Assignment 7 – Ferguson Shooting and Gun Sales

On August 9, 2014, an African American teenager named Michael Brown was shot and killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. In the days and weeks following the incident, thousands of people flocked to this St. Louis suburb, which became ground zero for the race debate in America. While many stories were published about the incident, some factual and some not, I began to wonder how the shooting of another unarmed American teenager affected one of the major gun manufacturers in the United States.

By no means am I a gun expert, nor am I trying to force one to draw false conclusions about the incident and gun sales in the country. I was simply curious to see how the stock market reacted to a high profile shooting.

In order to make the comparison, I tracked how many times “Ferguson” was mentioned on Twitter for the entirety of August 2014. Since social media played an integral part in the national conversation, this allowed me to monitor when the Ferguson shooting was actively being discussed on a major social media platform. I also analyzed the stock price of Alliant Techsystems Inc., one of the leading producers of fire arms in America. Below is what I found.

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