Gun Crimes Are the Product of Certain Opportunities


Crimes committed with guns are happening daily in our society. The point of this research paper is to collect secondary analysis data on every state in the U.S. to find how their state, federal, and local gun laws could open opportunities for crime and death rates that were committed with firearms. This research will be looking at state gun laws and the main crimes that are committed with guns. The main crimes are homicide, suicide, aggravated assault, rape, and robbery rates. I believe that certain opportunities are in fact the product of certain crimes that are committed with guns.

My research results showed that there is evidence that when laws change in different states five relating variables change as well. The five related variables are homicide, suicide, aggravated assault, rape and robbery rates with the use of firearms. Since there is very little and limited evidence on how much the rates change, we cannot make a direct statement that more strict gun laws or less opportunities to obtain firearms will change these rates. The future studies should include face to face interviews with important officials. Also, group focus points with the population that uses their opportunities to commit crime with firearms.

Purpose and Rationale:

The purpose of this research is to see if smart and strict gun laws can prevent gun violence in all 50 states of the United states. Every state has some kind of crime that is involved with guns, making it a problem for the entire country. I think doing research on this topic will give support and information to Local, State, and Federal law enforcement officials. This research information can ease their fight on crimes related with guns. This research is important because, we will be able to establish how policies effect the crime rates. Research will show what gun policies will increase crimes committed with guns like, concealed- carry laws and stand-your-ground laws. As well as increase, it can show what laws decrease gun crimes. Two policies that can decrease gun violence are background checks and bans on people associated with mental illnesses.

This was the problem that I chose because, this is such a “hot” topic in today’s society. America has such a unique problem with gun violence that no other developed country is dealing with. Many of the stats that I will explain proves that more guns in the society means more gun deaths, which is also fueling this research. This problem is very significant because, this is a problem that everyone in the country is being affected by. This makes it very reasonable why I picked this problem over another problem that only effects a small population.

Also, I picked to do research on this problem because, thousands of men, women, and children are killed by guns each year. The U.S accounts for a huge percentage of gun violence in the world making it a relevant topic to research. This topics relevance is very powerful in the society we live in today. Many people do not like to talk about this topic because of the politics but, by doing research on the topic I can bring the politics to a minimum and express the power that the stats hold.

Literature Review:

This problem has been researched before which made it very easy to find multiple data sources to go look at and see what the results were and compare them to mine. My problem fits in with prior research because, I am looking at gun crimes and how they are the product of certain opportunities. The main crimes committed with guns are suicide, homicide, aggravated assault, rape, and robbery. All these crimes have been researched, making it easy to find the rates of them in every state. There are many researchers working on the same problem. With many of people working on this, it opens up a lot of databases that people can go get valuable information from. The opportunities to commit gun violence come from the laws we have on every law enforcement level, from local to federal.

The Second step comes into play if there is a law that restricts policy but is inside the second amendments boundary. This allows the court to determine the scrutiny of the law. When determining the scrutiny, the court must consider how close the law is to the core of second amendment and how serious the law effects our rights. These steps make it very hard to control guns and laws on them (Tran, 2019).

This research relates to my problem and hypothesis because, these steps are very time consuming and tedious making it hard for lawmakers. These are some of the reasons it is hard to make new gun laws and policies in the U.S. This process is what allows people have opportunities to possess guns and use them in violent and criminal acts. This is important in my research because, this is showing that our laws give people more of an opportunity to commit crimes with gun. Guns laws are becoming harder every year to take less gun’s outs of the society.

State and local governments have intermediate scrutiny which allows them to make gun regulations much easier. However, this gives us less guidance for our countries future with gun laws and allows a lot of space for people to argue and fight the laws. The state and local governments have a lot of power but, since it is not federal law people still can fight the local and state regulations and push that their second amendment was compromised. The court is who determines if the state or local regulations can be upheld or rejected (Barry, C. L., Webster, D. W., Stone, E., Crifasi, C. K., Vernick, J. S., & Mcginty, E. E. (2018).

This is related to my research question and hypothesis because, I must look at the laws in every state and at every level of the government of the state to get real results on the opportunities the people have in the state to commit gun violence crimes. This article allowed me to see how the government looks at laws and how the laws are passed or rejected along with, how the state and local lawmakers can defer from the federal laws.

