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NCJ Number: 167208 Find in a Library
Title: Guns, Germs, and Science: Public Health Approaches to Gun Control
Journal: Journal of the Medical Association of Georgia  Volume:84  Issue:6  Dated:(June 1995)  Pages:269-273
Author(s): D B Kopel
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 5
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Regarding gun violence in America, the core problem involves human behavior, not inanimate weapons; until we begin the social reconstruction that will change the lives of the poor in America's inner cities, nothing will change about the "gun problem."
Abstract: The inner cities already have the strictest gun laws in the Nation. No set of controls, however, including gun prohibition, will deprive violent youths of guns. What must be done is to deprive them of the inclination to use guns in a criminal manner; this is a much more difficult enterprise than passing gun control legislation. Although some favor a massive jobs program for inner city youth, it is more important to make drastic changes in the welfare system, a system that subsidizes illegitimacy, which is a long-term predictor of criminal behavior. Additionally, there must be reform in the dysfunctional public school system. Parents and students trapped in this dysfunctional system need the power to choose their own schools through a voucher system. However debates on what is needed for inner cities are resolved, these are the debates that must be the focus in deciding on a strategy to reduce violent behavior. A fixation on gun control, which is apparently a fetish for many people that allows them to ignore the more intransigent causes of American violence, detracts from attention to the primary factors that underlie violence in America. If the disease of violence is to be reduced, it is time to start thinking about how to strengthen families and foster individual responsibility, while abandoning the unscientific crusade against guns. 11 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Gun Control; Handguns; Violence causes; Violence prevention
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