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Gun Laws

.. ted accordingly, I live in the freest country on Earth. I know there are other cultures and other countries; I have even a visited a few (Canada included, which I liked very much). I prefer to be where I am. Proliferation of violence is not an effect of the availability of guns – has the clear cut example of Switzerland (since you adore international examples so much) really failed to penetrate your prejudices? violence is and has been steadily decreasing since 1980.

AK was tragic but it was newsworthy precisely because it was a rare event. 3/27/98 Stan Watson Paris (France) — The article is too technical. As everybody knows in politics a good politicians can give every sense he wish to polls and numbers and statistics. But this is not a political article, nor meant to be one. It is a rather high level discussion of logical findings from an analysis of available data.

My word, if the article itself is too technical, what would have to say about the Lott-Mustard study that has been published? There are some things in the world (most?) that are not amenable to understanding through emotion or introspection but require a level of conscious cognition to understand. 3/28/98 Dave Workman Bravo for John Lott’s revealing research on the impact that concealed carry laws are having on crime. That such laws have been passed in 31 states, coinciding with passage of Three Strikes and Hard Time for Armed Crime legislation, is the real reason we are seeing a decline in reported violent crime. Those who have advocated restrictive gun control over the years, and other intrusions on the rights of individual citizens, are now being shown as the liars they’ve always been. In the wake of the Arkansas tragedy, I remain more firmly convinced than ever that gun control advocates are glad such shooting rampages to occur, simply in order to further their own agenda.

The veneer is wearing thin, however, as from your own USA Today polling, the majority of respondents support gun ownership, and are now rejecting arguments that restrictions on our Constitutional rights will control crime. 3/28/98 Gary Stift Thank God we do NOT have a world government! Those of you, not American – I do not care what your opinion is! This is America – and our rights and our laws are OUR business. If you want to be without guns and at the mercy of tyrants, that is fine – you can have whatever laws you want – in your country. The Lott article is a valid study of the situation in the U.S. David Lenan – whoever and wherever you are – stay there and keep your nose out of our business.

3/28/98 Ken Barnes While the con article’s discussion thread appears to be moderated, this one really debases the term intellectual capital. To the point, Dr. Lott’s paper, which I read and commented upon in the talk.politics.guns pro-gun FAQ (see text at http://www.rkba.org/research/ ) is far and away the most methodical and comprehensive study of its kind in the professional criminology literature. If there has been any serious criticism of Lott’s methodology in the literature (other than editorials) I’d be interested to see it. The folks at Handgun Control, Inc.

have no case, thus far. 3/28/98 amurphy Professor Lott,s article was on the money. I read the complete study and it was very thourough. Not like the surveys and studies by HCI and CDC. You may not like what he says, but is is factual.

And that is what gripes the gun control crowd. 3/28/98 Ken Mr. Lott forgot to mention that in cities with total bans against carrying by citizens, there is more violence compared to cities with licensed carry. A case in point is our own capitol, Washington DC where guns are totally banned, but the gun homicide rate is still very high. Ditto for cities like NY, Chicago, LA.

Other countries’ cultures are probably different, but I still remember traveling to Rome and noticing that on a lot of streetcorners, there were police with submachine guns. I also had two incidents where people were bold enough to come up to me and try pickpocketing me (one actually stuck his hand into one of my front pockets!). Pretty bold if you ask me.. 3/29/98 John To Paris France: I am an American and after spending several years in Europe and visiting several countries (including France) I still choose the United States over ALL others. There isn’t space here to tell you all the reasons.

Whether you want to believe it or not, gun control does not work here and never will for a variety of reasons. I carry a concealed weapon (legally) and have never had to use it. Armed law abiding citizens are not a threat to anyone except criminals. I enjoy visiting other countries. The only country that I and my family only visited once was France.

We found the people to be rude and obnoxious. And you prove we were right.. 3/29/98 Christopher I’ve noticed that there are cities in this world that have total bans on civilians carrying guns, yet which still have reasonably low violent crime rates (e.g., Innsbrook and Tokyo). On the other hand, I have also seen cities that actively encourage civilians to carry weapons (e.g., Tel Aviv and Zurich), yet they also have reasonably low violent crime rates. These anecdotal, unscientific examples encourage me to disbelieve any claims that gun bans have any large effect on violent crime rates. What I have noticed, however, is that the cities with gun bans (and low violent crime rates) keep large numbers of armed police on duty at night (Innsbrook stationed soldiers on street corners when I was there last). Martial law is hardly freedom, and should be discouraged whenever possible (even if it works in reducing crime).

