Friday, April 12, 12:15 - 1:30, Butler Library 210
Reducing Gun Violence: The Rhetoric and Reality of a Gun Buyback Program
There is hardly a more argumentative issue in American politics today than guns. Tens of thousands of people are injured and killed by firearms each year. Firearms are used to defend against and deter an unknown number of acts of violence; they are also used frequently for recreational purposes. For public authorities to make reasonable policies on these matters, they must take into account divergent constitutional claims and divided public opinion, as well as facts about the relationship between guns and violence.
A large body of research on firearms has addressed the consequences of firearm usage in crimes, particularly homicide. Studies suggest that firearm usage increases crime-related injury severity and mortality. It has been reported that firearms increase the likelihood of death by 40 times compared to incidents not involving any weapon. Conversely, knives increase the likelihood of death by 4 times, highlighting the particularly serious nature of firearm violence.
Adequate data and research are essential to judge both the effects of firearms on violence and the effects of different violence control policies. Those judgments are key to many important policy questions. The following presentation focuses largely on what we know about reducing guns and gun-violence, and comprehensively explores one gun violence reducing initiative -- gun buyback programs. It aims to inform policymakers about existing evidence and highlight what other strategies police departments might use to effectively address the problems of guns and gun crime.
James J. Sobol is an Associate Professor in the Criminal Justice Department at Buffalo State. He received his doctorate in criminal justice from the University at Albany, State University of New York. His research includes empirical assessments of police behavior, police attitudes, police organizations and management and violence reduction strategies. He teaches criminal justice and policing courses at the undergraduate, and master’s level.
Dr. Sobol is author to more than 20 refereed articles and reports to agencies of government. His research has appeared in prestigious peer reviewed journals such as Justice Quarterly, Crime and Delinquency, Journal of Criminal Justice and Criminal Justice Policy Review. He is also the author of Social Ecology and The Vigor of Police Response - An Empirical Study of Work Norms, Context, and Patrol Officer Behavior. Saarrucken, Germany: VDM Verlag Dr. Muller.
Dr. Sobol’s recent research relates to understanding how police organizations respond to contemporary challenges and identifying ways to improve their effectiveness. He is an active member of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, the American Society of Criminology, and the Criminal Justice Educators of New York State.