Graduation Year

Spring 2013

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Mark Blitz

Reader 2

Gregory Hess

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2013 Alexander M. Lane


This work is intended to evaluate President Obama’s gun control policies by determining whether stricter federal gun control laws should apply within theUnited States. This paper examines whether setting legal standards at a national level would effectively reduce gun related violence and mass shootings on a local and state level. These include events such as Sandy Hook Elementary inNewton,Connecticut, the Virginia Polytechnic school shootings, and theAuroraTheatershooting inDenver,Colorado. Specifically, could executive orders proposed by the president, such as assault weapon bans, rigorous background checks on gun sales, submission of mental health records to the FBI Databases, and increased aid between states and mental health care institutions effectively reduce horrific incidences of gun related violence. Using gun control data from past and present as our research, we will determine whether stricter gun control policies have deterred violent crimes, murder rates, suicides and mass shootings. Since our research focuses on policy solutions as an alternative to reduce mass shootings, not the psychological make ups and environmental factors of mass shooters, we will omit America’s gun culture as a variable within our study: such as the effects violent video games and movies could have on the psyche of troubled individuals. After carefully analyzing gun date related to gun violence and crime, this work will attempt to suggest whether or not President Obama’s gun control policies will pass in Congress and which legislation will be the most effective in limiting gun violence and mass shootings.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.