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By De Gonzalez A. B.

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The initial interview is done face-to-face to ensure maximum coverage of the population; if necessary, subsequent interviews are also conducted in person. S. S. S. S. S. National Institute of Justice Characteristics of gun ownership, gun carrying, and circumstances of weaponrelated incidents NCVS and its predecessor, the National Crime Survey, underwent lengthy development periods featuring record check studies and split-ballot experiments to determine the best way to measure crime victimization (Tourangeau and McNeeley, 2003).

There are no easy solutions to resolving the existing data-related problems. Often, we find that the existing data are insufficient, but how and whether to develop alternative data sources remain open questions. For these reasons the committee urges a significant increase in methodological work on measurement in the area of firearms ownership and violence. The committee does not wish to paint an overly pessimistic picture of this research area. The existing body of research, as described in the other chapters of the report, has shed light on some of the most fundamental 19 20 FIREARMS AND VIOLENCE questions related to firearms and violence.

In many ways, the controversy over firearms appears exceptional. There is, as noted in the introduction, hardly a more contentious issue, with the public highly polarized over the legal and research foundations for competing policy options. , a ban on certain types of guns) even if they have no concerns about the legality of past events. Nonresponse creates a similar problem. , arrestees). A few studies have attempted to evaluate misreporting in broad-based representative samples, but these lack direct evidence and instead make strong, unverifiable assumptions to infer validity rates (National Research Council, 2001).

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