Point Blank: Guns And Violence In America
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.
Written by a prominent criminologist, the book dispels many myths and shows that overall, gun ownership is a good thing.
Common Problems of Persuasion
Ownership and Uses of Guns
Who Owns Guns?
Why People Own Guns
Uses of Guns
The Impact of Gun Ownership Levels on Suicide Rates
The Impact of Gun Control Laws on Suicide
CityLevel Analysis of the Impact of Guns on Suicide Rates
The Frequency of Gun Accidents
Trends in Gun Accidents
Children and Gun Accidents
Gun Types Involved
How Are Guns Acquired?
Searching for Bad Guns The Focus on Special Gun Types
Assault Rifles and Assault Weapons
Saturday Night SpecialsSmall Cheap Handguns
EFFECTS OF GUNS ON VIOLENCE
Guns and SelfDefense
The Nature of Defensive Gun Use
Problems with the Surveys
Shooting in SelfDefense
Carrying Guns for Protection
Psychological Effects of Keeping Guns for Protection
Effectiveness and Risks of Armed Resistance to Criminals
Rape and Resistance
An Exercise in Ingenious Speciousness
Crimes Involving Defensive Gun Use
Guns and the Displacement of Burglars from Occupied Homes
Implications for Crime Control Policy
Guns and Violent Crime
Guns and Power
Guns in Robbery and Rape
Problems in Analyzing Violent Incidents
Methods of the Present Analysis
AggregateLevel Analysis of Gun Ownership and Violence Rates
A CityLevel Study of Gun Levels and Violent Crime Rates
An English Test of the Link between Guns and Crime Rates
Guns and Suicide
The Control Hypothesis
The Modeling Hypothesis
Who Is Most Likely to Use Guns in Suicide?
Region and Suicide Method Preference
Ownership and Acquisition of Suicide Guns
Types of Guns Used in Suicides
What Suicides Might Be Prevented by Reduced Gun Availability?
Prior Studies of Method Availability and Suicide Rates
The Victims and Shooters in Gun Accidents
Circumstances and Activities Associated with Gun Accidents
The Nature of Accidents and Those Who Cause Them
Personality Traits of the AccidentInvolved
Reducing Gun Accidents
CityLevel Analysis of Fatal Gun Accident Rates
Summary and Conclusions
Types of Gun Regulation
Gun Types Controlled
Who Is Controlled?
Level of Restrictiveness
Level of Government
Some Detailed Comments on Specific Control Measures
Mandatory Penalties for Unlawful Carrying
Prohibition and Other Broadly Targeted Measures
Enforcement of Current Gun Laws
Administration of Licensing LawsTwo Contrasting Cases
Public Opinion and the Bases of Support for Gun Control
Trends in Public Opinion on Gun Control 19591990
What Kinds of Gun Control Do Americans Favor?
The Nonutilitarian Nature of Much Gun Control Support
Who Supports Gun Control?
The Impact of Gun Control on Violence Rates
Methods of Prior Research
Results of Prior Research
A CityLevel Study of Gun Control Impact
A Case Study
A Case Study
Untried Gun Control Strategies
The Shape of Effective Gun Controls
A Workable Gun Control Strategy
ProductionBased Estimates of the Gun Stock Chapter 2
SurveyBased Estimates of the Gun Stock Chapter 2
Substitution of Long Guns for Handguns
Alternate Estimates of the Number of Defensive Uses of Guns Chapter 4
Legal Classification and Counting of Defensive Homicides Chapter 4
Technical Problems in Using National Crime Survey Incident Files Data Chapter 5