Comments on the Article ..."Gun Control and Rates of Firearms Violence in Canada and the United States" by Robert J. Mundt

By Hung, C. Kwing | Canadian Journal of Criminology, January 1993 | Go to article overview

Comments on the Article ..."Gun Control and Rates of Firearms Violence in Canada and the United States" by Robert J. Mundt


Hung, C. Kwing, Canadian Journal of Criminology


The major thesis of the article by Mundt (1990) is that parallel trends in violent firearm crimes, firearm suicides, and firearm accidental deaths in both the U.S. and Canada prove that the decrease in firearm crimes and deaths in Canada is "part of a secular trend as in the United States", not the result of firearm control legislation in Canada.

A detailed examination, however, reveals that the article is badly flawed with factual inaccuracies (using wrong numbers), logical inconsistencies (using inappropriate data and deriving conclusions not apparent from the data analyzed), and methodological fallacies (using unproven assumptions). The trends in the two countries are, in fact, not parallel. The analysis and the conclusion of the article are thus erroneous. Contrary to the article, it is clear from the available data that decreases in firearm crimes and firearm deaths in Canada are much steeper than in the U.S. and are most likely the result of the 1978 firearm control legislation.

Factual inaccuracies

(1) On page 140, paragraph 1, Mundt states, "Rates for 1986 and 1987 were lower, but that for 1987 is exactly at the mean for the years 1974 -- 1987." The actual 1987 homicide rate was 2.51 per 100,000 population while the average rate for 1974-1987 was 2.71 per 100,000. Thus the 1987 rate was 8% lower than the 1974-1987 rate.

(2) In the last sentence on page 140, Mundt says, "However, the 1985 rate is still higher than the five-year mean for 1974-1978; ..." Yet the data show an average firearm robbery rate of 32.2 per 100,000 population in 1974-1978, as compared to the 1985 rate of 27 per 100,000. Thus the 1987 rate was actually 15% lower.

This apparent error can be explained by the fact that the above statement describes "armed robbery" (including robberies using firearms as well as other weapons), not "firearm robbery". But the sudden shift from "firearm robbery" in the first sentence of the paragraph to "armed robbery" in the second sentence is not clearly indicated and can create a false impression. Furthermore, as the article is about firearms, the use of "armed robbery" instead of "firearm robbery" is unjustified, except if the author intends to prove a point not characteristic of firearm robberies.

(3) Mundt asserts in the same last sentence of page 140, "... the U.S. rate for 1985 is significantly lower than its 1974-1978 mean." According to Figure 3 of the article, however, the 1985 rate is only slightly lower (by not more than 5%) than the 1974-1978 average rate and is definitely not "significant".

(4) Figure 3 on page 143 shows the rates of armed robbery (not firearm robbery) from 1974 to 1985 while Figure 4 (page 145) shows the percentages of firearm robbery from 1974 to 1988. Two questions can be asked. First, since data for firearm robbery are clearly available to the author, why would he use armed robbery" in one and "firearm robbery" in the other without clear indication of the shift? Second, why did the author not include the data for 1986 to 1988 for Figure 3?

(5) On page 144, paragraph 1, the article reads, "Because we do not have comparable data prior to 1977 in Canada, ..." In reality, the data are available from the same data source which the author used for Figure 4 on page 145.

Logical inconsistencies

There are two kinds of logical inconsistencies in Mundt's article: (a) the use of inappropriate data (points 1, 4, 5 in the following), and (b) the inappropriate conclusion derived from data analysis (points 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9). (1) The arguments in paragraph 1 and 2 of page 140 are based mostly on all homicides (18 lines of analysis in the article)instead of firearm homicides (7 lines of analysis). This line of argument is inappropriate since the emphasis is on firearms. Furthermore, the analysis is inaccurate as demonstrated in the next paragraph.

(2) Mundt compares firearm homicide in the U. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Comments on the Article ..."Gun Control and Rates of Firearms Violence in Canada and the United States" by Robert J. Mundt
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.