Gun Laws Essay

This essay has a total of 39565 words and 159 pages.

Gun Laws

States from Michigan to Nebraska to California, as well as the federal government, are
considering new rules on letting law-abiding citizens carry guns. Does allowing citizens
to carry concealed handguns deter violent crimes? Or does this cause otherwise law-abiding
citizens to harm each other? Thirty-one states now have guaranteed their citizens the
right to carry concealed handguns if applicants do not have a criminal record or a history
of significant mental illness. So what have the results been?

The numbers tell the story
Using the FBI's crime-rate data for all 3,054 U.S. counties by year from 1977 to 1992, I
co-authored a study in the January 1997 Journal of Legal Studies. We found that concealed
handguns deter violent crimes and produce no significant increase in accidental handgun
deaths. The accompanying figures show how dramatic this drop is by illustrating how
different violent crime rates change before and after the adoption of these laws. The size
and timing of the decline coincide closely with the number of concealed-handgun permits
issued. Counties issuing the most new permits had the greatest drops in crimes.

The study considered arrest and conviction rates, prison-sentence lengths and changes in
many other handgun laws such as waiting periods, as well as income, poverty, unemployment
and changing demographics. Thousands of observations made it possible to control for a
whole range of other factors never included in any previous crime study.

The estimated benefits indicate that if those states without right-to-carry concealed
handgun provisions had adopted them in 1992, at least 1,500 murders would have been
avoided yearly. Similarly, rapes would have declined by more than 4,000, robbery by more
than 11,000 and aggravated assault by more than 60,000.

Benefits all around
Surprisingly, the largest drops in violent crimes occurred in the most urban counties with
the highest crime rates. Further, the benefits of concealed handguns were not limited to
those who carry the weapons. By the nature of these guns being concealed, criminals cannot
tell whether a potential victim is armed, thus making crime less attractive when it
involves direct contact with people. Citizens who have no intention of carrying a
concealed handgun benefit from the crime-fighting efforts of their fellow citizens.

While allowing either men or women to carry concealed handguns deters murder, the impact
is particularly dramatic for women. The findings imply that for each additional woman
carrying a concealed handgun the murder rate for women falls by three to four times more
having an additional man carrying a concealed handgun lowers the murder rate for men. With
women typically being weaker physically, providing a woman with a gun has a much bigger
effect on her ability to defend herself.

People willing to go through the permitting process also tend to be law abiding. In
Florida, almost 444,000 licenses were granted from 1987 to 1997, but only 84 people have
lost their licenses for using a firearm in a felony. Most cases appear to have involved
accidentally carrying a gun into restricted areas like airports or schools.

During Texas' first two years of issuing permits in 1996 and 1997, permit holders were
arrested for violent crimes at less than one-sixth the rate of other adult Texans, and
these arrests rarely involved guns. Likewise, in Virginia, not a single permit holder has
been involved in a violent crime. Similar results have been observed in states such as
Kentucky, Nevada, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Listen to the men in blue
While most police have supported concealed-handgun laws, many opponents have changed their
minds after adoption. For example, Glenn White, president of the Dallas Police
Association, recently summarized his change of heart: "I lobbied against the law in 1993
and 1995 because I thought it would lead to wholesale armed conflict. That hasn't
happened. All the horror stories I thought would come to pass didn't happen. No bogeyman.
I think it's worked out well, and that says good things about the citizens who have
permits. I'm a convert."

Permit holders are unusually law-abiding citizens who fear for their personal safety. The
police are simply not able to protect everyone all the time. As a former opponent of
concealed handgun laws, Campbell County, Ky. Sheriff John Dunn says: "I have changed my
opinion ... These are all just everyday citizens who feel they need some protection."

The evidence clearly indicates that we are all better off when law-abiding citizens are
given a chance to defend themselves.

This article is too stupid to comment on. As already stated, America has a disgusting
homicide rate, the result of the gun mentality. Back to the Third World again, eh??!!
Inner-city Detroit looks like some two-bit dictatorship that Americans here about on TV
and pity. Pity indeed : (

3/26/98 AllenM
Funny, David, that Detroit got to be in such sad shape with some of the toughest gun laws in the Nation.
3/26/98 Christopher
Clearly Mr. Lott is right on the money with his article. No matter where you are in the
world, if you want to move large quantities of gold or cash, you arm your guards. This
holds true even in countries with TOTAL bans on guns. Driving gold through Ireland or
Japan will find the same armed guards. Why do they need to arm their guards? Because
criminals will ALWAYS obtain weapons and resort to violence. This brings up the question:
If gold is valuable enough to protect, aren't the lives of individuals worth that or more?
If most people value life more than gold, then it would stand to reason that they should
have the right to protect themselves with the very finest means available. Certainly the
500,000 slaughtered in Rwanda would have been better off had they been armed...instead,
their attackers found only unarmed, defenseless people. The results were too predictable.
In the LA Riots, again it was the defenseless, unarmed citizens who suffered the most
cruelly. Such extremes are mere examples, by the way. Violence against law-abiding
citizens is to be condemned even when it is conducted by a lone unarmed criminal...and it
too is worthy of being armed to defend against.

3/26/98 Bob Bailey
Seems like those in power forget 2 things. A law, any law is a limitation on our freedom.
Although many laws are nessesary, many are not. A law is only good for LAWABIDING people.
No amount of law will prevent sensless acts. Criminals respect armed people.Why is it that
our lawmakers do not? Why are you blaming "guns" for violence ? Seems to me that it's a
morality problem.For those that do not obey the law, and for those like yourself that
don't have the spine to stand up for what is right.

3/26/98 R. Clarke
Excellent article. I only take issue with one statement: "The police are simply not able
to protect everyone all the time." This furthers the myth that the function of the police
is to protect individuals. In reality, their job is much different. They are charged with
investigating violations of the law, writing reports, and arresting suspects. There is a
good deal of case law backing this up. Your local police department has *no obligation* to
protect you from those who would harm you. For those who doubt this, or just want more
info, read "The Value of Civilian Arms Possession As Deterrent To Crime Or Defense Against
Crime" By Don B. Kates Jr. (Originaly published in AMERICAN J. OF CRIM. LAW (1991)). A
quick search of the title at Yahoo should bring this right up.

3/26/98 Muad'Dib usul@thepoint.net_nospam
Mr. Lenan's probing commentary notwithstanding, guns are curative, not causal as regards
violence. The Justice Dept just finished a study, but haven't released it publicly. It
seems that, despite operational assumptions specifically designed to minimize the positive
effect of guns on crime rates, they still found over 1.5 million defensive uses of
firearms a year - which is in line with similar studies (i.e., Gary Kleck). Our
"disgusting" homicide rate has been dropping steadily since 1980, in lockstep with a
decline in the population's percentage of 14-24 y.o. males - but coincident with a marked
_increase_ in the passage of concealed-carry laws and permits issued, and an increase of
over 40% in the number of guns in private hands. Were guns the cause of crime, the rate
would be increasing. Ipso facto, the passage " too stupid to comment on" is not the

Has anyone done a study of the effects of open carry? Why weren't any fo the teachers
involved in the Jonesboro incident armed? Or even some of the children?

3/26/98 Christopher
Jonesboro and similar tragedies will naturally continue as Public Schools mimic their
government sibling known as Public Housing. Both prove that government should be quite
limited in what it is permitted to operate, unless you want the violence associated with
public housing and public schools to continue unabated.

3/26/98 Ron Lewenberg
Whether right-to-carry laws promote or detter violence is irrellevant to the law. The true
debate is about the fundamental right of citizens to protect themselves from criminals and
against the state. There is a reason why the loudest pro-confiscator here is from France.
That reason is the relationship of the individual to the state. In Europe power is found
in the state and lent to the people as a privelege. In America our rights are UNALIENABLE
and we lend power to the state. The government has no morall or legal authority to disarm
citizens. To do so is to through out our reason d'etre. For the people to promote such an
action is an admission that freedom has failed. Gun control advocates don't want to
control guns, they want the government to controll us.

3/26/98 Bob
re:Ron Lewenberg Amen to that brother ! Best thing I"ve heard yet.
3/26/98 Non-Ideologue
So Mr. Lewenburg, don't you think that Palestinians also should have the right to carry
guns and defend themselves as human beings , just like Israelis? I take your comments to
be universally applicable principles, not just for Americans, but also for Jewish settlers
in Israel (and Arabs in the occupied territories) where religious fanatics and
economically motivated families already have the right to carry guns and shoot Arabs whose
families have always been there and get away with it. Right now the Palestinians, a decent
percentage of whom are Christian, only can use stones to try to throw off the cruel
oppressor who breaks its Oslo treaty commitments and scorns the world community. If Israel
could not control the Palestinians before allowing Arafat to return (and turning over a
few small pieces of land), then how can the Palestinians do it? Is gun control doomed to
fail? Which is it?

