Quick Fix for Violence: Cut Back on Liquor Stores

By Abramson, Hilary | Nation's Cities Weekly, March 27, 1995 | Go to article overview

Quick Fix for Violence: Cut Back on Liquor Stores


Abramson, Hilary, Nation's Cities Weekly


Eliminating the glut of inner-city alcohol outlets could cut the American homicide rate by 10 percent and save 2,000 lives annually, according to the author of a forthcoming book on alcohol and homicide.

Robert Nash Parker, senior research scientist at the Prevention Research Center in Berkeley, Calif., spent five years examining violence in 256 cities from 1960-80 with Linda-Anne Rebhun, assistant professor of anthropology at Case Western Reserve University. Their findings will be published by State University of New York Press this summer in Alcohol and Homicide: A Deadly Combination of Two American Traditions.

The study's conclusion: High alcohol outlet density not only coincides with high levels of violence in neighborhoods, but is a cause of it.

"There is plenty of research about what causes violence, but none consider the role of alcohol," says Parker. "Marvin Wolfgang, the founder of modern criminology, said in a 1958 study that alcohol is involved in two-thirds of all homicides. Part of the reason no one followed up on his finding, I believe, is that most of us consume alcohol and most of us are not violent."

`We have learned over the past 30 years that it is very difficult to eradicate poverty or other contributors to violence, such as the breakdown of social institutions. But we can control the availability of alcohol, which is tied to alcohol consumption that is an influence on violence.

"We can prevent new alcohol outlets from coming into communities that already have too many outlets. We can monitor existing outlets whose licenses are up for renewal. We're not talking about prohibition. We're saying, for instance, that we do not need 100 alcohol outlets per 1,000 people in California."

It is ironic, says the sociologist, that the glut of places to buy alcohol occurs in poor rather than affluent neighborhoods. "We know from very good data that as income goes up, so does alcohol consumption. Logically, we ought to place the glut of alcohol outlets where rich people live. Instead, we put seven or eight liquor stores on one block in a poor neighborhood with lots of alcohol advertising on the side of buildings. This gives off a signal that the neighborhood is a place where you can do what you want, where people can come to let loose, where anything goes."

It is time for society to look beyond violence and illegal drugs to the link between violence and alcohol, says Parker. "There is no doubt that illegal drugs are a major problem in this society and that violence is linked to illegal drugs. But the connection between violence and illegal drugs is fundamentally different from the link between violence and alcohol. With few exceptions, the violence associated with illegal drugs, especially homicide, is associated with the distribution and sale of drugs, not with the use of drugs.

"Even in cases where drug users commit crimes to finance drug purchases, these usually are property crimes and they are not committed under the influence of the drug. …

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

Quick Fix for Violence: Cut Back on Liquor Stores
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.

    Author Advanced search

    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.