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Evaluating Gun Policy

Effects on Crime and Violence

Subject Gun control -- United States.


During the past fifty years the United States has reduced the death rate from automobile accidents by one third, yet the rate at which Americans are killed by gunfire has actually increased. In 1999, nearly 29,000 Americans died from gunshot wounds, twice the number who died as a result of AIDS/HIV.Policymakers have tried to combat gun-related violence and crime in various ways: including sentence enhancements,, restricting access, and banning certain models and designs. Yet far too little is currently known about the efficacy of these policies. This book sheds light on what works by presenting rigorous empirical evaluations of a variety of current policies.Among the issues examined:the relationship between the number of guns in circulation and the suicide ratethe deterrent and ¡§inducement¡¨ effects of gun ownership on residential burglarythe impact on domestic homicides of restricting gun possessionthe consequences of more permissive gun-carrying laws on crimethe case for a new national surveillance system focused on violent-injury deathsIn their overview, Ludwig and Cook conclude that the problem of gun violence in America is not hopeless¡Xindeed, violence rates have declined dramatically during the last decade. Continued success may require a pragmatic mix of new regulations and enhanced law enforcement efforts, guided by ongoing evaluation supported by new and better data systems.Contributors include Deborah Azrael (Harvard University), Catherine Barber (Harvard University), Alfred Blumstein (Carnegie Mellon University), Jacqueline Cohen (Carnegie Mellon University), Philip J. Cook (Duke University), John J. Donohue (Stanford University), Mark Duggan (University of Chicago), Jeffrey Fagan (Columbia University), Peter Greenwood (Greenwood and Associates), David Hemenway (Harvard University), Lisa Hepburn (Harvard University), Brian Jacob (Harvard University), Mark Kleiman (UCLA), David Kopel (Independence Institute), John Laub (University of Maryland), James Leitzel (University of Chicago), Steven Levitt (University of Chicago), Jens Ludwig (Georgetown University and Brookings Institution), David McDowall (State University of New York), Willard Manning (University of Chicago), James Mercy (Centers for Disease Control), John Mullahy (University of Wisconsin), David Mustard (University of Georgia), Karen Norberg (National Bureau of Economic Research), Anne Morrison Piehl (Harvard University), Steven Raphael (University of California), Peter Reuter (University of Maryland), Bruce Sacerdote (Dartmouth University), Lawrence Sherman (University of Pennsylvania), Jon Vernick (Johns Hopkins University), Elizabeth Richardson Vigdor (Duke University), and Franklin Zimring (University of California).

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