3/26/98 anonymous
Was anybody else just a little suspicious of the statistics presented in this article?
Were the graphs shown for just one state each, presented as an example, or are they
somehow a composite of all available data? Were there any states that did not show a
dramatic plunge after the legalization of concealed weapons? Also, I'd like to see a
side-by-side comparison of, say, a state that adopted the measure and a nearby state that
didn't, for the same time period. The author makes some good points, but I'd like to know
a little more about the data. Maybe I'm just a skeptic...

3/26/98 David Lenan
Muad'Dib: My original comment was as probing as was needed given the intelligence of the
article. America's homicide rate is disgusting, to most people at least, mabe not to
someone with your character. Guns ARE the cause of these horrible crimes, the decrease in
the homicide rates is almost entirely due to the fact that the baby boomers are at a point
in their aging where their getting too "old" to commit crimes. Again, no one will look at
the international evidence. Your post was JUST not too stupid to comment on.

3/26/98 mowgli
Seems like John Lott is on to something. We should do some serious studies on this matter.
However David Lenan and others of his ilk would probably not believe those results either.
Why is it that some refuse to seek the truth? They are so sure of their convictions that
they reject truth and scoff at attempts to reach the truth. Give us a break David! We have
to find out what will work. Or shouldn't we? Ill grant you there is no panacea but
nothings working now as you point out. What would you have us do? Wring our hands and
admit there is no solution?

3/26/98 Bob
To David Lenan: Get a clue. If you took every gun in this country and destroyed it, are
you silly enough to believe that that would be the end of violence ? As for
"international" results, I could really care less. This is still the greatest country in
the world and your article smacks of socialism. Do you own a gun ? Have you ever had to
protect youself, or are you living in Utopia? Are you jealous of common men that own guns
? Where do you live ?Are you "allowed" by the authorities to even own guns , or is that
just for the ruling elite ? Tell me please. I'm trying to figure out how someone can even
think like this.

3/26/98 John Anderson
David Lenan: "Guns ARE the cause of these crimes"? Don't know if you actually meant this,
but if you did, you're are excusing the people (criminals) who commit these crimes. A
criminal is not responsible because they are victims of society, right? It's these
criminal-tolerant views, adopted so much by our legal system, that have been a significant
contributor to higher violent crime rates. Does your view also extend to butcher knives,
baseball bats, arsenic, automobiles, rocks, rope, bare hands, and other tools of
intentional murders? Crime is an act of a person, and the rights of law-abiding people
need not be stripped in a misguided attempt to exonerate the criminal and place blame on
inanimate objects.

3/26/98 David Lenan
Bob: Your post is so full of self-righteouss I don't even know what you think of reality.
Taking the guns away wouldn't end violence, but it would temper it down a great deal. I
AMERICANS, SO CONCEITED!!!!! If you are an America Bob, YOU are the one being ruled by the
elites. Your post smacks of ignorance, check out an atlas, discover there are other
countries, discover that the smart ones banned guns, discover everyone isn't killing
everyone in these countries.

3/26/98 David Lenan
John Anderson: I don't believe criminals are the victims of society. I would like to see
those two boys be executed, they took the lives of innocent children before they could
live, therefore the boys should lose thier lives. All the examples you give me are
objects, but guns are the only ones that are there just to KILL!! Taking the guns away
would make that a lot harder, which would be a good start in attempting to get things in

3/26/98 Allen VanCleve
David Lenan: Why are so terrified of freedom and self determination. When are you going to
realize that your disgust in personal freedom will eventually lead to a police state.
Having spent the majority of my childhood under the "care" of the state.(foster care)
Ihave seen first hand what it is like to live in a nanny state. I wouldn't wish that even
on you even though it seems to be what you want.

3/26/98 David Lenan
Allen VanCleve: Banning guns doesn't take away freedom. LOOK AT CANADA!! Canada is MORE
free. While Americans were enslaving "niggers" Canadians were risking war with America to
sneak blacks into Canada and FREEDOM. Canadians can walk down an inner-city street without
being killed, Toronto and Vancouver are a hundred times safer than L.A. and New York.
Canadians are warned when travelling to American that it's a whole different ball game,
stay alert or violence will consume you alive. The freedom argument is justification to
keep the weapons, explain the examples of the other nations, other countries like Canada
(a country without guns which NO other country has ANY right to criticize about freedom).

3/26/98 Christopher
David: Your passion is appreciated, and certainly the struggle for freedom is the most
noble of all battles. You are incorrect, however, to allude to Canada as having no guns.
It has millions. It has handguns, rifles, and even automatic weapons. Eskimo children take
rifles with them on school field trips to protect themselves from bears. Gun safety
classes proliferate. These are good things. It also has a low crime rate. That's all very
nice. Canada does not have my brand of freedom, however. Banks are *Required* to get the
government's permission to purchase other banks (you don't have much freedom without that
permission). Motorists are prohibited from using radar detectors. Doctors are assigned low
pay-levels (which is why so many great Canadian doctors immigrate to the US to help give
us the best healthcare on the planet). These are anectdotal, of course, but they help
illustrate that freedom is not the same as tranquility. Sure, a diehard Socialist can
always claim that it is reasonable for governments to "limit" what doctors make (or
lawyers or businessmen), but in no way is that FREEDOM! Freedom is found where people are
willing to fight for their rights. This means that things can get quite violent, in fact
wars are often fought over freedom. Freedom requires that you stand up to every bully and
never back down. Whether you choose to do this with a particular weapon or not is
immaterial (so long as you have the choice).

3/26/98 Jim Block
Allen. It is a people problem not a gun problem. Switzerland households are REQUIRED to
keep assult rifles and ammunition available. You can walk down Swiss streets even more
securely that Canadian streets. IT IS A PEOPLE PROBLEM, NOT A GUN PROBLEM.

3/26/98 Muad'Dib usul@thepoint.net_nospam
I see a trend emerging: Any comments whicb do not conform perfectly to Mr. Lenan's views
are "too stupid to comment on" (yet the urge to say so overwhelms, I guess). An easy,
predictable debating technique, but hardly convincing, I'm afraid. What exactly was "too
stupid" about my post, Mr. Lenan? Was there something wrong with my data? Was my analysis
of that data flawed in some way? These are certainly a legitimate points of contention, a
fact I have in no way disregarded. A debate would entail your pointing out my errors and
providing alternative data and/or analysis. I, at least, have provided these - you have
not. Anecdotes, repetition, allusion to "international data" you don't provide, and
SHOUTING do not make your point more acute, nor your lack of supporting evidence less
apparent. Calling those who disagree with you "stupid" enhances neither your position nor
your status as a person whose views should be given any weight. Quite the contrary. Guns
are an emotional issue, but not immune to reasonable, methodical debate. I challenge you
to step up a level from polemics to actual intellectual discourse. I, and others here,
have presented our viewpoints with supporting evidence. If you disagree with me, _support_
your position rather than belittling yourself (not me, I assure you) by namecalling.

3/27/98 Fremling
See John Lott's op-ed piece on page A14 in the Friday, March 27th, Wall Street Journal. He
has an excellent analysis of the Arkansas school shooting.

3/27/98 bmp
Dear Lenin (uh, I mean, Lenan... David Lenan): If guns are the reason for the relatively
high homicide rates in the U.S., please explain why two other countries, that have less
gun control than the U.S., have violent crime rates as low as any other European
countries? These countries are Switzerland and Israel. If guns cause crime and gun control
reduces it, why is it that there was much less crime in the good old days (you know,
before you socialists came to power in the 60s), when guns were commonplace and gun
control was nonexistent? Hmmmmm?? Speaking of violent crime, do you know how many millions
of innocent people were slaughtered by Hitler and Stalin after they disarmed the people,
comrade? B.

3/27/98 David Lenan
Muad'Dib: You don't agree that having a nation full of guns is probably the real cause of
a culture that is obsessed with death? You don't agree that getting rid of the guns would
make people think twice about killing because the actual act would be harder (e.g.
stabbing with a knife). Often pointless argument arises because it seems some people
answer arguments about EVERY issue with the Consitution, the Declaration of Independence,
Mom and apple pie. You think that's educated argument, an issue comes up and half (not
all) the people post messages that sound like something William Wallace would say in
Braveheart?? Some have said everything on the "gun" debate except "the NRA fought like
warrior poets, and won their freedom, forever..."

3/27/98 Steve Koege
I totally agree with Professor Lott on the merits of concealed weapons. Just the
perception that an individual is armed would make a violent person think twice about
committing an act of violence against another person. Considering this, crime would
typically go down if you weren't sure if you were going to be shot and killed for your

3/27/98 Steve
To the previous Steve - One thing that criminals consider is the risk involved in doing
their business - crime. If that risk is too great (ie to their own cowardly lives), they
will not do it. My father (a liberal BTW) has a sign on his rural property warning
would-be criminals that they will be shot at. He hasn't had a single problem while his
neighbors are getting items stolen from their garages. In my town, an older man got fed up
and did the same thing. Both my father and this other man raised the price to these
criminals, and that's a price they don't want to pay.

3/27/98 FredE
Dave Lenan: the post immediately preceeding your last conclusively answers your first two
questions in the negative. The historical and statistical data devastate the gun grabber
position. And, gee, sorry Dave if we hick Americans keep referring to that pesky
constitution. As long as the 2nd Amendment remains, this IS a constitutional issue.

