The Conversation: Iain Brennan: Important new findings could help us understand why people carry weapons

Key points to note from Mr Brennan’s article is that weapon-carrying is a complex behaviour. It is not, as the mainstream media would have you believe, driven by “social media, drill music and middle-class drug use”. It’s driven by “individual factors like a history of violence, interpersonal factors like peer offending and community factors like neighbourhood disorder”. Mr Brennan’s can only suggest as plausable what I have said in the past, “austerity, which has resulted in dramatic cutbacks to public and charitable services for young people” is one of the key contributors in the rise of weapon carrying. The services that could help reduce weapon carrying by “working with peer groups of at-risk young people” have been cut. Blaming social media, drill music or middle class drug use is a distraction to draw our attention away from the real causes. The services that could intervene have been cut. People need to join the dots. No funding. No services. No services. No interventions. No interventions. A rise in violence.

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