mass politics.

Where to purchase

The Gun Gap can be purchased through Amazon, GoodReads, Google Books or Oxford University Press. Click on the icons below.

Press Associated with Book

“Mark Joslyn’s new and important book comes at just the right time, as it coincides with the rise of an increasingly politicized and partisan gun rights movement. Joslyn’s analysis enhances our understanding of the political consequences of the gun rights movement by demonstrating that gun fealty is as significant in explaining political behavior as race, sex, or partisanship. More than that, he elucidates critical political distinctions within the gun community. This scrupulous and careful study significantly advances our understanding of the gun rights movement as a political

–Robert J. Spitzer, Distinguished Service Professor, Political Science, SUNY Cortland, and author of Guns across America

“In The Gun Gap, Mark Joslyn does us all a great service by taking us on a thoughtful, data-informed journey through the distinctive and large gun culture in the United States, and how political differences are structured on membership (or not) in that culture. He shows that gun ownership is a culture, and that the notion of weapons ownership is an explicit part of our constitutional architecture, one which looms as an explicit force in the same manner as race in shaping the Republic. Guns literally divide us, and are as powerful a shortcut as religious identity in guessing our politics.
In the process, he demonstrates too the frustrating path dependency that surrounds gun debates and the response to shootings, and instead asks us to ‘begin anew’ in how we engage guns in our polity and our politics. It’s a powerful, sobering read which speaks to both an issue that divides us, and
how to transcend that division.”

–Keith Gaddie, The University of Oklahoma

“With the gun issue dividing America as never before, Joslyn argues persuasively that firearm owners form a politically important constituency–but one that is far from monolithic. Serious gun collectors differ from casual owners in all sorts of beliefs and behaviors, and these differences
matter for politics. This survey-rich book provides a nice complement to ethnographic work on American gun culture(s).”

–Kristin A. Goss, Kevin D. Gorter Professor of Public Policy and Political Science, Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University

“This expansive and thoroughly-researched book makes clear that gun ownership is a crucial–but previously underappreciated–driver of Americans’ political attitudes and actions. Pulling together an impressive amount of data from a wide-range of sources, Joslyn’s eye-opening work compellingly
demonstrates that understanding contemporary American politics requires that we pay attention to the country’s growing ‘gun gap.’ That Joslyn does this in a very even-handed and accessible fashion makes the book even more impressive.”

–Matthew J. Lacombe, Barnard College, Columbia University

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