In the news recently: Applications for gun safety (which are required in order to purchase a gun in some U.S. states) have increased about 25% recently. The timing of the increase comes right after the tragedy in Aurora, CO, in which a gunman killed 12 people and injured dozens of others.
The story reports that gun sales have increased not just in Colorado, but also in other U.S. states.
These data might remind you of the quasi-experimental study in Chapter 12 in which larceny rates increased following the introduction of television in several U.S. cities.
a) Sketch a graph of the pattern of gun sales reported in this news story. What kind of quasi-experimental study is illustrated here?
b) There are two possible causal explanations for the increase in gun sales. One explanation proposes that after a gun tragedy like this, people want to buy guns because they want to protect themselves. Another explanation proposes that people are buying guns because they anticipate stricter gun laws in the future. Can you think of some kind of quasi-experimental data that would help to distinguish between these two causal explanations?