A federal ban on assault weapons would lead to reduction in crime. Several findings support this statement as illustrated below.
Names of Groups
Citizens (two from each location)
Police precinct service officers
Locations (two participants from each group mentioned above per location)
Country side New Jersey
High Crime Downtown Brooklyn
How I found the participants:
In all the cases, I interviewed using a questionnaire which was both open ended and closed in some sections. I used very few people in the face to face interviews i.e. four people per location. Two from the precinct and two residents. I found the participants through normal respectful approach. I informed them of my research and what I wanted to find out. I also explained that it was a safe and discreet process and went ahead to request for a few minutes of their time to answer the few questions which they did. I tried to create a balance between the youth and the old. In the precincts, there was more reception than for the residents in terms of acquiring participants.
Why I selected the Participants
The reason I selected these participants was because security was a matter that involved both the enforcers of the law and the citizens. On the other hand, I wanted to find out on a scale what the residents thought about the ban independent of whether or not they had the weapons.
Why I selected the method (Interviewing using a Questionnaire)
I selected the method of interviewing with the guide of a questionnaire because it was more direct. It also saved time and energy that would have been spent making observations or conducting an experiment which might not have been safe. It was also the most unbiased method for both types of participants in order to get comprehensive yet well-structured answers due to the questions.
The time, place and date of the Pilot Study
The pilot study was scheduled for daytime, work hours in two weeks. This would enable visitation of the three locations, and communication to citizens and people from the precinct without lacking participants.
In the first section (approximately a half page to a page), introduce your participants or artefacts in as much detail as possible. Describe how these participants or artefacts fit the criteria you wrote about in the Methods section of your proposal. If they dont fit some of the criteria exactly, explain why.
I selected three two groups of participants in three different kinds of places; those responsible for enforcing the law and the citizens who are not in charge of it. This was therefore a police precinct and residents of three different areas. These three areas were inclusive of the country, the city and an area with high crime rates that most.
The two groups would help answer my question. I saw the need to select the police because they would have more information on previous occasions and their thoughts on assault weapons.
In the second section (approximately a half page to a page), describe how well your chosen method or chosen instrument worked during both the course of your pilot study and your analysis of the results. Did it help you start to answer your research question? Why or why not?
I selected the method of interviewing with the guide of a questionnaire because it was more direct. It also saved time and energy that would have been spent making observations or conducting an experiment which might not have been safe. It was also the most unbiased method for both types of participants in order to get comprehensive yet well-structured answers due to the questions. My pilot study was intended for the weekdays, during the day for three different locations.
The method chosen was interviewing using a designed questionnaire that was both closed and open ended. It was the best instrument to work with because it enabled the participants to answer with full knowledge of what they were participating in. it was also an easier method because it ensured answers that were direct and according to the participants opinion. It enabled exploration of the reasons why different participants thought that either the ban on assault weapons would reduce crime or not.
It enabled the exploration of the explanation research design which involves giving reason to a thought and backing it up with supportive arguments. The method was also very useful in the analysis of the results. The analysis of results involved a need for a tally that was made possible due to the structured questions. Especially for the closed ended questions, there was a general clear cut on what the general masses thought. It was also useful in the analysis of results because it enabled exploration of various possibilities, giving different reasons for different opinions which was equally significant.
In your third section (approximately a half page to a page), describe how well you were able to follow your proposed procedures. What, if anything, did you do differently and why?
The entire procedure involved designing a questionnaire first. It was a process that included making sure questions are nit leading the participant to specific answers. On the same, the designed questionnaire was reviewed by several people to check its credibility and loopholes. Then, corrections were made and it was ready for the interviewing process.
Second, it was important to specify the population I required. This meant going out to the different close by locations and to find people who had no problem participating in the study. It was easier to find the participants from the precinct than citizens. Upon finding individuals, the third procedure was to conduct the interviews. In this process, it was useful to carry along an assistant to avoid a bias due to noting down biased answers. This became very useful as it enabled the process to take place with ease and speed as well.
