That’s life innit’: A British perspective on guns, crime and social order

GVPedia Study Database

That’s life innit’: A British perspective on guns, crime and social order

Category: Firearm Policies, Homicide, International|Journal: Criminology & Criminal Justice (full text)|Author: D Silverstone, S Hallsworth|Year: 2009

Recent years have witnessed an escalation in the number of young men involved in lethal gun-related violence in the UK. Within the last two years these have resulted in over 80 deaths. Lacking any overarching explanation some have attributed such violence to a burgeoning `gun culture’, others to the (alleged) arrival of American style gangs onto the streets of the UK. This article rejects these explanations as inadequate on the basis that the problem of gun-related violence cannot be reduced to the problem of gangs, while terms such as `gun culture’ and `gang culture’ are too general to explain the differing contexts of gun use. The article makes the case that to understand contemporary gun use we need to locate it within an examination of the life world of gun users. There are, we suggest, two we need to consider. First, the patterned world of `successful’ violent career criminals, and second, a far more volatile street-based world termed by the violent young men who inhabit it as `on road’.

Share