Guns 36% of American households possessguns, decrease from 50% in last 20years (more female based households) 31% of adu...
Guns How is it that the number of guns hasincreased but the percentage owningguns remains constant Two reasons: (1) grow...
Guns Increase in handguns in gun-owninghouseholds Most households that have a handgunalso own rifle and/or shotguns Onl...
Demographics Most owners are male Reside in rural areas or small towns Older and higher income West has highest rate, ...
Deaths by guns 30,000 to 40,000 per year Most are homicides and suicides A small percentage (about 5%) areaccidents or ...
Deaths Nearly as many people die by guns asby auto accidents (deaths by autoaccidents have declined) Gun accidents are a...
Homicides Victims and perpetrators using guns inhomicides tend to be male, AfricanAmerican and young Homicide is the lea...
Injuries Not all gunshot wounds end in a fatality 6 times as many are shot and arewounded Unknown number are shot at bu...
Conflicting groups Gun owners older white males, as aremany NRA members Victims of gun violence are youngurban black mal...
Current gun laws Federal: various taxes imposed Certain types of machineguns,shotguns and silencers must beregistered L...
Federal Interstate transfer of stolen firearms orthose with mutilated serial numbers isforbidden
State laws Vary considerably About ½ require a license to sellhandguns Some require permit to purchase License to poss...
State laws License to carry Many prohibit carrying a concealedhandgun Some require license to carry in avehicle About ...
Limitations Federal laws do not affect localpurchase The variation in state laws makes itpossible to circumvent state la...
Do guns make a difference? Issues Self-defense Are criminals deterred? Will they seekmore vulnerable-looking victims? ...
Self-defense Do people successfully defendthemselves? NCVS indicates it is unusual, < 1% ofviolent crimes 3% against in...
Self-defense Based on surveys, there are reliabilityproblems One problem: self-defense usually isused to refer to a law-...
Do guns deter criminals? Some states have passed laws allowingconcealed weapons, and crime rateshave dropped However, cr...
Deter? Do they then decide not to commit thecrime? Look for victims unlikely to bearmed? Change or develop moreelaborate ...
Do guns affect crime rates? Probably little effect on nonviolentcrimes Does not appear to affect overallvolume of violen...
Lethality More than 90% of LE officers killed witha gun All presidential assassinations Multiple murders (postal shooti...
Lethality This tells us little about non-lethalattacks Mandatory sentencing for crimesinvolving guns were found to reduc...
Lethality On the other hand, may prevent injuryto victim in cases of self-defense
Do more guns mean morecrime? Suicides and homicides more likely inhomes with guns More guns, more homicides committedwit...
More crime? Criminals tend to obtain guns frompeople they know rather than from gundealers—easier in a place where therea...
Public health perspective Very high rate of gun deaths in the US How does one reduce injury and death Suicides would pr...
Welfare economics Is it worthwhile to try to reduce thenumber of guns? Self-defense issue important, as is thedeterrent ...
2ndamendment issue “A well regulated militia, beingnecessary to the security of a freeState, the right of the people to k...
2ndamendment Supreme Court generally has not struckdown any laws regulating guns Meaning depends on the viewer Some arg...
Proposed policies Taxes, fees: more expensive Limiting the number of guns one couldbuy, usually per month. This wouldpre...
Proposals Requiring licensing Development of national data base tokeep guns from certain individuals (notonly felons—men...
Proposals Safety requirements on guns (parallelsafety features on cars) Using technology to eliminate gunsfrom certain p...
Proposals Stepped-up activities against illegalmarketing activity Increased cooperation among lawenforcement agencies U...
Challenge Determining what works Disagreement about which valuesshould be most important
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Guns

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Guns

  1. 1. Guns 36% of American households possessguns, decrease from 50% in last 20years (more female based households) 31% of adults own a gun This percentage constant over the last40 years Number of guns has increased—nowabout 200 million + in circulation
  2. 2. Guns How is it that the number of guns hasincreased but the percentage owningguns remains constant Two reasons: (1) growth in adultpopulation in US; and (2) gun ownersnow own more guns (gun-owninghouseholds average 4.5 guns, a majorincrease)
  3. 3. Guns Increase in handguns in gun-owninghouseholds Most households that have a handgunalso own rifle and/or shotguns Only 13% of gun owners state that theirguns are for self-protection only Generational tradition
  4. 4. Demographics Most owners are male Reside in rural areas or small towns Older and higher income West has highest rate, followed bySouth, then Midwest, Northeast lowest
  5. 5. Deaths by guns 30,000 to 40,000 per year Most are homicides and suicides A small percentage (about 5%) areaccidents or unknown The rest are about evenly split betweenhomicides and suicides (usually slightlymore suicides)
  6. 6. Deaths Nearly as many people die by guns asby auto accidents (deaths by autoaccidents have declined) Gun accidents are also declining Homicide rates have remained relativelyconstant The majority of homicides occur withhandguns (around 70%)
  7. 7. Homicides Victims and perpetrators using guns inhomicides tend to be male, AfricanAmerican and young Homicide is the leading cause of deathfor black males ages 15-34, ten timeshigher than for white males, and 50times higher than for white females This rate has increased significantly
