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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 185056 Find in a Library
Title: As Compared to What? Offensive and Defensive Gun Use Surveys, 1973-94
Author(s): Otis D. Duncan
Date Published: 2000
Page Count: 48
Sponsoring Agency: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: HTML
Type: Survey
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This report compiles results from polls and surveys of gun use, both offensive and defensive, that were conducted between 1973 and 1994 and discusses methodological issues in making comparisons between offense and defensive gun use surveys.
Abstract: The most comprehensive earlier compilations of gun use survey data appear in two books authorized by Kleck in 1997. Neither of these books, however, mentions any surveys that asked whether respondents were ever victims of variously defined gun crimes or gun threats. In particular, the 15 General Social Surveys (GSSs) conducted between 1973 and 1994 obtained positive answers from almost 20 percent of the more than 19,000 respondents interviewed. Cohort analysis of GSS data yielded an estimate of the number of offensive gun uses in 1993 that was similar to the number of gun crimes reported in the National Crime Victimization Survey. In addition to GSS data, reports of other national and state surveys provided estimates of the frequency of occurrences in which respondents were attacked or threatened by someone with a gun. Methodological issues in comparing survey findings on the frequency of offensive and defensive gun uses are examined. The author notes future gun use surveys will have little credibility if they fail in either of two ways, by looking at only defensive or offensive gun uses or by going no further than past research in inquiring about what actually happens in gun encounters. 42 references, 4 tables, and 2 figures
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Citizen gun ownership; Citizen gun use; Crime prevention measures; Criminal justice research; Firearm-crime relationships; Self defense; Victims of violent crime; Violence prevention; Violent crimes; Weapons violations
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