The same thing happened in the US in the early 90s. But there have been dramatic reductions in shootings in cities like Chicago through the use of clever, joined-up, integrated youth policies. However, last week's school shooting in Cleveland, Ohio, where a year-old wounded four people before turning the gun on himself, shows that the problem on both sides of the Atlantic is clearly far from resolved. It's already beginning to happen in Manchester, where youth workers are targeting kids at risk. Squires has had some experience of that city. Along with Professor Chris Lewis from Portsmouth University, he spent a year trying to understand how the firearms phenomenon develops by cross-matching data from the Greater Manchester Police and carrying out an anonymous email survey with 50 of its officers about their perceptions of the problem.
The criminologists were funded by the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council, which usually concentrates its resources on pure science. Clearly a choice is involved. And as social scientists, he and Lewis could offer no clear medical prescription. The survey of officers revealed "a whole lot of grey areas, ambiguities and disagreements", concedes Squires. He reveals that he wanted to be a policeman from the age of seven. His ambition was almost within his grasp when he left school in Weston-Super-Mare and joined the Avon and Somerset force as a cadet.
He was 16 years old - and 5ft 7in. And a half. But he was advised to do something else in the meantime. I was fully expecting to rejoin as a graduate recruit. By the time he emerged from Bristol with a degree in sociology and social policy, the Thatcher government had come to power and promptly awarded a hefty pay increase to the police.
Gun Culture or Gun Control
He never did grow that extra half-inch. By then, he had been what he calls "a barrack-room lawyer" for the Bristol Claimants' Union. Then, when he moved to London, he joined the Labour party. I remember dressing up as Father Christmas to present him with a petition about benefit cuts, wrapped up in festive paper. Mellor barged me out of the way. Squires has no regrets about having to abandon his dreams of a police career.
Gun culture or gun control : firearms, violence and society - Semantic Scholar
His interest in gun crime began in , when "there was some scepticism about the relation of this issue to British social and public policy", as he points out in the preface to one of his seven books, Gun Culture or Gun Control? A man in his 30s told me, 'I've got a gun cabinet back there, you know. Two shotguns and a.
And if anybody breaks in here, they can have some of that'. It made me think there was something going on.
In the same week I was in a WH Smith's in London and I picked up a US magazine called Guns and Ammo, which carried an article about what firearms you needed to protect yourself against intruders. He was fascinated by how attitudes to weaponry polarised on each side of the Atlantic. The British response was the ban on handguns.
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Squires highlights various "discourses" employed in gun policy discussion, including crime control, public health, and in America, the frontier legacy. Peter Squires recognizes that in developing gun policies, "academic contributions - still less sociological or criminological ones - have tended to play only a fairly marginal role.
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