|Type of paper:||Literature review|
|Categories:||Gun control Gun violence Homeland security|
In an attempt to cut gun violence rates more efficiently and effectively, numerous suburban law enforcement agencies are forming joint partnerships in their communities. Urban gun violence touches on matters pointing to American life: community, opportunity, equality, and safety. While several urban residents are injured or killed with guns yearly, community leaders and suburban law enforcement agencies are facing a pressing challenge: looking for practical solutions and instigating initiatives which will create a difference now and in future. This literature review brings together the knowledge of academic researchers who have been addressing the issue of gun violence over the years and the initiatives that law enforcement are implementing to ensure their communities do not experience the same level of gun violence as the city of Chicago for residents in suburban communities.
Guns have been in existence throughout America's history. Conflicts with Native Americans led to the use of firearms for self-defense. According to Whitney (2012), states were justified to own firearms as a way of being ready for duty calls. Whitney (2012) also explains how the Second Amendment gave Americans the right to gun ownership as a defense mechanism. In 2008, the Supreme Court eventually ruled gun ownership as a citizen's right not exclusively for self-defense, reversing their initial verdicts. In the modern world, people still own guns for purposes of hunting and self-defense.
While children might be exposed directly to gun violence, through perpetration or victimization, they could as well be indirectly exposed, by encountering gun violence in the community. According to Finkelhor et al. (2015), there was a decline in youth exposure to gun violence between 2008 and 2014, although the difference was minimal. Approximately eight percent of children were exposed to a shooting experience, with those between ages fourteen to seventeen years reporting higher levels of exposure - around thirteen percent. Additionally, boys had a higher likelihood of saying exposure than girls (Finkelhor et al., 2015).
Gun violence is a factor that genuinely needs some useful solutions. Daily, there are cases of someone being shot and killed, either through suicide, an accident or out of anger. In the United States, gun ownership is culturally accepted. In Tanner's (2007) article, he displays a graph accessed from the "Small Arms Survey 2007" which shows that for a hundred Americans, ninety own guns. Most gun holders hold their beliefs in the 2nd Amendment. They know that according to the constitution, they have a right to own weapons. On the instances that there are cases of mass shootings, these individuals and organizations like the NRA, blame the violence depicted in video games and movies and not their beliefs.
The Second Amendment
According to Golden (2012), self-defense is the principal of the 2nd Amendment. Although it secures the right to gun ownership, the Second Amendment does not necessitate every individual to practice that right. Blocher (2012) further claims that in Kennesaw, Georgia, the state authorizes its people to have ammunition and guns in their homes. Although the people of Kennesaw exercise their right, the state makes decisions for them. Nevertheless, Blocher (2012) also asserts that those who support these policies might claim their intention is to prevent gun control.
As citizens of modern America buy guns, they experience various limitations in several states. Braga et al. (2007) say that states like Illinois, Hawaii, and Connecticut, need a license for firearm purchases and not for gun ownership, whereas Texas, Louisiana, and Alabama, require permits for possessing a gun. To practice their rights, people who own firearms are allowed to take part in shooting ranges which have turned out to be increasingly regular in the states and urban American communities (Braga et al., 2007). Majority of the shooting ranges have entry-level programs that exceed the essentials of the handling and safety of a gun in any circumstance alongside the people's rights as Americans to own a firearm.
Initiatives Towards the Reduction of Gun Violence
It would be one thing if the answer to gun violence in Illinois were as elusive as the cure for cancer although that is not the issue. The practical solutions are in existence and merely lack funding or support. According to Bushman et al. (2016), while debates on gun rights and gun control continue being on the rise, it would be fulfilling to have bipartisan support for initiatives which could be useful in addressing gun violence. For the most part, advocates of gun control assert that strict gun laws could lead to a reduction in violent crime. But then, opposers of gun control hold that more gun ownership restricting laws will increase violence (Corsaro et al., 2015). What contributes to uncontrol being such a controversial issue is which strategy would be best effective in reducing gun violence. Kelly Raymond, a former law enforcement officer, asserts that Americans in different states are excessively tolerant of mild gun violence and laws (Moorhouse, 2006). According to Moorhouse (2006), measures of gun control such as registration of all handguns, limits on the purchase of a firearm, bans on assault rifles, and waiting periods reduce the flow of guns into the criminal's hands thus decreasing violence.
