Evaluating Gun Policy: Effects on Crime and Violence

Brookings Institution Press
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Compared with other developed nations, the United States is unique in its high rates of both gun ownership and murder. Although widespread gun ownership does not have much effect on the overall crime rate, gun use does make criminal violence more lethal and has a unique capacity to terrorize the public. Gun crime accounts for most of the costs of gun violence in the United States, which are on the order of $100 billion per year. But that is not the whole story. Guns also provide recreational benefits and sometimes are used virtuously in fending off or forestalling criminal attacks. Given that guns may be used for both good and ill, the goal of gun policy in the United States has been to reduce the flow of guns to the highest-risk groups while preserving access for most people. There is no lack of opinions on policies to regulate gun commerce, possession, and use, and most policy proposals spark intense controversy. Whether the current system achieves the proper balance between preserving access and preventing misuse remains the subject of considerable debate. Evaluating Gun Policy provides guidance for a pragmatic approach to gun policy using good empirical research to help resolve conflicting assertions about the effects of guns, gun control, and law enforcement. The chapters in this volume do not conform neatly to the claims of any one political position. The book is divided into five parts. In the first section, contributors analyze the connections between rates of gun ownership and two outcomes of particular interest to society—suicide and burglary. Regulating ownership is the focus of the second section, where contributors investigate the consequences a large-scale combined gun ban and buy-back program in Australia, as well as the impact of state laws that prohibit gun ownership to those with histories of domestic violence. The third section focuses on efforts to restrict gun carrying and includes a critical examination of efforts in Pittsburgh to patrol illegal gun traffic and a re-examination of the effects of permissive state gun-carrying laws. This section also features the first rigorous—and critical—analysis of Richmond's Project Exile, which serves as one model for the national Project Safe Neighborhoods program. The fourth section focuses on efforts to facilitate research on gun violence, including a database on state gun laws and the ongoing development of a nationwide violent-death reporting system. The book concludes with an examination of the policy process. Differences in opinion about gun policy flourish partly because of the lack of sound evidence in this area. The contributors to this volume demonstrate that skilled and dispassionate analysis of the evidence is attainable, even in an area as contentious as firearm policy. For pragmatists who wish to reduce the social burden of gun violence, there is no acceptable alternative.
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About the author

Jens Ludwig is associate professor of public policy at Georgetown University and formerly the Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution and a visiting scholar at the Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research. Philip J. Cook is the ITT/Sanford Professor of Public Policy at Duke University. Cook and Jens Ludwig coauthored Gun Violence: The Real Costs (2000, Oxford University Press).

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Additional Information

Publisher
Brookings Institution Press
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Published on
May 13, 2004
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Pages
469
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ISBN
9780815753377
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / Civil Rights
Political Science / Public Policy / Social Policy
Social Science / Violence in Society
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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100 billion dollars. That is the annual cost of gun violence in America according to the authors of this landmark study, a book destined to change the way Americans view the problem of gun-related violence. Until now researchers have assessed the burden imposed by gunshot injuries and deaths in terms of medical costs and lost productivity. Here, economists Philip Cook and Jens Ludwig widen the lens, developing a framework to calculate the full costs borne by Americans in a society where both gun violence and its ever-present threat mandate responses that touch every aspect of our lives. All of us, no matter where we reside or how we live, share the costs of gun violence. Whether waiting in line to pass through airport security or paying taxes for the protection of public officials; whether buying a transparent book bag for our children to meet their school's post-Columbine regulations or subsidizing an urban trauma center, the steps we take are many and the expenditures enormous. Cook and Ludwig reveal that investments in prevention, avoidance, and harm reduction, both public and private, constitute a far greater share of the gun-violence burden than previously recognized. They also employ extensive survey data to measure the subjective costs of living in a society where there is risk of being shot or losing a loved one or neighbor to gunfire. At the same time, they demonstrate that the problem of gun violence is not intractable. Their review of the available evidence suggests that there are both additional gun regulations and targeted law enforcement measures that will help. This urgently needed book documents for the first time how gun violence diminishes the quality of life for everyone in America. In doing so, it will move the debate over gun violence past symbolic politics to a direct engagement with the costs and benefits of policies that hold promise for reducing gun violence and may even pay for themselves.
Whatever happened to community and problem-oriented policing?  How the current crisis in policing can be traced to failures of reform.

