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Case study: Florida’s “10-20-Life” Law

Your state officials are considering ways to deter gun violence. The governor has hired you to provide an analysis of Florida’s 10-20-Life law. Your task is to produce a PowerPoint presentation of 10-12 slides that will provide lawmakers and the governor with the background and evaluation that will help them decide if this type of law is an effective deterrent.

Make use of the “notes” areas to elaborate on the brief points presented on the slide. Your presentation should cover the following points:

Describe the law’s purpose. How was this law a departure from what preceded it? What was the state of Florida hoping to accomplish with this law?
Explain whether this law illustrates the classical or positive perspective.
Assuming that a major goal of this law is deterrence, explain steps taken by the state to achieve general deterrence.
Evaluate the effectiveness of the law. Did it accomplish what was intended? Were there any negative outcomes? Be sure to cite valid research to support your conclusion
Last, describe the current state of this law, and make a reasoned recommendation for your governor.

Sample Solution

1. What’s Tinbergen’s concept of displacement behavior? Can you think of a good example of such behavior in humans? According to Tinbergen displacement behavior arises when we observe an irrelevant movement entirely out of context. More specifically, he says that displacement is when an animal is in the process of executing a specific behavior, under the motivation of taking this behavior to execution, or a specific instinct “a”- we observe a movement that belongs to a different instinct, instinct b, or a different motivated behavior. Therefore, this activity has been displaced, from instinct “b” to instinct “a”. This results in the execution of a complete irrelevant act during an incorrect context. For example, Tinbergen mentions an example of a displaced activity is when two skylarks are engaged in combat and then suddenly, they peck at the ground as if feeding. The skylarks, in fighting motivation, present activities of feeding motivation and thus exemplify displacement behavior. Specific examples of the different types of displacement behaviors are the following: foraging, drinking, nest-building, eating, preening, care of the body, bathe, and scratching. These displacement activities arise randomly in unacceptable contexts, and sometimes are representations of frustration, like when primates start scratching their fur, which in man, according to Tinbergen would be exemplified like nervous scratching of the head, biting nails, hair fixing, and scratching behind the ears.

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