So I’m left to conclude that trusting the common man to protect himself (in the best way available) is a better answer to crime than the passing fad of banning guns from civilians (I’m not aware of any nation that bans weapons from government employees such as police and soldiers). However, if a nation were to propose banning guns from its police, security personnel, and soldiers, then I might at least be inclined to view the dying breed of anti-gun politicians as unhypocritical. 3/29/98 Ron Boe I believe concealed carry of firearms is much better than open carry (which I think is like carrying a big sign sayingI dare Ya!) but question the need in MOST areas of the county. What I would like to see is a study that conpares investment of money and enforcement of automotive laws vs gun laws. Where would todays’ society benifit the most from? I think lack of enforcement of common motor vehicle laws causes more grief and death than any firearm related problems. A study made by the goverement after the 1968 rash of gun laws showed that gun related deaths and injury was a small sliver of the total death and injury pie while car related death & injury was a huge majority.

This was while the Vietnam war was going pretty good! We really need to step back and look at the bigger picture; this article hopefully points this out in a back handed way. 3/29/98 Steven Poor A few have voiced their suspicions about the the graphs and statistics quoted. These people probably did not click on the blue-colored word study at the top of the article, which leads you to the full study done by Lott and Mustard. If they had, they could see how in-depth this study really is. Remember, if an author writes an article, they must be as brief as possible.

Listing the graphs for every state would not have been allowed by the editor, in the interests of readability. 3/29/98 mark herber Daid Lenan: The fact that Americans rightfully claim their right to selfdefense apparently upsets you very much. I have a suggestion. Why don’t you move to one of those gun control countries which you are so fond of? Nobody here will stop you. They speak english in Canada, Ireland, England and Australia.

So the language barrier is no excuse. No? Then will you admit that socialism and its consequent restrictions of citizens rights are evil? Or on a pragamatic level, that socialism just doesn’t work? After all, inquiring minds want to know why you would consider living in such a violent place as America when one of those peaceful socialist havens could be your home? If the revolutionaries at Concord and Lexington didn’t have guns you and I wouldn’t have the rights and liberties we now enjoy. 3/29/98 Brad3000 Gentlemen, I am Australian, shot IPSC there for many, many years. I was not that great at it but enjoyed it none the less. I have lived in the US for 10yrs now and my wife & I are active target shooters. GunSafety begins in the head and my old club was very strict about screening out the ones with records and drug abuse.

Any club with a sporting interest in firearms cannot afford to be brought-down by members that have a cavalier attittude about serious gun usage and safe handling. What has happened recently to gun-ownership in Australia is a political hype/knee jerk reaction using the sad event that happened in Tasmmania as justification, it will not have much impact on crime as evidenced by many surveys done in the US. We have been mugged 2 times in Australia & CT and shot at in Quebec but survived all. I am for a well screened Carry system that permits ANYONE the CHOICE of carrying. Where we live it is impossible to get one currently and this also means that we cannot use ranges in other states that we used to go to with other collegues.

Each States Laws are a legal mindfield often without reciprocity. Thanks for the Bandwidth. BRAD3000. 3/29/98 John R. Lott, Jr. john Paris (France): Our study accounts for many possible reasons for why crime is changing over time: arrest and conviction rates, prison sentence lengths, income, poverty, unemployment, drug prices, the most extensive demographic information used in any crime study, many different types of gun control, etc.

There are obviously many reasons why crime is changing over time, but one thing that we also do is control for overall national and state or county level trends in crime. For example, crime may have been falling nationally between 1991 and 1992 but we found that those states who adopted concealed handguns had even greater reductions in crime rates. The variables that include can explain about 95 percent of the variation in crime rates across all American counties from 1977 to 1992. By the way, the decline in murder rates nationally since 1991 can not be explained only by the policies in New York city, nor is New York city somehow unique. Many other large cities that did not adopt the particular programs followed in New York and still had large drops in murder. As my new book shows using more recent data, the continued drop in crime rates since 1992 can also be explained by the same variables that I used earlier.

