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.

Read the article at Times Argus →