Every time a gun crime happens in this country, the mainstream media give it sensationalistic coverage, and so-called liberals cover their mouths with their hands like little girls and then remove them and start howling about the necessity of even more gun control legislation than the historically high levels we have now.
As the just published third edition of John Lott’s classic More Guns, Less Crime exhaustively demonstrates, leftists are moving in exactly the wrong direction in their zeal to stop gun crime.
Lott’s central thesis is that (1) criminals are less likely to commit violent crimes if they know there are significant numbers of concealed carry permit holders with weapons, (2) gun restrictions make it harder for law-abiding citizens to obtain guns for self-defense, (3) gun restrictions have no effect on criminals’ intent or ability to obtain weapons, and (4) gun restrictions thus disarm only potential crime victims, whereas reduced gun restrictions arm citizens and frighten off criminals.
Lott supports his hypothesis via mountains of data analyzed at the national, state, and county level, looking at both overall rates of crimes and the more relevant changes in trends before and after permissive nondiscretionary laws are passed. He examines multiple categories of crime including murder, rape, aggravated assault, and robbery. He shows that his results hold, both controlling and not controlling for every demographic variable under the sun, as well as unrelated but important crime rate indicators such as arrest rates, policing strategies, and national trends.
Lott shows that the number of accidental deaths from increased possession of licensed weapons is so minor that it is dwarfed by the number of additional lives saved via increased citizen defense against would-be criminals.
Lott notes the astonishing fact that loosening gun restrictions has had such a positive impact on reducing states’ crime rates over the last two decades that not a single state legislature has even scheduled a debate on repealing nondiscretionary gun laws once they have been passed.
In her semiweekly snarkfest in The New York Times, Gail Collins frequently mocks pro-gun legislators for opposing the slightest, most seemingly inconsequential gun control restrictions, such as not recognizing permits across state lines, banning guns in national parks, and instituting gun show sales regulations.