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Guns, Crime, and Dangerous Minds

Guns, Crime, and Dangerous Minds In the wake of recent, high profile mass shootings, the “deranged mind” has become a common discursive ground for policy makers, pundits, gun enthusiasts, and gun control advocates alike. Interested parties on both sides of the gun control/rights debate have agreed that laws restricting gun ownership should be assessed according to their ability to protect the innocent citizen from the unpredictable criminal violence of the insane (despite the fact that mass shootings account for only one tenth of 1% of all homicides committed with a gun). Contextualizing this development within both distant and recent U.S. history, we argue that policy proposals that tie contemporary gun violence prevention to mental health care can be seen as part of a confluence of technologies of social governance that includes: a turn from therapeutic to risk-management approaches to mental health care; a turn from retrospective/forensic to prospective/preventative approaches to criminal justice; and, a broader turn toward a “criminological” view of civic identity. Furthermore, by shifting the locus of violence from the gun to the interior world of the potential violent criminal, the “mental health” turn dematerializes the gun at the very moments when its “thingliness” is most vivid. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Cultural Studies _ Critical Methodologies SAGE

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References (35)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© 2015 SAGE Publications
ISSN
1532-7086
eISSN
1552-356X
DOI
10.1177/1532708615599895
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In the wake of recent, high profile mass shootings, the “deranged mind” has become a common discursive ground for policy makers, pundits, gun enthusiasts, and gun control advocates alike. Interested parties on both sides of the gun control/rights debate have agreed that laws restricting gun ownership should be assessed according to their ability to protect the innocent citizen from the unpredictable criminal violence of the insane (despite the fact that mass shootings account for only one tenth of 1% of all homicides committed with a gun). Contextualizing this development within both distant and recent U.S. history, we argue that policy proposals that tie contemporary gun violence prevention to mental health care can be seen as part of a confluence of technologies of social governance that includes: a turn from therapeutic to risk-management approaches to mental health care; a turn from retrospective/forensic to prospective/preventative approaches to criminal justice; and, a broader turn toward a “criminological” view of civic identity. Furthermore, by shifting the locus of violence from the gun to the interior world of the potential violent criminal, the “mental health” turn dematerializes the gun at the very moments when its “thingliness” is most vivid.

Journal

Cultural Studies _ Critical MethodologiesSAGE

Published: Apr 1, 2017

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