Faculty & Research Mobilize for Our Lives? School Shootings and Democratic Accountability in U.S. Elections Aug 05, 2020 By John HolbeinHans J. G. HassellMatthew Baldwin Mobilize for Our Lives? School Shootings and Democratic Accountability in U.S. Elections Gun violence is a large and growing problem in the United States. Many reformers look towards elections to spur policy change in this area. In this paper, we explore the effects of school shootings on electoral mobilization and election outcomes. We pair data from several sources that measure validated voter registration; validated voter turnout; and the electoral performance of officials at the local, state, and federal levels with regression discontinuity and panel methods. Our effects show that shootings have little to no effect on electoral outcomes in the United States. Our work demonstrates that even when tragic events occur that are squarely in the realm of elected officials’ responsibility, have high levels of issue salience, are highly-covered by the media, draw citizens’ attention, and (perhaps) shift public opinion, these seemingly favorable conditions may not be enough to elicit democratic accountability. Read in APSA John Holbein John Holbein is an assistant professor of public policy and education at the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. Holbein studies political participation, political inequality, democratic accountability, political representation, and education policy. Read full bio Hans J. G. Hassell Matthew Baldwin Related Content John Holbein African Americans Are Less Likely to Receive Responses to Emails, Study Finds News New evidence from a team of researchers, including Batten professor John Holbein, suggests that everyday racial discrimination is far more widespread than previous studies have indicated. Mahoney Receives UVA's Public Impact-Focused Research Award News During UVA's annual Research Achievement Awards, Christine Mahoney, professor of public policy and politics and director of SE@UVA, was recognized for her work supporting the rights of displaced people locally, nationally and globally. Batten's John Holbein and Jay Shimshack were also acknowledged for their research contributions.