It is a common notion that the type of weapon available becomes ineffective if the person is determined to kill the other person. However, to what extent is this true? Does the type of weapon matters the least?
Anthony Braga, a professor of Criminal Justice, and a group of researchers at the Northeastern University provide an analysis of the effect of the calibre of the firearm on the likelihood of death. They took a sample of 367 shooting cases for five years and divided it into groups based on the calibre of guns used. They ran multiple tests to find the relationship between lethal and non-lethal cases across different variables. While most of the variables were insignificant, calibre, location, and the number of injuries had a significant implication.
It might be possible that calibre is directly related to the intent of the people, that is, people who are resolute to kill will buy high calibre weapons. Intention can be associated with variables such as the number of shots fired, number of wounds, and whether the bullet hit a vital organ such as the heart or brain. However, the study didn’t find any important relationship between these variables and the calibre. Therefore, the intent was the same across all the groups.
A study of the effect of calibre on odds of death reveals that the likelihood of death gets more than doubled when fired with a medium-calibre gun and becomes five-fold in case of high-calibre guns. It means that the non-availability of medium and high calibre guns can bring down the homicide toll by approximately 40 per cent.
Firepower and gun calibre cannot be dismissed as a factor in shooting fatalities. Although no force can indeed suppress a strong will, the type and power of guns also matter. So, gun control measures can help prevent homicides.