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NCJ Number: 149698 Find in a Library
Title: American Way of Murder
Journal: Washington Post Magazine  Dated:(June 19, 1994)  Pages:10-16,28- 32
Author(s): P Carlson
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 12
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article provides an overview of the history and patterns of murder in the United States, along with profiles of murderers, murder causes, and what can be done to prevent murder.
Abstract: Violence, homicide, and murder have always been prevalent in the United States, particularly in the South. The circumstances for murders have varied over the generations, but murder and violence seem to have a common theme, i.e, control, the need to control the space and the people in one's environment. The ability to kill becomes the ultimate power and control over another. Some theories focus on the cultures and subcultures in which violence is prevalent, arguing that violence is a learned behavior. Others attribute it to poverty and the stress occasioned by it. There is little doubt, however, that there is something in the genetic composition of males that make them more prone to behave violently. In America, African-Americans are disproportionately murderers and murder victims. Police officers and researchers note that so many murders in current American society are for trivial reasons, and the murderers apparently have no regret at having killed another person. The United States has the highest gun-to-population ratio in the world and has never seriously attempted to regulate firearms. The homicide rate would almost certainly decline if Americans were deprived of their guns. The country has shown no willingness to pursue this strategy, however. Other suggestions for addressing the high murder rate include hiring more police, targeting gang leaders for prosecution, mobilizing neighborhoods to cooperate with police, extending court hours, creating alternative dispute resolution centers, reducing alcohol abuse, and reducing drug trafficking.
Main Term(s): Police effectiveness
Index Term(s): Homicide causes; Murder; Murderers; Violence; Violence causes; Violence prevention
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