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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 78659 Find in a Library
Title: Ideology and Gun Control Legislation (From Essays on the Theory and Practice of Criminal Justice, P 119-141, 1977, by Robert M Rich - See NCJ-78656)
Author(s): M R DeZee
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 23
Sponsoring Agency: University Press of America
Lanham, MD 20706
Sale Source: University Press of America
Marketing Director
4720 Boston Way
Lanham, MD 20706
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The ideological assumptions underlying the pro and con arguments regarding legal gun controls are identified, and research findings bearing upon the arguments are examined.
Abstract: The Constitution's second amendment guaranteeing the right to bear arms, the need for citizens to have guns for self-protection against criminals, and the blaming of firearm violence on criminals who would secure guns illegally with controls are some of the principal arguments used by opponents of gun control. The judiciary, however, has consistently ruled that the second amendment does not guarantee unrestricted individual armament but rather refers primarily to the right of State militias to bear arms in protection against aggressive military actions from Federal forces. Although two-thirds of hand gun owners surveyed in a study (Newton and Zimring, 1970) purchased their weapons for self-protection, other research shows that few crimes are thwarted by victims using guns to protect themselves. Further, the argument that most firearm violence is perpetrated by criminals who would secure guns regardless of control laws does not hold up under an analysis of injuries and deaths resulting from firearms. Death and injury from gun accidents in the home and the use of guns in family and personal arguments significantly exceed that inflicted by criminals. For those who argue for gun control as a means to reduce violent crime and death and firearms accidents, research designed to examine this issue is contradictory and methodologically flawed, apparently by ideological biases of researchers. Thus, each side in the debate has difficulty mounting empirical evidence for its position. What is needed is methodologically sound research untainted by bias. This may only be achieved by the use of nonpartisan referee committees working on liaison with public and private grant agencies to review and monitor proposed research. Several notes and 42 references are listed.
Index Term(s): Comparative analysis; Firearm accidents; Gun Control; Judicial decisions; Legal research
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