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Kids and Guns?

Here's what a 1995 federal study investigating juvenile crime found after looking at 20,000 randomly selected households:

Relationship between type of gun owned and
percent committing street, drug and gun crimes.

Illegal gun:
Street crimes = 74%
Drug use = 41%
Gun crimes = 21%

No gun:
Street crimes = 24%
Drug use = 15%
Gun crimes = 1%

Legal Gun:
Street crimes = 14%
Drug use = 13%
Gun crimes = 0%

"The socialization into gun ownership is also vastly different for legal and illegal gunowners. Those who own legal guns have fathers who own guns for sport and hunting. On the other hand, those who own illegal guns have friends who own illegal guns and are far more likely to be gang members. For legal gunowners, socialization appears to take place in the family; for illegal gunowners, it appears to take place 'on the street.'"

"Boys who own legal firearms have much lower rates of delinquency and drug use and are even slightly less delinquent than nonowners of guns."

Source: U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, NCJ-143454, "Urban Delinquency and Substance Abuse," August 1995.

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