Jack Levin, co-director of the Brudnick Center on Violence and Conflict at Northeastern University in Boston, agreed that most violent gun crimes are committed by young men. He described the gun violence a “masculine pursuit.”
Levin also points out that the United States isn’t the only nation with a high rate of gun ownership. What’s different is that other countries with similar gun ownership rates have extremely low homicide rates.
“Canada and Switzerland, for example, have high rates of gun ownership yet very low homicide rates,” he observed. “We also lead the industrialized world in the number of non-gun-related homicide deaths, so guns alone don’t explain the problem of violence in the United States.”
Levin blames “a culture of violence, especially in rural Southern states, where even a challenge to one’s dignity or honor is enough to get you killed. It’s not only acceptable but it is socially approved to respond with a gun. This cultural factor goes back centuries to the days of the Wild West.”
That culture leads to violence being seen as American as apple pie and Jesse James, he added.