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Book part
Publication date: 23 November 2012

Douglas Kellner

Purpose – This chapter examines the role of the media, guns, and violence in the social construction of masculinity in today's mediatized American culture.Methodology …

Abstract

Purpose – This chapter examines the role of the media, guns, and violence in the social construction of masculinity in today's mediatized American culture.

Methodology – The chapter draws on critical theory and cultural studies to address crises of masculinity and school shootings. It applies and further develops Guy Debord's (1970) theory on spectacle in the contexts of contemporary violent media spectacles.

Findings – In the chapter it is argued that school shooters, and other indiscriminate gun killers, share male rage and attempts to resolve crises of masculinity through violent behavior; exhibit a fetishism of guns or weapons; and resolve their crises through violence orchestrated as a media spectacle. This demands growing awareness of mediatization of American gun culture, and calls for a need for more developed understanding of media pedagogy as a means to create cultural skills of media literacy, as well as arguing for more rational gun control and mental health care.

Originality/value of paper – The chapter contributes to the contemporary debate on mediatization of violence by discussing it within critical theory and cultural studies. The theoretical framework is applied to analysis of a range of different empirical cases ranging from school shootings to the Colorado movie theater massacre at the first night of the latest Batman movie in the summer of 2012.

Details

School Shootings: Mediatized Violence in a Global Age
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-919-6

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Article
Publication date: 16 August 2013

Christopher S. Koper, Daniel J. Woods and Bruce E. Kubu

The purpose of the study is to examine gun violence prevention practices among urban police in the USA, assessing their scope, effectiveness, limitations, and impacts.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the study is to examine gun violence prevention practices among urban police in the USA, assessing their scope, effectiveness, limitations, and impacts.

Design/methodology/approach

A national survey was conducted with police agencies serving cities of 100,000 or more people.

Findings

Strategies used most frequently and rated as most effective include targeted efforts focussed on high‐risk places and groups, as well as multi‐agency problem‐solving efforts, particularly those involving federal authorities. However, most agencies make limited use of proactive strategies to reduce gun crime, and there are substantial gaps in the enforcement of many gun laws. Results also suggest that gun crime is lower in places where police engage in more intensive gun‐related enforcement and prevention efforts.

Research limitations/implications

The survey focussed only on large US cities. Implementation of the strategies could not be examined in detail, and assessments of the effectiveness of strategies reflect the views of practitioners. There is a need for more in‐depth research on gun‐related enforcement and prevention practices, their effectiveness, and the organizational and environmental factors that facilitate or hinder them.

Practical implications

The study highlights strategies that should be given priority consideration in policy decisions. The findings also suggest that police efforts to address gun crime can be enhanced considerably – and that doing so may produce demonstrable reductions in gun crime. Further examination of policy changes necessary to facilitate these efforts is warranted.

Originality/value

This study represents the first national survey of gun violence reduction efforts by police in the USA.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 36 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Article
Publication date: 8 April 2019

Gianni Pirelli and Liza Gold

Firearm-involved violence and suicide in the USA, often collectively referred to as “gun violence,” has been labeled a public health problem and an epidemic, and even an…

Abstract

Purpose

Firearm-involved violence and suicide in the USA, often collectively referred to as “gun violence,” has been labeled a public health problem and an epidemic, and even an endemic by some. Many lawmakers, community groups, mainstream media outlets and professional organizations regularly address gun-related issues and frequently associate firearm violence with mental health. As a result, these groups often set forth positions, engage in discussions and promote policies that are at least partially based on the widely held but incorrect assumption that medical and mental health professionals are either inherently equipped or professionally trained to intervene with their patients and reduce gun deaths. The paper aims to discuss this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

Furthermore, notable proportions of medical and mental health professionals self-report a level of comfort engaging in firearm-specific interventions that is often disproportionate to their actual education and training in the area. This type of overconfidence bias has been referred to as the Lake Wobegon Effect, illusory superiority, the above average effect, the better-than average effect or the false uniqueness bias. While medical and mental health professionals need to serve on the front line of firearm-involved violence and suicide prevention initiatives, the vast majority have not actually received systematic, formal training on firearm-specific issues.

Findings

Therefore, many lack the professional and cultural competence to meet current and potential future in regard to addressing gun violence. In this paper, the authors discuss empirical studies that illustrate this reality and a novel model (i.e. the Know, Ask, Do framework) that medical and mental health professionals can use when firearm-related issues arise. In addition, the authors set forth considerations for clinicians to develop and maintain their professional and cultural competence related to firearms and firearm-related subcultures.

Originality/value

This paper provides empirical and conceptual support for medical and mental health programs to develop formal education and training related to guns, gun safety and gun culture. A framework is provided that can also assist medical and mental health professionals to develop and maintain their own professional and cultural competence.