3/29/98 Pete Smith Likewise, in Virginia, not a single permit holder has been involved in a violent crime. I wonder if this just means that they haven’t been arrested yet? I’ve never visited here before, have I been trolled? or is there a risk that some of the other statements of compensating for poverty and demographics might also be as glowingly general? 3/29/98 John R. Lott, Jr. john Paris (France): The reason why crime rates fell relatively more in largest cities is that they are the most sensitive to changes in drug related crimes (i.e., gang battles over drug turf). Since 1991 the U.S.

government has greatly reduced its drug interdiction efforts and as a result cocaine prices fell by 50 percent between 1991 and 1996. New York with the heaviest concentration of drug usage has crime rates that are the most sensitive to changes in drug prices. I am not sure what to make about your second message. It is well known that the Mafia makes money by smuggling illegal items. The Mafia in the United States was created by prohibition. It is not surprising to me that the Mafia in Europe also thrives on providing items that are illegal there.

Is the message that we should legalize guns in Europe just as we ended prohibition in the U.S.? Or, is your point that it is nearly impossible for governments to control the inflow of either drugs or guns? 3/29/98 John R. Lott, Jr. john Pete Smith: The numbers for Texas involve arrest rates, but the numbers for most other states involve the rates at which people are convicted. Licenses are suspended while peoples legal cases are pending but permanent revocation depends upon them being convicted. The bottom line is that whether the numbers are in terms of arrest rates or conviction rates, concealed handgun permit holders are much more law-abiding than the general adult population. When they are convicted it is for activities that rarely involve threats to others (e.g., accidentally carrying a concealed handgun into a prohibited place).

People who use a gun defensively are also frequently arrested when the police arrive because it is difficult for the police to be completely sure who is telling the truth. Permit holders who actually who fire their guns are almost always found to have done so in self-defense. Compare that to arrests for most murders where the conviction rate conditional on arrest is about 90 percent. It is thus very misleading to look at the arrest rates for permit holders who are arrested for using their guns. 3/29/98 Jeff Thank you Mr. Lott for interjecting a comment to clear things up.

I just wish to remind the U.S. posters that it is extremely difficult for people from other cultures to understand ours. The U.S was founded on violence. Early settlers killed native americans to take their land. In 1776 we defeated the British and had to again in 1812. We fought a bloody civil war in the 1860’s, WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, along with other countless wars and conflicts over the last 222 years.

Possibly survival of the fittest? Whether due to tenacity or technology the strong will survive and thrive over the weak. Even today our strength is being used as we have large contingent serving as U.N peacekeepers. The U.S. is a violent group of people, like it or not, but because of this we won most of those conflicts I listed. (CONTINUED)—— 3/29/98 Jeff (CONTINUATION)——— Humans are predators, note our binocular vision for needed depth perception when hunting prey (look at birds, an eagles eyes are in front, a parrott has eyes on the side of its head). Please remember that were it not for the U.S the person from France would be speaking German today and not be allowed on the internet to voice an opinion anyway.

The greatest French victory of late was the sinking of a Greenpeace ship in a New Zealand harbor. This was done by their ‘elite’ special forces group and they got caught. Other countries are not burdened with that pesky Bill of Rights either, and remember it is not a bill of privledges. We all know why the second amendment was put there, you cannot expect people from other countries to know our countries history as we do not generally know theirs. (Plese pardon me for the length of this response) 3/29/98 Bob Bailey To John Lott Jr.; We always hear that the police are anti-gun and support the Brady Bill.

In my hometown of 22,000, we have 19 police officers and I personally know 12 of them. None of the 12 support the Brady Bill or any additional measures for gun control. All of them support concealed carry laws. I wonder if that is typical of most police , or if it is a southern thing. How about a survey of police and their own individual opinions? Not the executive branch, just the common patrol officer, say, seargent and below ? I wonder if we would get different stats than the ones that we are used to hearing.

Any potential there? 3/29/98 Stan Watson Bob Bailey — Please pardon me for adding my two cents worth relative to your question because what I have to say is purely limited and has no validity statistically. I know six uniformed police officers across four states, north and south, and not a single one of them is opposed to CCW or have any desire to see more gun control laws. These police officers span from sheriff departments, to highway patrol, to medium-sized city officers. They are all, however, what one would call the rank and file. 3/29/98 Dick Brudzynski Lott is a paid pimp of the right-wing Olin Foundation. His suggestion in the Wall Street Journal that teachers carry concealed weapons is typical of the NRA mentality.

