Analysis of 16 Years of Homicides and Suicides Involving the Use of Weapons Recorded at the Milan Medicolegal Bureau

Guendalina Gentile, Carlo Clerici, Angelo de Micheli, Isabella Merzagora, Elisa Palazzo, Alessandra Rancati, Laura Veneroni, Riccardo Zoja

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The criminal use of weapons is a very topical issue in the industrialized countries and worldwide, and a reconsideration of the legislation governing their possession is warranted. We retrospectively analyzed the homicides and suicides involving the use of firearms and piercing and/or cutting weapons recorded at the Medicolegal Bureau in Milan from January 1, 1993, to December 31, 2008. First we considered the clinical histories of the deceased and the circumstantial details of their deaths, then we examined the data relating to the cause of death recorded in the autopsy reports. Our case series consisted of 414 homicides (54.2%) and 350 suicides (45.8%). Firearms were responsible for more deaths (64%) than piercing and/or cutting weapons (36%). The firearms involved were legally licensed in 40% of cases (suicides) and illegal in 22% (homicides). Our findings suggest the need to review the criteria considered for the issue of firearms licenses, in Italy at least.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)386-415
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Volume28
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Keywords

  • community violence
  • homicide
  • violence exposure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology

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