Investigating the Effects of Gun Control Measures on the Level of Violence Crimes in the US
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AbstractGun violence is considered a national public health issue of concern that exacts a significant toll on American society. Each day, a total of 105 lives are lost, and approximately 2300 people receive treatment for gun-related violence in the US. Gun-related injuries are quite lethal and account for about 7.1 percent of premature deaths in the US. Besides the significant number of killings and injuries associated with gun violence, many families in the US must deal with the severe consequences of gun violence. Following the severe impacts of private gun ownership, the US established regulations to reduce cases of gun violence. However, it is yet to be established whether these gun control measures have any impact on violent crimes in the US. The main objective of this research paper was to uncover the effects of gun control measures on the level of violent crimes in the US. A literature-based design was adopted for this study. A meta-analysis and complete systematic literature review were undertaken to define how gun control measures have impacted the level of violent crimes in the US. Findings revealed that studies that examined the trend of the cases of violent crimes showed increasing trends even after years when most gun control legislation was enacted. However, for studies that compared the cases of violent crimes between nations with strict and non-strict laws, findings established that countries with stricter gun control rules had fewer cases of violent crimes. Thus, it has been concluded that stricter gun control measures effectively reduce the levels of violent crimes in the US.
Keywords: Gun Violence, Gun-related Injuries, Gun Control Measures, Violence Crimes, Stricter Gun Control Measures
Table of Contents
TOC o “1-3” h z u Abstract PAGEREF _Toc119523423 h 21.INTRODUCTION PAGEREF _Toc119523424 h 51.1 Background of Study PAGEREF _Toc119523425 h 51.2 Statement of Problem PAGEREF _Toc119523426 h 61.3 Purpose of Study PAGEREF _Toc119523427 h 61.4 Research Aims and Objectives PAGEREF _Toc119523428 h 61.5 Research Question PAGEREF _Toc119523429 h 62. LITERATURE REVIEW PAGEREF _Toc119523430 h 62.1 Introduction PAGEREF _Toc119523431 h 62.2 Types of Gun Violence PAGEREF _Toc119523432 h 62.2.1 Homicide PAGEREF _Toc119523433 h 62.2.3 Unintentional Death and Injury PAGEREF _Toc119523434 h 72.2.3 Violent Crime PAGEREF _Toc119523435 h 72.2.4 Attempted Suicide and Suicide PAGEREF _Toc119523436 h 72.2.6 Mass Shootings PAGEREF _Toc119523437 h 82.3 Epidemiology of Firearm Injury PAGEREF _Toc119523438 h 82.4 Gun Control Legislations in the US PAGEREF _Toc119523439 h 102.4.1 National Firearms Act (NFA) (1934) PAGEREF _Toc119523440 h 102.4.2 Federal Firearms Act (FFA) (1938) PAGEREF _Toc119523441 h 102.4.2 Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 PAGEREF _Toc119523442 h 102.4.4 Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986 PAGEREF _Toc119523443 h 112.4.5 Undetectable Firearms Act of 1988 PAGEREF _Toc119523444 h 112.4.6 Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990 PAGEREF _Toc119523445 h 112.4.7 Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993 PAGEREF _Toc119523446 h 112.4.8 Federal Assault Weapons Ban (1994–2004) PAGEREF _Toc119523447 h 112.4.9 Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004 PAGEREF _Toc119523448 h 112.4.10 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act of 2005 PAGEREF _Toc119523449 h 112.4.11 Bipartisan Safer Communities Act of 2022 PAGEREF _Toc119523450 h 123.METHODOLOGY PAGEREF _Toc119523451 h 123.1 Introduction PAGEREF _Toc119523452 h 123.2 Research Philosophy PAGEREF _Toc119523453 h 123.3 Research Design PAGEREF _Toc119523454 h 123.4 Search Strategy and Selection Criteria PAGEREF _Toc119523455 h 123.5 Inclusion Criteria PAGEREF _Toc119523456 h 133.6 Exclusion Criteria PAGEREF _Toc119523457 h 134.RESEARCH FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION PAGEREF _Toc119523458 h 134.1 Introduction PAGEREF _Toc119523459 h 134.2 Presentation of Findings PAGEREF _Toc119523460 h 145.CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS PAGEREF _Toc119523461 h 155.1 Summary and Conclusion PAGEREF _Toc119523462 h 155.2 Limitations of Study PAGEREF _Toc119523463 h 165.3 Recommendations PAGEREF _Toc119523464 h 17
INTRODUCTIONBackground of the StudyPrivate gun ownership in America is much higher than that of other Western nations. Supporting this statement, Gresham and Demuth (2020) urge that in contrast to other Western countries, where the average gun ownership is about 25 guns per 100 citizens, the US has about 93 guns per 100 citizens. Jehan et al. (2018) further add that the US is ranked position one in the list of nations with the most privately owned guns. The increased prevalence of private gun ownership in the US has led to increased gun violence in America. Examples of gun violence include violent crime, suicide, homicide, attempted suicide, and unintentional injury or death (Sheats et al., 2022). Gun violence is considered a national public health issue of concern that puts a significant toll on American society (Goldstein et al., 2019). Each day, a total of 105 lives are lost, and approximately 2300 people receive treatment for gun-related violence in the US (AAFP, 2022).
