Gun Control Debate: Problem Analysis and Studies Research Paper

Table of Contents
  1. Introduction
  2. Methods
  3. The drawback
  4. Studies
  5. Results
  6. Conclusion
  7. References

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The problem of the proper to bear firearms within the United States is related. It is the topic of controversy amongst many American jurists and political scientists. The essential disputes are between supporters of tightening the foundations for issuing licenses for carrying firearms and people who think about carrying a weapon as a pure proper of each American. Extreme ideologization not solely explores the political debate on arms management but additionally impacts scientific analysis on potential adjustments within the guidelines for issuing weapons licenses for crimes and their penalties. The goal of this paper is to research how empirical analysis within the USA evaluates the effectiveness of county laws on the licensing of arms by way of its affect on the extent of violent crime.


A principal place in assessing the effectiveness of legal guidelines belongs to empirical and authorized analysis. A characteristic of empirical jurisprudence is that it permits individuals to take a look at the work of the regulation, not solely from a authorized but additionally from a theoretical and methodological perspective. Empirical and authorized research allow the evaluation of guidelines from the financial concept of regulation, in addition to utilizing instruments of a complete vary of disciplines, resembling sociology, statistics, arithmetic, and many others. Using these instruments, the empirical sociology of regulation can predict the potential penalties of taking one other invoice. It may also give an opinion on the effectiveness of already adopted authorized norms.

The drawback

In the USA on the state stage, a number of fashions of the authorized regulation of the issuance of licenses for carrying weapons have developed. Thus, till the top of the Eighties, in lots of states, the difficulty mannequin existed when native authorities made selections for granting a license on the county stage. As a rule, it was acquired by district sheriffs who had full discretion in issuing permits to hold weapons within the territories entrusted to them (Goodman & Perry, 2018). However, in 1987 the court docket of Florida dominated that district sheriffs might not limit the proper to hold weapons of these residents who appeared unreliable to them.

From now on, native authorities have been obliged to make their selections on the issuance of licenses, guided by a set of formally outlined guidelines. In different phrases, native authorities have been required to problem a license if an individual has no excellent legal file or psychological disabilities. There have been additionally some extra formal standards primarily based on which the citizen’s proper to bear arms might be restricted. (Miller, 2019). The Florida mannequin, which significantly simplified the method of acquiring permission to hold weapons for residents, was known as shall-issue and was subsequently adopted by greater than half of the states.

Statistical research of the gun-control in American criminology don’t give an unambiguous reply to the query of how the supply of weapons for the inhabitants impacts the legal scenario in a specific state. Among American scientists and politicians, there are supporters of various factors of view. Some of them concluded that liberalization of the foundations for issuing licenses (and, consequently, a rise within the turnover of weapons) helps to scale back crime. Others imagine that the consequence, quite the opposite, is a rise within the complete variety of delinquencies.

Thus, the specificity of gun management research is that this analysis space reproduces the political debate between supporters and opponents of the proper to bear arms. Ideological clichés and eloquent rhetoric are utilized in political discussions on this problem. In the scientific neighborhood, researchers argue concerning the reliability of knowledge and the proper use of statistical evaluation procedures. The focus will not be solely on a evaluation of the accessible scientific literature on this subject. The affect of the gun management research on American coverage and laws concerning the foundations for issuing firearms licenses can also be investigated.


In American criminology, there’s a entire analysis custom of finding out the connection between the extent of crime and the variety of firearms possessed by residents. The first research of this sort date again to the Nineteen Thirties. However, till the top of the Eighties, such research didn’t tackle the difficulty of how adjustments in laws on the management of firearms have an effect on crime charges.

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The first publications of this sort appeared virtually instantly after the introduction of the shall-issue mannequin in some states. McDowell and colleagues concluded that the transition to a brand new system doesn’t result in a lower in crime, in keeping with representatives of the nationwide rifle affiliation (McDowall, Loftin, & Wiersema, 1995). In the analysis, they used knowledge from Florida, Minnesota, and Oregon.

In response to this examine, Lott and Mustard wrote the article “Crime, Intimidation, and Legal Firearms,” and later the e-book “More Weapons, fewer Crimes.” In their analysis, Lott, and Mustard use legal statistics collected on the county stage from 10 states that adopted a brand new weapon licensing system within the late Eighties and early Nineties.

Using panel knowledge for the interval from 1977 to 1992, they tried to evaluate how the transition to the shall-issue mannequin affected the crime fee. As dependent variables, they thought of the variety of crimes dedicated in varied classes (homicide, rape, theft, automobile theft, and many others.). Based on them, Lott and Mustard performed two forms of regression evaluation (Lott & Mustard, 1997). In one among them, they assemble a dummy variable that takes a constructive worth within the first full yr after the state transitions to the shall-issue mannequin and saves it sooner or later. In one other, they have in mind the variety of full years which have handed because the transition to the brand new system.