3/27/98 Bob
TO all that respond: As an American I am proud of my country. Sure, we've got our faults
and some dark history, but the fact of the matter remains that this country has done more
for individual rights and freedoms than any country in the world. How can anyone argue
with Foreigners, that are totally alien to our ways and thought processes? David, I tend
to think of americans as the "William Wallace "types. People that would draw the line and
stand for what we believe.Paris France, we are unlike the french, that would be speaking
German now, if it wasn't for Americans. You guys have no idea,no concept of our ideas of
freedom. So before you argue, make sure you understand the concepts.

3/27/98 Mark Wilson
I love David's response. Don't confuse me with facts, I already know what the right answer should be.
3/27/98 Mark Wilson
Lenan: The US has always been a country awash in guns, yet this culture of death is a very
recent phenomena. As usual, you would rather use emotion, and insult everyone who has the
audacity to disagree with your ignorant opinions than even try to deal with the facts.

3/27/98 Wm Bach
David Lenan, I love the reference to William Wallace. Did you even understand what the
character was talking about? Criminals and governments (often the same thing) respect only
one thing - an armed populace. They do not respect your right to free speech, they do not
respect your right to secure papers, they do not respect your right to a fair and
impartial trial of your peers. Sixty million Americans understand this and will become
very angry if you try to foist your commie crap upon them. Sleep well.

3/27/98 anonymous
Guns do not cause crimes people do. We have to take responsibility at some time for our
society and culture and look at ourselves. Not at the drugs, guns, cars, booze etc. Are we
going to ban driving because of the car accidents? The decline of our morals and ethics is
to blame. In the 50s with fewer gun control laws we had fewer crimes. Parents have to take
responsibility for their children, teachers for their students, bosses for their
employees. You can not fire anyone anymore because you may get shot. You can not
discipline any student at school because you will get sued, you cannot discipline your
child because it will be taken away from you. We respect opinions and freedom of speech
for criminals and restrict religious expressions. We glorify and make excuses for the
criminals and forget about the victims and the people who do good. As long as you are
successful and have money it is ok to be amoral and to be a crook? We have to look at
ourselves and our values and make the changes. Do not mess with the Constitution that got
us this far. We do not want to lose our freedoms, we should want to protect them. The 2nd
amendment will guarantee the 1st and we can be around for another 200 yrs at least.

3/27/98 logos
Lenan..Are you seriouly contending the government should confiscate or otherwise make
illegl the ownership of the over 200 million guns in this country? If so you are living in
a dream world. The gun crime problem will not be solved by any such sweeping destruction
of the Constitutional rights of US citizens. Nor will it be solved by one sweepin
solution. More likely a series of solutions such as tougher sentencing, allowing citizens
easier concealed carry permits, attempts to shore up the Juvenile Justice System to allow
jailing offenders and later putting them in adult facilities when the come of age etc.
Your comparisons of the US with other countries won't fetch! Compare NY City and Wash. DC
who have handgun control laws to other US cities which don't. After that say something
realistic please!

3/27/98 Will Briggs
Mr Lott shows a trend I want to see more of in journalism: actually including references.
I get frustrated when I read that "studies show..." or "a bill recently passed into law
requires..." (My only complaint about the data is I would like to have seen a measure of
the statistical significance of the results.) When contrasted with the opposing editorial,
this one really shines.

3/27/98 Bob
TO Paris France; I have to admit that you are right about me, or Americans in general
being "superior" to any other country. I rekon that ANY armed male is SUPERIOR to one that
is not. I suppose that I could make you a slave and you would have to like it because you
sure could'nt do anything about it. I'll bet that there are a lot more people immigrating
here than anywhere else, in the quest to become "superior". Any way, I"m glad you've
finnaly realized that yes, it's true, we are superior. As long as we retain the right to
bear arms, we will stay superior.

3/27/98 John Guy
Where is the MODERATOR of this "discussion"? If personal attacks and lewd remarks are
considered appropriate in a debate, then just drop the claim to a "moderated" debate.} One
would hope that no one is so tunnel-visioned as to think that to have or not to have guns
are the only variables in the equation. To compare today (with many gun laws) to the 1950s
(with fewer gun laws) ignore the vast differences in the societies of past and present
that inspired the increase in laws. The article ASSUMES a lot more than seems reasonable
in a scientific study.

3/27/98 Samuel Colt
Everybody relax! The U.S. has more guns due to our frontier heritage. Also, we chose to
allow gun ownership as a foil to government tyranny. Gun ownership as defined by the
Second Amendment is not for personal protection from crime, but a more important element
of freedom, protection from our government should it cease to be an agent of the people.
It is but one of the unique things that has made the United States the greatest country in
the history of Earth. Justly deserved conceit, thank you. I DO have an atlas, by the way,
and I am aware of other countries which have elitist ideas about human nature (unwashed
masses, etc.) and the effects of a populace free to take responsibility for their own
personal safety(The peasants have guns! Save the Queen!). Alas, the tolerant ideas that
have created this prosperity also create a class of people who prey on those who follow
the law. That is why I have a permit. Now if my state would follow Louisiana's lead with

3/27/98 Julie Cochrane
200 or so years ago, we fought a war. At the beginning of it, we wrote down why we fought
it. At the end of it we wrote down what we expected to be respected by our new government
or we would throw it back out on its ear. The world may have changed a lot since then, but
we have not. Fundamentally, Americans still just want to be left alone. We're out in the
world as a "Superpower" because our economic system works well, we need good trade routes
to buy critical resources (like titanium) from abroad, and we learned from WWI and WWII
that the rest of the world will not leave us alone to run our own country the way we like,
mind our own business, and trade in peace. The only real argument against isolationism
over here is that we have to enforce Pax Americana on you buggers to keep world economies
and trade routes stable for what few critical resources we don't have internally. And, of
course, we're glad to buy and sell nonessentials with you at the same time. We refer back
to 200 year old documents because we meant the sentiments in them enough to fight wars
over them when we said them, and we still mean them strongly enough to fight wars over
them now. We refer back just to show we're being consistent.

3/27/98 Andy
I'm from Detroit. We are getting casinos soon. We'll probably have an increase in crime
too. I pray that the state gov. passes the CCW reform soon. Criminals dont care what the
laws are.

3/27/98 AllenM
D. Lenan, I think that you have an unspoken emotional context that overrides any logic you
could bring to this subject. People are the problem, not the implement they use to act
out. Or are we going to ban frying pans and ball point pens next?

3/27/98 Frank
On 3/26/98, David Lenan wrote: # America's homicide rate is disgusting, to most # people
at least, mabe not to someone with your character. # Guns ARE the cause of these horrible
crimes, One article on this site mentioned that violent crime rates in other western
countries are 10-20 times lower than ours. David, something like 50-60% of the murders are
commited with firearms. Even if guns disappeared and ALL of the people that killed with
guns turned into good people and did not kill with other means, we'd still have a violent
crime rate five to ten times higher than other countries! Of course, it would be worse
than this, since most of the people that murdered with guns would STILL be amoral
sociopaths... they'd find a different weapon. Guns are used in a lot of murders not
because guns cause crime, but because they are convenient to use for that purpose. They
would remain convenient even if guns were banned. If you could cast a magic spell that
caused all guns to cease to exist, these crooks would use something else. We have a
culture of violence in America. This, unlike widespread gun ownership, is a recent
development. We, as a group, have decided to forsake morality. Life has little meaning
now! The only surprise is that there is not MORE violence. Combined with loose, "revolving
door" justice, we've set ourselves up for what we've got. I'm glad that I now live in a
state that allows me my Constitutional right to bear arms. Frank

3/27/98 Muad'Dib
Mr. Lenan: of course I don't think that a "nation full of guns is the cause of a culture
of death." Even if we were a culture of death, guns would be a symptom. Smoking is not an
effect of cancer. But that analogy is ir-releavent because I don't live in a culture of
death. I live in a life-affirming culture that affords and respects the sacrosanct rights
(and responsibilities) of free individual human beings. One of those rights is the
absolute right to defense of my person, my loved ones, and my freedom. Largely because my
ancestors - and quite a few millions of others along the way - agreed that this was a
sacrosanct right and acted 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 ) 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 saying"I 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.
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.
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.
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
people’s 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

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.
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 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.
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 original data is
provided, typically, yet often it is sufficient to debunk the conclusions. This tendency
to lie with statistics is especially common in studies involving public policy issues
where political philosophy usually trumps academic detachment (does that even exist any
more?). I have no respect for anyone who intentionally misuses data and statistics to
reach conclusions not supported by that data. John Lott: pass. Douglas Weil: fail.

4/1/98 Jack Carnwell
75% of those polled don't care what TomC thinks of statistics. 69% thinks he's currently
ingesting some sort of narcotic. 92% thinks he is paranoid to the point of needing prozac.
54% believe he doesn't trust his mother. 99.9% think Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, M.D., is
pretty wrong.