Most Americans die or get gun-related injuries in self-directed violence, interpersonal violence, unintended injuries, legal interventions, and acts where the intent cannot be established (Fowler et al., 2015). Also, gun violence is considered the main cause of premature death in the United States (Jehan et al., 2018). On the same note, Fowler et al. (2015) urge that gun-related injuries are quite lethal and account for about 7.1 percent of premature deaths in the US. Resnick et al. (2017) further claim that the effect of gun-related injuries on human life in the US is staggering. Over 85,000 gun-related injuries occurred in the US in 2015, and in 2016 over 38,000 deaths were reported (AAFP, 2022). Avraham et al. (2018) revealed that between 2003 and 2012, more than 131,000 people in the US lost their lives due to gun-related injuries. This outnumbered the combat deaths in any of the country’s wars and equaled about half of all the deaths that occurred in all the past US battlefields. Fowler et al. (2015) urge that although the increased killings and injuries associated with gun violence in the US reflect the human toll of gun violence, most of these cases do not make headlines.
Besides the significant number of killings and injuries associated with gun violence, many families in the US must deal with the severe consequences of gun violence. For instance, AAFP (2022) reports that even though figures differ, it is widely accepted that the yearly cost of gun violence to the US economy in terms of medical costs, lost income, daily care/support, and criminal justice costs is around $229 billion. On the same note, Jehan et al. (2015) urge that the economic burden linked with gun violence exceeds $100 billion yearly. The authors added that injuries resulting from gun violence significantly burden the United States health system, amounting to roughly $2.3 billion per year (Jehan et al., 2018). Also, gun-related injuries result in increased mortality and morbidity in the US, fueling public and political health discourse and consuming resources (Avraham et al., 2018).
Following the severe impacts of private gun ownership, the US established regulations to reduce cases of gun violence. On July 30, 1619, the European settlers residing in North America formed the first formal legislative body, which was convened in the Virginia colony. The body’s first General Assembly met in Jamestown, where it pondered for 5 days and established several measures that would be used to govern the feathering colony. One of these enactments was gun control legislation that stipulated that no one should give or sell any powder, piece, shot, or any other arms, either defensive or offensive, to any Indians. If anyone was held a traitor to the colony, they would be hanged immediately after the truth was established without redemption (Spitzer, 2017). The first established gun control law was ineffective, and the number of deaths and injury cases increased. The increasing number of deaths and injuries related to gun violence and the increased cost of firearms-related injuries have led to a strong drive for stricter firearms legislation. The Second Amendment to the US Constitution, which is a part of the Bill of Rights, was passed in 1791 and protected individual rights to own and bear arms. Since then, there has been discussion about the ownership of firearms because of worries about public safety. After the Second Amendment of the US constitution, several other gun control measures have been put in place to reduce gun violence. However, it is yet to be established whether these gun control measures have any impact on violent crimes in the US. Thus, this research paper aims to uncover the effects of gun control measures on the level of violent crimes in the US.
Statement of ProblemWhen all firearm injuries are taken into account, more than 100,000 Americans are injured or killed every year because of firearms, and nonfatal firearm injuries have grown over the past ten years from 22.1 to 26.7 per 100,000 people (Resnick et al., 2017). These injuries place a heavy financial burden on the US healthcare system and the medical community. For instance, the initial hospitalization cost for patients injured by weapons in America is $734.6 million annually; this amount rises to many billions when long-term medical treatment and lost wages are taken into account (Resnick et al., 2017). Resnick et al. (2017) urge that the controversial and politicized topic of gun control legislation has been understudied, especially regarding American gun violence. The authors further add that the scientific evidence related to gun legislation’s effectiveness is scant. This study aims to fill this research gap by exploring the effects of gun control measures on the level of violent crimes in the US. Depending on whether or not there has been a decline in the number of violent crimes following the various gun measures, it will be possible to tell if these measures have been effective or not.
