That’s according to John R. Lott, a recognized expert in the field even by gun control advocates.
Newsmax: The media typically spins these mass shootings as an American phenomenon. They suggest we ought to be more like Europe, with strong gun control, because then we would not have these problems. Is that true?
Dr. Lott: No. Europe has a lot of multiple victim shootings. If you look at a per capita rate, the rate of multiple-victim public shootings in Europe and the United States over the last 10 years have been fairly similar to each other. A couple of years ago you had a couple of big shootings in Finland. About two-and-a-half years ago you had a big shooting in the U.K., 12 people were killed.
You had Norway last year [where 77 died]. Two years ago, you had the shooting in Austria at a Sikh Temple. There have been several multiple-victim public shootings in France over the last couple of years. Over the last decade, you’ve had a couple of big school shootings in Germany. Germany in terms of modern incidents has two of the four worst public-school shootings, and they have very strict gun-control laws. The one common feature of all of those shootings in Europe is that they all take place in gun-free zones, in places where guns are supposed to be banned.
Newsmax: So can you give us a correlation between crime rates in jurisdictions that try to ban concealed guns and the crime rate in those that do not?
If you look over past data, before everyone that was adopting [concealed carry laws], you find that for each additional state that adopted a right-to-carry law . . . you’d see about a 1.5 percent drop in murder rates, and about 2 percent drop in rape and robbery . . . Just because states are right-to-carry doesn’t mean they’ve issued the same number of fees. You have big differences in states’ training requirements.
Newsmax: Would it be a good idea to have teachers who have concealed carry permits in the schools, to better protect kids?
I’m all for that. I’ve been a teacher most of my life. I’ve been an academic. I have kids in college still, and kids below that. It’s not something that I take lightly. But it’s hard to see what the argument would be against it.
People may not realize this, but we allowed permit-concealed handguns in schools prior to the ironically named Safe School Zone Act. And no one that I know has been able to point to a single bad thing that occurred, not one.
We changed the law, and we started having these public-school shootings. So I don’t think they got the intended result that they were hoping for with that type of ban. Right now, [some jurisdictions] allow you to carry concealed-permit guns in the schools. There are not a lot of them. But there are no problems that have occurred with any of those states, either.