Stricter Gun Legislation and Public Safety
Write a report about “can stricter gun legislations improve public safety”, include the analyzed data in a visual format; e.g. graphs, charts, etc.. Select a criminal theory such as rational choice theory, social learning theory, or social control theory related to the research topic. Please find minimum 2 data resource. Here are results two surveys with a total of 20 questions I had on surveymonkey:
You also can gather some data from official sources; e.g. Statistics Canada, General Social Survey, or Public Safety Canada, or Scholarly work, such as data collected and reported on in peer reviewed articles. Interpret all data in connection with your selected theory; will it be a narrative (qualitative) or (quantitative) comparison.
EX. (Narrative) Differential learning theory suggests that we learn deviant/criminal activity from those we are closest to. Narrative data from surveys/interviews would be able to provide real life examples provided by respondents.
EX. (Comparison) Consensus theory suggests that a societal issue is considered a social problem when the majority of people agree there is harm or consequence associated with the presences of the issue. Data from surveys can be used to demonstrate consensus, or lack of, by responses given; e.g. is gun violence on the rise? yes or no. Comparison of responses to official data demonstrates what? A social problem or a moral panic?
The written report should:
Ensure the theory and the data are clearly connected to each other. The data demonstrates, explains, and supports the theory presented in the research question.
Graphs, charts, etc are clearly explained in the body of the research paper
All sources are cited properly using APA format
An APA formatted reference list is provided at the conclusion of the paper and all citations in the body are listed
The minimum word count is met (see above; dependent on rather single or team research)
Written work should be formatted with 1inch margins, left justified, single line spacing
Title page with names of researchers included
Document is well edited and free from spelling, grammar, punctuation, and structural errors
Please also prepare a powerpoint presentation at least 15 slides
The class presentation should present a broad overview of how the research was conducted and what the main finding(s) were:
What was the research question
demographics of survey participants including number surveyed and how the data was collected
types of official data sets used
type of data management; excel, Survey Monkey, other
Overall findings from survey and the relationship to the research question
Challenges, what, if anything would you do differently
Stricter Gun Legislation and Public Safety
Gun violence is an issue that is currently troubling both the Canadian government and its people. Over the past months, the number of gun-related crimes has increased, with mass shootings being amongst them. Stricter gun legislation is an option the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, is considering maintaining public safety. Unlike their southern neighbor, Canada is hardly trigger-shy. America may have more weapons, but Canada has a culture of using firearms as a hobby. According to the Small Arms Survey, there are about 120 guns for each 100 Americans, while in Canada, there are 34 guns per population of 100 people. The Canadian Prime Minister has already enforced new legislation and introduced bans on firearm assault types. However, the bigger question is whether these legislations will protect the public from gun violence. This paper analyses data from surveys and takes a quantitative approach to compare responses from a sample of respondents. The social control theory will evaluate the report in hopes of understanding the values, norms and beliefs held by the citizens of Canada on the relationship between stricter gun legislation and public safety.
Social Control Theory
Hirschi’s (1969) Causes of Deliquency is a benchmark when discussing crime from the social control aspect (Wiatrowski, 1981). His studies were based off the Hobbesian assumption that people are not always conforming to laws but are able to break rules naturally. Considering intrinsic is constant, then it is conformity that must be addressed. This idea of conformity according to Hirschi is defined by belief, attachment, involvement, and commitment. Each element can then be evaluated to determine the levels of social control within a portion of society.
Two surveys are used to complete this report and they are both from Survey Monkey. The Study A is composed of 27respondents whereby 17 are female and 10 are male. There was only one minor while the majority (22) of the respondents lay between18 to 39years of age. The remaining four were spread out across 40-59 years of age. The data sets used were quantitative. Study B had 23 participants, but did not list their demographics. The data was quantitative as well and collected through a questionnaire on Survey Monkey data management.