Purpose of the StudyThe primary goal of this study was to explore the effect of gun control measures on the level of violent crimes in the US. Uncovering the effect gun laws have had on the level of violent crimes will help determine whether or not gun control legislation in the US has been effective.
Research Aims and ObjectivesResnick et al. (2017) urge the scientific evidence that relates to the effectiveness of gun legislation is limited. As such, it is not possible to tell whether or not gun control legislations are effective or not. The main objective of this research was to establish whether gun control measures have led to reduced levels of violent crimes in the US.
Research QuestionThe research question guiding this study is as follows.
What is the effect of gun control measures on the level of violent crimes in the US?
LITERATURE REVIEW2.1 IntroductionThis chapter covers the review of the existing literature related to the topic under investigation to give a more comprehensive understanding of the topic under study. The literature review section is divided into various subsections, including the various types of gun violence, the epidemiology of firearm injury, and types of gun control laws.
2.2 Types of Gun Violence2.2.1 HomicideHomicide as a type of gun violence refers to the killing of an individual by another individual with the intention to cause serious injury or death by the use of a firearm (WHO, 2019). However, WHO (2019) reveals that homicide excludes death resulting from war operations and legal intervention. In 2020, 79% of all killings in the US involved a firearm, the greatest percentage in recorded history (Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions, 2022). The availability and lethality of guns cause the high homicide rate in the country. According to the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions 2022 report, the high-income nations with fewer firearms and stricter gun restrictions have violent assault rates equivalent to those in the United States. However, the U.S. has a firearm homicide rate that is 25 times greater than those in other high-income nations. From 2019 to 202, the US saw a 35% increase in firearm homicides, and the increase was driven mainly by increased accessibility to guns. During this time, communities that were disproportionately affected by systemic inequality, poverty, and structural racism suffered the greatest loss of life as firearm homicide increased (Kuehn, 2022). Usually, firearm homicide is the leading cause of death among Hispanics and non-Hispanic blacks (AAFP, 2022). Research also reveals that most of the victims of firearm homicide are men (AAFP, 2022).
2.2.3 Unintentional Death and InjuryUnintentional injury or death is a term used to describe a situation where death or injury was not caused purposely (EFSGV, 2022). Unintentional injury or death can be inflicted by someone else or self-inflicted. Sometimes unintentional injury and death are terms of accidents implying that nothing could have been done to prevent their occurrence (EFSGV, 2022). Contrary, AAFP (2022) urges that unintentional firearm deaths and injuries are highly preventable. Most of the victims of unintentional death or injury are men. In 2019, 90% of the unintentional gun death and injury victims were men (EFSGV, 2022). In 2019, about 486 Americans lost their lives due to unintentional gun injuries, accounting for 1.2% of the total firearm deaths in the country (EFSGV, 2022). Similar to other types of gun violence, unintentional gun injuries and deaths are most likely to take place in the US compared to other developed nations. Specifically, Americans have four times higher chances of dying from unintentional gun injuries than other developed nations (Hemenway & Solnick, 2015). Research further reveals that half of the unintentional firearm death victims are aged below 35 years (EFSGV, 2022). Usually, children are at a higher risk of unintentional gun injuries and deaths compared to children in other developed nations (Hemenway & Solnick, 2015). There has been, however, a decline in the cases of unintentional firearm injuries and deaths in the US across all ages from 20000 to 2012 (Solnick & Hemenway, 2019).
2.2.3 Violent Crime
Violent crimes entail individuals being harmed or threatened with violence using a firearm. Firearm violent crimes include robbery, assault, and rape and sexual assault. Physical assault entails making a physical attack using a firearm. On the other hand, firearm robbery entails taking property from a place or a person by threat of a firearm. Furthermore, firearm sexual assault entails an individual intentionally penetrating another person’s anus, vagina, or moth with a penis with their consent by the threat of a firearm.
