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NCJ Number: 119364 Find in a Library
Title: Firearms and Violence: Old Premises and Current Evidence (From Violence in America, Volume 1: The History of Crime, P 197-215, 1989, Ted Robert Gurr, ed. -- See NCJ-119355)
Author(s): D B Kates Jr
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 19
Sponsoring Agency: Sage Publications, Inc
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
Sale Source: Sage Publications, Inc
2455 Teller Road
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Recent research findings are applied to 13 common arguments on both sides of the issue of gun control.
Abstract: The statements that gun control violates the Second Amendment of the Constitution and that the amendment applies only to the State militia and not to individuals are both essentially false. However, the amendment allows the ban on arms for felons as well as the use of permit and registration requirements, as long as the right to responsible adults to own handguns and other defensive weapons is not impeded. Other common arguments are that gun ownership causes violence, that most murders occur among relatives or acquaintances, and that people rather than guns kill people. Further statements are that people should fight crime by shooting back, that guns purchased for protection are rarely used for that purpose, that criminals prefer unarmed victims, and that the gun is being used as a weapon against the political order. All these points are overly simplistic. However, the high rate of gun ownership indicates that proposals to ban all or most guns are clearly doomed. In addition, any gun control proposals that are presented in extremist terms are not politically viable. The certainty of serious punishment for gun crime might reduce it, but achieving this certainty would require a social commitment to massive new criminal justice expenditures. A society already burdened with these expenditures and fragmented between inconsistent views of crime and of appropriate responses is unlikely to make this commitment, however. Reference notes.
Main Term(s): Gun Control
Index Term(s): Firearm-crime relationships; Legal doctrines; Violence causes
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