Guns, Violent Crime, and Suicide in 21 Countries

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Guns, Violent Crime, and Suicide in 21 Countries

Category: Firearm Availability, Homicide, International, Men, Suicide, Women|Journal: Canadian Journal of Criminology (full text)|Author: J Kesteren, M Killias, M Rindlisbacher|Year: 2001

This research updates and extends former research conducted on this issue, based on the surveys of 1989 and 1992. In addition, data from the International Crime Victimization Surveys were used on total and gun-related robbery and assault (including threats). The results show strong correlations between the presence of guns in the home and suicide committed with a gun, rates of gun-related homicide that involved female victims, and gun-related assault. The profile is different for male homicides, total rates of assault, and generally, for robbery (committed with or without a gun). With the exception of robbery, most correlations were similar or stronger when all types of guns were considered, rather than handguns alone. No significant correlations with total suicide or homicide rates were found, leaving open the issue of possible substitution effects. The study concluded that guns in the home were an important risk factor in suicide with guns, as well as a threat to women, especially female partners; whereas, guns’ role in homicide of male victims and street crime (such as robbery) were much less prominent. Also, the usual focus on handguns may lead to underestimates of the role of other types of guns.

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