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NCJ Number: 187212 Find in a Library
Title: Can Owning a Gun Really Triple the Owner's Chances of Being Murdered? The Anatomy of an Implausible Causal Mechanism
Journal: Homicide Studies  Volume:5  Issue:1  Dated:February 2001  Pages:64-77
Author(s): Gary Kleck
Editor(s): M. Dwayne Smith
Date Published: February 2001
Page Count: 14
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Using a case control design comparing homicide victims with matched non-victims, a 1993 study concluded that keeping a gun in one's home increased the risk of being murdered by a factor of 2.7.
Abstract: The underlying assumption of this study was that a significant elevation in homicide risk derived from the risk of being murdered with a gun kept in the victim's home. Other research examined, indicates homicides are rarely committed with guns belonging to members of the victim's home and that such killings are responsible for no more than a 2.4 percent increase in the relative risk of being murdered. The author concludes guns in one's own home have little to do with homicide risk. He recommends researchers pay more attention to mechanisms by which an alleged causal effect is supposed to operate and consider the plausibility of these mechanisms before concluding an association reflects a causal effect. Implications of the infrequency of victim-gun homicide are discussed. 16 references and 2 tables
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Citizen gun ownership; Criminal justice research; Firearm-crime relationships; Homicide; Murder; Victims of violent crime; Violent crimes; Weapons violations
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