Details

Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-6599

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Book part
Publication date: 30 March 2016

Jennifer Carlson

Drawing on interviews with men and women gun carriers, this paper considers the intersection of femininity and guns. It argues that two sets of expectations shape the…

Abstract

Drawing on interviews with men and women gun carriers, this paper considers the intersection of femininity and guns. It argues that two sets of expectations shape the normative relationship between women and guns: First, armed women are a blind spot in feminist discourse, which tends to reproduce the “pacifist presumption” that women are nonviolent caretakers and peacemakers. Second, contemporary pro-gun discourse often bases women’s gun carry within their duties and obligations as mothers in a form of “martial maternalism.” Inflected with a post-feminist appropriation of rights and equality, this pro-gun discourse reproduces gender binaries through a discourse of gender inclusivity. Following previous analyses that emphasize the contradictory politics of gender in conservative spaces, my analysis emphasizes how the gendered politics of guns is sustained by multiple, though not necessarily shared, understandings of women’s guns by men and women within American gun culture.

Details

Perverse Politics? Feminism, Anti-Imperialism, Multiplicity
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-074-9

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Book part
Publication date: 11 August 2014

Terrence H. Witkowski

This chapter fosters understanding of core U.S. gun culture and how it promotes its political ideology through visual means.

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter fosters understanding of core U.S. gun culture and how it promotes its political ideology through visual means.

Methodology

The research applies key visual theory concepts to investigate a selection of political representations made by gun rights advocates. The images analyzed include photographs, posters, and other ephemera posted on blogs and commercial websites located through informed keyword searches of Google Images.

Findings

Core gun culture in the U.S. aggressively promotes its libertarian and right-wing ideology through tactics of interpellation, intertextuality, and exhibitionism, often in tandem with humor, sarcasm, paranoia, and sex appeals.

Research limitations/implications

Although the findings are preliminary, visual theories and methodologies present a promising direction for further consumer research on American gun culture.

Social implications

U.S. gun culture produces levels of gun violence that far exceed those in other developed countries. Knowledge of how the core gun culture represents itself visually may deliver insights for mitigating this social problem.

Originality

Relatively little consumer culture research has addressed U.S. gun culture and visual theories have not been fully deployed.

Details

Consumer Culture Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-811-2

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Article
Publication date: 25 May 2012

William Wells, Yan Zhang and Jihong Zhao

This paper aims to estimate the effects of gun possession arrests made by a specialized, proactive police patrol unit in the Houston Police Department (HPD).

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to estimate the effects of gun possession arrests made by a specialized, proactive police patrol unit in the Houston Police Department (HPD).

Design/methodology/approach

Time series analyses are used to estimate the effects of weekly gun possession arrests on weekly counts of gun crimes in Houston, TX. Models isolate the effects of arrests made by the proactive patrol unit from gun possession arrests made by other HPD officers.

Findings

Citywide and beat‐level analyses show that the proactive unit made meaningful contributions to existing levels of illegal possession arrests. Time series analyses using weekly data show that these additional arrests are associated with significant declines in offences committed with guns. Findings support existing evidence that shows police can affect serious crimes by targeting firearms that are illegally possessed and carried.

Research limitations/implications

The analysis can not precisely determine whether additional patrol presence or arrests are the precise mechanisms that might be influencing gun crimes.

Practical implications

The findings are consistent with existing evidence and suggest that focused police work to seize illegally possessed firearms from the streets and arrest those in illegal possession of firearms will impact offences committed with firearms.

Originality/value

The analysis extends existing work that tests the effects of proactive patrol activities on offences committed with firearms. The analysis is distinct from existing research on this topic because it estimates the effects of gun possession arrests rather than the effects of gun seizures.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 35 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Article
Publication date: 15 August 2016

Charles Crawford and Ronald Burns

Recent highly publicized acts of violence and shootings on school campuses have prompted numerous crime prevention responses. The purpose of this paper is to assess the…

Abstract

Purpose

Recent highly publicized acts of violence and shootings on school campuses have prompted numerous crime prevention responses. The purpose of this paper is to assess the impact of protective measures such as law enforcement, security policies, and school/neighborhood characteristics on school violence within the context of the racial composition of the school and grade level.

Design/methodology/approach

The data used in this study were part of the School Survey on Crime and Safety collected in 2006. The dependent measures of school violence include reports of serious violence, physical attacks/fights, gun or knife possession, and threats and attacks with a weapon. The sample was divided by racial composition of the school (predominately white, and predominately minority schools) and by grade level (high schools, and all other grades). A negative binomial regression was conducted due the count-based dependent variables.

Findings

Findings revealed that minority schools often face higher levels of reported violence and had a heavier law enforcement presence, which often had mixed or counterproductive results for reducing school violence. School characteristics, such as reports of bullying, location, gang activity, and security measures yielded numerous statistically significant results.

Research limitations/implications

Officials proposing school violence prevention efforts should strongly consider the importance of school and community characteristics, most notably grade level, and the unique context of a predominately white or minority school as there were different statistically significant results. Furthermore, officials should be cautious about relying on simple efforts such as more security personnel to address school violence. Violence and crime on school grounds should not be viewed as being isolated from violence and other forms of crime in the community. Policy recommendations and suggestions for future research are provided.