4/1/98 Wm Bach
Dr. Bill/TomC, At least Dr. Lott has made an honest attempt to study the subject, and let
the data take him where it may. Perhaps you should do the same. Just go in with no
preconcieved results, analyze the data and let it take you where it leads. The truth shall
set you free...and a good Springfield M1 will ensure that you remain so.

4/1/98 daniel
Okay, I have a few things to add. 1. The "Canadian Freedom" argument is garbage. To think
a Canadian is as free as we are is bull. SOcialist HealthCare, Permits needed to transport
weapons, come on. Canada screams socialism. They are damn fine humanitarians, however, as
is indicated by the fight to end several different forms of oppression and hostage taking,
and kidnapping. 2. To those questioning the statistics. Buy the book. Determining
causality is nearly impossible in the social sciences. Period. However, being able to
explain, or at least recognize other variables is important to the conclusion. Lott seems
to have a good graps on the variables involved, and the methodology, but was hamstrung in
this case by space. Guess I got baited into buying the book when it comes out. My personal
.02. I live in a great country that is occaisionally interrupted by some lowlife criminal,
many of whom are WELL armed. It is the responsibility of the government to see to our
protection, that is the primary purpose of any government. SO, when the government can not
protect me, it had better not interfere with my ability to protect myself, lest it is
oppressing me, and I will fall back to the teachings of T.J. a little revolution is a good
thing. There was one in '94 with the Republican sweep, and there will be many more of the
same nature. With thought on the part of our elected leadership, our revolutions will all
be peaceful. do

4/1/98 TomC above
Wm. Bach: Good heavens! I passed Mr. Lott and failed Mr. Weil I may have been tedious, but
my point was that typically data and statistics are misused to support a position. In Mr.
Lott's case any such misuse is certainly not apparent. In Mr. Weil's case, it is.

4/1/98 Joshua Amos
This study reflects what most of us have know for years. I am glad that the truth is
finally coming out. Thanks to the authors for doing the reaserch using the facts, instead
of lies from a political group's agenda. Compareing legal gun ownership to what happended
in Arkanas is like comparing the act of a husband and wife making love to a gang rape.

4/1/98 Fred
Only the weak carry a handgun. That applies to criminals and to regular citizens. Handgun
ownership gives people a false sense of security. Sure there a rare cases where carry a
handgun actually saved someone. But the net effect of gun ownership has definitely been
negative in our society. How many children accidently shoot themselves while playing with
their daddy's gun?? How many handguns are stolen from law abiding citizens only to be used
in crimes?? How many drunken arguments end up deadly because someone decided to use a
gun?? Let's use common sense and end the gun menace NOW. The best way to end this crime
madness is to attack the root causes of violence and poverty. Not by handing out guns to

4/1/98 FredE
I take it my namesake, Fred (above), either didn't bother to read the above article, or
having read it, chose to completely ignore its findings. How about asking, how many
children were saved from uncertain futures because their parent stopped a carjacking by
being armed? How many burglaries or robberies were aborted by an armed citizen? How many
women prevented a rape or sexual assault because they brandished their pistol? Statistics
vary (as they must because so few of these incidents are ever reported to the police) but
I've heard anywhere from 250,000 to 1,000,000 such incidents per year. The gun control
fetishists refuse to deal with the facts as evidenced by their posts to this board. That
doesn't make their emotional appeals any more convincing. It just makes them appear
juvenile: standing there with hands over ears chanting "la la la la...I can't hear you!!"

Sorry, Fred, but your simplistic answer, while noble, is far off the mark. Violence the
problem. Attacking guns is a easy out for people who don't want to really deal with the
problem. It makes it look like you are doing something. Yur statements are similar in
content to "I believe in peace" or "motherhood" or "justice." It is a tired song of
liberals who are afraid to live up to their principles and see the anti-gun attack for
what it is, an attack on personal freedom and rights. Liberals who wouldn't stand up for
the Japanese -Americans, who as US citizens were imprisoned during WWII, and now are
letting gun owners becoem the whipping boys (and girls) for society's failings. Guns have
been a part of this country from the beginning, for good or bad, but the even greater
access to guns permitted in the past didn't lead most people to kill thier schoolmates,
and guns don't do that now. Picking on guns is a treasured addiction of the
politically-correct. The truth is you are more wrong than right, and you are an impediment
to both the discussion and the solution of the problem of violence in America.

4/1/98 Mike Orick
How many kids killed playing with daddy's gun? A lot less than killed playing with the
bicycle daddy gave them or the pool daddy put in the backyard or the cleaners mommy keeps
under the sink! During the time the number of guns in America quadrupled, the accident
rate was cut by more than half. The safest counties in California are the ones with the
most CCW permits issued. The most dangerous county has the least.

4/1/98 Toll Booth Willy
Guns are made JUST to kill people, how many times must this be said?? Okay, that's fair,
yep, erasers kill people. Guns are just to kill da peeple.

4/1/98 daniel
Toll Booth Willy, you are absolutely ignorant on this issue. 1. Intent is not made into
any tool. 2. Ever heard of shooting sports? Skeet, Trap, IPSC, Bowling Pin Matches,
Hunting (You Know, FOOD) 3. The issue is freedom, not safety. The reason the Second
AMendment exists is to kill off oppresive regimes. 4. SO do knives only have one use? So,
what is your argument anyway? Ban guns because with my gun I can protect my rights from
someone like you who doesn't respect them?

4/1/98 Julie julie.cochrane@success
You believe more kids are killed with a parent's gun than drown in the parent's swimming
pool? I'd like to play poker with you. Bring lots of cash. You can teach me how to play.

4/1/98 Muad'Dib usul@thepoint.net_nospam
Fred: "Only the weak carry a handgun. That applies to criminals and to regular citizens."
That's right. I am absolutely and unmistakably weaker than an armed agressor - _if I am
unarmed_. Thank you for making the point for me.... "Sure there a rare cases where carry a
handgun actually saved someone." Research indicates the number of such "rare cases" ranges
from 850,000 to as many as 2.5 million a year - the vast majority of which (some 98%) do
not result in an injury or a death. Kolasky cites some of these stats in the accompanying
article. Didn't you read it? .... "How many children accidently shoot themselves while
playing with their daddy's gun?" Not very many, and the number's been steadily dropping
for the last decade, since the NRA started it's Eddie Eagle Gun Safety classes in schools
(US$100 million they've spent so far. What have you done besides howl for my freedom to be
limited?). Also, this figure is an order of magnitude lower than the number of children
killed in auto accidents. If I give up my gun, will you give up your car?

4/1/98 BOB
FRED; If only the "weak" carry a handgun , why are liberals and governments so danged
scared of them ? Why is it that criminals prefer to victimize the unarmed ? Your
statements reflect those of a paranoid that believes eveything he hears without ever
bothering to reasearch the facts. Tell me the truth now, is it the gun that you fear, or
is it the mental state of the owner ? Why is it that you refuse to accept the fact that
not ALL people are wimps ? Some of us WILL take the responsiblity of family and personal
protection. There are some of us that WOULD stand against an oppresive government if need
be . So tell me. Is it really the "GUN", or is it the "ATTITUDE" that you're scared of ?
Please enlighten me .

4/1/98 Toll Booth Willy
daniel: Get off the crack!! How many people have guns that don't use them for anything
else except killing? The 2nd amendment wasn't for what you say so, read my other posts you
idiot. Okay there, tissue please, just honk here, good boy. Okay, now....

4/1/98 daniel
Okay Willy. I quit smoking crack because it screwed up my aim, and interfered with my
ability to cause mass destruction with my target weapons. Make an argument. I couldn't
find a SINGLE post from you in which you make an argument as to the actual existence of
the 2nd amendment. AND you failed to continue your explanation. MOST OF THE GUNS IN THIS
COUNTRY ARE NOT USED FOR KILLING. Fact. Live with it. If they were there would be hundreds
of millions deaths per year in this country. Many of us own guns that are used for
shooting sports that involve no bloodshed. If you made an argument I would respect you,
but you are making ad homs, so I destest you. grow up, blow your nose, and deal with me,
my attitude, and my guns.... So, in your informed opinion, what IS the purpose of the 2nd

4/1/98 Toll Booth Willy
The 2nd amendment was another way to allow the American to be self-sufficient. Therefore
much of the 2nd amendment is based in colonial times; when hunting and fishing was often
key to survival, therefore guns were needed. This isn't so anymore. Also, a gun culture
evolved in the south, as whites had to keep control over the slaves. This culture, which
glorifies guns, continues to this day (e.g. westerns). Often the 2nd amendment is used to
justify these other reasons, such as the culture of keeping slaves from escaping, and what
better way for rebels to brainwash people than pulling out the Consitution? Tissue?

