Guns are big part of homicides, since early 1990s the number of murders have been steadily dropping.
Then in 2015 the number went up and continued to escalate in 2016 before falling again; is this sign of
an upward trend?
A research paper by James Alan Fox a criminologist at Northeastern University , co-authored by Emma
Friedel, PhD student in the school of Criminology and Criminal Justice, draws number of conclusions
about homicide trends, but one of the more salient ones is that between 2015-2017, when there was a
rise in homicides among romantic partners that affected both male and female victims.
The researchers found that the rate of women killing their partners have declined, this can be attributed
to several factors including the liberalisation of divorce laws, restraining orders, reduced stigma
associated with being a victim of abuse and establishment of shelters for abuse victims.
They also observed provisions including prohibiting the gun rights of people who are convicted of
domestic assault in Brady Handgun Violence Prohibition Act, as an effective measure in helping to bring
down domestic violence rates. Some states have red flag laws, though these laws have been enacted in
the wake of mass shootings there’s little evidence if they are effective on lowering homicide rates. The
authors believe there is a need to redouble our efforts in terms of preventing intimate partner homicide
especially in terms of guns because there hasn’t been any substantial gun legislation at the federal level
in 25 years, ever since the Brady Law.
The FBI data Fox and Friedel looked at reveal interesting conclusions about how men and women differ
in crime. The utility of violence is seen in different ways: Men use it offensively to establish superiority;
women tend to use it as a defence of last resort. Women don’t feel as trapped as they once had been in
a relationship, where at one point they saw the only way out was to pick up a loaded gun to shoot their