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Weapons, Violence and Personal Security in Cape Town


  • Kai Thaler

    () (University of Cape Town)


Given the high levels of crime and violence in South Africa, there may be a temptation for citizens to arm themselves for protection. Using quantitative survey data from the Cape Area Panel Study and qualitative interviews with residents of high-violence neighborhoods, this paper examines the question of who carries weapons outside the home in Cape Town and what the effects of weapon carrying may be. Multiple regression analysis is used to test the significance of possible socioeconomic drivers of weapon carrying and the results are discussed in the South African social context. Weapon carrying is found to be associated with both assault perpetration and victimization, suggesting that it is part of a violent lifestyle in which weapon carriers are likely to use their weapons both offensively and defensively. Possible weaponrelated policies for violence reduction are also discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Kai Thaler, 2010. "Weapons, Violence and Personal Security in Cape Town," HiCN Working Papers 85, Households in Conflict Network.
  • Handle: RePEc:hic:wpaper:85

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    1. Daniel Mejía & Pascual Restrepo, 2008. "The War on Illegal Drug Production and Trafficking: An Economic Evaluation of Plan Colombia," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 005123, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
    2. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Esther Duflo, 2009. "The Experimental Approach to Development Economics," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 151-178, May.
    3. Ibáñez, Ana María & Moya, Andrés, 2010. "Vulnerability of Victims of Civil Conflicts: Empirical Evidence for the Displaced Population in Colombia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 647-663, April.
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