Lott and Mustard concluded that the introduction of recent gun rules had diminished crime charges in 10 states. However, this affect was not the identical for several types of crimes. According to them, the transition to the shall-issue system helped to scale back the variety of violent crimes (homicide and rape) by 4%. Still, on the similar time, this lower was accompanied by a rise within the identify of property crimes (housebreaking or automobile theft) by 2%.

Lott argues that the easier the foundations for acquiring a license to hold weapons turn into, the much less violent crimes are dedicated, because the potential prices of their fee for potential legal enhance. The rising availability of firearms for the inhabitants will increase the probability that, when committing a violent crime (homicide or rape), the offender will face armed resistance from the sufferer (Lott, 2013). This, in flip, implies that the transition to a shall-issue system will increase the potential prices of violators of the regulation from their fee of violent crimes.

A complete check of Lott’s thesis was performed by a staff of researchers led by J. Donohue. In the article, they analyze knowledge from 1979 to 2010 each on the county and state ranges. As management variables, they use the variety of cops and the variety of prisoners (incarceration) (Aneja, Donohue, & Zhang, 2014). Also, for the interval from 1999 to 2010, they have in mind the dynamics of the “cocaine epidemic,” on account of which their evaluation outcomes are extra dependable than Lott’s. In the developed mannequin with a dummy variable, the variety of crimes in such classes as rape, homicide, assault, automobile theft, theft, theft and housebreaking elevated.

According to the proposed evaluation, the transition to the brand new guidelines for issuing weapons licenses is accompanied by a rise in all seven classes of crimes by a median of 8%, besides murders, the variety of which is rising by 3%, however this determine is statistically insignificant (Aneja et al, 2014). Regression fashions recorded that the variety of homicides elevated by 1.5% per yr for the interval from 1999 to 2010.

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Firstly, within the minimal variety of management variables used (primarily solely the variety of arrests) and ignoring different essential elements influencing the change within the crime fee (variety of cops and prisoners). Secondly, inside tendencies on the state and county ranges are usually not taken under consideration. Thirdly, the inclusion within the evaluation of solely ten states that switched to the shall-issue system and ignoring all of the others made Lott’s examine a sufferer of the choice bias impact (systematic choice error of instances). As a results of which his conclusions are inclined to any manipulations with the variety of instances (as, for instance, to the exclusion of Florida from the information thought of).

In discussions about carrying weapons within the United States, analysis findings are sometimes sacrificed for political expediency; analysis and educational debate can turn into a part of political dialogue on delicate points. At the identical time, the precept of the effectiveness of legislative measures is an important level each for individuals who conduct empirical analysis and for individuals who are concerned in socio-political debates. Efficiency, as a rule, refers back to the constructive socio-economic penalties of the adoption of legislative norms.

The American coverage within the discipline of firearms management exhibits that the precept of effectiveness is the principle argument even when selections are made within the authorized sphere that’s most probably to result in damaging social penalties. At the identical time, scientific disputes of a seemingly educational nature can draw public consideration to the damaging implications of legislative selections taken underneath the affect of ideological elements.


To sum up, gun management research are an instance of how political debate has led to educational dialogue. However, within the circumstances when scientific assessments concerning the effectiveness and effectivity of authorized measures can provide legislative acts further validity, some empirical and juridical research virtually inevitably turn into a part of political hypothesis. In this regard, removed from all the time, rigorous scientific analysis receives enough consideration from most people, in addition to decision-makers. In disputes about the proper to bear arms, this resulted in the truth that unscientific research influenced decision-making. The empirical and authorized researches within the context of gun management research have been, to some extent, influenced by political curiosity.


Aneja, A., Donohue, J. J., & Zhang, A. (2014). The affect of proper to hold legal guidelines and the NRC report: the most recent classes for the empirical analysis of regulation and coverage. Stanford Law and Economics Olin Working Paper, 461(1), 1-108. Web.

Goodman, S., & Perry, B. (2018). The American Gun Control Debate: A Discursive Analysis. In Discourse, Peace, and Conflict, 67-82. Springer, Cham. Web.

McDowall, D., Loftin, C., & Wiersema, B. (1995). Easing hid firearms legal guidelines: Effects on murder in three states. J. Crim. L. & Criminology, 86, 193.

Miller, S. V. (2019). What Americans take into consideration gun management: proof from the final social survey, 1972–2016. Social Science Quarterly, 100(1), 272-288.

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Lott, J. R. (2013). More weapons, much less crime: Understanding crime and gun management legal guidelines. University of Chicago Press.

Lott, Jr, J. R., & Mustard, D. B. (1997). Crime, deterrence, and right-to-carry hid handguns. The Journal of Legal Studies, 26(1), 1-68.

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