200 word response 1 reference/intext citation due 1/27/2024
There are many air-soft and air pistols on the market today that look like real firearms. Do you think that when people commit crimes with these types of weapons they should be charged as if they had a “real” firearm?
People who commit crimes with fake firearms such as air pistols and the like should be charged in the same magnitude as if they had used real firearms. This is because the harm caused, both physical and psychological is the same as if they were using real firearms. The victims do not know that the firearms are fake. For example, if a person armed with an air pistol enters a store, points the pistol at the cashier and orders them to give them all the money they have, it is unlikely that the first thought that will cross the cashier’s mind is that the weapon is not real. Instead, they will be thinking about their safety. Unless they are bold enough to take the risk and dare the robber upon which they may realize that the weapon is fake, they may never know the truth. According to Legal Match (2023), if a victim believes that they would be harmed if they do not cooperate, that would be enough to charge the offender even if the actual physical harm does not occur. The victim will be traumatized as much as they would if a real weapon was being used. An incident of a person using a fake weapon to commit crimes can be interpreted to mean that the individual would use a real weapon if they had one. Although the dangerousness of an individual using a fake firearm versus one using a real once can be debated, it is unarguable that both present a form of dangerousness, only at varied degrees.
Sometimes when someone is believed to have fired a gun, their hands will be tested for gunshot residues (GSR). Many labs have stopped offering this service. Why? Discuss the controversy around this analysis.
Gunshot Residue (GSR) examination is an old technology used in criminal investigations. As technology advances in the field of criminal justice, new techniques have emerged and overtaken older techniques such as GSR. An example is forensic science which has proved to be more efficient. For GSR to be effective, swabs of the suspect’s hands must be collected within four hours of the incident (Wavrusa, 2022). There is a risk of losing the evidence if taken past the four-hour period or through the bags placed on the suspect’s hands. The difficult part in a GSR testimony is that while forensic scientists can determine that the particles collected came from a fired weapon, they are unable to illustrate how they got deposited on the person or item (Wavrusa, 2022). Many labs have stopped offering GSR testing because of the loopholes associated with it. For example, when GSR is introduced from a source other than he accused person firing a gun, cross contamination occurs (Penven, 2013). Also, GSR lasts a long time on the space it has landed on. This means that if it fell on something and someone comes into contact with that thing, they too will be covered in it (Penven, 2013). Nevertheless, the emergence of better techniques of solving crimes such as forensic science has overtaken GSR.