In Guns We Trust: A Reexamination of the Collective Security Hypothesis

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In Guns We Trust: A Reexamination of the Collective Security Hypothesis

Category: Crime, Firearm Availability|Journal: Criminal Justice and Behavior|Author: B Smith, J Kelsay, J Papp, J Wareham|Year: 2018

This study reexamines the collective security hypothesis of gun ownership using data collected from residents of the city of Detroit, Michigan. In addition, we seek to determine whether the effects of perceptions of police, fear of crime, and victimization on individual-level gun ownership are attenuated by neighborhood levels of informal social control. Our findings indicate that police satisfaction remains a robust predictor of gun ownership, in that those who are less satisfied with police are more likely to own a firearm for defensive purposes. Moreover, the effects of this variable remain unaffected by the inclusion of informal social control. These results confirm a number of previously identified correlates of gun ownership remain influential and suggest that improving perceptions of police among the public may lead to fewer firearms in circulation among the public.

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