The article by Alcindor with the flashy title “States with More Gun Laws Have Less Gun Violence,” published in USA Today, gives information about the study conducted by Fleeger et al. Alcindor states that the research findings indicate that in the US states where more laws regarding guns are passed, there are found to be fewer cases of deaths regarding the gun violence. The author mentions the research results and represents some critique of the work. According to Alcindor, the researchers failed to take into account several crucial factors, like types of passed gun laws and gun ownership rates across the states. Thus, this work is aimed at comparing these sources and considering the usefulness of the article by Alcindor.
First of all, it is necessary to consider the relevance of the topic under study. Gun violence is a critically relevant topic that affects all segments of the population of the United States. Moreover, there are two points of view on this problem: some believe that access to weapons can provide security to unprotected groups, while others view it as a threat to the safety of life. Research states, “at least six people were killed in a shooting at a Fourth of July parade in Illinois, and more than 20 were injured in the latest outbreak of mass gun violence in the US” (Narea et al. para 1). Thus, this topic is of particular value for the study and consideration of sources that raise it.
The value of the Alcindor article, which significantly increases its credibility, becomes the provision of real data. Thus, the author also represents the exact numbers mentioned in the original work. For example, the article states that “Fleeger pointed to the states with many gun laws like Massachusetts, which had 3.4 gun-related deaths per 100,000 people, and New Jersey, which had 4.9 gun-deaths per 100,000 people” (Alcindor para. 6). Conversely, he focused on states with fewer laws like Louisiana, which had 18 deaths per 100,000 individuals and Alaska, with 17.5 deaths per 100,000 people. Therefore, it, like the article by Fleeger et al., gives a deeper awareness of the problem by showing statistics on armed violence.
Among the weaknesses of the research, Alcindor mentions that the paper did not find a cause and effect relationship between the gun laws and the number of gun-related deaths. He says that the researchers were only able to find the association between these two factors. Moreover, Alcindor mentions the opinion of Garen Wintemute, an emergency physician, who claims that “policymakers can really draw no conclusion from this study” (Alcindor 2013 par. 10). He explains it, saying that the study did not indicate which laws worked and which did not. Alcindor also adds that the motivation behind writing this research was the case of Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old teenager that was killed by George Zimmerman, who was amnestied on the basis of self-defense.
The original work, “Firearm Legislation and Firearm-Related Fatalities in the United States,” by Fleeger et al. aims to establish an association between the enforcement of gun laws in all 50 states in the US and the number of gun-related fatalities as well as suicides and homicides. While conducting the study, the researchers took into account variables such as sex, ethnicity, unemployment, race, age, education level, population density, and household firearm ownership (Fleeger et al. 733). The study was based on the reports provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System for the period from 2007 to 2010 (Fleeger et al. 733). According to research findings, over the 4-year-period, there were reported 121,084 deaths caused by firearm violence with the highest rate in Louisiana with 17.9 deaths per 100,000 people and the lowest one in Hawaii with 2.9 deaths per 100,000 people (Fleeger, et al. 2013). The research results claim that in the states where there was a higher number of firearm legislation, there was a lower overall number of gun-related fatalities for both suicides and homicides individually.
A distinctive feature of the source “Firearm Legislation and Firearm-Related Fatalities in the United State” uses an ecological and cross-sectional method to compile the provided conclusions. Moreover, unlike the article being compared, this work is based on government data on armed violence. A research paper by Alcindor attempts to prove that the more legislation there is in a state, the less gun-related crime there is. On the other hand, the article by Fleegler et al. makes it its task to prove that the country’s legislation on the problem can and protects people, but there are not enough scientific papers that would further prove the accuracy of this statement.
The similarity between these two sources is the purpose of spreading awareness about the danger of armed violence and the need to convey this problem to legislators. Therefore, Alcindor, in his article, emphasizes that Fleeger et al. determine that at the moment, there is a minimum number of research papers that would help in providing the public with knowledge about the state issue. Moreover, the author’s efforts are also aimed at provoking changes in the legislation.
The characteristic that distinguishes these two articles is the focus of the research conducted. Thus, Fleeger et al. focuses on providing statistics regarding armed violence in the United States. They review information about incidents that have occurred and show the number of victims and describe the reasons for their occurrence. Moreover, the study aims to examine the effectiveness of legislation relating to the issue of weapons and who they really protect. On the other hand, the Alcindor article focuses on the analysis of information that is provided in research conducted by Fleeger et al. The author conducts an examination of the data and conclusions of this work.
In conclusion, this work made a comparison between the articles of Flieger et al. and Alcindor. Both sources focus on military violence and its negative impact on society. Moreover, they both emphasize the need to spread awareness about the problem in society and change the legislative framework of the United States. In addition, Alcindor states that the study by Flieger et al. did not aim to find out the cause and effect relationship between the laws concerning armed violence and the number of deaths from them. Moreover, according to the researchers, the paper was not concerned with whether a higher number of gun laws led to lower rates of deaths but whether those laws really protected the citizens. Thus, it can be concluded that the article by Alcindor can be considered complete and correct since it is based on previously provided data on a social problem.
Alcindor, Yamiche. “Study: States with More Gun Laws Have Less Gun Violence.” USA Today, Web.
Fleeger, Eric W., et al. “Firearm Legislation and Firearm-Related Fatalities in the United States.” JAMA Internal Medicine, vol. 173, no. 9, 2013, pp. 732-740, Web.
Narea, Nicole, et al. “America’s Unique, Enduring Gun Problem, Explained.” Vox, Web.