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Journal Article

The costs of using gun control to reduce homicide

01 Jan 1992-Journal on firearms and public policy (Second Amendment Foundation)-Vol. 4, Iss: 1, pp 73-83
TL;DR: In this article, the authors evaluate some of the costs of using gun control to reduce the homicide rate and discuss what some of those costs might be to pursue gun control as a social policy.
Abstract: This paper evaluates some of the costs of using gun control to reduce the homicide rate. However, gun control did not have to be the medium to carry the theme of the paper. Any social policy would have sufficed because any social policy to affect any behavior in society will have costs associated with it. I would like to discuss what some of those costs might be to pursue gun control as a social policy. I choose gun control as a policy to discuss for two reasons. First, I am familiar with the literature and research on gun control. But second and more important, gun control seems to be a sacred cow. For many it seems to be a policy with many benefits and few if any costs. Of course, gun control like any other policy, has its costs. It is just that until very recently we have not attempted to evaluate those costs and to examine this sacred cow. Policy initiatives take time, they have costs and they frequently fail. Because of this, a policy analyst must think through any policy, evaluate possible costs and outcomes regardless of how appealing the policy might seem at first glance. Once costs and possible outcomes have been evaluated, we can decide if we are willing to pay the costs necessary to pursue the policy. Or we may wish to abandon the policy because the possible outcomes, which were initially hidden, are unacceptable.
Citations
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01 Jan 2005
TL;DR: In this paper, a recherche on l'agresseur de son arme lui appartient mais elle peut etre decodee car il s'agit avant tout d'une construction mentale qui s'imbrique dans toute une serie de parametres lies au mode operatoire de ce dernier, a pour objectif de suppleer le processus d'enquete policiere lorsqu'il surinvestit tel modele plutot au'un autre
Abstract: L'imagerie qu'a l'agresseur de son arme lui appartient mais elle peut etre decodee car il s'agit avant tout d'une construction mentale qui s'imbrique dans toute une serie de parametres lies au mode operatoire de ce dernier. Cette recherche dont les premisses remontent a 1997, a pour objectif de suppleer le processus d'enquete policiere lorsqu'il s'agit de dresser le profil psychologique du meurtrier en se posant la question suivante : y aurait-il oui ou non une image mnesique qui apparait a l'esprit du meurtrier lorsqu'il surinvestit tel modele plutot au'un autre ?

2 citations

References
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The Chicago Police Department, in particular Mr. Michael Spiotto, provided access to the department files on reported fatal and nonfatal attacks that were used in this study as mentioned in this paper, and Jerald Kessler, now a third-year student at the University of Chicago Law School, performed with diligence and creativity as a research assistant on this project.
Abstract: * Associate Professor of Law and Associate Director of the Center for Studies in Criminal Justice, University of Chicago. Jerald Kessler, now a third-year student at the University of Chicago Law School, performed with diligence and creativity as a research assistant on this project. Steven Harris, a second-year student at the Law School, conducted a helpful survey of the literature on intent in violent attack. The Chicago Police Department, in particular Mr. Michael Spiotto, provided access to the department files on reported fatal and nonfatal attacks that were used in this study. 1 Franklin E. Zimring, Is Gun Control Likely To Reduce Violent Killings?, 35 U. Chi. L. Rev. 721-24, 730-37 (1968). A third report, Homicide in Chicago, 1965-70, grows out of the same research project, a study of violent attack in Chicago supported by the Center for Studies in Criminal Justice at the University of Chicago. Other data on the issue of weapon dangerousness are developed in George D. Newton and Franklin E. Zimring, Firearms and Violence in American Life (Staff Report (7) to the Nat'l Comm'n on the Causes and Prevention of Violence 1969). See, e.g., id. at 44 and 177-79 (relationship between relative degree of gun use and extent to which guns are more lethal than knives), 46-47 (death rates from gun vs. nongun armed robbery), 69-74 (effect of increase in gun ownership and use on death from assault in Detroit), 76-77 (relationship between relative gun use in robbery and assault in major cities).