2.2.4 Attempted Suicide and SuicideFirearm suicide is among the main causes of death for Americans. In 2014, approximately 21,000 suicides in the US involved a gun (Mann & Michel, 2016). In 2018, firearm suicides were the third main cause of death in the US among individuals aged 65 years and above (Price & Khubchandani, 2021). According to the authors, it is anticipated that the number of people aged 65 years and above who will die from firearm suicide will increase from 16% in 2018 to 23% in 2060. Price and Khubchandani (2021) warn that unless unique efforts are put in to reverse the current trends, it is expected that a significant increase in the number of elderly firearm suicides will be witnessed as the population increases.
2.2.6 Mass ShootingsMass shooting has been defined in different ways in the literature. Following the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Newtown, the US Congress defined a mass shooting as killing at least three people in a single incident (AAFP, 2022). However, this definition did not cover the number of perpetrators, the weapon used, or the place of the incident. On a different note, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) defines a mass killing as multiple homicides whereby at least four people are killed within one incident in either one or more locations in close geographical proximity (AAFP, 2022). Lin et al. (2018) further define mass shootings as an act of gun violence that leads to four or more fatalities, with the exception of the perpetrator, at the same time and within a relatively short period of time. A total of 702 people died in mass shootings in the US in 2021 (Goolsby et al., 2022). Research reveals that although mass shootings account for a relatively smaller portion of deaths resulting from gun violence, they garner media attention because of the incident’s horrific nature (AAFP, 2022). Recently, mass shootings have been mostly perpetrated by men with the use of semiautomatic weapons, assault-style, and sometimes fully-automatic versions through high-capacity magazine technology (AAFP, 2022).2.3 Epidemiology of Firearm InjuryThe primary public global health concern is injury, rated as the more significant single factor of severe disability and death among teenagers below 45. Hence, there is a considerable variation of trauma penetration through epidemiology worldwide. Roughly 40,000 patients annually in the United States get hospitalized due to gunshot wounds, and most of the patients, about 4,000, die in hospitalized states in the hospitals (Bäckman et al., 2020). Recent research indicates that deaths and injuries in European countries result from firearms due to illegal guns and weapons usage that is increasing in European nations. In comparing the United States with other high-income countries, it is dictated that firearm murder is 20 times more incredible in the United States than in other countries. Even though annual killings have declined in South Africa, the state still experiences firearm-related violence at a higher rate creating a more significant healthcare resources burden. Injury related to firearms is a grave public health problem affecting the United States, representing a solemn economic burden for the state government healthcare facilities, as noted by the research (Bäckman et al., 2020).
Firearm injury is a burden to the United States healthcare economy because it costs more than $80 billion yearly. Firearm-related incidents that include mass shouting in various institutions like schools rationalize the need for imposing preventive measures for curbing and reducing gunshot-related deaths and injuries to numerous netizens (Kaufman & Delgado, 2022). The measures imposed to restrict gunshot-related injuries and deaths entail the participation of more healthcare disciplines, including practical actions from political and social parties, medical firms, and health specialists. The firearm has been rated the leading long-term cause of preventable deaths in the United States by registering up to 7% of premature death in the state. The current study indicates that 50% of robberies, 60% of suicide, and 70% of killings, comprise firearm usage. In 2011, 90 deaths and 210 nonfatal deaths were recorded due to a gunshot from firearm use daily; the leading cause of injury death is motor vehicle crashes, followed by firearms (Kaufman & Delgado, 2022). This death rate indicates that firearm is the second injury cause as it recorded an average of 40,000 deaths annually over the last 40 years. The researchers detected a higher death rate resulting from firearm use in 1993, with a value close to 50,000 deaths, and a lower death rate in 1999, showing 40,000. In 2008, firearms resulted in 60,000 nonfatal injuries and 13,000 killings, whereas in 2011, research indicates that 35,000 firearm deaths and 75,000 nonfatal injuries occurred in the US.
Approximately two hundred and ninety American netizens are estimated to be firearm victims daily. The unintentional, suicidal, and firearm-related killings in the United States are higher than in all the 25 high-income countries indicated by the graph below. Firearm deaths in the United States are estimated to be 18% of the general United States burden for injury, while 6% represent firearm-injured patients receiving treatment at US trauma hearts. In a population of 100,000 individuals in the United States, firearm injuries related deaths range from 11.5 to 13 per 100,000 individuals (De Jager et al., 2020). Research conducted on firearms has primarily focused on firearm-related death end.
