Analysis of a multi-disciplinary approach to gun misuse and the need for a paradigm shift in terminology
Arnold, Damon T.
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The threat of gun misuse occurs against the backdrop of historical, cultural, and legal perspectives within which guns are immersed. This thesis explores the potential for collaboration among the medical, legal, and homeland security disciplines when confronting a commonly held threat, such as gun misuse. Currently, each discipline has a unique and sometimes conflicting definitional view of what the term gun control actually means, as well as how it is to be operationally approached. What emerges within this thesis is the position that gun control is not even the correct term to use and should be avoided when addressing issues involving gun misuse. Rather, the use of the term gun misuse prevention appears to be more appropriate. Such a shift in perspective is not only more consistent with the gun misuse data presented, but also serves to dampen the polarization imposed by the use of the term control. Further, it provides a clearer path for stakeholders from both the public and private sectors to approach and make recommendations when confronting the issue of gun misuse that includes legislative, policy, and technological approaches. This type of approach may pave the way for addressing other issues of common interdisciplinary concern.
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