4/1/98 TOB
"A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity." --Sigmund Freud,
General Introduction to Psychoanalysis

4/1/98 Jason Ayers
Criminals don't abide by the law, period. If a criminal wants to assault, rob, rape, or
murder someone, I feel pretty confident that he would prefer his victim to be unarmed and
defenseless. If you were a criminal would you choose to victimize someone in a state,
city, or county where your intended victim might be carrying a legally concealed handgun
that might send you to the morgue? I doubt it. Whether you ban handguns or not, there
already on the street. The criminals will get their hands on weapons one way or another.
The police are spread to thin to protect you. The justice system is a revolving door. Who
is going to protect you from the criminals? Not members of the anti-gun movement. It all
comes down to the law-abiding tax-paying citizen versus the law-disregarding criminal, and
I'm positive that he would prefer for you to be unarmed.

4/1/98 Fred
So what kind of world do you want to live in?? One in which things are so out of control
that everybody has to carry a gun because of a REAL threat of physical harm. Or a world in
which gun violence was nonexistant. It seems to me that we are in an escalating arms race
to destruction. Giving everybody a gun is not the answer!!

4/1/98 Fred
Is it posssible that pro-gun people use self defense as a smoke screen?? Maybe the truth
is they are addicted to the feeling of power derived from shooting a gun. Like I said,
guns are for the weak. Shooting and owning a gun makes the weak and insecure feel

4/2/98 Norman Potts
Willy: The Second Amendment was not written with hunting in mind. It was about colonial
opposition to a standing national army. After the British military occupation, the
colonists wanted to ensure that the army of the new nation could not be used against them,
but to only protect them from OUTSIDE aggression. The Founding Fathers wrote many
commentaries in favor of the common people to own firearms and keep them in their homes,
not to hunt, but to be ready to defend liberty from an internal threat. Yes, it can happen
here. A state of martial law can be declared by the president (not necessarily Clinton)
and the constitutional rights of citizens can be suspended. What if the person in power
decides he or she likes it that way? That's why the military cannot be used in law
enforcement operations (although they sometimes are.) The prospect of defending one's home
and family is also present. Here in Dalla'Fort Worth, home-invasion robberies are becoming
more common. It is often a tactic used by Asian Gangs, in particular. I don't think 911
will help you very much in such a situation.

4/2/98 Norman Potts
Fred-- I would like to see how "strong" you would be while watching your wife get raped by
some punks as their friends hold you back and wait their turns (or maybe even rape you.)
Sure, it likely won't happen to you, will it? But it HAS happened to SOMEBODY. I bet they
never thought it would happen, either. During the course of my law enforcement career, I
once worked as an officer in a federal prison. Fed prison officers are not allowed to
carry guns, either, unless they do so with a concealed-carry license. One night around
midnight I was on my way home from work and I stopped by Kroger to get a few groceries. As
I was standing in line a couple of teens were in front of me and one was obviously high.
They asked me about my uniform and I told them where I worked. As I tried to make small
talk with them, I said something that set the bigger of the two off. He satrted to come at
me, cursing and with clenched fists. All I had was a pocket knife. His buddy eventually
pulled him out of the store before anything happened. After standing around outside a
couple of minutes, they finally drove away. If that kid had wanted to shoot me right then,
he could have. Although I had my knife in hand (he was high and there WERE two of them) he
could have easily killed me. He could have just as easily come back inside and shot me. I
got lucky that night.

4/2/98 Norman Potts
The point is, I didn't expect any of that to happen when I pulled up to that store, as I
had many times before. I could have been taken, and I wouldn't have even been able to run.
Now I'm in an agency that issues me a pistol, and you bet I carry it every time I walk out
the door. No, I'm not afraid, and I'm not paranoid, but I am ready. Criminals will ALWAYS
be with us. They have been since the cavemen. They will do anything in their power to get
what they want, and resort to methods most people would never even think of, and someday
they may just want YOUR stuff. Or maybe they might just want to see what it feels like to
"pop" somebody. Happens every day, friend. Be safe.

4/2/98 Joe
Fred we don't want to hand out guns to everyone! If people wish not own arms for
recreation or defense that is their right to choose. Just don't take my right away from
me! You never have and never will be able to legislate human behavior. As far as firearms
being for the weak, well I sincerely hope you never find out how mistaken you are. because
a weak person would not have the strength of character to defend themselves regardless of
how they were armed.

4/2/98 Wade Wyss
As has been stated - the possiblility of the average citizen being the possessor of a
firearm or other lethal weapon will always be a deterrent for criminals. Also remember
that there are firearms out there for the criminal that we as law abiding citizens cannot
or willnot get due to our respect of the law. It is time to quit focusing on the
lawabiding and focus on the criminal. They have forfetted their rights when they step
outside the law and do not need protection from the average lawabiding citizen.

Why should you worry about more people carrying concealed handguns?
On Sept. 10, 1997, five men licensed to carry concealed handguns got into a fight outside
a Pittsburgh saloon after exchanging "hostile looks." All of the men fired their weapons
and ended up in the hospital.

Earlier this year in Indianapolis, two women were unintentionally shot when a concealed
handgun fell out of a man's pocket at a crowded Planet Hollywood restaurant.

In February 1997, two Tulsa men were arguing over who would take their four-year-old
granddaughter home from day care. One of the men, who had a permit to carry a concealed
weapon, shot the other man in front of 250 school children.

A background check of what?
Why were these dangerous and poorly-trained people allowed to carry concealed handguns?
They live in states that recently weakened "carrying concealed weapons" (CCW) laws.

This legislation -- a favorite of the gun lobby -- takes discretion away from law
enforcement in determining who receives a concealed weapons license and requires the state
to allow virtually anyone who is not a convicted felon to carry a loaded handgun. Under
this system, the background check required of applicants for CCW licenses is supposed to
screen out people with violent criminal histories, but it cannot screen out all criminals
or people with bad tempers or bad judgment -- and no one should think otherwise.

Daniel Blackman is one example of a dangerous man who was allowed to carry a concealed
weapon despite prior criminal behavior. In February 1996, the former candidate for judge
in Broward County, Fla., threatened to put three bullets in the head of a meter maid who
had written him a ticket -- behavior that should have prevented him from carrying a
concealed handgun but did not. Though he was arrested, Blackman was not convicted of a
crime because he agreed to seek psychological treatment. A year later, Blackman was
arrested again, this time for pulling a gun on an emergency-room doctor who refused to
write him a prescription. Only then was his CCW license revoked.

In states with lax CCW laws, hundreds of licensees have committed crimes both before and
after their licensure. For example, in Texas, which weakened its CCW law in 1996, the
Department of Public Safety reported that felony and misdemeanor cases involving CCW
permit holders rose 54.4% between 1996 and 1997. Charges filed against Texas CCW holders
included kidnapping, sexual assault, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, illegal drug
possession and sales, drunken driving and impersonating a police officer. Clearly, the
Texas background check does not ensure that everyone who receives a CCW license is a
responsible or upstanding citizen.

From Texas to Illinois and California to Delaware, law-enforcement officials have led the
charge against this dangerous liberalization because they know that more guns will only
lead to more violence. Thanks to the efforts of our men and women in blue and concerned
citizens, the gun lobby has not passed any new concealed-weapons legislation in more than
a year. Despite the opposition of most voters, the gun lobby currently is trying to pass
these senseless laws in Michigan and Nebraska, and also has set its sights on Kansas, Ohio
and Missouri.

A Lott of nothing
The gun lobby attempts to justify this dangerous political agenda by citing research
conducted by Dr. John Lott. Lott's study concludes that making it easier for citizens to
carry concealed weapons reduces violent crime rates. What the gun lobby and Lott do not
say is that this study has been totally discredited by many well-respected, independent

In fact, in a nationally-televised symposium at which Lott's work was critiqued, Dr.
Daniel Nagin of Carnegie Mellon University, Dr. Daniel Black of the University of
Kentucky, and Dr. Jens Ludwig of Georgetown University agreed that Lott's study is so
flawed that "nothing can be learned of it" and that it "cannot be used responsibly to
formulate policy." Since then, no credible evidence has been produced to rebut the
conclusions of Black, Nagin and Ludwig, or other researchers who have identified
additional flaws with Lott's work.

Contrary to the gun lobby's claim, no evidence exists to suggest that "an armed society is
a polite society." In reality, the United States already has more guns in civilian hands
than any other industrialized nation, and not surprisingly, we also have one of the
world's highest rates of gun crime. As the casualties of weak concealed-weapons laws begin
to mount, it is unconscionable that Lott and the gun lobby continue to use this flawed
data to put more guns on the street.

Fortunately, the American people and law enforcement know better. They deserve primary
consideration from their state representatives, not the special-interest gun lobby. It is
truly a matter of life and death.

Why should you worry about more people carrying concealed handguns?
On Sept. 10, 1997, five men licensed to carry concealed handguns got into a fight outside
a Pittsburgh saloon after exchanging "hostile looks." All of the men fired their weapons
and ended up in the hospital.

Earlier this year in Indianapolis, two women were unintentionally shot when a concealed
handgun fell out of a man's pocket at a crowded Planet Hollywood restaurant.

In February 1997, two Tulsa men were arguing over who would take their four-year-old
granddaughter home from day care. One of the men, who had a permit to carry a concealed
weapon, shot the other man in front of 250 school children.

