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NCJ Number: 122099 Find in a Library
Title: God, Guns and Guts
Journal: Criminology Australia  Volume:1  Issue:1  Dated:(June/July 1989)  Pages:18-20
Author(s): D Neal
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 3
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: Various studies conducted in Australia and the United States point to the link between gun availability and the incidence of violent crime.
Abstract: In Detroit, 751 people died in criminal homicides in 1973, a figure higher than the total number of civilians killed in the violence in Northern Ireland between 1969 and 1974. The United States has three times more gun homicides and six times more gun robberies than countries like England and Wales where gun controls make guns substantially less available. International comparisons, however, may be misleading due to racial, cultural, and economic factors that differ among societies. One study indicates that gun homicides and gun assaults parallel gun ownership. The same researchers conclude that gun control reduces violent crime and that better laws and better enforcement can be effective. Since 1980, 235 people have died in gun homicides in Victoria, Australia. The average social cost of a homicide is more than $1 million, a figure comprised of the victim's lost income, the offender's trial and lost income, offender imprisonment, and the cost of providing alternative support for dependents of both victims and offenders. The author notes that most homicides are not carried out by determined killers; rather, they occur in the heat of the moment, especially in alcohol-related situations where gun availability often makes the difference between life and death. Attitudes toward gun ownership must be changed so that it is seen as a privilege and not a right, and the growth in the number of guns and gun owners must be curtailed. 1 table, 2 figures.
Main Term(s): Firearm-crime relationships
Index Term(s): Australia; Gun Control; Homicide; US/foreign comparisons
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