  8. 8. Injuries Not all gunshot wounds end in a fatality 6 times as many are shot and arewounded Unknown number are shot at but notwounded Even larger number are threatened
  9. 9. Conflicting groups Gun owners older white males, as aremany NRA members Victims of gun violence are youngurban black males Different concerns at stake
  10. 10. Current gun laws Federal: various taxes imposed Certain types of machineguns,shotguns and silencers must beregistered Laws for manufacturers involved ininterstate or foreign commerce Prohibition of transport of firearms ininterstate commerce to felons orfugitives from justice
  11. 11. Federal Interstate transfer of stolen firearms orthose with mutilated serial numbers isforbidden
  12. 12. State laws Vary considerably About ½ require a license to sellhandguns Some require permit to purchase License to possess Waiting period between purchase anddelivery
  13. 13. State laws License to carry Many prohibit carrying a concealedhandgun Some require license to carry in avehicle About ½ prohibit carrying a loaded gunin a vehicle A few require registration
  14. 14. Limitations Federal laws do not affect localpurchase The variation in state laws makes itpossible to circumvent state laws bygoing to another jurisdiction Mail order houses Large black market of guns Too small for police to track (not cars)
  15. 15. Do guns make a difference? Issues Self-defense Are criminals deterred? Will they seekmore vulnerable-looking victims? Crime rates Lethality of crime
  16. 16. Self-defense Do people successfully defendthemselves? NCVS indicates it is unusual, < 1% ofviolent crimes 3% against intruders in the home Kleck comes up with much higherestimates based on other surveys
  17. 17. Self-defense Based on surveys, there are reliabilityproblems One problem: self-defense usually isused to refer to a law-abiding personwho is preyed upon Surveys may include people engaged indelinquent and criminal acts who carryin self-defense
  18. 18. Do guns deter criminals? Some states have passed laws allowingconcealed weapons, and crime rateshave dropped However, crime rates also dropped instates without such laws A survey of imprisoned felons indicatesthat they consider the possibility ofarmed victims
  19. 19. Deter? Do they then decide not to commit thecrime? Look for victims unlikely to bearmed? Change or develop moreelaborate techniques? (I.e., take extraprecautions to ensure no one is athome)
  20. 20. Do guns affect crime rates? Probably little effect on nonviolentcrimes Does not appear to affect overallvolume of violent crime However, does appear to affect thelethality of our violent crime
  21. 21. Lethality More than 90% of LE officers killed witha gun All presidential assassinations Multiple murders (postal shootings,school shootings, etc.) Robberies and assaults have a greaterprobability of death if a gun is used
  22. 22. Lethality This tells us little about non-lethalattacks Mandatory sentencing for crimesinvolving guns were found to reducecrime rates in 3 states (may substituteless lethal weapons) However, injury rates may rise
  23. 23. Lethality On the other hand, may prevent injuryto victim in cases of self-defense
  24. 24. Do more guns mean morecrime? Suicides and homicides more likely inhomes with guns More guns, more homicides committedwith guns Prevalence of gun ownership highlycorrelated with the percentage ofhomicides and suicides
  25. 25. More crime? Criminals tend to obtain guns frompeople they know rather than from gundealers—easier in a place where thereare more guns Loans and temporary arrangementsmay be very common A high percentage of crimes involvingguns are stolen—again the # of guns
  26. 26. Public health perspective Very high rate of gun deaths in the US How does one reduce injury and death Suicides would probably be reduced ifguns in homes were reduced, andpublic health advocates wantrestrictions on guns Less clear with respect to homicide Emphasis on reducing deaths
  27. 27. Welfare economics Is it worthwhile to try to reduce thenumber of guns? Self-defense issue important, as is thedeterrent effect on criminals
  28. 28. 2ndamendment issue “A well regulated militia, beingnecessary to the security of a freeState, the right of the people to keepand bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Some argue that it no longer applies(we now have a military and police,which was not the case when theConstitution was framed)
  29. 29. 2ndamendment Supreme Court generally has not struckdown any laws regulating guns Meaning depends on the viewer Some argue that we should have theright to guns, but that this would carrycertain responsibilities, such as training,proper storage, safety regulations
  30. 30. Proposed policies Taxes, fees: more expensive Limiting the number of guns one couldbuy, usually per month. This wouldprevent buying guns and selling themillegally to inner city youth “buy back” programs Public education and training programs
  31. 31. Proposals Requiring licensing Development of national data base tokeep guns from certain individuals (notonly felons—mentally ill, for example)incombination with waiting periods Limiting certain types of weapons—automatic, teflon-coated bullets, etc.
  32. 32. Proposals Safety requirements on guns (parallelsafety features on cars) Using technology to eliminate gunsfrom certain places (I.e., bars, schools,etc) Prosecuting illegal carrying ofconcealed weapons (MA’s Bartley-Foxamendment)
  33. 33. Proposals Stepped-up activities against illegalmarketing activity Increased cooperation among lawenforcement agencies Use of lawsuits against gunmanufacturers who make and sellunsafe products
  34. 34. Challenge Determining what works Disagreement about which valuesshould be most important
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