After interviewing which took a week roughly due to the different locations, the data had to be analysed and results compiled. This was the hardest task of them all. This is because, it involved looking into the data and conclusions were required based on the data collected. In this process, the closed ended questions were a useful tool as the provided straight answers and a clear cut between the opinions of the participants. The open-ended questions were also useful as they gave reasons and explanation to the various answers received.
Finally, after the analysis of results, conclusions were made and this was easier having much information that had been gathered from the two combined methods of interviewing with questionnaires. The research methodology which was explanatory was also easy to achieve with the results acquired. As mentioned, the only different thing was use of an assistant in the data collection process, which served as an improved way of data collection.
In the fourth section (approximately a page), briefly describe the three major findings or results from your pilot study.
First, among my major findings was that, the citizens felt more secure having their own assault weapons by law. This included pistols or guns for protection. Over 60% of the entire sample had security related weapons. Most of them had the weapons because they believed that, it was important not to solely depend on the protection offered by the government for their safety.
They believed that crime was increasing and the culprits were upgrading their methods of crime which was more reason for them to have the weapons. The other less than 50% believed that it was a good idea to have the federal law to avoid more people from having the assault weapons. Some of them cited several situations where weapons of assault were used recklessly by the police and other citizens in crimes relating to racial discrimination, anger, theft among others. They however agreed that, they had other security measures for themselves more so at home to avoid being attacked with such weapons.
Second, among my findings was that, the participants were all concerned about the security of the nation. On a larger percentage of about 85%, they all wanted a ban of the assault weapons through federal war. This was because they believed that the crimes that were being committed were greatly related to the freedoms in the state to acquire ammunition. On the other hand, they wanted the law to restrict the import of weapons into the country for the safety of the citizens. Mostly the police in all three locations complained that they atimes faced criminals who had weapons that they were sure were not directly acquired within the country. This could be attributed to black market or lenient import restrictions.
Third, the general feeling was that, the government was not doing enough to protect the citizens and policemen. This was because of the existent of many laws that were not clear cut bans on many assault weapons. This especially for the high crime level location was a great complaint. In general, they believed action was not being taken to directly wage a war against the use of assault weapons and the search for them. This was especially true because they gave accounts of teenagers handling guns for petty crimes like stealing from a store.
On a general note the public wanted a federal ban of assault weapons but most of them were quite sceptical about letting go of their own well-guarded protection related weapons. On another end, the finding was that, there was more to be done concerning the security of the nation in relation to crime. This is because in some areas, there was not a great difference in the crime levels whether or not police were actively enforcing the law or not. There was great need to assure the public of their security. Lastly, a ban would definitely reduce crime in the state because many purchases of assault weapons would be reduced by up to 90% according to most of the police precinct participants.
In the conclusion (approximately a half page to a page), write about your overall experience doing the pilot study. What worked well, from the methods you proposed, and what might you do differently were you to do a larger research study on your research question?
The experience was in general really enjoyable yet challenging. This is because of the intensity of the procedure to be taken. In the procedure, several observations came up. First, the methods used were of great use and were significantly helpful. Second, the participants were not so difficult to find but that could also be because the sample used was not so large. A few participants were initially very sceptical and unwilling to share truthfully their opinions. On another note, it was notable that the study was direct and easy to use for both a small population and a large one.
On a larger population, I would use the same methods but more modified to include more closed ended questions and few but very significant open ended questions. This would be very useful more so in the analysis of results. Another important difference or modification I would use is assistants in the interviewing process. This would enable coverage of the large population faster than just using few people in collection of data.
Also, we could probably use mailing system for the questionnaires to reach a larger number of participants who would otherwise not be reached. This has its own weakness in that, not all of them would respond. To overcome this, it meant sending multiple number of copies of the questionnaire and expecting about a third of the population to respond.
Adam Winkler. Dec, 2015. Why banning assault rifles won't reduce gun violence.
Brad Plumer. Dec, 2012.Everything you need to know about the assault weapons ban, in one post.
Jeffrey A. Roth and Christopher S. Koper. March, 1999. Impacts of the...
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