A background check of what?
Why were these dangerous and poorly-trained people allowed to carry concealed handguns?
They live in states that recently weakened "carrying concealed weapons" (CCW) laws.

This legislation -- a favorite of the gun lobby -- takes discretion away from law
enforcement in determining who receives a concealed weapons license and requires the state
to allow virtually anyone who is not a convicted felon to carry a loaded handgun. Under
this system, the background check required of applicants for CCW licenses is supposed to
screen out people with violent criminal histories, but it cannot screen out all criminals
or people with bad tempers or bad judgment -- and no one should think otherwise.

Daniel Blackman is one example of a dangerous man who was allowed to carry a concealed
weapon despite prior criminal behavior. In February 1996, the former candidate for judge
in Broward County, Fla., threatened to put three bullets in the head of a meter maid who
had written him a ticket -- behavior that should have prevented him from carrying a
concealed handgun but did not. Though he was arrested, Blackman was not convicted of a
crime because he agreed to seek psychological treatment. A year later, Blackman was
arrested again, this time for pulling a gun on an emergency-room doctor who refused to
write him a prescription. Only then was his CCW license revoked.

In states with lax CCW laws, hundreds of licensees have committed crimes both before and
after their licensure. For example, in Texas, which weakened its CCW law in 1996, the
Department of Public Safety reported that felony and misdemeanor cases involving CCW
permit holders rose 54.4% between 1996 and 1997. Charges filed against Texas CCW holders
included kidnapping, sexual assault, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, illegal drug
possession and sales, drunken driving and impersonating a police officer. Clearly, the
Texas background check does not ensure that everyone who receives a CCW license is a
responsible or upstanding citizen.

From Texas to Illinois and California to Delaware, law-enforcement officials have led the
charge against this dangerous liberalization because they know that more guns will only
lead to more violence. Thanks to the efforts of our men and women in blue and concerned
citizens, the gun lobby has not passed any new concealed-weapons legislation in more than
a year. Despite the opposition of most voters, the gun lobby currently is trying to pass
these senseless laws in Michigan and Nebraska, and also has set its sights on Kansas, Ohio
and Missouri.

A Lott of nothing
The gun lobby attempts to justify this dangerous political agenda by citing research
conducted by Dr. John Lott. Lott's study concludes that making it easier for citizens to
carry concealed weapons reduces violent crime rates. What the gun lobby and Lott do not
say is that this study has been totally discredited by many well-respected, independent

In fact, in a nationally-televised symposium at which Lott's work was critiqued, Dr.
Daniel Nagin of Carnegie Mellon University, Dr. Daniel Black of the University of
Kentucky, and Dr. Jens Ludwig of Georgetown University agreed that Lott's study is so
flawed that "nothing can be learned of it" and that it "cannot be used responsibly to
formulate policy." Since then, no credible evidence has been produced to rebut the
conclusions of Black, Nagin and Ludwig, or other researchers who have identified
additional flaws with Lott's work.

Contrary to the gun lobby's claim, no evidence exists to suggest that "an armed society is
a polite society." In reality, the United States already has more guns in civilian hands
than any other industrialized nation, and not surprisingly, we also have one of the
world's highest rates of gun crime. As the casualties of weak concealed-weapons laws begin
to mount, it is unconscionable that Lott and the gun lobby continue to use this flawed
data to put more guns on the street.

Fortunately, the American people and law enforcement know better. They deserve primary
consideration from their state representatives, not the special-interest gun lobby. It is
truly a matter of life and death.

Douglas Weil is the research director at the Center to Prevent Handgun Violence. The
Center, affiliated with Handgun Control Inc., is chaired by Sarah Brady, and was founded
in 1983 to reduce gun violence through education, legal advocacy, research, and outreach
to the entertainment community.

For Related Information on the Web, Click Here;sz=468x60;ord=73396?;sz=468x60;ord=73396?

3/26/98 Paul Austin
Boy, are you gonna get letters... HCI predictably hates "shall issue" concealed carry
laws. They hate them for one reason: the experience to date in the thirty states that have
such laws is that contrary to the picture painted by Weil, that holders of CCW are much
more law abiding than the populations of the states in question. Weil and HCI have
attempted to refute Lott & Mustard's study by selective data analysis (both temporal and
geographical) compared to L&M's method of using _all_ the data available from _all_
counties in the US. L&M determined that the presence of large numbers of unknown, armed
citizens acted to decrease crimes of personal violence. They reported that states with
"shall issue" CCW laws experienced consequent decreased in murder, assault, robbery and
rape and that if all states had such laws in place that more crimes would be prevented.
HCI disputes L&M as they must to stay credible but they cannot refute the extraordinarily
low rate at which CCW holders misuse their priviledge. The example of "Daniel Blackman ...
the former candidate for judge in Broward County, Fla" is particularly risible since
Blackman is _precisely_ the type that gets a carry permit in jurisdictions where Law
enforcement has discretion in determining who receives a concealed weapons license. The
experience of Florida and other states is that citizens can be trusted. HCI doesn't
understand that.

3/26/98 Les Seago
I find it interesting that Dr. Weil relies on anecdotal evidence to support his argument
that private citizens should not be permitted to carry firearms. Meanwhile, Dr. Lott
offers solid statistics that show violent crime has decreased in states where concealed
carry permits are granted citizens who have no record of criminal conviction or mental
illness. It is also interesting that Weil is a staff member of an organization dedicated
to the disarming of American citizens. Lott holds a fellowship at the University of
Chicago, and the study he cites was published in a peer-reviewed journal. Not everyone
should carry a weapon, but no law should prevent an honest citizen from going armed if he
or she wants to do so. Punish those who use firearms irresponsibly, but do not disarm
those who have committed no crime. We have to answer this question: Do we trust a
government that does not trust its citizens to go armed?

3/26/98 Pseudonymless
Let's put aside our ideologies and faiths for a minute, and just think about something:
Why do we accept so easily a world where people feel the need to carry concealed weapons?
Why doesn't anyone try to make the need obsolete? I'm sorry, but I didn't grow up on
Gunsmoke, so I can't relate to the Wild West fantasy. Would anyone really want to live
there? Why doens't anybody care? If things have gotten this bad, why aren't there
demonstrations in the streets? Are the Russians who stopped the tanks in 1991 or the
Chinese in Tiananmen Square more courageous than us or just more concerned about their
countries? It takes a lot more courage to organize to drive criminals out like what's
going on in a lot of inner-city neighborhoods than carry a Glock under your coat.

3/26/98 AllenM
Things have always been this bad. Crime has been a fact of urban life in America for over
a two centuries, with concealed gun laws for as long. Guess what, with people you get
crime, with crime you get guns. In Russia, they really do have the Wild East with regular
shootouts. Just like Chicago in the 20's. Nothing Changes. Unless society really wants to
get rid of the gangsters, they just keep proliferating. Look at the culture of the inner
city and see how they glorify and perpetuate the sterotypes. Machine guns have long been
highly regulated in the US (since the 20's! thanks to J. Edgar Hoover), but one could
readily buy illegally imported uzis in Detroit in the early 80's. After all, if you are
going to move a ton of coke into the US, shoving a ton of guns onto the same plane won't
really affect you prison sentence- just scare off the competition. Switzerland manages to
have a civilian militia with access to weapons with a murder rate far below the US- it's
the people who are stupid here.

3/26/98 Christopher
Psuedonymless: If what you say is true, then police officers should be disarmed (that
would make them care more for their country, you say, and that would also make them more
courageous). But that's Rubbish! On top of that, the police have proven inneffective at
preventing violence against citizens, so it is hardly surprising that state after state is
passing concealed carry laws so that all of their law-abiding citizens can protect
themselves. And funny, but EVERY state that has passed a concealed carry law has seen its
violent crime decrease!

3/26/98 Christopher
Douglas Weil deliberately misleads his audience when he states "that felony and
misdemeanor cases involving CCW permit holders rose 54.4% between 1996 and 1997" in Texas.
------- Although when examined in a reasoned light, this statistic actually destroys his
own argument when one considers that Texas had almost no CCW permit holders before 1996
(so the few who held them committed a few crimes, while the MASSES who earned CCW permits
committed only 54.4% more TOTAL crimes in 1997 than the tiny earlier population in 1996 or
before). He also neglects to point out that Texas requires gun-safety courses to earn the
CCW permit, and being anti-gun-safety further undermines his already weak credibility.

3/26/98 Jim Switz
So, where are the anecdotes of people *defending* themselves with concealed weapons? The
NRA's American Rifleman publishes documented self-defense reports every month in "The
Armed Citizen", but for some mysterious reason the mass media never seems to ferret
*these* stories out. Whether fired or not (usually not), handguns, rifles and shotguns
have defended peaceable people millions of times. So let the lefties just TRY to disarm
the American people. As George Bush has been parodied numerous times: "Wouldn't be
prudent. Not gonna do it."

