|Gary David Kleck|
March 2, 1951|
|Institutions||Florida State University|
|Alma mater||University of Illinois|
|Thesis||Homicide, capital punishment, and gun ownership : an aggregate analysis of U.S. homicide trends from 1947 to 1976 (1979)|
|Notable awards||Michael J. Hindelang Award|
Early life and education
Kleck has done numerous studies of the effects of guns on death and injury in crimes, on suicides, and gun accidents, the impact of gun control laws on rates of violence, the frequency and effectiveness of defensive gun use by crime victims, patterns of gun ownership, why people support gun control, and "the myth of big-time gun trafficking."
In addition to his work on guns and violence, Kleck has done research concluding that increasing levels of punishment will not increase the deterrent effects of punishment, and that capital punishment does not have any measurable effect on homicide rates.
Defensive gun use research and debate
Kleck conducted a national survey in 1994 (the National Self-Defense Survey) and, extrapolating from the 5,000 households surveyed, estimated that in 1993 there were approximately 2.5 million incidents of defensive gun use (DGU - the use of guns for self-protection), compared to about 0.5 million gun crimes as estimated by the National Crime Victimization Survey.
David Hemenway at the Harvard School of Public Health Injury Control Research Center, said that Kleck's estimates are difficult to reconcile with comparable crime statistics, are subject to a high degree of sampling error, and that "because of differences in coverage and potential response errors, what exactly these surveys measure remains uncertain; mere repetition does not eliminate bias." Kleck and Gertz responded to this criticism saying: "It is obvious to us that David Hemenway had no intention of producing a balanced, intellectually serious assessment of our estimates of defensive gun use (DGU). Instead, his critique serves the narrow political purpose of 'getting the estimate down,' for the sake of advancing the gun control cause."
Kleck asserts errors in his critics' claims that his survey's estimates of defensive gun uses linked with specific crime types, or that involved a wounding of the offender, are implausibly large compared to estimates of the total numbers of such crimes. The total number of nonfatal gunshot woundings, whether medically treated or not, is unknown, and no meaningful estimates can be derived from his survey regarding defensive gun uses linked with specific crime types, or that involved wounding the offender, because the sample sizes are too small. The fact that some crime-specific estimates derived from the Kleck survey are implausibly large is at least partly a reflection of the small samples on which they are based - no more than 196 cases. Kleck states that his estimate of total defensive gun uses was based on nearly 5,000 cases. Thus, he argues, the implausible character of some estimates of small subsets of defensive gun uses is not a valid criticism of whether estimates of the total number of defensive gun uses are implausible or too high.
Marvin Wolfgang, who was acknowledged in 1994 by the British Journal of Criminology as ″the most influential criminologist in the English-speaking world″, commented on Kleck's research concerning defensive gun use: "I am as strong a gun-control advocate as can be found among the criminologists in this country. [...] The Kleck and Gertz study impresses me for the caution the authors exercise and the elaborate nuances they examine methodologically. I do not like their conclusions that having a gun can be useful, but I cannot fault their methodology. They have tried earnestly to meet all objections in advance and have done exceedingly well."
A 1997 National Institute of Justice publication demonstrated that it is virtually impossible to reconcile Kleck's estimates and Kleck-like estimates to the amount of crime that actually occurs in the United States. Kleck, however, counter-argued that this conclusion was the product of logical errors and a mistake by the authors in which they made an inappropriate apples and oranges comparison.
In 1993, Kleck won the Michael J. Hindelang Award from the American Society of Criminology for his book Point Blank: Guns and Violence in America (Aldine de Gruyter, 1991). He has testified before Congress and state legislatures on gun control proposals. His research was cited in the Supreme Court's landmark District of Columbia v. Heller decision, which struck down the D.C. handgun ban and held that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms.
- Galloway, Paul (19 June 1994). "Under The Gun". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 19 July 2016.
- "Gary Kleck Curriculum Vitae" (PDF). Florida State University. Retrieved 19 July 2016.
- Kleck, Gary; McElrath, Karen (1988). "The effects of weaponry on human violence". Social Forces. Oxford University Press (published March 1991). 69 (3): 669–692. doi:10.1093/sf/69.3.669. Retrieved January 18, 2014.
- Kleck, Gary (1988). "Miscounting suicides". Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior. 18 (3): 219–236. doi:10.1111/j.1943-278X.1988.tb00158.x. Retrieved January 18, 2014.
- Chapter 7, Point Blank: Guns and Violence in America. Hawthorne, N.Y.: Aldine de Gruyter
- Kleck and Patterson,"The impact of gun control and gun ownership levels on violence rates." Journal of Quantitative Criminology 9(3):249-287
- Britt, Kleck, and Bordua, "A reassessment of the D.C. gun law." Law & Society Review 30(2):361-380.
- (with Miriam DeLone), "Victim resistance and offender weapon effects in robbery." Journal of Quantitative Criminology 9(1):55-82.
- (with Susan Sayles), "Rape and resistance." Social Problems 37(2):149-162.
- Chapter 3, Targeting Guns: Firearms and their Control. Hawthorne, N.Y.: Aldine de Gruyter
- Kleck, Gertz and Bratton, "Why do people support gun control?" Journal of Criminal Justice 37(5)
- Kleck and Wang, "The myth of big-time gun trafficking." UCLA Law Review 56(5):1233-1294
- Kleck, Sever, Li and Gertz, "The missing link in general deterrence research." Criminology 43(3):623-660.
- Kleck, "Capital punishment, gun ownership, and homicide." American Journal of Sociology 84(4):882-910.
- Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz, "Armed Resistance to Crime: The Prevalence and Nature of Self-Defense with a Gun", 86 Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology 1, 1995.
- National Research Council (2004). Firearms and Violence: A Critical Review. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press. pp. 111–113. ISBN 0-309-09124-1.
- http://scholarlycommons.law.northwestern.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=6937&context=jclc Northwestern University Law School
- Kleck, G. and D. Kates (2001), Armed: New Perspectives on Gun Control, Chapter 6. N.Y.: Prometheus
- Kaufman, Michael T. (18 April 1998). "Marvin E. Wolfgang, 73, Dies; Leading Figure in Criminology". New York Times. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
- Marvin E. Wolfgang, A Tribute to a View I Have Opposed, 86 J. Crim. L. & Criminology 188 (1995-1996) http://scholarlycommons.law.northwestern.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=6854&context=jclc
- Guns in America: National Survey on Private Ownership and Use of Firearms https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles/165476.pdf
- Gary Kleck,"The frequency of defensive gun use," Chapter 6, Armed (2001), pp. 244-246
- American Society of Criminology, Michael J. Hindelang Awards, Books, 1993 Gary Kleck, "Point Blank: Guns and Violence in America"
- Supreme Court of the United States, District of Columbia v. Heller, No. 07-290. Decided June 26, 2008. Kleck's research referenced on (PDF) pages 134, 135, 138, and 144.