148 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors examine the processing of these Gun Law cases in Detroit Recorders Court, as well as the effects of the law on crime, and find that most of the goals of the Law's proponents are not met.
Abstract: Michigan's Felony Firearm Statute (Gun Law) imposed a two-year mandatory add-on sentence for defendants convicted of possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony. The Law was widely advertised with proponents claiming that it would introduce greater equity in sentences, ensure certainty of punishment, and decrease violent crime in the state. We examine the processing of these Gun Law cases in Detroit Recorders Court, as well as the effects of the law on crime, and find that most of the goals of the Law's proponents are not met. Notwithstanding a rigid prosecutorial policy which prohibited plea bargaining in these gun cases, alternative mechanisms developed to mitigate the Law's effects and, in most instances, to preserve the "going rate" for various crime categories. Similarly, using an interrupted time-series model, we are unable to uncover effects of the law, or the associated publicity campaign, on violent crime.

118 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: For example, the authors assess the consequences of an attempt, simultaneously, to abolish plea bargaining and introduce mandatory sentencing in the city of Detroit, using qualitative data collected from interviews with judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys.
Abstract: Increasing concern about the substantial discretion accorded prosecutors in plea negotiations and judges in sentencing decisions has led to a number of proposals to curtail both. In this paper, we assess the consequences of an attempt, simultaneously, to abolish plea bargaining and introduce mandatory sentencing. The Wayne County (Detroit) Prosecutor prohibited his subordinates from plea bargaining in any case in which a recently enacted state statute warranted a mandatory sentence. This statute imposed an additional two-year prison term if a defendant possessed a firearm while committing a felony. Using qualitative data collected from interviews with judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys, and quantitative disposition data for the six-month periods before and after the law went into effect, we describe the effects of the new statute on dispositions in Detroit. Though there is some evidence that the law and the prohibition on plea bargaining may have selectively increased severity of sentences for certain classes of defendants, for the most part disposition patterns did not appear to have been altered dramatically. In many serious cases, sentences for the primary felony were adjusted downward to take into account the additional two-year penalty; in "equity" cases, in which defendants had not previously received prison time, other mechanisms, such as abbreviated bench trials, were often employed to circumvent the mandatory sentencing provision. Language: en

80 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors constructed a path analytic model predicting legal gun ownership for men, women, and minors in Illinois, and identified two patterns of firearms ownership: (1) gun ownership among women as a response to high rales of violent crime and (2) a sporting culture.
Abstract: Using county level data for the state of Illinois, we constructed a path analytic model predicting legal gun ownership for men. women, and minors. We consider the interplay between situational and cultural variables in determining legal ownership. Two patterns of firearms ownership are identified: (1) gun ownership among women as a response to high rales of violent crime and (2) a sporting culture. Neither pattern has strong relations to urban-rural differences amoung counties. Legal gun ownership is not necessarily related to a violent subculture. Ownership may be part of, a response to, or totally unrelated to a subculture of violence.

68 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, a study of the implementation of a two-year mandatory sentence for felonies committed with a gun was conducted in the city of Detroit, Michigan, and it was found that the gun law did not significantly alter the number or severity of serious violent crimes.
Abstract: Mandatory sentences for crimes committed with a gun are a popular policy because they promise a reduction in gun violence at a relatively low cost In this article we present some results of a study of the implementa tion of such a law in Detroit, Michigan Two major questions are discussed: (1) what effect did the Michigan gun law have on the certainty and severity of sentences; and (2) did the gun law reduce the number of serious violent crimes in Detroit? We find that, although the law required a two-year mandatory sentence for felonies committed with a gun and the prosecutor followed a strict policy of not reducing the gun law charge, there was little change in the certainty or severity of sentences that could be attributed to the effects of the gun law Only in the case of assault was there a significant change in the expected sentence Also serious violent crimes—murder, robbery, and assault—follow patterns over time that lead us to conclude that the gun law did not significantly alter the number or

55 citations