3/26/98 Bob Bailey
Lets forget about all the hype for a minute. I personally would 'nt give a cent for what
the educated idiots have to say about "Gun Control". I have a concealed weapons permit. I
had to prove to the FBI that I was innocent of crime by submiting my fingerprints. Once
they decided it was ok. I got my weapon permit. Remember the R .Gene Simmons murders here
in Arkansas ? A good friend of mine was killed by that jerk. If he had a gun at least he
MAY have had a chance. He liked to hunt and was knowledgable about guns. Because he obeyed
the law, he did not have a chance against someone that did not. I personally feel safer
when I tote. It gives the common man a chance against aggression. Unlike many liberals, I
feel that it is my responsibilty to protect my loved ones, if necessary , with force. Wake
up people !

3/26/98 Pseudonymless
You know, I never said a word about gun control laws. I just questioned why people are far
more willing to carry weapons than work to change society so it wouldn't be necessary. Do
you carry weapons because you want to, or because you feel a need for protection? Maybe
it's because people are too busy watching Sunday football to try to make their environment
better. That's the real problem with America. Nobody cares. About their country, about
their neighbors, and especially about their children. I'd much rather do something for my
children's welfare than wall myself off from the world, as most people here seem to want
to do. It would be far easier for me to pat myself on the back and carry my little pistol
around than to actually go and participate in my community. People will always kill, and
crime will always be with us, but it's sad that so many people have bought into carrying
concealed weapons as a substitute for working to make their community better. Every man
for himself, right? Law of the jungle. Kill or be killed. That's not freedom, that's

3/26/98 Pseudonymless
Oh, and by the way, I think gun control laws are pretty useless. But some gun-control
opponents are so fanatical that even suggesting that the way to make America safer is by
community involvement and spending time with your children rather than carry guns to
school is equivalent to publishing "Das Kapital". People, that's why most Americans get
really sick and tired of the NRA.

3/26/98 Pseudonymless
Hey Christopher - why don't you try responding to what I say rather than what you wish I
said? I said it took more courage to actually do something rather than carry a weapon and
make myself an island unto the world. I never argued against the object called a gun. I
questioned the motives of those who place that object above all other people and things in
the world. In your first philosophy course in college you should have learned about the
straw man fallacy.

3/26/98 David Reavis
ummm interesting... a counter argument with out a single study to provide any support to
his argument other than 4 individual cases out of the thousands of permits issued. Do the
math- if you assumed only 1000 permits being issued, then you get a 0.4% percent rate of
crimes by all the holders of CCW permits.... Then compare that to the overall of society
and I think that concealed carry is not the cause of crime. As for as Psuedo's comment on
Russian and China, where ther e is no civilian gun control, the Goverments are able to run
over their people with tanks and have no fear of revolution. If the US Goverment tried the
same, I think the results would have been a lot different... And Why wont the goverment of
America try something like this? Its because of the 2 million plus guns in the hands of
the people. A goverment of the people, by the people. for the people only exists as long
as the body politic is in fear of the people's power to upsur them.

3/26/98 Christopher
Psuedonymless: You claim that you "never argued against the object called a gun." Fine. No
problem. Noted. Then you claimed that you merely "questioned the motives of those who
place that object above all other people and things in the world." Forgive me. Somehow I
didn't manage to pull that philosophical position from your earlier post. I will say,
however, that carrying a weapon for protection is something that civilized humanity does
to PRESERVE society and PROTECT innocent lives and property. If you look at areas devoid
of decent people carrying guns such as the slums in Rio or Central Africa, you will see
that law, order, and civilization have ceased to exist. Certainly the 500,000 innocent,
unarmed civilians slaughtered in Rwanda didn't see a "civilized" society that you or I
would recognize. The rampant crime in Congo and Brazil is also endemic and typical of
areas without large numbers of armed law-abiding citizens (witness Haiti and Puerto Rico
closer to home). So I must disagree with any possible point that you could have dreamed of
in your earlier post simply because it is the ACT of carrying weapons by law-abiding
citizens that proves that there are people who will do what is needed to preserve liberty
and society. In contrast to your point, it is those who denigrate arming such law-abiding
citizens who cause harm to befall on order, freedom, and civilization.

3/26/98 Muad'Dib usul@thepoint.net_nospam
In 1987, when Florida passed its CCW law, the media and control-freaks like Weil predicted
that the street would "run red with blood." Instead, violent crime has decreased; except
for one group of victims: Shortly after Florida's was passed, foreign tourists started
getting robbed and killed at a startling rate. Why? Perhaps because they were more easily
identified by _criminals_ as being people who were unlikely to be armed. Survey data of
convicted criminals resoundingly supports the notion that criminals try to avoid armed
victims and outside data further supports this conclusion. For instance, Great Britain has
a "hot" burglary (victim in the home) rate that far exceeds ours. Why? Well, according to
American convicts, breaking into a home when somebone's home is a "good way to get shot."
So, Weil and his ilk persist in their anti-gun prejudice in spite of masses of evidence
(and let's face it, the vast majority of studies support gun-ownership). There must be a
reason. Let's get beyond his anecdote-driven diatribe for a moment and get to his agenda.
Since he is affiliated with HCI, he can be presumed to share HCI's agenda. That agenda was
made very clear in the following statement, printed in the _National Educator_: "Our task
of creating a socialist America can only succeed when those who would resist us have been
totally disarmed." - Sara Brady (Chairman, Handgun Control, Inc.) Telling.

3/26/98 C Halsey
Pseudonymless asks the question "Why do we accept so easily a world where people feel the
need to carry concealed weapons?" I think that maybe the answer may be that people are
scared. There is a subculture in America today that is totally amoral. They do not care
about you, your family, or your fact they delight in harming or killing.
They ENJOY it!! Check out ABC News Nightline tonight. It is the second part of a prison
report. Last night they were showing some of these people. Even the old time prisoners are
scared of these people, not to mention the guards. Until society can determine how these
cretins are made and more importantly, what to do with them, people will want the option
of using a gun for personal protection. As another poster pointed out, the police can not
protect you from a violent crime, but do a pretty good job after the fact...that is if you
are around to notice.

3/26/98 Bob Bailey
Pseudnymless:You really crack me up. I don't think that you are as silly as you come
across.I agree with you on several points.Yes it is true that most people are apathetic
and could care less. Most kids do not grow up with the same parents that they started out
with. Many male children grow up with No male influence. I coach basketball and baseball
with both of my children (11 & 14) so I get to see up close how it affects young boys to
only grow up with a moma. I get to see how a lack of parental guidance affects them. My
wife teaches ninth graders, and most of them simply need a hug every now and then and many
of them are absolutley screaming for attention. As for society being a jungle, you had
better believe it. I don't like it, but it is fact. So if the tiger comes to eat, whattaya
gonna do, call the cops? Or hope that someone like me is close by?

3/26/98 John Doe doe . john @ earthling . net
Sometimes I wonder if Intellectual Capital doesn't use creative editing to make leftist
contributors seem dumber than they really are. The author provides, what, 4 or 5 examples
of people with guns going nuts? Does he imagine that other people could not come up with 4
or 5 counterexamples? Or are a few anecdotes supposed, in our minds, to taint the 2nd
Amendment and millions of law-abiding gun owners? It may surprise this author, but such
tactics do not work with most intelligent readers. The author doesn't even do the bare
minimum of listing the specifics of Mr Lott's work which he believes faulty in reasoning
or fact. I could use this author's same tactics to condemn chairs. "Joe Blow of
Pigknuckle, Arkansas lost a hand of euchre, freaked out, and bashed 3 old ladies over the
head with a chair." Big deal.

3/26/98 Bob
To John Doe: I've wondered about the same points that you do. But I have come to the
conclusion that "leftists'" don't need any help sounding dumb or uneducated because they
really are ! They are usaully ignorant of the facts, and most of them don't even realize
it. True Ignorance.

C. Halsey, how dare you call Conservatives a sub-class just because they don't care about
others or their possessions, but only themselves and get thier kicks out of others'
suffering. Self interest is the driver of human achievement, just ask any billionaire who
cheated, cut corners, and rampaged his way to success. I admire the self made ones; the
real wimps are the trust fund/inheritors of wealth who don't even have a notion of what it
takes to succeed, or a notion of how little they themselves have achieved given the huge
head start they had.

3/26/98 BT,DT
Violent crime is decreasing because employment is increasing. People with something to
lose don't act like people with nothing to lose. And I'm glad this article confirms what
should be obvious from Lott's graphs. Lott's data is cracked, cooked, and unusable for
determining the cause of any social change.

3/26/98 Bob
To BT,DT : Yeah it's true that anybody can come up with a survey to say anything that they
want. So really we are just taking someones word that what they have to say is based on
accurate measures. But employment? If everybody is working then who is breaking into homes
during the day ? What about the people that will Not work ? I fail to see the corelation
between ownership of guns and unemployment. Please enlighten me.