Moreover, the nonfatal firearm-related injury burden is approximately four times that of the fatalities. Compared with injured similar trauma cohorts, firearm-injured victims possess high posttraumatic stress disorder rates, high chronic pain rates, and worse long-term quality of life (De Jager et al., 2020). The US has a higher rate of violent crimes, including nonfatal and fatal than most industrialized countries worldwide. Most of the crimes in the United States are committed by armed criminals. Research done in 2014 indicates that 70% of the killings, 45% of thefts, and 25% of serious assaults recognized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the police security agency were committed by offenders having guns (Hink et al., 2019).
Research conducted in 2017 shows 39,900 firearm death-related issues in the United States. The research summarizes this result into 2% legal interventions, 2% unintentional injuries, 38% indicated killings, and 62% indicated to be suicidal issues (2017 data retrieved from CDC and Web-Based Injury Statistics Reporting and Query system) (Price & Khubchandani, 2019). Recently, mass shooting has been increasing in frequency, garnering more attention by representing a more significant death percentage. According to the graph in the research, higher death peaks were noted in the early 1990s, and the research indicates that the peaked death rate has increased constantly in the past three years. Even though there is a lack of accurate and adequate data systems defining the nonfatal rate of firearm injuries in the United States, the representation of firearm injuries is 5% in most traumatic centers. Based on the National Traumatic Databank analysis, firearm injuries are shown to be 5% resulting from the high fatality rate case. Therefore, the death associated with firearms in the United States population is comparable to motor vehicle falls and crashes. According to research on individuals with grave injuries, the case rate of fatality for motor vehicle crashes has decreased in the past ten years compared to firearm cases.
Additionally, individuals hospitalized due to firearm injury have increased gradually. Research indicates that suicidal cases resulting from firearms are represented by 90% fatality rates, which is significantly greater than all the other instruments. Suicidal firearms unreasonably include older white males found in rural areas, while the firearm killings excessively affect the younger generation, usually men in urban setups. Unintentional injury unreasonably impacts the kids with firearm access; ninety-five percent of the kids killed by gun usage in high-economy countries are found in the United States. Research conducted in 2016 indicates that approximately 300,000 individuals got killed from an injury that resulted from a firearm (Hink et al., 2019).
Source: (Hink et al., 2019)
Gun Control Legislation in the USNational Firearms Act (NFA) (1934) National Firearms Act (NFA) (1934) was the US’s first national gun control legislation. The 73rd US Congress enacted NFA on July 26, 1934. NFA covered only two types of guns: short-barrel rifles and machine guns. NFA imposed a tax on the production and distribution of these firearms and obligated the registration of Title II weapons.
2.4.2 Federal Firearms Act (FFA) (1938)
The US Congress enacted the Federal Firearms Act (FFA) in 1938. The FFA levied a federal license prerequisite on gun importers, producers, and individuals in the firearms-selling business (Congressional Research Service, 2019). The FFA also bans transferring guns to specific groups of people, such as convicted criminals.
2.4.2 Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968
The legislation was designed to help the local governments and the state to reduce crime incidences and increase the fairness, effectiveness, and coordination of the criminal justice system and law implementation at all three government levels. This legislation augmented the minimum age for buying handguns from 18 to 21 years. It also banned the trading of firearms within states.
2.4.3 Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA)
The 1968 law made it mandatory to get a federal license to produce or trade guns and made it unlawful for anybody who is not an authorized dealer, importer, manufacturer, or collector to transport firearms over state lines. It also restricted the importation of cheap guns and made it illegal to intentionally transfer permits to individuals or organizations labeled as potentially dangerous or irresponsible.
2.4.4 Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986This legislation was designed to adjust the Gun Control Act of 1968 to redefine “gun dealer,” eliminating those who only engage in occasional repairs and sales. For this legislation, transactions involving fully automatic guns must have ATF approval. The law also prohibited private individuals from purchasing fully automatic rifles produced after the law’s signing date. It also bans the government from keeping a state database of gun owners (Straight, 2021).
2.4.5 Undetectable Firearms Act of 1988The legislation alters the federal criminal code to make it illegal to import, manufacture, ship, possess, sell, deliver, transfer, or receive any firearm; which Security Exemplar-specific walk-through metal detectors are not as sensitive to or of which key component when scanned by the standard airport x-ray equipment, does not provide a picture that faithfully represents the component’s shape.
