Topic 7 Introduction
In this week, we are covering the roles of firearms, drugs, and alcohol in violence. Some people believe these objects are the sources of violence, while many others argue that they just serve as a facilitator to violence. Many studies and statistics shown in these two chapters should provide you with some clues for the arguments. Whichever side you would like to argue for is better based on what those statistics or shreds of evidence have shown or appealed to you. Your rational judgments may be at stake if a more ideological view is more emphasized than a scientific one. Some alarming statistics with regards to firearm-related homicides are worthy to consider:• In any given year, firearms are involved in half of all suicides and two thirds3 or more of homicides (NRC, 2005).• Age and Race: The risk of death is elevated for young people (ages 15 to 34), particularly black males.• Gender: 83% of gun crime victims are males.• There are an estimated 258 million firearms in the U.S. (NRC, 2005).• 90% of firearm homicides are committed by males.• Offense rates are highest for ages 18 to 24.• The increase in juvenile homicides witnessed in the mid-1980s was entirely firearm-related. Theories in this chapter include Symbolic Interaction Theory, Routine Activity Theory and Cultural Theories. Not only had they provided explanations of firearm-related violence but also their developed strategies for violence prevention and intervention. Evidence linking alcohol or drug use to violence is striking: • Prior alcohol use by the victim, offender, or both, is found in more than half of all violent events.• About two-thirds of all arrestees test positive for at least one illegal drug at the time of arrest.• Sixty to 80% of all prison inmates have been involved in drug use and/or drug-related crimes (CASA).• Correlations are insufficient, however, to demonstrate that alcohol or drug use causes violence.• Example: Problem drinkers are more likely to have previous histories of violence. But: Are violent people more likely to drink, or are heavy drinkers more likely to be violent?Here is a question for you to review: Are violent people more likely to drink, or are heavy drinkers more likely to be violent? What evidence do you find for each argument?Theories provided in chapter 13 are different from those in the last chapter. Although Routine Activity theories and Cultural theories are also discussed, Biological/Psychological theories are heavily emphasized in this chapter. In addition, sociological theories like Structural theories and Situational theories are also discussed for the roles of alcohol and drug in violent crimes.Comprehensive strategies for this alcohol and drug-related violence remain to be explored in the future studies.Do not forget there is a discussion to be completed during this period.*** Finally, if you have missed one or more prior tests, you may take the make-ups on Oct. 12-13 and this is the only opportunity for make-up tests.
Chapter 12 PPT Overview_4e
- Ch 12 PowerPoint.pptx (542.834 KB)
Chapter 13 PPT Overview_4e
- Ch 13 PowerPoint.pptx (462.401 KB)
Topic 7 Commentary
A BJS article by Mumola and Karberg (2006, a link is provided below) may provide you additional information for some questions that may intrigue you: (a) How does BJS go about estimating how many convicted offenders have substance abuse problems? (b) What kinds of treatment are available in prisons, and how many inmates participate in such programs?http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/dudsfp04.pdf Could you answer these questions after reading this article?
Watch the movie Bowling for Columbine (inside the weekly folder), then answer these questions.Full video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTBdY-I57k8 (small fee required) or http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNTA2Njk2MTYw.html (free but can be slow)(a) Summarize some of the major arguments presented in the movie, as well as the evidence provided to support them. Do you agree or disagree with those arguments? Why? (b) How does the movieBowling for Columbine illustrate specific ideas and concepts used in this chapter? Use specific examples from the text and movie to support your arguments. (c) Critically discuss some of the strengths and weaknesses of gun control legislation as illustrated by the movie. Use specific examples from the text and movie to support your arguments.
Bowling for Columbine by Michael Moore takes a deeper look into the shocking events that transpired during the 1999 Columbine High School massacre, from those responsible for the attack to the countless lives that were lost during it.The documentary explores the possible root causes of unnecessary gun violence, in particular, the social factors contributing to its perpetuation. It specifically seeks to understand the psycho-social patterns that could have existed during the series of events that led to the Columbine High School massacre. Bowling for Columbine features interviews with former classmates and well-known personalities who provide an insight on the behavior and disposition of the people involved in the killings.http://watchdocumentaries.com/bowling-for-columbine/
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