We examine the effect of the race, age, and gender of victims of assault on the offenders' use of weapons and lethal intent. Evidence from the National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS) suggests that offenders are particularly likely to use guns against young black men-a three-way interaction - and to kill black males and young black adults. Black offenders respond more strongly to the victim's race than do white offenders. As a result of these effects, a violent incident between two young black men is about six times more likely to involve a gun than a violent incident between two young white men. We suggest that adversary effects, i.e., an offender's tactical response to the threat posed by adversaries, help explain why violence in black communities tends to be much more serious than violence in white communities.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science