Survey Questions and Data Results
The main question of this survey pertained to legislation on guns and how people respond to the issue alongside expert views. Access to guns is an area of focus during the formulation of new rules to combat gun violence. According to Survey Monkey, when participants on Study A were asked whether more should be done to limit access 18 respondents agreed to limited gun access while 5 were against the idea. The rest were not sure. A larger percentage of Canadians is looking forward to the enactment of more legislation that limits access to firearms. According to the consensus theory this could be taken as a social problem as experts also agree with the idea. A study of 32 experts had all but 5 agree on gun control policies (Berg et al., 2019). The social control theory informs of the element of belief that claims people are more likely to break rules if they feel the need to be rule bound. Hence, the notion for more respondents and experts to accept the need for more rules agrees with the idea that stricter gun regulation will increase public safety
The perception of stricter gun laws being associated to public safety was also analyzed. 48% of the 23 participants agreed with the same perception while 30% strongly agreed. 9% strongly agreed while 13% were not sure. More individuals tends to perceive that stricter gun laws will improve public safety. However, this may be concluded as a moral panic since experts claim otherwise. As much as limit to access may be a solution, stricter gun laws are often bypassed by the number of loosened gun legislation each year ( Luca, 2019). It was found that after a mass shooting, the number of firearms bills increase by 15%, but after a year, laws loosening restrictions double up.
Since gun violence takes different forms and shapes it was also vital to research the greatest concerns for communities. While 30% were not worried about gun violence in Canada, the rest were willing to show their concerns which included gang violence, mass shootings, accidental shootings, and suicide shootings. The responses to these concerns were 44%, 30%, 26%, and 17% respectively. In general, gun violence was attributed to gangs, mass shootings, accidental shootings, and suicide shootings. Experts on this issue tend to agree with the public making it a social problem. According to Berg et al., 2019, a group of 120 experts agreed that the public health is compromised by gun violence due to mass shooting and murder rates that were increasing due to gangs, suicidal and accidental shooting.
Another issue was whether protecting gun rights was more important than controlling gun violence. 44.44% of the respondents in Study A disagreed on the notion of protecting gun rights while 40.74% respondents agreed. The other 14.81% were not quite sure. This idea relates with the social control theory’s belief element since the theory focuses on variations in acceptance of social rules (Wiatrowski, 1981). The difference is quite minimal which shows Canadians are not sure which ideal is more relevant to granting them public safety. It could be fair to say that this is an area of moral panic as there is no variation with a majority vote.
While conducting the survey, it was also vital to analyze how much Canadians know about the laws and regulations for owning and storing guns. Study B had 52% claim they knew very little while 22% admitted they knew nothing at all. 9% also confessed that they could not pinpoint to knowing specific details while only 4% were certain of being knowledgeable on the area. Sadly, a high percentage of Canadians do not have adequate knowledge on the area of laws and regulations for owning and storing guns.
Overall, the issue of stricter gun legislation when surveyed was found to be favored by most Canadians as a means to improve public safety. The social control theory relates to the findings by proving a social problem when it comes to gun legislation. A majority of the respondents across the two surveys claimed that public safety would improve if limited access were enforced. Similarly, experts on crime and violence also supported the idea with a very small fraction opposing the idea. It seems that stricter policies on gun access could mitigate the social problem of gun violence. Social experts agreed that gun violence is a cause for public insecurity as it contributes to high rates of murders and self-inflicted gun-shots. Unfortunately, the social control theory’s element of commitment showed that Canadians are not highly interested in learning their gun laws and regulations. Most of them were not aware of the policies relating to storing and purchasing guns. There were no challenges in this study, as the information for the survey was readily available. The area of gun violence control has also been heavily researched by other scholars in great depth.
Luca, M., Malhotra, D., & Poliquin, C. (2020). The impact of mass shootings on gun policy. Journal of Public Economics, 181, 104083.
Lott, J. R., Berg, A. Z., & Mauser, G. A. (2019). Expert Views on Gun Laws. Gary A., Expert Views on Gun Laws (December 21, 2019).
Wiatrowski, M. D., Griswold, D. B., & Roberts, M. K. (1981). Social control theory and delinquency. American sociological review, 525-541.