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Gun Violence In America Criminology Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Criminology
Wordcount: 1669 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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The following paper is dedicated to the incidents of gun violence in America. This essay will review the information surveyed on criminal justice system and my personal investigation of the possible decision-makings by benchmarking the best practices. The topic of gun violence in America is widely discussed in different circles of our society that is why we will also talk about it with necessary specific details.

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It is generally known that there is a growing debate about gun violence in the USA. These incidents are mostly common for poor urban territories. Unfortunately more often juveniles and young adults are engaged in those criminal gun violence cases. Taking into consideration historical backgrounds, such as magnicides of President Abraham Lincoln in the year 1865 and of other American Presidents – James Garfield, William McKinley and John Kennedy, gun violence is not a surprising event in the United States. All these and other violence affairs have largely burnt up the disputes over gun policies. Coming into details, gun violence incidents may include: suicides with firearms, homicides by weapon type, assassinations of U.S Presidents, robberies committed with guns.

Suicides equal to the most significant amount of incidents. Several studies prove that there is a connection between possessions of firearms at home and numbers of gun suicides. Cook and Jens (2000) said that during 80s and early 90s of the 21 century, there was a valid rising tendency in teenage suicides with a gun use as well as a strong total increase in suicides among those grown-ups of 75 years old and even over. The most general method of suicide in the United States of America, taking into account 50.7% of all suicides committed during 2006, is considered to be firearms incidents. Concerning the homicides in the 19-th century they usually took place during the mass disorders. The upward direction in homicide rates over a period between the 1980s and early 1990s was mostly observed among the males of Hispanic and African American nationalities. The consequences such as injury and even death rates for black males aged 13 -17 tripled and for black males aged 18-24 doubled.

The drug abuse (mostly cocaine) throughout the United States is often referred as a factor for heightened gun violence among youths during this time. The main reason for it was the rapid economic development of the country and non-stable politics.

According to Mcgrath (2007), we see that gun homicides are the most abundant among informal groups of youngsters and during the commission of felony crimes. For instance in 1976, the number of homicides caused by firearms because of arguments was about 70 percent, but by 1993, nearly all gang-related homicides involved guns (97 percent), while the percentage of gun homicides associated with arguments left nominally constant. Nevertheless the percent-size of gang homicides generated by guns fell a little to 94 percent in 2004, but the percentage of homicides caused by firearms during the offense commitment upsurged from 60 percent to 77 percent from 1976 to 2005. According to the last surveys of 2005, 11, 345 people were killed by firearms and 477, 040 persons turned out to be the victims of the firearms crimes. The statistics of 2006 proves that 68% of murders were committed with a firearm, besides guns were used in 42% of robberies and 22% of aggravated assaults.

Approximately a quarter of commercial larcenies in the USA is committed with guns. Robberies edged with guns are three times likely to bring fatalities as a result vs. thefts with other weapons used. The core essence of this problem lies in the availability of guns. Some criminologists suppose that if guns availability was restricted then delinquents might also commit a crime but with less serious consequences. The dominant source for firearm ownership records is considered the General Social Survey.

According to it’s figures in 2004 only 36,5 % of Americans reported about the gun ownership in their homes, and with the reference to 1997 – about 40% of the examined Americans filed for having gun at home. It is essential to specify that about 44 million people in the USA are gun owners, 25% of them are adults, 40% are householders. A National Survey on Private Ownership and Use of Firearms carried out in 1994 investigated that Americans own 192 million guns, 36% belong to rifles, 34% to handguns, 26% to shotguns, 4% to other types of weapon. The gun ownership can also be differentiated according to geographic principle: the rates of ownership vary from 25% in the Northeastern part to 60% in the East South Central States. This is supposed to be the leading problem but besides Americans have to reckon with gun politics conducted on the territory of their Motherland. Coming out of the research investigations: guns can simply enhance crime offenses and multiply the possibility of more aggravated and lethal outcome. Public policy is generally targeted to the ways of law enforcement administration. The interference may occur when a gun is bought in an illegal way or forbidding the youth and convicted criminals from acquiring guns. Politics strategy can also focus on safety monitoring by setting increased sentences for those who use guns in crime. Firearm laws are the matter of many arguments in the United States. The following situation takes place as firearms are extensively used for recreational purposes, and for personal protection. Celebrities make good use of guns for hunting and for self-protection and set a bright example for other citizens by the same. There exists a special prohibition for gun dealers to sell handguns to the people less than 21 years old and long guns to the people under the age of 18. There are also some fixed restrictions on selling guns to foreign residents. In America the juvenile gun ownership is really one of the most burning problems. As those teens now serving in correctional institutions bought their first weapon at the age of 14. The shocking statistics points out that 86% of juveniles become the gun owners sooner or later. The upcoming tendency for juvenile offenders includes owning several firearms at a time. 65% of juveniles are the owners of three or more arms. They mostly purchase guns from friends, family or drug dealers. They claim that the main reason for keeping a handgun is a self-protection measure from bandits. But in the majority of cases teenage groups have no legal license for gun keeping. Only in Rochester 22% of youngsters violated the law by keeping a firearm illegally.

Firearms policy is getting through big hurdles. So I feel the necessity to make an overview analysis of “secondary gun market”. Canada (1995) stated that only 60-70% of firearms sales are settled with licensed gun dealers. The most part of trades with youngsters and felons occur in the secondary market. To be more precise, secondary market is a place where the firearms are delivered by unlicensed individuals. But this purchase proved to be a risky way as many firearms sold in the secondary market could be used in homicides before. Prothrow-Stith and Spivak (2004) mentioned that The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) governs the work of licensed firearms dealers. There is a special requirement for firearms manufacturers to mark all the new firearms with serial numbers. In such a way ATF has an opportunity to follow-up the guns used in crimes according to their Federal License. ATP reports that about 500,000 guns are stolen every year and are possibly getting into the hands of restricted users

In my essay I would like to present the possible solutions to the above-listed problems. On my opinion government of our country should be deeply involved in this problem solution, because youth is our future and it is necessary to help a young person to be healthy and wealthy; that is why it is necessary to make laws stricter. Taking into account considerable evidence, gun bans and severe limitations should be introduced in order to reduce the criminal’s access to weapon especially for highest-risk groups, such as juveniles and former criminals. Another approach could be the price boost for all the firearms that may largely keep common people from buying cold gun. One more solution – the strict prosecution of violence by law – can be rather efficient as it may probably scare away all the future criminals. The close control of unlicensed sellers can bring fruitful results involving the immediate forfeiture of the illegally sold firearms as nowadays America is recognized as the least restrictive together with Brazil concerning firearm regulations.

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The cooperation of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF (RCMP) declared in November of 2006 aimed at sharing all the required information on removed guns. Both associations are looking forward to develop intelligent legal intrusion that will give them a chance to hold up the flow of guns conveyed into Canada from the United States by smuggling.

Their cooperation is based on the following directions:

1) Conducting an overall gun analysis and tracing – with an eye to identifying guns produced in America, applying electronic trace firearms.

2) Associated partnership with initiatives by engaging the International Firearms Trafficking Schools and the Serial Number Restoration Training.

3) Assistance of Country Attaché -by making presence in Canada more frequent in order to enable cross-national research and unifying efforts in the U.S. to investigate, arrest, and prosecute criminals importing guns into Canada.

To crown it all together the gun violence control should be strictly organized in the consolidated efforts in order to give the results and save the nation suffering from the constant gun attacks.


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