Point Blank: Guns And Violence In America

Front Cover
Transaction Publishers, Mar 1, 2005 - Social Science - 512 pages
4 Reviews

Winner of the 1993 Michael J. Hindelang award of the American Society of Criminology.

By 1990 there were approximately 200 million guns in private hands in the United States, and around half of American households contained a gun. Over 30,000 people a year are killed with guns in suicides, homicides, and acci-dents, and Americans use guns for defensive purposes over a million times a year. There is little doubt that gun violence and control are issues of vital importance, and they continue to inspire national debate. It is doubtful, however, whether most gun debates are worth listening to. Not surprisingly, such debates generally leave their participants exactly where they began, with their biases intact, and onlookers perplexed.

Written deliberately to counter an atmosphere of hysteria and extremism. Point Blank, now in paperback, offers logi-cal argument supported by empirical information. It con-fronts fundamental questions head-on. On its initial publication in 1993, Point Blank won the Michael J. Hindelang Award of the American Society of Criminology for the book that "made the most outstanding contribution to criminology." Point Blank reports both original research and assesses existing evidence drawn from a wide variety of academic disciplines, including criminology, sociology, law, and medicine.

 

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I have had Point Blank on my reference shelf for a couple of decades now. It is an extremely valuable resource for anyone interested in firearms legislation. Gary Kleck includes large amounts of data that is difficult to find with an Internet search, because the book was published when the Internet was in its infancy For example, he has tables listing firearms manufacture, imports and exports from 1946 to 1987. It is just one of many hard to find sources of information that are in the book.
Dr. Kleck is highly thought of by his peers; he received the Michael Hindelang award from the American Society of Criminology in 1993, shortly after Point Blank was published.
Kleck is a self described liberal. His thinking about legal restrictions on gun use has been changed by his academic research.
I would like to see Dr. Kleck produce an updated version of Point Blank. It has been two decades. While most of the data can now be found on the Internet, It would be handy to have it all in one easily accessible source.
 

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Written by a prominent criminologist, the book dispels many myths and shows that overall, gun ownership is a good thing.

Contents

Ideology Politics and Propaganda
3
The Appearance of ReasonFallacies in Gun Control Reasoning
7
Fallacies in Procontrol Argumentation
13
Common Problems of Persuasion
15
Ownership and Uses of Guns
17
Who Owns Guns?
21
Why People Own Guns
25
Uses of Guns
41
The Impact of Gun Ownership Levels on Suicide Rates
248
The Impact of Gun Control Laws on Suicide
251
CityLevel Analysis of the Impact of Guns on Suicide Rates
255
Firearms Accidents
269
The Frequency of Gun Accidents
270
Trends in Gun Accidents
274
Children and Gun Accidents
276
Gun Types Involved
280

How Are Guns Acquired?
45
Conclusions
47
Searching for Bad Guns The Focus on Special Gun Types
65
Machine Guns
67
Assault Rifles and Assault Weapons
70
Plastic Guns
82
Saturday Night SpecialsSmall Cheap Handguns
83
Handguns
91
Conclusions
94
EFFECTS OF GUNS ON VIOLENCE
99
Guns and SelfDefense
101
The Nature of Defensive Gun Use
103
Survey Data
104
Problems with the Surveys
108
Shooting in SelfDefense
111
Carrying Guns for Protection
117
Psychological Effects of Keeping Guns for Protection
119
Effectiveness and Risks of Armed Resistance to Criminals
120
Rape and Resistance
126
An Exercise in Ingenious Speciousness
127
Crimes Involving Defensive Gun Use
129
Deterrence
130
Guns and the Displacement of Burglars from Occupied Homes
138
Conclusions
141
Implications for Crime Control Policy
143
Guns and Violent Crime
153
Guns and Power
154
Attack
156
Injury
162
Death
163
Guns in Robbery and Rape
170
IndividualLevel Analysis
173
Problems in Analyzing Violent Incidents
175
Methods of the Present Analysis
176
AggregateLevel Analysis of Gun Ownership and Violence Rates
185
International Comparisons
188
A CityLevel Study of Gun Levels and Violent Crime Rates
191
An English Test of the Link between Guns and Crime Rates
201
Conclusions
202
Guns and Suicide
223
The Control Hypothesis
227
The Modeling Hypothesis
230
Who Is Most Likely to Use Guns in Suicide?
231
Region and Suicide Method Preference
233
Ownership and Acquisition of Suicide Guns
235
Types of Guns Used in Suicides
236
What Suicides Might Be Prevented by Reduced Gun Availability?
238
Prior Studies of Method Availability and Suicide Rates
246
The Victims and Shooters in Gun Accidents
282
Alcohol Involvement
286
Circumstances and Activities Associated with Gun Accidents
287
Defective Firearms
291
The Nature of Accidents and Those Who Cause Them
293
Personality Traits of the AccidentInvolved
294
Reducing Gun Accidents
296
CityLevel Analysis of Fatal Gun Accident Rates
303
Summary and Conclusions
304
REGULATING GUNS
321
Types of Gun Regulation
323
Gun Types Controlled
327
Who Is Controlled?
328
Level of Restrictiveness
331
Level of Government
332
Some Detailed Comments on Specific Control Measures
333
Mandatory Penalties for Unlawful Carrying
342
Prohibition and Other Broadly Targeted Measures
344
Enforcement of Current Gun Laws
347
Administration of Licensing LawsTwo Contrasting Cases
353
Public Opinion and the Bases of Support for Gun Control
359
Trends in Public Opinion on Gun Control 19591990
366
What Kinds of Gun Control Do Americans Favor?
368
The Nonutilitarian Nature of Much Gun Control Support
370
Who Supports Gun Control?
372
The Impact of Gun Control on Violence Rates
385
Methods of Prior Research
386
Results of Prior Research
390
CrossNational Comparisons
393
A CityLevel Study of Gun Control Impact
394
A Case Study
408
A Case Study
411
Untried Gun Control Strategies
414
POLICY LESSONS
427
Conclusions
429
The Shape of Effective Gun Controls
431
A Workable Gun Control Strategy
432
Notes
447
ProductionBased Estimates of the Gun Stock Chapter 2
451
SurveyBased Estimates of the Gun Stock Chapter 2
455
Substitution of Long Guns for Handguns
461
Alternate Estimates of the Number of Defensive Uses of Guns Chapter 4
467
Legal Classification and Counting of Defensive Homicides Chapter 4
469
Technical Problems in Using National Crime Survey Incident Files Data Chapter 5
473
References
477
INDEX
506
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