Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Gun Challenge Accepted

I've been challenged by MommaFargo to discuss John Lott Jr's book More Guns:Less Crime.

So I bought the book here.  It's $10.49 for the Kindle edition, and you don't need a Kindle to read it.  Momma Fargo's  questions are in black, (because black is slimming), my answers are in blue. (Cause I like that color :-P.)

M: Do you agree with the author's research?

Y: Short answer, yes. Longer answer: Studying the effects of legislation and measuring it against the intended purpose is always a "goodness thing."   It helps us learn about the unintended consequences of the laws we pass.  Can someone please take Mr. Lott's approach and apply it to the War on Poverty?

M: Do you agree with the author's studies?

Y: Short answer, yes. Longer answer: He used some outside studies for data trends to support his argument.  His own study uses the best available data from a countywide level.  This turns out to be the perfect data set for studying the statewide effect from  relaxing conceal carry permitting.  Counties that had the most restrictive permitting tended to have the highest crime rates.   A statewide "shall issue" law is passed, and by using the same countywide data set, we can track the crime rate statistics with a clear before/after point in time.  The data prior to the state wide law being passed is harder to correlate between counties because of the variances and discretion given to law enforcement in the issuing of permits.

M: Do you agree with the author's opinion on the economics of gun control?

Y: Yes.  Since I consider human life to be priceless,  the reduction in violent crime is more than worth the immediate rise in larceny and property crimes.  If you want to add in the peace of mind that being able to carry legally gives former victims of violent crime, the "cost" is even smaller.

M: Do you believe he has proven his theory with enough evidence to support it?

Y: Yes.  He even addresses Castle Doctrine / Stand your Ground laws in the 3rd edition.  He addresses every critique leveled against his first and second editions.  He has his facts down cold and his choices for inclusion/exclusion of data are well reasoned.  I admittedly read the book with a biased mind.  I think it is common sense that more law abiding people being armed makes for a safer place.

Things I Learned:

1) Substitution crime effect. Increase in petty crime with a relaxation of gun carry laws. Violent crimes are reduced, but larceny and property crimes increase.

2) Increased crime in Neighboring areas after a relaxation of gun carry laws. Criminals still do crime, but target an area that is perceived as soft. Similar to the substitution effect.

3) Rape had the sharpest reduction in rates after relaxing carry laws.  A note to all you Take Back the Night marchers - Let's work on a)Allowing 18 yr olds to carry.  They can vote, they can enlist, why not allow them to carry?  b) Ending Gun Free zones.  Don't let the campus be a criminals playground.
My favorite parts:

1) His critics misinterpret their own data, which actually confirms his thesis.

2) Catching his critic cherry picking Guns&Ammo sales data to reach a forgone conclusion.

3) Anecdotal stories about politicians and police chiefs changing their minds after the relaxed laws go into effect.  The prophecies about the OK Corral and blood baths in the street just never come true.


  1. I love black! And yes, it is slimming. LMAO Great points. Of course, I didn't expect anything less. Thank you for participating. I also facebooked your blog on The Boogie Man facebook page.

    And I gave you more on my blog page. Paybacks. LOL

  2. Question: Gun carry laws are the hotseat right now. What about prison reform? Sentences fitting the crime? Does gun control and gun carry laws matter or have that big of an influence? Or are we missing the mark? Many of my liberal adversaries say guns don't matter. Take them off the streest. Make us safer.

    Well Seasoned Fool (left a comment on my blog) posed his observations. What do you think?

    1. Taking guns out of the picture does not decrease violent crime overall. It just changes how the violent crimes are committed. (See England post handgun ban.) Allowing tools that can level the playing field between would be attackers and their victims is what causes the reduction, as documented by Lott.

      I'll head over to see what Well Seasoned Fool said....