COLLECTIVE SECURITY AND THE OWNERSHIP OF FIREARMS FOR PROTECTION

Authors


  • Robert L. Young is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Southern Mississippi. His current research interest is in the general area of public perceptions of and reactions to crime.

  • David McDowall is Associate Professor in the School of Criminal Justice, State University of New York at Albany. He is currently studying issues related to the social distribution of criminal violence.

  • Colin Loftin is Professor in the Institute of Criminal Justice and Criminology at the University of Maryland at Collge Park. His major research interests are violent criminal behavior and collective responses to crime.

Abstract

This paper examines the hypothesis that people purchase firearms for protection when confidence in collective institutions of justice and security declines. Analysis of survey data from Detroit indicates that gun ownership for protection is inversely related to confidence in the police and in the courts, and that these relationships are independent of demographic and socioeconomic variables and fear of crime.

Ancillary