The police shooting of an unarmed young black man in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri, in August 2014 sparked riots and the beginning of a national conversation on race and policing. Much of the ensuing discussion has focused on the persistence of racial disparities and the extraordinarily high rate at which American police kill civilians (an average of roughly three per day).

Malcolm Sparrow, who teaches at Harvard’s Kennedy School and is a former British police detective, argues that other factors in the development of police theory and practice over the last twenty-five years have also played a major role in contributing to these tragedies and to a great many other cases involving excessive police force and community alienation.

Sparrow shows how the core ideas of community and problem-solving policing have failed to thrive. In many police departments these foundational ideas have been reduced to mere rhetoric. The result is heavy reliance on narrow quantitative metrics, where police define how well they are doing by tallying up traffic tickets issued (Ferguson), or arrests made for petty crimes (in New York).

Sparrow’s analysis shows what it will take for police departments to escape their narrow focus and perverse metrics and turn back to making public safety and public cooperation their primary goals. Police, according to Sparrow, are in the risk-control business and need to grasp the fundamental nature of that challenge and develop a much more sophisticated understanding of its implications for mission, methods, measurement, partnerships, and analysis.
100 billion dollars. That is the annual cost of gun violence in America according to the authors of this landmark study, a book destined to change the way Americans view the problem of gun-related violence. Until now researchers have assessed the burden imposed by gunshot injuries and deaths in terms of medical costs and lost productivity. Here, economists Philip Cook and Jens Ludwig widen the lens, developing a framework to calculate the full costs borne by Americans in a society where both gun violence and its ever-present threat mandate responses that touch every aspect of our lives. All of us, no matter where we reside or how we live, share the costs of gun violence. Whether waiting in line to pass through airport security or paying taxes for the protection of public officials; whether buying a transparent book bag for our children to meet their school's post-Columbine regulations or subsidizing an urban trauma center, the steps we take are many and the expenditures enormous. Cook and Ludwig reveal that investments in prevention, avoidance, and harm reduction, both public and private, constitute a far greater share of the gun-violence burden than previously recognized. They also employ extensive survey data to measure the subjective costs of living in a society where there is risk of being shot or losing a loved one or neighbor to gunfire. At the same time, they demonstrate that the problem of gun violence is not intractable. Their review of the available evidence suggests that there are both additional gun regulations and targeted law enforcement measures that will help. This urgently needed book documents for the first time how gun violence diminishes the quality of life for everyone in America. In doing so, it will move the debate over gun violence past symbolic politics to a direct engagement with the costs and benefits of policies that hold promise for reducing gun violence and may even pay for themselves.
What drug provides Americans with the greatest pleasure and the greatest pain? The answer, hands down, is alcohol. The pain comes not only from drunk driving and lost lives but also addiction, family strife, crime, violence, poor health, and squandered human potential. Young and old, drinkers and abstainers alike, all are affected. Every American is paying for alcohol abuse.

Paying the Tab, the first comprehensive analysis of this complex policy issue, calls for broadening our approach to curbing destructive drinking. Over the last few decades, efforts to reduce the societal costs--curbing youth drinking and cracking down on drunk driving--have been somewhat effective, but woefully incomplete. In fact, American policymakers have ignored the influence of the supply side of the equation. Beer and liquor are far cheaper and more readily available today than in the 1950s and 1960s.


Philip Cook's well-researched and engaging account chronicles the history of our attempts to "legislate morality," the overlooked lessons from Prohibition, and the rise of Alcoholics Anonymous. He provides a thorough account of the scientific evidence that has accumulated over the last twenty-five years of economic and public-health research, which demonstrates that higher alcohol excise taxes and other supply restrictions are effective and underutilized policy tools that can cut abuse while preserving the pleasures of moderate consumption. Paying the Tab makes a powerful case for a policy course correction. Alcohol is too cheap, and it's costing all of us.

