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.Continue reading