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NCJ Number: 162691 Find in a Library
Title: Firearms and Community Feelings of Safety
Journal: Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology  Volume:86  Issue:1  Dated:(Fall 1995)  Pages:121-132
Author(s): D Hemenway; S J Solnick; D R Azrael
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 12
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Gun ownership is examined in terms of whether it raises or lowers the perceived safety of others in the community.
Abstract: Data were collected from a national, stratified, random-digit-dial telephone survey of adults age 18 and over. The sample included 800 individuals who personally own a gun and 400 non-gun owners. Based on data including that 30 percent or more of the United States population owns a gun, the survey oversampled approximately 4 to 1 for gun owners. Observations were weighted to correct for this oversampling. Results revealed that externalities exist in the decision to own a firearm. Unlike pollution externalities, which are almost exclusively negative, guns can provide both external benefits and costs. Most participants felt the external effects of gun ownership. Findings indicated that the vast majority of people believe that they will either be more or less safe when others in the community acquire guns. The possession of firearms imposes, at a minimum, psychic costs on most other members of the community. More information is needed concerning the size and distribution of the psychic and real externalities caused by private gun ownership. Tables and footnotes
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Citizen gun ownership; Fear of crime; Gun Control; Self defense; Violence prevention
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