100 billion dollars. That is the annual cost of gun violence in America according to the authors of this landmark study, a book destined to change the way Americans view the problem of gun-related violence. Until now researchers have assessed the burden imposed by gunshot injuries and deaths in terms of medical costs and lost productivity. Here, economists Philip Cook and Jens Ludwig widen the lens, developing a framework to calculate the full costs borne by Americans in a society where both gun violence and its ever-present threat mandate responses that touch every aspect of our lives. All of us, no matter where we reside or how we live, share the costs of gun violence. Whether waiting in line to pass through airport security or paying taxes for the protection of public officials; whether buying a transparent book bag for our children to meet their school's post-Columbine regulations or subsidizing an urban trauma center, the steps we take are many and the expenditures enormous. Cook and Ludwig reveal that investments in prevention, avoidance, and harm reduction, both public and private, constitute a far greater share of the gun-violence burden than previously recognized. They also employ extensive survey data to measure the subjective costs of living in a society where there is risk of being shot or losing a loved one or neighbor to gunfire. At the same time, they demonstrate that the problem of gun violence is not intractable. Their review of the available evidence suggests that there are both additional gun regulations and targeted law enforcement measures that will help. This urgently needed book documents for the first time how gun violence diminishes the quality of life for everyone in America. In doing so, it will move the debate over gun violence past symbolic politics to a direct engagement with the costs and benefits of policies that hold promise for reducing gun violence and may even pay for themselves.
Inhaltsangabe:Einleitung: Die Möglichkeiten, die die neuen Medien bieten, können zu einer Vielfalt im Lernprozess beitragen, die das Aufnehmen und Verarbeiten von Wissen zusätzlich unterstützen. Es wird weniger das individuelle Lernen erleichtert, als die Gestaltungsmöglichkeiten einer Lernumgebung erweitert. Lernsoftware und andere Computer-Anwendungen ergänzen die Palette der Lernmittel. Lehrende können sie nutzen, um u.a. Sachverhalte anschaulich darzustellen oder motivationale Aspekte des Computers zu nutzen, die nicht nur durch das Neue dieses Mediums zum Tragen kommen. Die Fragen die sich daraus für den Lehrenden ergeben, sind also bestimmt durch die sinnvolle Ergänzung des Unterrichts durch die vielfältigen Möglichkeiten, die die neuen Medien bieten. „Welche Software ist für welche Phase des Unterrichts am Besten geeignet?“; „Wie können die neuen Möglichkeiten, die sich mit den neuen Medien ergeben, die Lernphasen effektiv unterstützen?“. Kann ein Lehrer, der seinen Unterrichtsablauf bereits im Kopf hat, nach Lernsoftware suchen, die dann bestimmte Phasen in seiner Planung unterstützen? Das scheint mir mit den Kriterien der üblichen Kataloge schwer möglich, denn diese lassen meist nur Rückschlüsse zu, ob ein Unterricht und eine Lernsoftware im Allgemeinen zusammenpassen. Die Frage, die offen bleibt, ist die nach den konkreten Gebrauchsmöglichkeiten einer Software in bestimmbaren Einheiten des Unterrichts: Welche Software passt in die Experimentierphase des Physikunterrichts der Sekundarstufe II zum Thema Hebelwirkung? Mit welcher Software lassen sich die Vokabeln für den Englisch-Unterricht der 7. Klasse abwechslungsreich überprüfen? Ziel meiner Magisterarbeit ist die Analyse der didaktischen und methodischen Kategorien in Kriterienkatalogen sowie bei Metadaten und die Erarbeitung einer neuen, systematisierten Kategorie zur Verwendung von Software im Unterricht unter der besonderen Berücksichtigung des Konstruktivismus. Diese Kategorie soll zeigen, welche Software welche Phasen des Unterrichts sinnvoll unterstützen kann und welche nicht. Daraus soll sich der Lehrkraft erschließen, welche Phasen mehr unterstützt werden müssen, um eine optimale Lernumgebung zu schaffen. Inhaltsverzeichnis:Inhaltsverzeichnis: Einleitung4 1.Begriffsbestimmung9 1.1Medien, Kodierungen, Modalitäten9 1.2Der Begriff Multimedia10 1.3Der Begriff Hypermedia11 1.4Definition Lernsoftware/Bildungssoftware12 1.5Der Begriff [...]
What drug provides Americans with the greatest pleasure and the greatest pain? The answer, hands down, is alcohol. The pain comes not only from drunk driving and lost lives but also addiction, family strife, crime, violence, poor health, and squandered human potential. Young and old, drinkers and abstainers alike, all are affected. Every American is paying for alcohol abuse.