3/29/98 Bob To DICK ; Hey Dick, my wife is a teacher and teaches 9th grade civics. As a result of her 20 years of teaching , many of my friends are teachers and believe it or not, we have talked about this very subject. I personally think that it would be a good idea if teachers were armed. Not a mandantory thing, but a law that would allow them to do so if it were their choice. Think about it. Who could respond in a more timley manner ? NO ONE.

Like Lotts’ study points out, just knowing some teachers were armed would undoubtedly prevent some violence. My wife has a CCW permit . I am a CCW range officer and you would be suprised at the amount of teachers here in Arkansas that have permits. They are some of the most responsible and respected people I know.Why don’t you ask some teachers what they think ? You may be suprised at the answers. 3/29/98 Bob Bailey TO Stan Watson : Your 2 cents worth was good to hear.

The Sherrif here in Pope county is a personal friend of mine , and I have picked his brain a time or two on gun related issues. As sherrif, he sees all the gun applications for this county before he sends them to the state police for approval. He has stated to me and to many CCW classes that he attends that the people that apply for the permits are not part of the problem, and he personally likes the idea of concealed carry and actively supports it by teaching the law enforcment parts of the classes– on his own time . I can tell you this , he has got a lot of votes doing that, the last election we had , a republic candidate made the statement that only the police and military should have guns and after saying that, he never had a chance. 3/29/98 Stan Watson Bob Bailey — I guess that some politicians really do commit political suicide when they open their mouth.

I wouldn’t have voted for him either, and I am a life long Republican. I wonder, was he endorsed by your local Republican organization or was he one of those single candidate primary winners? 3/29/98 Bob Bailey Stan Watson: Yes , the candidate was endorsed by the Rep. party. He was a career Army man, 20 years in the Military Police. He must have forgot that he was retired and talking to civilians.As a matter of interest, the Rep.

party refused to endorse him again, saying that our current Sherrif was unbeatable. We are fotunate. Our sherrif has common sense, great family values and believes in a much higher authority than himself (unlike most democrats). He is the most conservative democrat I ever met. He has a clear unnderstanding of right and wrong.

(unlike most Democrats).He is a good dude. 3/30/98 Christopher To Dick Brudzynski: Dick, Mr. Lott’s suggestion that people consider allowing teachers to be armed was not unreasonable or unjustified. His editorial in Friday’s Wall Street Journal (one of the better days for editorials, I might add) pointed out that the killer at the High School in Pearl, Mississippi was immobilized not by the police..but by a teacher who ran to his car and retrieved his gun and SAVED the children at that school from further bloodshed. The police didn’t arrive for another four minutes or so (imagine how many innocent, young children that killer would have killed had that teacher not been armed – hence, Mr.

Lott’s suggestion for reasonable consideration of such). ————– Now, since you criticized Mr. Lott’s affilliations, why you don’t you clear the record and reveal to the readers on this forum that you have been posting the one-sided text of anti-gun court cases on Compuserve for years? Who are you affilliated with, Mr. Dick Brudzynski? If you think it is fair to carp about Mr. Lott’s affiliations (which has no bearing on the statistics in a peer-reviewed document, by the way), then surely it is fair for you to be asked the same question. 3/30/98 John R. Lott, Jr.

john Dick Brudzynski: The gun control advocates like the Violence Policy Center and Handgun Control have continually spread these claims about my funding that they know are false. 1) The endowment made by the Olin foundation was raised by the University of Chicago. I had nothing to do with it and absolutely no contact with the foundation. There have been Olin fellows at the University of Chicago since the 1960’s and I did not arrive here until the mid-1990’s. 2) I was given the fellowship as a reward for my past research, none of which has had anything to do with guns. The University of Chicago Law School faculty, which voted to give me the position, never asked what future research I intended to pursue.

