There is a strong relationship between drug trafficking, drug use, and gun violence. The research attempts to come up with a solution for the research question why does drug trafficking cause gun violence. Most youths have been involved in the use of drugs like marijuana, stimulants, hallucinogens, crack cocaine, heroin, and cocaine hence being involved in violence including gun violence (Johnson, Golub, Dunlap, 2000) This research will play a major role in improving academic research, sow the existing causal effect between drug trafficking and gun violence. The United States of America as a whole has a goal of reducing drug use and violence hence this research will be a major contribution to the country. Data used in this research will be gotten from Rochester Youth Development Study (RYDS) which is a continuing research of high-risk youth and some interviews conducted.
The research will try and improve research designs done in the past so as to come up with a more accurate mechanism of procedures in drug trafficking that has led an individual to participate in violence. The findings will enable one to make a spontaneous conclusion on the strong correlation between drug trafficking and gun violence. Better analytical techniques will be used to show the relationship between drug trafficking and gun violence hence showing the reasons why drug trafficking cause gun violence. This will show the unique effect of drug trafficking of drug trafficking on a person’s involvement in gun violence.
First, Data to be used in this research will be extracted from RYDS which is a continuing longitudinal research of high-risk youth. The RYDS project was started in 1988 where one thousand seventh and eighth graders were chosen in Rochester Public School for interviews. These interviews were done to both the students and their guardians or parents. Up to date, RYDS has conducted fourteen waves of interviews hence most of the participants are at the early ages of thirty. Data to be used in this research will be extracted from wave four to wave nine because most of the people interviewed were those at the age of 14 to 25. Most drug users and traffickers are the youths and young adult (Blumstein, 1995). Using this data would make major contributions to our research. In the first three waves the measure of violence varied less and the questions asked on violence were not consistent.
There are going to be interviews that will be conducted. The population targeted for these interviews will be both drug traffickers and drug users. These people will be sampled from the general population using random sampling. This will happen whereby people will be selected at random in schools, streets, and locations where drug use, drug trafficking and gun violence are common. Interviews will be both oral and some questionnaires issued because most people are afraid to respond to oral questions due to their confidentiality.
The questions involved in both oral interviews and questionnaires will be similar hence both will not be used to the same respondent. The first question to be asked to the interviewees will be whether they have ever been involved in drug trafficking or drug use. If one has been involved then the interview will continue. The other questions that will follow will be the kind of drugs one has used, how often they use them; meaning how many times in a day a month or a year they use them. If one is a drug trafficker he or she will be asked the kind of drugs he or she sells, how often they sell them and the available market for the drugs they sell.
The other questions in the interview will be whether they have been involved in violence, how often they have been involved in it, how many times he or she has been involved in gun violence, the intention of using the gun, either killing, hurting or just to cause fear and whether by the end of the violence there were some deaths that occurred and if any how many they were.
After collecting the data, several incidences of violence will be created and they will have prevalence measures as well. The first measure would be the number of times one has participated in violence. The second measure would be the number of times one has been involved in gun violence. The measures will be coded 1 if one has been involved in gun violence and 0 if one has not been involved in any gun violence. These incidence and prevalence measures will be the dependent variables which will be used in the analysis of the data.
The other part of measure is that of the independent variables used. This will be gotten from the data collected in the asked questions. One independent variable will be gotten from the question on the kind of drugs one has been using, and how often one uses them. Classes of drugs will be created whereby there will be Marijuana, stimulants, hallucinogens, crack cocaine, heroin, and cocaine. There is also the question on the kind of drugs on sells and how often he or she sells them. This will form the second independent variable. Specifically, the independent variables will be the number of times one has uses drugs and the number of times one sells in drugs measured either as per day, monthly, regarding on the response of the respondent.
In the analysis part, there will be several control variables used regarding on the data extracted from RYDS. The first variable will be whether one has been involved in any gang of drug trafficking in a given wave. I will be the code used if a person has been involved and 0 will be used if one has not been involved. This is because in the RYDS research being a member of any gang has been seen as a major predictor of being involved in gun violence. In the research, one is said to have been involved in any gang if he or she reports it. The other control variables to be used are the age, gender, race, and ethnicity of a given participant.
Strengths and Weaknesses of the Study
There have been many studies conducted on the relationship between drug trafficking and gun violence as stated in my literature review. These researches have been plagued by a number of weaknesses hence this study tries to overcome some of these weaknesses and fill a small portion of the gap (Phillip, 2012)The research is important as it will show the existence of the relationship between drugs and violence and the relationship between drug trafficking and gun violence. This will play a major role in criminological departments as well as the social part of the society.
However, there is a weakness in the research design because we cannot be sure that drug trafficking is the sufficient condition for gun violence. Therefore the study attempts to come up with a research design which most appropriate to allow to make a causal conclusion. A robust data set will be used to analyze why drug trafficking causes gun violence and the existence of the relationship between them. The robustness of the data will enable the research to circumvent fidelity to single cause descriptions hence being able to account for the comprehensive correlation and existing precursors.
The data is longitudinal hence enabling the examination of the existing relationship through time. The interest of the research is the general population which is only differentiated by age different from other researches which are only applicable to confined or institutionalized individuals. It is also important to note that information will be extracted from different sources using different methods hence the research does not rely only on official data hence it will remove biases.
There is no any given research that will be able to resolve all the existing issues and causes of drug trafficking and gun violence, and this research is not an exception as it will not give the final answer to the matter (Clatts, Welle, Goldsamt, Lankenau, 2008). In the course of the study, we expect to encounter some problems like some respondents will not be willing to give true information about their lives with drug use and trafficking. We will try as much as possible to ensure the confidentiality and privacy on the information they give us. The aim of the study is to help other researchers in the future trying to research on the same hence being able to move closer to assess the causality between drug trafficking and gun violence. Therefore, as statistical and data collection methods are continuously improving then the weaknesses of this research will be overcome. This research is a move in the right direction regarding the issue of drug use and trafficking and violence in the country.
This research will seek to improve the weaknesses of the research methodologies that have been used in past studies on drug trafficking and drug violence and drugs and violence as well. This will be done by using a prospective longitudinal study by gathering data from a sample of the general population so as to collect data on how people traffic drugs, use drugs and how they are involved in violent activities involving guns. This will help in the measure of criminal offenses in a given duration of time. Models will be used in the analysis of the data to show more accurate estimates of the causal effects of drug trafficking and gun violence. Drug use and drug trafficking data will be used simultaneously in the models so that each of them can show their influence on gun violence. The research will use both incidence and prevalence measures so as to make precise inferences on the matter.