Journal of Quantitative Criminology

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 43–62 | Cite as

State and Local Prevalence of Firearms Ownership Measurement, Structure, and Trends

Article

Abstract

Of the readily computed proxies for the prevalence of gun ownership, one, the percentage of suicides committed with a gun, is most highly correlated with survey-based estimates. It is the best choice for use in cross-section analysis of the effect of gun prevalence on crime patterns across states and larger counties.

Analysis of this proxy measure for the period 1979–1997 demonstrates that the geographic structure of gun ownership has been highly stable. That structure is closely linked to rural tradition. There is, however, some tendency toward homogenization over this period, with high-prevalence states trending down and low-prevalence states trending up.

gun prevalence proxy variables measurement suicide violence 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

REFERENCES

  1. Azrael, D., and Hemenway, D. (2000). In the safety of your own home: Results from a national survey on gun use at home. Soc. Sci. Med. 50(2): 285-291.Google Scholar
  2. Blumstein, A. (2000). Disaggregating the violence trends. Blumstein, A., and Wallman, J. (eds.), The Crime Drop in America, Cambridge University Press, New York, 13-44.Google Scholar
  3. Brearley, H. C. (1932). Homicide in the U.S., University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill.Google Scholar
  4. Cook, P. J. (1979). The effect of gun availability on robbery and robbery murder: A cross section study of fifty cities. Haveman, R. H., and Zellner, B. B., Policy Studies Review Annual, 3, Sage, Beverly Hills, CA.Google Scholar
  5. Cook, P. J. (1991). The technology of personal violence. Michael Tonry (ed.), Crime and Justice: A Review of Research (Vol. 14), University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1-71.Google Scholar
  6. Cook, P. J., and Braga, A. (2001). Comprehensive firearms tracing: Strategic and investigative uses of new data on firearms markets. Arizona Law Rev. 43(2): 277-309.Google Scholar
  7. Cook, P. J., and Leitzel, J. (1996). Perversity, futility, jeopardy: An economic analysis of the attack on gun control. Law Contemp. Problems 59(1): Winter.Google Scholar
  8. Cook, P. J., and Ludwig, J. (1996). Guns in America: Results of a Comprehensive National Survey on Firearms Ownership and Use, The Police Foundation, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  9. Cook, P. J., and Ludwig, J. (2002). Litigation as regulation: The case of firearms. In Viscusi, W. K., Regulation Through Litigation, Brookings Institution Press, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  10. Cook, P. J., and Ludwig, J. (2003). The effects of gun prevalence on burglary: Deterrence vs. inducement. Ludwig, J., and Cook, P. J. (eds.), Evaluating Gun Policy, Brookings Institution Press, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  11. Curtis, L. A. (1974). Criminal Violence, Lexington Books, Lexington, MA.Google Scholar
  12. Davis, J. A., and Smith, T. W. (1998). General Social surveys, 1972–1998 [machine-readable data file]/Principal Investigator James A. Davis; Director and Co—Principal Investigator, Tom W. Smith; Sponsored by National Science foundation—NORC ed.—Chicago: National Opinion Research Center [producer]; Storrs, CT: The Roper Center for Public Opinion Research, University of Connecticut [distributor].Google Scholar
  13. Duggan, M. (2001). More guns, more crime. J. Political Econ. 109(5): 1086-1114.Google Scholar
  14. Etzioni, A., and Remp, R. (1973). Technological Shortcuts in Social Change, Russell Sage, New York.Google Scholar
  15. Fisher, J. (1976). Homicide in Detroit: The role of firearms. Criminology 13: 387-400.Google Scholar
  16. Hemenway, D., Azrael, D., and Miller, M. (2000). Gun use in the United States: Results from two national surveys. Injury Prevent. 6: 263-267.Google Scholar
  17. Jacobs, J. (2002). Can Gun Control Work? Oxford University Press, New York.Google Scholar
  18. Kleck, G. (1997). Targeting Guns: Firearms and Their Control, Aldine de Gruyter, New York.Google Scholar
  19. Kleck, G., and Patterson, E. B. (1993). The impact of gun control and gun ownership levels on violence rates. J. Quant. Criminol. 9: 249-288.Google Scholar
  20. Krug, A. S. (1968). The relationship between firearms ownership and crime rates: A statistical analysis. Congressional Record (January 30): H570-72.Google Scholar
  21. Lester, D. (1985). The use of firearms in violent crime. Crime and Justice 8: 115-120.Google Scholar
  22. Ludwig, J., Cook, P. J., and Smith, T. W. (1998). The gender gap in reporting household gun ownership. Am. J. Publ. Hlth. 88(11), Nov.: 1715-1718.Google Scholar
  23. Miller, M., Azrael, D., and Hemenway, D. (2000). Community firearms and community fear. Epidemiology 11: 709-714.Google Scholar
  24. Miller, M., Azrael, D., and Hemenway, D. (2001). Firearm availability and unintentional firearm deaths. Accident Anal. and Prevent. 33: 477-484.Google Scholar
  25. Miller, M., Azrael, D., and Hemenway, D. (2002a). Firearm availability and unintentional firearm deaths, suicide and homicide among 5–14 year-olds. J. Trauma 52 (February): 267–275.Google Scholar
  26. Miller, M., Azrael, D., and Hemenway, D. (2002b). Firearm availability and unintentional firearm deaths, suicide and homicide among women. J. Urban Hlth. 79(1): 26-38.Google Scholar
  27. Miller, M., Azrael, D., and Hemenway, D. (2002c). Rates of household firearm ownership and homicide across US regions and states, 1988–1997. Am. J. Publ. Hlth. 92(<bib-issue>12</bib-issue>): 1988-1993.Google Scholar
  28. Powell, K. E., Jacklin, B. C., Nelson, D. E., and Bland, S. (1998). State estimates of household exposure to firearms, loaded firearms, and handguns, 1991 through 1995. Am. J. Publ. Hlth. 88(6): 969-72.Google Scholar
  29. Siegel, P. Z., Frazier, E. L., Mariolis, P., Brackbill, R. M., and Smith, C. (1993). Behavioral risk factor surveillance, 1991: Monitoring progress toward the nation's year 2000 health objectives. Morbid. Mort. Week. Rep. (MMWR) 42(SS-4): 1-21. August 27.Google Scholar
  30. Sloan, J. H., Kellermann, A. L., Reay, D. T., Ferris, J. A., Koepsell, T., Rivara, F. P., Rice, C., Gray, L., and LaGerfo, J. (1990). Handgun regulations, crime, assaults and homicide. New Eng. J. Med. 319: 1256-1262.Google Scholar
  31. Vernick, J. S., and Hepburn, L. M. (2003). Examining state and federal gun laws: Trends for 1970–1999. Ludwig, J. and Cook, P. J., Evaluating Gun Policy, Brookings Institution Press, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  32. Zimring, F. E., and Hawkins, G. (1997). Crime is not the Problem: Lethal Violence in America, Oxford University Press, New York.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Deborah Azrael
    • 1
  • Philip J. Cook
    • 2
  • Matthew Miller
    • 1
  1. 1.Harvard School of Public HealthHarvard UniversityBoston
  2. 2.Terry Sanford Institute of Public PolicyDuke UniversityDurham

Personalised recommendations