Do we have any idea why people are shooting each other? - Macleans.ca

Do we have any idea why people are shooting each other?

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Criminology professor James Sheptycki laments for how little we understand about gun crime.

I am somewhat pessimistic that we will establish a program of independent academic research into the problems of guns, crime and social order in Canada. Without that knowledge, it is easier for politicians and pundits to pontificate. Mayors can be outraged and disgusted. Federal ministers can tub thump about the need for mandatory minimum sentences. It is business as usual for the crime fighters and business is booming. They are shooting in the dark.

The trouble is, there is not a shred of evidence that business as usual is actually having an effect on criminal subculture. In fact, there are research findings that suggest that some of our current policies make things worse.

See previously: Reaction to the Danzig shooting and Guns, crime and public policy