Balancing public good with individual rights is a difficult task; gun policies attempt to do just this. To ensure public safety, local, state, and federal agencies piece together policies that each entity believes will meet the needs of public welfare. When legislating new gun policies, the impact the policies have on gun owners are perceived as a zero-sum game; some groups are perceived to gain while others think they are losing, but the reality is much more nuanced.
The reason the impact of these policies on all lawful gun owners has been considered a zero-sum game is largely because to date there has been no research measuring the impact. Further, there have been no attempts to quantify the impact that the policies have on lawful gun owners. The sole argument that has been made is about constitutionality.
In this paper, we develop an approach based on the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP). The approach allows us to develop criteria for evaluating the impact of these policies on lawful gun owners and generate priorities for the criteria from pairwise comparisons. Criteria are compared in pairs, thus the term pairwise comparisons. This allows us to score, as with a scorecard model, gun policies for various types of gun owners with respect to the criteria according to the Benefits, Opportunities, Costs, and Risks, thereby determining the impact of each policy.
Gun laws, Benefits Opportunities Costs and Risks, Analytic Hierarchy Process
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