Sociology of Guns Module 9: Criminal Homicide and Injury

I include the modifier “criminal” here, because descriptively homicide means causing the death of another person. This would include legally justifiable killing (e.g., in self-defense). Some who study “gun violence” actually do not distinguish between justifiable homicide and criminal homicide, but I think that is an important starting point.

It is also important to recognize that the majority of people who are criminal gunshot victims survive. Hence the gun trainer adage that “aggravated assault is just a failed homicide.”

The guiding idea of this module (as with the previous module on suicide and accidental gun injury) is that these negative outcomes with firearms are not randomly distributed through the population. Understanding the people and places where they cluster is essential to a sociological perspective on the issue.

Because this is the primary area of research on guns in the academy today, the recommended reading list is massive for this module.

Network of high-risk individuals from “Social Networks and the Risk of Gunshot Injury” by Papachristos, Braga, and Hureau (2012)

Required readings for Module 9 are:

Recommended readings for Module 9 are:

I don’t take the recommended readings to be comprehensive or complete. Suggestions are welcome.

5 thoughts on “Sociology of Guns Module 9: Criminal Homicide and Injury

  1. Pingback: Collected Posts on Sociology of Guns Seminar | Gun Curious


    Great 2015 paper out of Washington State using hospitalization data to track likelihood of future arrest and firearm / violent crime injury in those hospitalized with a gunshot injury. IIRC it expands on a similar, more limited, ER study of just King County from several years prior. The data sets break out firearm and non-firearm violent injuries and offenses and are fascinating.

    Makes clear the concentration of the players, and that they alternate roles as predator and victim.

    Might be particularly interesting for any pre-med minded students.


  3. To expand on that, Seattle has had a study group doing good work on tracking at-risk (primarily) youths that has produced some good information.

    I think they lean far too heavily on the “object as cause” part of social contagion theory, as looking at sub-cultures of violence inevitably starts raising questions in terms of preferred, and almost sacrosanct at this point, public policy decisions, but overall the data is useful.


  4. Pingback: Collected Posts on Sociology of Guns Seminar | Gun Curious

  5. Pingback: Sociology of Guns, Version 7.0 (Fall 2021) | Gun Curious

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.