Articles on gun violence

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Law enforcement officers move in to verify the identity of people in a field outside the Fort Lauderdale airport after a mass shooting. Andrew Innerarity/Reuters

Is mass murder becoming a form of protest?

New ways of expressing discontent are constantly emerging. Could mass shootings join what sociologist Charles Tilly has dubbed the 'repertoire of contention'?
Armed men protecting their livestock from rivals in a dry northern Kenya region which borders South Sudan and Uganda. Reuters/Goran Tomasevic

With proliferation of small arms, absence of war does not equal peace

Ending a war is not enough. The challenge for post-conflict situations in Africa is to escape the inter-war lawlessness maintained and reproduced by groups that have access to arms.
Donald Trump addresses members of the National Rifle Association. REUTERS/John Sommers II

Guns in Donald Trump’s America

The candidate endorsed by the NRA this year wasn't always so pro-gun. A sociologist and physician explains how Trump's position on guns could play out if he were to win in November.
Jose Louis Morales sits and prays under his brother Edward Sotomayor Jr.‘s cross for victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

How victims of terror are remembered distorts perceptions of safety

Are Americans at increasing risk of being killed in a terrorist attack? A sociologist explains how the way we remember the dead may make it feel that way.
Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius arrives at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, South Africa, for his sentencing. Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

Oscar Pistorius sentence: you might not like it, but it is the law

Under South African law, murder carries a minimum sentence of 15 years for first-time offenders. But courts may deviate from this if they find ‘substantial and compelling circumstances’ to do so.
Gun control activists rally in front of the White House in Washington DC, earlier this year. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Gun control in America by the right (and wrong) numbers

All sides in the debate on gun control in the United States are quick to point to numbers they say back their arguments. But are they playing fair with those figures?
Legal or illegal, the US is awash in guns. Reuters

How dangerous people get their guns

Though the perpetrators of the mass shooting in California appear to have acquired their guns legally, the vast majority used in violent crimes are obtained illegally.
A killer’s use of TEC-9 assault pistols convinced Californians to repeal immunity for gunmakers. Then Congress overruled them. Reuters

It’s time to repeal the gun industry’s exceptional legal immunity

Finding solutions for what happened in San Bernardino is a challenge, but ensuring gunmakers behave responsibly should be one piece of the puzzle.
A man walks among crosses outside Pretoria, South Africa, representing farmers killed in violent attacks. Reuters/Juda Ngwenya

Illegal guns fuel violent crime, wreak deadly havoc in South Africa

South Africa's homicide rates have declined consistently since democracy, but remain among the highest in the world. They are about four times the global average at more than 30 per 100,000 people.
American journalists Alison Parker and Adam Ward were shot dead live on air, allegedly by a former colleague. EPA/WDBJ7

Virginia TV shootings: murder as a media event

If someone wants to create panic with a gun and a smartphone, they can. If journalists want to protect the public from disturbing images, they can't.
A screen shot of on-air shooting video before CNN decided to fade to black. CNN

The Virginia on-air shootings: all too real

Mainstream media and social media go different ways on the ethical questions raised by the airing of video showing on-camera shooting of journalists.
In this photo James Holmes and his defense attorney Daniel King sit in court for an advisement hearing at the Arapahoe County Justice Center, June 4 2013. Andy Cross/Pool/Reuters

James Holmes trial puts sanity on the stand

Jurors will likely be presented with conflicting notions of sanity and insanity. And they will be forced to confront widely held cultural assumptions about mental illness and violence.

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