Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Fear of Crime=>Purchase of Gun

Note that if the state actually did the only job that we really want from us, which is to protect us from bad people, this would not be true.

The effect of perceived risk and victimization on plans to purchase a gun for self-protection

Gary Kleck et al., Journal of Criminal Justice, forthcoming

Purposes: To determine if perceived risk of criminal victimization, and past criminal victimization experiences, increases the likelihood of a person owning a gun for self-protection, and to determine if defects in past research concerning the way gun ownership was measured had obscured such effects.

Methods: We analyzed data on over 2,500 U.S. adults, using different ways of measuring gun ownership, and also analyzed future plans (among persons who did not own a gun at the time of the survey) to acquire a gun for self-protection. The latter procedure avoids the causal order problem attributable to the possibility that acquiring a gun might affect victimization risks and perceived risks, as well as the reverse.

Results: The estimated effect of perceived risk and prior victimization changed from being nonsignificant when household gun ownership was the dependent variable (as in most prior research) to being increasingly strong, and statistically significant, when gun ownership of the individual respondent for defensive reasons was measured. Further, once the causal order issue was side-stepped, risk and victimization showed even stronger, significant positive effects on planning to get a gun.

Conclusions: Crime affects gun ownership, in addition to any effects that gun ownership may have on crime.

Two friends of mine have written books on this. They disagree, with each other at least.

John Lott

Kristin Goss

Nod to Kevin Lewis


Flo said...

Is it really the state that doesn't do its job that drives gun ownership?

Are gun ownership rates falling? "Perceived risk" seems to be very important and may not coincide with actual risk.

Flo said...

P.S. I just saw you linked to the Marginal Revolution article yourself. So how do the two go together?
It seems like the state is kind of doing its "primary" job, no?

Tom said...

This statement shocked: Kristin Goss, "...with the liberty we afford to individuals we're going to accept a certain amount of violence".

Dear Kristin, the means by which seize people's liberty IS violence. Your use of the verb "afford" implies you think people don't have any liberty until and unless it is granted by the State. If that is your world view, fine, but it means that you and I have to fight.

Tom said...

Flo, why do you assume that government caused the (supposed) decrease in violence?

Flo said...

Not necessarily, but I am assuming the decrease in crime is not completely independent of government policy.
But even if it was, why do people keep buying guns even though crime is falling?

MamaLiberty said...

Because we want it to keep falling, Flo.

The only person who is responsible for your life and safety is YOU. Nobody else is obligated to do that, government or otherwise.

I own this life and body, and I am totally responsible for it. That's why I carry a gun and know how to use it.

I don't EVER want to hurt anyone, but I also don't want to be hurt or stand by helplessly while someone dies when I could prevent it. That's a grave responsibility to take on, for sure, but I couldn't live with myself otherwise.

I have already had to shoot a man to save my life. If you'd like to learn more about that, read here: