Gun Sales, Well-being, and COVID-19

Gun sales have reached record highs since the spring of 2020. Current estimates suggest that 2020’s year-to-date gun sales exceed all of 2019’s sales by one million units (Grant 2020). Even August, which saw the smallest growth in gun sales so far in 2020, had a 57.8% year-over-year increase in gun sales (Grant 2020). Breaking August’s numbers…

Disinformation about School Shootings on Twitter: Why Does It Happen? What Kind of Information is Shared? Does it Matter?

All of this has implications for democracy. While disinformation and polemics may stimulate a broader public conversation about social concerns such as gun violence, the relative incivility of these narratives which included polemics and insults are unlikely to increase users’ tolerance to individuals’ championing opposing perspectives—which is an important precursor to consensus-building . Conversely, fact-based narratives, particularly those discussing May’s mental health, could assist in consensus-building regarding health care in America. Even the personal narratives shared by students may help those holding opposing points of view regarding issues such as gun control better understand one another insofar as these stories can help individuals find areas of unanticipated agreement. Disinformation, in short, is bad for political conversation, political debate and deliberative processes.