State laws have the most laws when it comes to guns but, the laws are very cloudy when it comes to explaining to regular citizens. The state laws are very different and more open when comparing every state. There are benefits to having multiple policies in every state because, the states with lower gun crimes can set a perfect model for other states and their governments to join along with their policies. There are disadvantages as well, gun laws at the state and federal level are not the same making it hard when crossing state borders. Some strict laws can be relaxed laws in different states. When running into problems like this the court has a pattern of making the weaker law the standard to go from (Gun Control in U.S,2000).

This article helped me in my research by providing me with the information on state laws and how they are different from federal laws in every state, along with being different with other state laws. This is good information because, I am looking at how different state laws effect the gun crime rates in all the states of the U.S. Also, this article provides how a lot of state laws are made and that is from one state having lower gun crimes making other states realize and begin following their policies making it more uniform across the country.

In the article “The Impact of the 1994 Federal Assault Weapon Ban on Gun Violence Outcomes: An Assessment of Multiple Outcome Measures and Some Lesson for Policy Evaluation” from the Maag Library data base, Koper and Roth explain, how an assault rifle ban made a huge impact. The most important reason of this ban was for the assault rifles to have a smaller magazine capacity. This was important because, in a large number of mass murders the suspect had an extended magazine allowing him to shoot more bullets faster without reloading (Koper, Roth, 2001).

This article is very relevant to what I am researching because, after this ban it showed that the number of homicides went down when using an assault rifles in crimes. This goes along with what I am researching and how I think more gun laws and regulations will make a decrease in the homicide, suicide, aggravated assault, rape and robbery rates. This article is just one of many articles that help me in my research and hypothesis. It helps by explaining real data that proved gun bans and regulations can help decrease the opportunities for people to be involved in gun related violence.

In the article “Homicide and Suicide Rates Associated with Implementation of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act” by J. Ludwig and J. Cook it provides important information how a gun policy reduced suicide rates. The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act was passed in 1994. This act gives gun shops the opportunity to perform a computer evaluation of a national system of background checks and waiting periods for the purchase of handguns by citizens that buy from federally licensed firearms dealers. This article found that the Brady Act in fact does have an associated with reductions in the firearm suicide rate for persons aged 55 years or older. They found that it does not have a big effect on the overall rate. (Ludwig, Cook, 2000).

This article is very important because, they found a reduction in suicide rates with a certain older age group. All though the overall suicide rate did not decrease, it does not make this research meaningless. If the act is tweaked out or updated a little, the act can very well have the chance to decrease suicide opportunities by use of guns. This is related to how I am researching the certain opportunities that people have to commit violence with the use of guns.

The article “Violence and public policy” by Franklin E. Zimring explains, how aggravated assault, robbery, and rape have an effect on the overall death rate by the use of guns. This articles results showed that citizens that are victims of robberies will have less resistance if the criminal is carrying a gun but, he found that the death rate is three times higher for robberies at gunpoint. Areas where gun ownership is powerful or popular deaths rates from these crimes are higher than other areas where gun ownership is limited (Zimring, 1991).

These findings are relevant to my research because, Zimring found research on areas that have a correlation between gun ownership and crimes of robbery, assault, and rape by the use of firearm resulting in deaths. His research supports my hypothesis and how I think, the more opportunities people have to commit crime with firearms, it will result in more violence with the use of guns and increasing the death rate.


The theory I am studying is rational choice, rational choice theory is a beginning for understanding and formally copying social and economic behavior. The base of rational choice theory is that aggregate social behavior comes from the behavior of individual people, each of these people are making their own individual decisions. My theory relates with this very well, will people that have more opportunities to commit crimes using guns go and commit them? Basically, I am asking, does gun laws and regulations increase or decrease the chances or opportunities for gun violence in the society we live in?


My hypothesis is, I think gun crimes are the product of certain opportunities. This relates with rational choice theory because, people that have the opportunity to possess guns and do whatever they want to do with them. This makes it very easy to commit gun crimes by their own choice with very little gun laws to stop and prevent them. I made this hypothesis because, in the United States there is a major problem with gun violence. We have a lot of laws that are not strict enough to put a stop to these crimes. When the government and the public talk about gun laws people are in a very grey area because of the Constitution. The second amendment is the reason law makers today are having a problem with what gun laws can be enforced today. The U.S. needs to make laws that will decrease the opportunities for people to commit crimes with firearms. Also, I believe that more gun laws and regulations will decrease the gun related crimes and activities. I think homicide, suicide, aggravated assault, rape and robbery rates will all decrease with more laws.