3) Of the several hundred Olin fellows at Chicago, Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Stanford, etc. since the 1960’s, I am the only one to do any research on gun control. 4) It is my understanding that the Olin Corporation gets something like one percent of its profits from Winchester ammunition, and that there is no connection between the Olin Corporation and the Olin Foundation. 5) For those interested in a more indepth discussion on this issue please see my new book More Guns, Less Crime. I found how gun control groups attack those with whom they disagree very interesting. 3/30/98 Jeff To Dick Brudzynski – First I applaud the fact that you list your e-mail address.

This lends a great deal of credibility to your response. Many anonymous posters are just mouthing off and one does not know if they are truely making an arguement or just trying to cause controversy. I must point out that in a recent school shooting, the shooter was held at gunpoint by his vice principal for 4.5 min. until police arrived. Yes the VP was breaking the law by having a firearm on school property but the little psycho was only able to kill 2 classmates until the VP apprehended him.

This is not popular so was, of course, usually left out of media reports. 3/30/98 Robert Preston There were only two things wrong with Mr. Lott’s article. As noted by another, the role of police in America is not as protectors. Secondly, Mr.

Lott stated, these states gave the right to carry guns to citizens. No sir! The U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to carry… openly, concealed or otherwise! None of the right to carry laws would be necessary if government would simply obey the law of the land, the Constitution! Each of these states recognize in their constitutions, that the U.S. Constitution is supreme, is the law of the land; and guarantee in their constitutions, the right to keep and bear arms.

More laws=more government control! David Lenan sounds more like Vladimir Lenin. Need he be reminded that if not for an armed, gun-toting America, he wouldn’t have the right to spew out his stupity here? He contradicts himself, saying GUNS kill people, then says that falling homicide rates is due to baby-boomers getting too old to commit crimes. The 14 – 24 yr olds have always been our biggest criminal element. Homicide rates are falling because baby-boomers are the ones arming themselves and the youngsters fear armed citizens. We’re not too old to shoot street hoodlums! Komrade Lenan also praises gun free societies, ignoring their per capita crime rates being higher than America’s, using alternative weapons . .

. and have tax rates of 50-68%, and few freedoms. Is that what this moron wants for us? GUNS=FREEDOM! (I’m a retired cop). 3/30/98 Garret Waddel Right on Chief Preston and John Lott! America is only free because of honest citizens standing up and telling the truth. Paris, France can cite all of the propaganda agents it wants to, but the fact remains, the names they give you are people involved with gun-control/gun-banning politics and organizations. These people in any other decade would have been called what they are: Communist Socialists! If anyone thinks Communism is dead, they’re only ignorantly fooling themselves.

The New World Order is all about Socialism (remember Kruchev said in 1961, that Socialists would take over the world without firing a shot). What stands in their way is free, armed societies! Anti-gunners are nothing more than propaganda agents of the New World Order. It’s not a peaceful they want, it’s an un-armed and imprisoned society, incapable of fighting back! Go to hell Paris! America shall remain the land of the free! We’re keeping our guns, for people like you! 3/30/98 V 3/30/98 Kaarlo Elonen I find it interesting that everyone will admit that drunk drivers kill people but no one says that Dodge or Ford or GMC or Nissan or Toyota or (insert your favorite vehicle) kills people. It’s too easy to blame the gun and not the person using it. However with drunk drivers they will instead put the blame where it belongs and that is with the driver and not with the car.

Even the criminals will say that they fear breaking into a house where they know the person has a gun because they don’t want to get shot. If that fear can extend out to the street because they don’t know who is carrying a gun then I’m all for it. The Second Admendment and concealed carry laws are needed just as much today as they were needed 200 years ago. Does anyone really believe that the criminals will turn in their guns if a law was passed that forbide ownership of guns ?? 3/30/98 Stan Wojteck Lott has right. More guns, less crime.

I like this book. I am American and a patriot. I dislike peole who comes here argue with us andthat are totally alien to our way and tought process. I am a gun owner and I will never let Socialists and Communists take me off. I have a bill of right and I will take my gun in an airplane.

All this immigrants who comes across in my country and steal my job and my house. 3/31/98 F. Lassen I can’t belive the amount of people who want the honest Citizen disarmed. I live in a rural area and it takes the Sheriffs department 40 minutes to get a deputy here when a crime is commited. The place I live is beside a state hwy.

leading into another state and when the sheriff is called the criminal goes acrossed the state line. I have called the sheriffs office many times because many drug deals go down here on the Hwy. There response is horrible. I have to keep a loaded gun here as I have had people drive into my yard at 1AM and 2 AM and want directions and they were on drugs or had been drinking a lot. The police and sheriffs jobs is not to protect, it is to apprehend criminals after a crime has been commited.

