Special Topics
Guns, Crime, Justice, Public Safety, and Harm
Fall 2017

crn 30176
Temple University

R. B. Taylor

on the web at:
www/rbtaylor.net/guns_fa17_main.html
instructor main web site: www.rbtaylor.net 

Date of last update: 2/25/2017

 

Overview

This is a readings course examining research and policy about guns.

* What do we know about how they link to crime?

* What do we know about the harm caused?

* What do we know about the crime prevention benefits?

* What do we know about empirical impacts of specific policy actions addressing gun possession, carrying, purchase, or violence?

* Second Amendment issues will NOT be addressed

This course is open ONLY to graduate students in the Department of Criminal Justice at Temple University.

UPDATE BOX


SPECIAL NOTICE

Course requirements include two short, multi-part written assignments that require you going to two off campus events.

You will visit the gun expo in Oaks PA, just beyond King of Prussia, the weekend of October 6-8. You will pay $12 for admission. This will be held at the Greater PHiladelphia Expo Center, 1601 Egypt Road, Phoenixville, PA 19460

http://www.eagleshows.com/

You will attend a meeting of Delaware County United for Sensible Gun Policy, 7-9 PM, Monday October 2nd at Springfield Friends Meeting House/Peace Center of Delaware County, 1001 Old Sproul Road, Springfield PA 19064.

(If these dates are problematic, backup dates are feasible, but they create wrinkles.)

Course Learning Goals

You will master some basic facts about guns, gun violence including suicide and mass shootings, gun ownership, gun practices, gun culture, public opinion about, and gun crime prevention.

You will grow your way into appreciating three different policy perspectives on guns: the victim perspective, the public health perspective, and the economic perspective.

You will judge the effectiveness of different policy initiatives based on your understanding of specific evaluation studies.

You will be develop a deeper appreciation of the Herculean challenges of conducting empirical research on societally vital topics related to guns.

Structure of the course

This is a graduate seminar readings course. This means the following. Each week you will read part of a book and perhaps (not sure yet) an article. You will do some low stakes writing prior to each class, and upload that electronically. Your low stakes writing will probably be in the form of a thoughtful response to one of the questions posed about the week's readings. You will come to class with questions about the readings, thoughtful reactions to the readings, and a willingness to join in the joint exploration of this topic.

It is also important to see what is happening "on the ground" currently around guns. That is why you will be attending a gun expo, and a meeting of a grassroots gun policy group. Although you must attend both of these events, and although you will write just a bit before and after each event, you will write up one of these visits for a slightly longer qualitative paper. We will discuss the advisability and feasability of a division of labor approach both for these visits and for the write ups themselves.

There will be a final project. Class attendees will work with the instructor over the first three weeks or so of the class to get this into focus.

What you will be graded on - tentative

Percent Assignment
  Weekly low stakes writing
  Attend gun expo, including short pre and post writing
  Attend grass roots gun policy meeting, including short pre and post writing
  Qualitative write up
  Participation
  Final project

 

Books Read

NOTE: at this time this is a PRELIMINARY list of books. There MAY be some volumes subtracted.

Cook, P. J., & Ludwig, J. (1996). Guns in America: Results of a Comprehensive National Survey on Firearms Ownership and Use (NCJ 165448). (copy distributed)
Cook, P. J., & Ludwig, J. (2000). Gun Violence: The Real Costs. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ($38)
Hemenway, D. (2004). Private Guns, Public Health. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. ($24)
Klarevas, L. (2016). Rampage Nation: Securing America from Mass Shootings. New York: Prometheus Books. ($17)
Kleck, G. (1997). Targeting guns: Firearms and Their Control. New Brunswick, NJ: AldineTransaction. ($34)
Webster, D. W., & Vernick, J. (Eds.). (2013). Reducing Gun Violence in America Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. (Electronic Book:  HV7436 .R4152 2013eb  ; pages TBA)
Younge, G. (2016). Another Day in the Death of America: Nation Books.($17)

SEQUENCE OF TOPICS - tentative - subject to change

NOTE- there could be additional journal articles assigned for several of these weeks here. That has not been finalized yet.

Week

Topic and Readings (readings are to be done BY that week)
(Bb) means reading can be found on Blackboard site
If individual chapters or page numbers are NOT listed, that means read the entire volume.

1

OVERVIEW

READ: Kleck: Pages TBA

2 BACKGROUND &
DEFENSIVE GUN USE
READ: Cook & Ludwig, GIA; Kleck, pages TBA
3 THE VICTIM PERSPECTIVE
READ: Younge, pages TBA
4 GUNS AND SUICIDE
READ: TBA
5 MASS SHOOTINGS
READ: Klarevas, pages TBA
6 PUBLIC OPINION
READ: TBA
7 PUBLIC POLICY PERSPECTIVES I: Public Health
Read: Hemenway, pages TBA
8 Read: Hemenway, pages TBA; Webster & Vernick, pages TBA
9 Read: Webster & Vernick, pages TBA
10

PUBLIC POLICY PERSPECTIVES II: Economics
Read: Cook and Ludwig Gun Violence.

11

EVALUATION I: The Supply
Brady; the assault weapons ban

12

EVALUATION II: Licensing
Carry and Concealed Carry Permits

13

EVALUATION III: Police targeting guns
Buybacks and VUFAs and high gun time/gun crime patrolling

14

EVALUATIONS IV: Prosecution and the Courts
Gun sentencing "add ons"

 

Usage policies and legal notice for WEB pages. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials on this WEB page and linked WEB pages (not publications) at the rbtaylor.net addresses are the sole property of Ralph B. Taylor and © 1999-2016 by Ralph B. Taylor. None of the opinions expressed on any of these WEB pages represent the opinions  of Temple University or Temple University's Department of Criminal Justice. The only viewpoint presented in these and other WEB pages is that of R. B. Taylor. All these WEB pages were converted from text pages and created as WEB pages by R. B. Taylor in his spare, discretionary time and not as part of required instructional activities, but rather as potential instructional enhancements. As part of his required instructional activities, R. B. Taylor has created paper, non-hyperlinked copies of these pages, and those will be distributed to all enrolled students. Further, the preparation and storage of all these WEB pages did not and does not involve Temple University resources in any manner. All users have the right to freely access and copy these WEB pages provided that they: acknowledge the source, do not make changes on any pages, and do not charge more than copying costs for distribution.  Further, all users by accessing this WEB page or any linked WEB pages in the rbtaylor.net domain or outside of it, do hereby explicitly and unconditionally indemnify the author of each accessed WEB page, including those in the www.rbtaylor.net domain, and all other domains linked to these pages,  from any and all liabilities or claims of damage arising from any variety of defects, inaccuracies, or misrepresentations appearing therein, or arising from trauma or suffering experienced as a result of exposure to any materials taken to be offensive, insensitive, unpatriotic, ill-conceived or otherwise distasteful; or from any uses to which these materials are put.

Basics

Instructor R. B. Taylor
Time  
Office 537 Gladfelter Hall
Office Hours OFFICE HOURS TBA
Phone 215.204.7169 (v)
E-mail EMAIL: at gmail.com write to: tuclasses . PLEASE USE THIS ACCOUNT FOR ALL CORRESPONDENCE.

Current Temple University Syllabus policy also requires that a current Temple e-mail address be listed. It is ralph.taylor at the temple.edu address. BUT PLEASE DO NOT USE IT! I schedule when I look for student emails, and if you do not send it to the gmail account I am more likely to miss it. See email policy below.