Paying the Tab, the first comprehensive analysis of this complex policy issue, calls for broadening our approach to curbing destructive drinking. Over the last few decades, efforts to reduce the societal costs--curbing youth drinking and cracking down on drunk driving--have been somewhat effective, but woefully incomplete. In fact, American policymakers have ignored the influence of the supply side of the equation. Beer and liquor are far cheaper and more readily available today than in the 1950s and 1960s.


Philip Cook's well-researched and engaging account chronicles the history of our attempts to "legislate morality," the overlooked lessons from Prohibition, and the rise of Alcoholics Anonymous. He provides a thorough account of the scientific evidence that has accumulated over the last twenty-five years of economic and public-health research, which demonstrates that higher alcohol excise taxes and other supply restrictions are effective and underutilized policy tools that can cut abuse while preserving the pleasures of moderate consumption. Paying the Tab makes a powerful case for a policy course correction. Alcohol is too cheap, and it's costing all of us.

No topic is more polarizing than guns and gun control. From a gun culture that took root early in American history to the mass shootings that repeatedly bring the public discussion of gun control to a fever pitch, the topic has preoccupied citizens, public officials, and special interest groups for decades. The Gun Debate: What Everyone Needs to Know® delves into the issues that Americans debate when they talk about guns. With a balanced and broad-ranging approach, noted economist Philip J. Cook and political scientist Kristin A. Goss thoroughly cover the latest research, data, and developments on gun ownership, gun violence, the firearms industry, and the regulation of firearms. The authors also tackle sensitive issues such as the effectiveness of gun control, the connection between mental illness and violent crime, the question of whether more guns make us safer, and ways that video games and the media might contribute to gun violence. No discussion of guns in the U.S. would be complete without consideration of the history, culture, and politics that drive the passion behind the debate. Cook and Goss deftly explore the origins of the American gun culture and the makeup of both the gun rights and gun control movements. Written in question-and-answer format, the book will help readers make sense of the ideologically driven statistics and slogans that characterize our national conversation on firearms. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in getting a clear view of the issues surrounding guns and gun policy in America. What Everyone Needs to Know® is a registered trademark of Oxford University Press.
Research from the United States, Europe, and South America demonstrates the usefulness of the tools of economic analysis for the study of crime.

Economists who bring the tools of economic analysis to bear on the study of crime and crime prevention contribute to current debates a normative framework and sophisticated quantitative methods for evaluating policy, the idea of criminal behavior as rational choice, and the connection of individual choices to aggregate outcomes. The contributors to this volume draw on all three of these approaches in their investigations and discuss the policy implications of their findings.

Reporting on research in the United States, Europe, and South America, the chapters discuss such topics as a cost-benefit analysis of additional police hiring, the testing of innovative policy interventions through field experiments, imprisonment and recidivism rates, incentives and disincentives for sports hooliganism (“hooliganomics”), data showing the influence of organized crime on the quality of local politicians, and the (scant) empirical evidence for the effect of immigration on crime. These contributions demonstrate the eclectic approach of economists studying crime as well as their increasing respect for the contributions of other social scientists in this area.

Contributors
Brian Bell, Paolo Buonanno, Philip J. Cook, John J. Donohue III, Jeffrey R. Kling, Jens Ludwig, Stephen Machin, Olivier Marie, Giovanni Mastrobuoni, Sendhil Mullainathan, Aurélie Ouss, Emily Greene Owens, Stefan Pichler, Paolo Pinotti, Mikael Priks, Daniel Römer, Rodrigo R. Soares, Igor Viveiros

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