With over 390 million Acres in the United States and only about one percent of the population of approxmately 262 million people in the US on some type of law enforcement jobs, it is easy to see they can’t help you if they are called and you have only seconds to take care of your family during a crime. Require the anti gun crowd to be sign up at police dept. and sheriffs offices saying they don’t believe in guns so the criminals will leave me and my family alone. Gun Control will lead to People Control. Thank You 3/31/98 Rob Waterson rob(at)mindspring(dot)com I am a proud American and I do not give a damn about how they do things in Europe; we have a different attitude towards government here.

I have carried a concealed weapon for several years now and never even had to draw it. I do indeed have a carry permit, but I also know that I do not NEED one; what part of keep and bear does the government not understand? HERE IS MY MAIN POINT: Those of you (and it warms my heart to see how many) who firmly believe in the right to keep and bear have to abandon the republicrats and the demopublicans; they have both abandoned freedom and individual rights. I find it interesting that even though they were at odds with one another at the time, both the Federalist and the Anti-Federalist would be considered Libertarians by today’s standards. Take the plunge, vote for freedom! 3/31/98 Mark Wilson Bob Bailey: You have to differentiate Police Chiefs from Police officers. Every poll that I have read shows that police officers support the rights of citizens to be armed.

Police Chiefs, especially those in big cities, are usually political appointees, and as such, usually care more about the policies of the current administration, than they do about the concerns of the citizens. 3/31/98 P (F) You absolutely right ! 3/31/98 Dr. Bill As a person who has spent many decades dealing with measurements, I have to agree that Mr. Lott’s charts are simply too smooth to be remotely possible. He is clearly misrepresenting some real data that may or may not actually have the trends he presents; there is no statistical validation to back up what he claims with those figures. In addition, we know that violent crime has generally dropped throughout the country, so drops in murder rates etc. that center on the anti-crime implementation of gun-toting laws or any other local public policy initiatives of the past decade are likely just coincidental.

These compelling scientific arguments having been made, there is still a vague suspicion that Mr. Lott may be correct, even to a staunch anti-gun person such as myself (I grew up in Houston TX when it was the murder capital of the civilized world and always saw stories on the evening news about petty disputes that grew to deadly confrontations given the ready access to guns, or childhood buddies killed during innocent play). Criminals have to think twice about an attack on a potential target who just might have a gun up their sleeve. However, I can’t imagine that such policies would work well in a crowded Manhattan subway, or that they could reduce our murder rates to merely several times that of European countries which don’t even necessarily arm their police. 3/31/98 P (F) Dr. Bill: You absolutly right Sir ! 4/1/98 John R.

Lott, Jr. john Dr. Bill: The graphs shown in my piece trace out the quadratic regression lines for the periods before and after the concealed handgun law goes into effect. (These were the graphs discussed in the published version of January 1997 study in the Journal of Legal Studies. The version on the web does not contain this information.) If you are interested in the actual year to year variation in crime rates before and after the imposition of the laws, please see pages 136 to 138 of my forthcoming book.

However, the bottom line is that for both ways the results look remarkable similar. As to you concerns about how these laws would work in New York city, I have a couple thoughts. The largest cities that I have studied who have changed their laws are Houston and Philadelphia, which why they are not as large as New York are still fairly sizable. The results also strongly indicate that concealed handgun laws reduce crime the most in the most densely populated counties. However, it is possible that the relationship be the passage of these laws and crime rates may change for the city populations above those which I have been able to study. One can only test this by actually changing the law.

New York City does currently issue about 8,000 permits, but if one believes that the impact in New York would be different than it has been in other cities, it is possible to change the law gradually in stages. 4/1/98 TomC Benjamin Disraeli once said There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics. I got that quote out of a great little book called ‘How to Lie With Statistics’. For years it has been a little hobby of mine to look at the conclusions of various published studies and surveys, and find the little lies, the outright misrepresentations, the (mis) manipulation of data, etc. Little of the origi.