Research Design:

My research design comes from a quantitative research design that is correlational. A quantitative research design depends on the gathering or collection of data. It is an analysis of numerical data to describe, explain, predict, or control variables and phenomena of interest. A quantitative correlational design explores relationships among different variables. This design does not require the variables to be controlled.

I chose this research design because, this design involves secondary analysis data which does not conflict with any ethical issues or concerns. I’ve been getting my data from many different sites that are reliable and valid. I conducted my research in all 50 states of the U.S. I collected data on the last 5 years of each state and how their gun laws have changed. I had to compare what states had more strict gun laws than others.

Then I collected data on five different variables that could help improve the results of my research. The five variables are homicide, suicide, aggravated assault, robbery and rape rates of each state. The UCR provided a lot of this information but, I also used other government websites that I cited in my reference page. After collecting this information, I started to compare the data to each other. I compared what states gave more citizens the opportunities to commit crimes with guns and how my variables were affected by these opportunities (Uniform Crime Reporting, 2018) (Taking Aim at Gun Violence. (2003).


To get the best results from my research I needed to sample from all 50 states of the U.S. I chose to sample from all 50 states because, every state has different gun laws and regulations making my research realistic if I took data from all the states in the U.S. The UCR gave me most of my information on my five variables I was looking at. The local, state, and federal government statues, laws, and regulations gave me the extra information I was researching.


My rate variables are interval-ratio making my research easier to collect data. This means my variables describe a relationship with the values. The interval measurement is a numbered scale that we can know the order and the exact differences of the values. The ratio measurement is very similar but, this measurement has an exact zero making my results and data open for descriptive or inferential stats.

My five variables are the homicide, suicide, aggravated assault, rape and robbery rates with the use of guns in the U.S. These five variables were chosen because, these five rates in every state have a relationship with the gun laws in every state. If one law changes these rates with change as well. The homicide rate is important because, this rate makes up one-third of all the firearm deaths in the U.S. The suicide rate is important because, it is the most common death by a firearm. This rate has a relationship with the rate of gun ownership as well.


From an ethical standpoint I am researching and gathering a secondary data analysis of aggregate data, meaning my ethical issues are exempt. I showed good ethics in this research paper by citing my sources and not taking other people’s data and claim it as my own.


My research is quantitative correlational research. My main research question is, are gun related deaths and crimes the product of certain opportunities. The certain opportunities that I am researching are looking at the gun laws and regulations in every state of the U.S. I looked at five different variables that have a correlation and relationship with my question. The five variables are homicide, suicide, aggravated assault, robbery and rape rates of every state. I chose to look at these five variables because, they have a relationship with the results from the laws and opportunities people have to commit gun violence. To gather this information, I used many data bases but, the main data base was the UCR. Another data base I used was the Center for disease control and prevention along with many others I cited in my reference page.


The problem of gun violence is a huge and difficult situation through the state, local, and federal government levels. Many governments agree and support that firearm regulations and laws are a necessary measurement to lower the gun deaths in their state. Other states do not take this stance in the problem and believe more gun laws will not affect the rates of the variables I mentioned. While the stats and facts may express themselves there is no great solution for this problem.

In my research I found that the more opportunities people have to commit gun crimes does not affect the gun deaths in every situation but, it does affect the homicides by certain guns. My research found that laws and regulations do not change the suicide rate overall but, it does change for the population of the age 55 and older that commits suicide. The aggravated assault, robbery and rape rate did change in areas with where there are more ownerships of guns because of less firearm restrictions.


My research, “Does certain opportunities result in gun violence and deaths by guns” has mixed results. I found that firearm regulation and laws limit the opportunities in some ways but, the lack of strict laws open opportunities as well. There is evidence that when laws change in different states five relating variables change as well. The five related variables are homicide, suicide, aggravated assault, rape and robbery rates with the use of firearms. Since there is very little and limited evidence on how much the rates change, we cannot make a direct statement that more strict gun laws or less opportunities to obtain firearms will decrease gun related violence or the death by firearms rate.