3/26/98 John Anderson
I couldn't tell if David Weil was proposing prohibition of all gun possession, elmination
of CCW laws, or just strengthening CCW laws, but I assume he mostly supports elimination
of CCW laws. To justify this, he cites the examples of irresponsible folks. I take this to
mean that the 2nd amendment rights of all Americans, most of whom are very responsible,
should be stripped away to accommodate the irresponsible few. Seems like this is the
reasoning of most liberal and totalitarian views. I'd like to say "thank goodness we live
in America where individual liberties and the Constitution takes precedence", but I know
better. Chances are very good that the tragedy in Arkansas will be used to further strip
us of our rights. Clinton is right now thinking of ways to do this. How many of you who
read IC are willing to let this happen? Now, how many of you who answered no are going to
vote for a Repub-ocrat for congress/president and ask for the same gov't we now have?

3/26/98 John Boch
I saw the televised debate on C-SPAN with Lott and the other researchers and Lott
thoroughly discredited their arguments. The good "doctor" here cites a few cases of either
accidents or alleged crimes by permit-to-carry holders, yet he ignores the tens of
thousands of crimes these permits effectively prevent. Bad guys don't like running up
against a potentially (and lawfully) armed victims. Come visit the ILLINOIS DEATH CLOCK at to see how many lives in Illinois have been lost because a few
politicians have blocked permit-to-carry here.

3/26/98 Allen VanCleve
As usual the case for restricting freedom is based solely on an emotional appeal not based
on verifiable facts. This only makes me distrust the hidden motives. The question that I
have to ask of the author of this article is simple. Why are you more afraid of
law-abiding citizens than you are of predatory criminals that have proven thier lack of
respect for your property, your family and your very life.

3/26/98 Bees
Clinton's on safari so he puts Reno on the guns & kids problem. Reno reports after the
first week that her troops have accidentally incinerated Jonesboro so Louis Freeh's troops
move in. But there's not much going on and pretty soon his snipers are passing the hours
picking off pregnant women across the Mississippi. I know a lot of irresponsible drunks
have killed thousands with their cars (and I have anecdotal proof!), therefore tomorrow I
think we can start talking about taking people's cars from them. Until everyone can sit up
straight and show some manners, the Nanny State will keep you from exercising ANY
judgement. The Nanny State knows what's good for you. The Nanny State likes to come
through your door late at night when the local SWAT team gets the wrong address (Sorry
about your grandmother, did she have a weak heart?) Go ahead, make yourself an island unto
the world, but don't be surprised if someone shoots you in the lagoon.

3/26/98 Christopher
BT,DT: You say that you are "glad this article confirms what should be obvious from Lott's
graphs. Lott's data is cracked, cooked, and unusable for determining the cause of any
social change." ----------- Man, I must have missed that confirmation in this article.
Please point out the statistics and sources used by Weil to "discredit" Lott. ---------- I
must warn you, however, that to do so will be also discrediting the FBI's own statistics
(which MR. Weil's organization previously relied on when they showed a more violent
America). --------- Then again, I read Weil's article, and no such statistics were cited.
Nor was anything more substantive than anectdotal evidence presented to support his
intellectually weak argument. Well, of course he did say that three college professors
agreed with him! -------- If mere baseless propaganda can sway you, I suggest that you
give up interaction on the internet and return to being fed your daily dose of TV
entertainment. ----------- On the other hand, if you are open-minded enough to objectively
examine multiple sources or facts and statistics prior to drawing conclusions, then please
rejoin this debate! In fact, why don't you cite your own statistics as your intro back
into this debate!

3/26/98 Muad'Dib usul@thepoint.net_nospam
But, Christopher! Of course Lott's data is "cracked" and "cooked" - isn't it obvious?!? It
does not support Weil's (and BT,DT's) views, so it must be, obviously is, "unusable for
determining the cause of any social change." Now, if Lott had used the same methodology to
determine that CCW permitees were unstable sociopaths who are prone to random acts of
violence and don't brush their teeth oten enough, then we'd not only have heard about it
on the news, Weil (and BT,DT) would be citing it form here to eternity. I am a Sociologist
and have concentrated on statistical technique in my studies. I read Lott's entire study
but found no methodological grounds for dismissing it. I admit that because I agree with
his findings my opinion is suspect, but I offer it nevertheless. Weil fails to give such
grounds. I humbly suggest that is because he didn't find any either, just a few anecdotes.
This is, of course, the standard liberal technique: When the data don't support your
desire to take away somebody's freedom, dredge up an handful of examples that you can
bundle together to take the place of data (maybe no-one will notice). It seems to me that,
somewhere along the way to his doctorate, someone should have told Weil that anecdotal
evidence is not statistically valid.

3/27/98 John R. Lott, Jr.
Doug Weil is wrong to assert that there is a positive relationship between a country's
level of gun ownership and murder or other crimes. Such results are only possible when a
very selective set of comparison countries is used. In many countries, such as Finland,
New Zealand, Switzerland, and Israel, citizens own guns as frequently as Americans, yet in
1995 Switzerland's murder rate was 40 percent lower than Germany's, and New Zealand's was
lower than Australia's. Finland and Sweden have very similar murder rates but very
different gun ownership rates. Israel, with one of the highest gun ownership rates in the
world, has a murder rate 40 percent lower than Canada's. When one studies all countries
rather than just a select few, there is no relationship between gun ownership and murder.
The televised debate that Weil refers to was sponsored by Handgun Control, they picked the
participants, and they insisted that I be the only academic allowed to defend my study at
that forum. He apparently forgets about the independent academics who flew to Washington
at their own expense to support the integrity of my research. My data set has been made
available to academics at 36 universities. No one has had any trouble replicating my
results. Anyone who would like to see what Black and Nagin did (e.g., selectively throwing
away 86 percent of the sample) should look at the January 1998 Journal of Legal Studies or
see my soon to be published book (More Guns, Less Crime).

3/27/98 Stan Watson
Dr. Weil is engaging in the typical liberal trick of pulling the most negative events out
of a universe, as statistically insignificant as they are, relating these abnormalities in
an emotional, anecdotal manner, and then concluding that public policy should be
formulated to deal with the abnormalities. He has done the same thing with the Lott study;
relating someone's objections just as though those objections were themselves valid. In
other words, he concludes exactly what his preconceived notions lead him to conclude.
(This, by the way, is called prejudice and is hardly a foundation for scholarship or even
intellectual honesty.) To date, there has not been a single scientific study conducted
that refutes either the data or the conclusions of the Lott-Mustard paper; and I have no
doubt but what Dr. Weil is perfectly aware of that. And yet we listen to these people just
as though they had something to say worth hearing. Well, Dr. Weil, I say that you tread
periously close to charlatanism if, in fact, you have not engaged in it.

3/27/98 One More Anonymous
Mr. Lott. The graphs in your commentary are very powerful. However, being able to
replicate your results from the same data is not necessarily an argument for the
completeness of your analysis. Nor is my statement a refutation of the accuracy and
integrity of your study. I am only suspicious of the completeness of your analysis because
of the lack of references to other possible causes. What confuses me is that those who
accept without critical thinking that Concealed Guns Laws are to be fully credited for the
reduction of crime rates, argue also that crime is highly complex and involve much more
than gun laws. By the same token, one must argue that factors such as the unemployment
rates, state of economy, and (I may be lynched for this) minimum wage levels, must be
eliminated before reaching such a powerful conclusion. Assume for the sake of argument
that trends similar to those shown in your graphs are obtained when you plot the
relationship between years since the adoption of concealed gun laws and the reduction of
unemployment rates. Would you be more inclined to say that these laws are the reason for
the reduction of unemployment or that the latter is somehow responsible for reduced crime
rate. In science, we do not reach conclusions as affirmative as yours without proving, at
least with certain confidence levels that other factors are definitely excluded as
possible causes. Even then, correlation is not equal to causation.

3/27/98 One More Anonymous
Similarly, and even more critically, I find Dr. Weil's anecdotal arguments even weaker
than Mr. Lott's. At least Mr. Lott has some data on his side of the argument, and there
seems to be some merit to his hypothesis which still needs further testing. Dr. Weil as
many of the discussants have mentioned, relie's on isolated cases which prove nothing but
the stupidity of those involved in them (not the victims of course). And last time I
checked, stupidity is not a felony that prevents one from getting a license until it
acts-up and causes problems. I would like to point also, that most of the folks who
responded in favor of unlimited gun access, argued in response to the first commentary
that the main objective of the 2nd amendment is to protect the citizens from potential
government tyranny. Herein, however, their argument completely shifts to the concept of
self-defense against criminals !!!!

3/27/98 Commentator
A key point that gets lost in refuting the logically limited arguments of HCI types: The
founding fathers (you know, those DWEM's - Dead White European Males) saw the bill of
rights as enumerating pre-existing intrinsic rights. These are not granted or removed by
pieces of paper! You can't repeal the Second Amendment - not without fundamentally
changing the charter that the People granted government in this country. We fundamentally
alter that charter by trying to remove these intrinsic rights (all of them!) at our peril.
In the 20th century, government run amuck has done most of the killing of innocents. The
Turks in Armenia, the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, China, Cambodia come easily to mind. All
of these governments believed in gun control. "It can't happen here!" I'd like to believe
that, too, but I keep my powder dry. And protect myself and my family from predators with
the same right, tools, and abilities.

3/27/98 Pseudonymless
Continues for 80 more pages >>