Focused Deterrence Strategy is an individual-based practice made up of numerous steps, starting with choosing a specific crime issue like youth homicide and organizing an inter-agency working group with the aim of stopping persistent violent behaviors. Braga and Weisburd's (2012) meta-analysis reveal that fixed deterrence tactics have demonstrated a remarkable, reasonable outcome on general violence drop. In the 1990s, a top effective gun violence lessening initiative - Operation Ceasefire - was formed in Boston by clergy members, researchers, and law enforcement officers (Engel et al., 2007). According to Braga et al. (2001), it was a problem-solving tactic whose goal was to see a reduction in illegal gun ownership and gun violence, and other communities have similarly replicated and applied the strategy. Butkus et al. (2014) research show that intensive interventions are linked to a decline in violence rates, even though success levels fluctuate in different cities. It is not clear if such strategies could create permanent reductions with time, and if the differences in achievement are as a result of diverse program initiatives.
According to Braga et al. (2012), an intervention referred to as 'Hot Spots Policing' is applicable whereby suburban law enforcers expend limited resources in urban areas, where there are a high predictability and concentration rate of crime. Generally, this strategy has demonstrated remarkable but small impacts on crime reduction, even though the researchers did not access youth gun violence (Borowsky et al., 2008). Skogan et al. (2012) researched on the 'Cure Violence' strategy used in Chicago. The state of Chicago uses this strategy by taking a public health approach, using community mobilization, public awareness campaigns, outreach workers, and skilled street violence disrupters to reduce gun violence and homicides. Their research found Cure Violence was linked to reductions in retaliatory murders, killings, and shootings in certain homesteads (Skogan et al., 2012). According to Braga's (2008) study, in Stockton, Operation Peacekeeper was initiated to lessen gun violence and involvement amid city residents by using Youth Outreach Workers to mentor youths in neighboring locations. Results found a reduction in gun violence cases.
Engel et al. (2013) study give a comprehensive evaluation and description of the Cincinnati Initiative to Reduce Violence (CIRV) - an intensive gun-violence deterrence policy enacted in Ohio's Cincinnati town. In 2007, Cincinnati's political leadership united with business and community leaders, street advocates, medical professionals, academics, and law enforcement officials, to create the CIRV. The Initiative was roughly formed after Boston's Operation Ceasefire and uses an engrossed preemption policy to notify the penalties for gang members who are more at risk directly (Braga et al., 2014). There was a sixty-three-percentage fall in homicide among the young generation in Boston following the strategy implementation, that pushed several jurisdictions in the United States to try replicating this accomplishment by instigating similar initiatives (Engel et al., 2007). The overall achievement of these initiatives was reported in some studies with the aim of explaining the effect of focused deterrence on gun-violence issues. However, most of them did not have scientific evidence, hence bringing doubts on the empirical status of focused deterrence.
Control of Gun Violence Through Gun Laws
A recent study by Braga and Hureau (2015) on state gun laws discovered that approximately three thousand, two hundred acts had been implemented from 1990 to 2014, together with policies to tighten or loosen gun control. Since federal regulations control the purchase of guns by licensed sellers and fail to monitor sales made through private owners, most states try to regulate the sale of firearms by private dealers who are not authorized. According to Crifasi et al. (2015), around eleven states have "permit to purchase" laws, that put it necessary for people to get permits before obtaining a rifle. PTP policies are not similar in all states; for example, certain states allow individuals to reach their warrants by mail or online while others require them to obtain permits in person.
NRA's Role in Gun Violence Reduction
The National Rifle Association formed in 1871 played a role in improving the marksmanship of first American troops. The NRA currently offers training to civilians who wish to own guns. The National Rifle Association Network (2013) states that followers try to create a stance against the disapproval from the New York administration in fighting the right to gun ownership in the United States.
The New York government is expanding. Ariosto (2013) documents weapon control laws. He claims that the NRA is incriminating the leaders of coordinating a quiet and secretive go around democratic and legislative procedure to pass bills on gun control. The statement that calls for limitations on high capacity magazines, the rise of the ban on assault weapons, and harsher background checks was voted, passed and implemented in two days to evade a firearm market surge. The National Rifle Association Network (2013) continually displays updates of Legislation involvement in firearm regulation. The organization is differently perceived from all sides of the gun control argument as an initiative that governments ought to adopt regarding private access to firearms.
The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, implemented in 1993 is the most noteworthy federal attempt in restricting firearms in the U.S which requires background checks and waiting time on those trying to buy a gun. Sen and Panjamapirom (2012) state that statistically, the cities which warrant background checks differ by state as some include tests for misdemeanors, fugitive status, mental illness, restraining orders, and criminal history. Before the introduction of background checks as a requirement for firearm purchases, several crimes and deaths occurred with stolen firearms and unregistered guns.
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