2.4.6 Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990The legislation changes the Federal criminal code to enforce criminal fines for the discharge or possession of a gun in public secondary or elementary school zone exemptions for authorized or licensed programs or individuals. The Act urges local, state, and federal authorities to put signs around school zones to warn individuals that carrying weapons in these areas is illegal.
2.4.7 Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993The legislation was endorsed on November 30, 1993. The legislation modified the Gun Control Act of 1968 (Kessel, 2021). The Brady Act mandated a five-day waiting time as an interim measure before an authorized manufacturer, importer or dealer may sell, distribute, or transfer a firearm to a person without valid authorization. Depending on the venue and seller, it also demands background checks on most gun buyers.
2.4.8 Federal Assault Weapons Ban (1994–2004)The Act was endorsed as part of the 1994 Act for Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement. The bans were lifted on September 13, 2004. The legislation prohibited the transfer, possession, or manufacture of semiautomatic assault weapons. The Act outlawed semiautomatic firearms resembling assault rifles and magazines capable of carrying many bullets.
2.4.9 Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004The legislation amends the Federal criminal code to make it legal for current and former law enforcement personnel to carry hidden firearms in any part of the US, regardless of the laws of individual states or municipalities. Still, there should be certain exemptions (Treml, 2021).
2.4.10 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act of 2005The legislation eliminated the possibility of producers of weapons and authorized dealers being held accountable for criminal acts committed using firearms that they have produced. However, firearm dealers and manufacturers may still be allegedly responsible for breach of contract, damages occurring from faulty goods, criminal misbehavior, and other activities for which they may be openly accountable. Also, they can be said to be responsible for negligent entrustment if they are aware that a firearm will be used in a crime.
2.4.11 Bipartisan Safer Communities Act of 2022The legislation increases the number of vendors who must have an FFL, finances state crisis intervention programs, toughens the penalties for weapons trafficking and straw purchases, and puts an end to the “boyfriend loophole” for underage buyers.
METHODOLOGY3.1 IntroductionThis methodology section gives an overview of the methodological stance adopted in this research. Subsections covered under the methodology section include research philosophy, research design, search strategy, data collection procedures, and data analysis procedures.
3.2 Research PhilosophyAn interpretivism research philosophy has been utilized in this study to explore the selected literature to create meaning and address the research question. Meta-synthesis and a full systematic review have been carried out to uncover the effects of gun control measures on the level of violent crimes in the US. The study findings are used to make recommendations on whether stricter gun control legislation is required.
3.3 Research DesignA literature-based design was adopted for this study. Literature analysis is used as a method to support arguments concerning what an investigator does not know or already knows about a phenomenon (Newman & Gough, 2020). A literature-based research design was suitable for this study because it allowed the researcher to draw data from multiple data sources to address the research question. The researcher undertook a meta-analysis to define how gun control measures have impacted the level of violent crimes in the US. A systematic literature review is a research process, and approach researchers use to identify and critically appraise relevant research articles, gather data, and analyze them (Snyder, 2019). A meta-analysis combines results from multiple studies to compare and identify patterns, differences, or relationships that occur within the context of other studies examining a similar topic (Snyder, 2019). A detailed description of the search strategy employed and the selection criteria are provided below.
3.4 Search Strategy and Selection CriteriaIn this study, the researcher conducted an in-depth investigation using credible database resources such as Google Scholar, ProQuest, Science Direct, EBSCOHost, Academic Search Complete, and Scopus to determine the most appropriate articles for review. Some of the search terms that were used to find the articles reviewed in this study included “examples of gun control measures in the US,” “examples and causes of violent crimes in the US,” “level of violence crimes in the US,” and “the impact of gun control measures on the level of violence crimes in the US.” While searching for the most relevant articles, Boolean operators, including AND, NOT, OR, and AND NOT, were utilized as conjunctions to exclude or combine keywords to generate more productive and focused results. The researchers adopted an ancestry search to identify the inclusion sources, which required finding and incorporating all necessary footnote references and citations in the review. Lastly, the researcher established inclusion and exclusion criteria to choose the study’s most credible and relevant data sources. These criteria guaranteed that the sources selected were readily available, appropriate, and reputable. Criteria for what should be included and excluded are outlined below.
3.5 Inclusion Criteria All the studies included in this review investigated the effects of gun control measures on the leve