Originality/value

This study differs from much of the previous literature, which typically examines student and administrator attitudes about victimization and crime prevention. The current study examines detailed information on the effects of school violence prevention efforts and moves beyond most other works as it considers school safety approaches within the context of racial composition of the school and by different grade levels.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 39 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Article
Publication date: 18 November 2019

A. Suzie Henning and Shelly Shaffer

The purpose of this paper is to describe a protocol for developing students into social actors using young adult (YA) literature in social studies. The world-changing…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe a protocol for developing students into social actors using young adult (YA) literature in social studies. The world-changing through social action protocol (WSAP) utilizes five recursive steps (P2TripleS): problem posing, problem history, systems thinking, solutions thinking and social action. WSAP is designed to provide secondary social studies teachers with tools to create thematic units, activities and discussions about difficult current issues, such as school violence, bullying, death, or suicide. The purpose of WSAP is to help teachers incorporate strategies to encourage civic action for social justice.

Design/methodology/approach

In this paper, WSAP is applied to the YA novel Violent Ends (Hutchinson et al., 2015), which describes a school shooting and its effects from multiple perspectives.

Findings

This paper discusses the use of the theoretical framework, WSAP and its five recursive steps (P2TripleS). The protocol developed is a helpful tool for teachers to integrate ELA and Social Studies curriculum in a student-centered, project-based environment while addressing the C3 and Common Core State Standards. The protocol is applied to the YA novel, Violent Ends (Hutchinson et al., 2015) and includes questions and strategies that guide teachers and students to critically think about democratic action and gun violence.

Practical implications

The specific steps of the WSAP protocol will be demonstrated with Violent Ends, providing example activities from this book for practitioners.

Originality/value

This paper is the first to apply the WSAP with a YA text.

Details

Social Studies Research and Practice, vol. 14 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1933-5415

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Article
Publication date: 5 October 2019

Sevil Sönmez and Asli D.A. Tasci

Despite ample attention to perceived risk and its consequences on tourist behavior, characteristics of travelers who are anti-gun or pro-gun have received little attention…

Abstract

Purpose

Despite ample attention to perceived risk and its consequences on tourist behavior, characteristics of travelers who are anti-gun or pro-gun have received little attention in tourism literature. This study aims to investigate anti-gun and pro-gun attitudes and their correlates for Florida, a state with relatively relaxed gun laws as well as significant tourism activity.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualtrics survey design tools were used to design a structured questionnaire, which was then administered to a random sample of registered survey takers on MTurk. A total of 1,692 cases were analyzed with SPSS Version 24.0.

Findings

Results revealed that gender, education level, ethnicity, visitor experience, and personality traits of emotion-based decision-making and risk-seeking influence travelers’ tendency for anti-gun or pro-gun attitudes toward Florida as a destination. In turn, these attitudes were found to be related to perception of risks in Florida, its perceived safety and desirability as a travel destination and visitor satisfaction and likelihood of repeat visitation.

Originality/value

Leniency in gun laws has been a concern for the safety in the USA for local residents and tourists alike; however, there is a lack of attention on the characteristics of anti-gun and pro-gun individuals and their likely behavior related to a tourist destination with relaxed gun laws. Thus, the current study investigated who are likely to be anti-gun or pro-gun and what are their likely behaviors towards such a destination, Florida in the USA. The current study initiates this dialogue to explore uncharted territory in tourism research.

Details

Tourism Review, vol. 75 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1660-5373

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Article
Publication date: 8 January 2018

Gianni Pirelli and Philip Witt

Although cultural competence is gaining increased attention among mental health practitioners, such primarily has centered on race, religion, ethnicity, language, and

Abstract

Purpose

Although cultural competence is gaining increased attention among mental health practitioners, such primarily has centered on race, religion, ethnicity, language, and nationality. Thus far, there has been relatively little recognition of specific socialized subcultures aside from the aforementioned groups, and virtually no discussion regarding those associated with various firearm-related subcultures. This topic is particularly relevant to mental health practitioners, as positions on firearm use and ownership frequently split across political party lines, and mental health professionals and academics are more likely to espouse liberal rather than conservative views. It follows that practitioners may understand little about firearms culture and, therefore, are at increased risk for biased decision making when working with clients for whom firearms have relevance. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper takes a conceptual approach to reviewing potential areas of bias in both clinical and clinical-forensic practice in the US context.

Findings

The authors detail the prevalence of firearm-related issues in the USA, contextualize firearm-related issues in forensic treatment and evaluation scenarios, delineate a number of firearm subgroups, and recommend considerations for mental health professionals to develop cultural competence as it relates to firearms and associated subcultures.

Originality/value

This is an original conceptual study of cultural competence and various firearm-related subcultures.

Details

Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-6599

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