Disturbing Statistics • _________________annually involve firearms • _________________accidents each yr. • _________________firearm homicides in 2003 • More than _____additional crimes involved firearms that year • However, # of gun-related crimes decreasing
How Many Guns Are There in the U.S? Two Estimation Techniques
1. Production-Based Estimates • Count guns manufactured • Subtract exported • Add imported • = ___________ • ___ are handguns • Ways in which estimate is flawed
2. Survey-Based Estimates • Household surveys since 1959 • ________ homes report at least 1 gun • Prevalence has remained constant
Who Owns Guns? 1. 2. 3. 4. • Ownership not consistently higher in groups where violence is higher • Survey data don’t show patterns have changed over years
Why Do People Own Guns? • Firearms generally: _______ • Handguns: ________ • The _______ and _______more likely to own firearms • Lack of confidence in criminal justice system
Criminal’s Motivations for Gun Ownership • Survival • Capital investment • Robbers with a gun have an average take of 3 times that of unarmed robbers
What Kinds of Guns Do Criminals Have? • The Focus on “Bad Guns” • Machine Guns • Assault Weapons • Saturday Night Specials
Machine Guns in Crime • In Miami: < 1% of all homicides • In Los Angeles: not even recorded by police • In Chicago: not a single machine guns seized by police in drug warrant executions during 80’s
Assault Weapons • Assault weapon ban in 1994 Federal Crime Control Bill (Diane Feinstein) • Difficulty in defining AWs • Initially, semi-automatic weapons with large capacity magazines • Winnowed to guns that had ________
What is Considered an “Assault Weapon”? Rifle classified as an “assault weapon” if it has detachable magazine and posses two of the following
Assault Weapons Used in Crime • Nationally, from 1980-1994 (pre-ban), only ___ of confiscated guns were "assault weapons". • Last year, ____ of criminals that used guns used “assault weapons”. • Ban abolished in September 2004
Saturday Night Specials • ATF definition • Less than ____ • ___ caliber or smaller bore • Barrel length of ____ or less • Used in ____of all violent crimes involving guns • Criminals no more likely to own
Guns and Violent Crime:Four Major Questions Do guns facilitate violence? Are guns more likely to result in injury or death? Do more guns mean more crime, more suicides? Do more guns mean less crime?
1. Do Guns Facilitate Violence? • Evidence suggest that guns dofacilitate violence • Provide impersonal, quick, antiseptic violence • Famous Arthur Kellerman study • Persons with households with guns ___ more likely to be victim of homicide • Problems with the study
2. Are gun assaults more likely to cause injury or death? • Injuries from gun-related assaults from NCV • _____ of those shot at were hit • _____ of those attacked with knife were injured • Deaths from gun-related assaults • _____ gun wounds result in death • _____ knife wounds result in death
3. Do more guns mean more crime, more suicides? • Gun supply - in particular, handguns - has steadily increased • Appears unrelated to violent crime, suicides, & even property crimes
Sidebar: Why kill yourself with a Gun? • 2/3s of all suicides involve firearms • Why do people choose guns? • Most guns used in suicides not purchased for that reason • Laws providing a _______ period unlikely to prevent • Availability of guns _______ to suicide rate
Do More Guns Mean More Crime?Additional Insights from Robbery • No overall effect on robbery rates • Does ________________________ • Injuries __________ in gun robberies • When injuries do occur, those robbed with guns are ________ to be seriously injured • Murder is more likely in gun robberies • Guns affect robbery targets
3. Do More Guns Mean Less Crime? • Do guns provide a deterrent effect? • Specific v. general deterrence • National surveys show guns _____ a specific deterrent effect • Incidence of defensive gun use (DGU) • ______ DGUs annually • _______times more often than used in crime
Guns Ownership and General Deterrence • Several sources suggest a general deterrent effect • International comparisons in burglaries • Countries with ________ of gun ownership, burglars __________enter occupied homes • Studies of imprisoned felons • Felons report had decided not to commit crime because knew or believed _________
More Evidence of a General Deterrence Effect • Firearm training in Orlando • 2500 women taught to use guns • Decrease of ____________ in rate of rapes next year in Orlando • Rate _______________ in rest of Florida
Still, More Evidence of a General Deterrent Effect • Studies showing increased in CCW permits reduce crime • John Lott’s study of 3,000 counties 1977-1992 • Violent crime drops when states switch from _______ permit policies to __________ laws • After switch, murder fell by 8%; rapes by 5% • In entire country, number of murders went up by 24% and rapes by 71%
Gun Control Legislation • More than _____ guns laws in US • Most laws enacted following high profile shooting • Cover several different areas First attempt to control guns • Federal Firearms Act of 1938 • Certain individuals prohibited from purchasing (under indictment, convicted, fugitives)
Gun Control Legislation (cont’d) • List of ineligibles expanded in Gun Control Act of 1968 • minors, drug addicts, mentally ill • No means of enforcement • Brady Bill (1993) provided enforcement of GGA • Waiting period of 5 working days • Allowed for background check • Brady Bill provisions led to creation of National Instant Criminal Background Check implemented in 1998
Brady Bill Stats • Over ___ million applications since 1994 • _____ % rejected • _____ % due to felony conviction • _____ % due to misdemeanor domestic violence • remainder due to mental illness, drug addiction, et.
Effects of Gun Laws • Recent review by CDC • “insufficient evidence with which to conclude the effectiveness of firearm laws in modifying violent outcomes.” • Example of New York’s Sullivan laws • Illegal to own handgun without permit • ____ armed robberies in U.S. occur in NYC • Example of Washington, DC • illegal to own handgun • ______ homicide rate in Nation
Response by Gun Control Advocates • Accept the failure of gun laws • Concede too many laws • Need broader gun control laws • Point to gun control laws in other countries • Example of Japan • Would such a law work in U.S.?
Response by Opponents of Gun Control • Example of Switzerland • 6 million persons, 2 million guns • 600,000 automatic assault weapons • murder rate comparable to Japan • Universal military service • Other firearms easily obtained
2nd Amendment A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
Competing Explanations of 2nd Amendment • Interpretation by proponents of gun control • __________________________________ • Only guarantees states ____________________
The Argument over 2nd Amendment Opponents of gun control • Point to historical scholarship showing Founding Fathers intentions that Americans have right to be armed • Concern about ______________ • Concern about ______________
Supreme Court rulings • Only 1 decision in 20th century • U.S. v. Miller (1939) • Not violation of 2nd Amendment to possess ___________________________ • Court has yet to articulate the 2nd Amendment