- March 25 - A study included in a just-released book debunks
the claim by leading pro-gun researcher John Lott that allowing
Americans to carry concealed handguns leads to less crime.
The book "Evaluating
Gun Policy," published by the Brookings Institution Press, includes
research by Professor John Donohue Ph.D., J.D., Stanford University
Law School, and Professor Ian Ayres Ph.D., J.D., Yale Law School,
that concludes Carry Concealed Weapons (CCW) laws do not decrease
crime; they may, in fact, have just the opposite effect.
John Lott wrote
the 1998 book "More Guns, Less Crime," which is championed by
the gun lobby as a major research work that proves CCW laws reduce
crime. Lott's scholarship -- including "More Guns, Less Crime"
-- and actions, however, have recently come under attack on a
variety of fronts.
John Lott, who is currently a fellow at the American Enterprise
Institute, has come under fire for pretending to be a woman over
the Internet (using the name "Mary Rosh") to defend himself against
his critics. "Mary Rosh" claimed to be a student of John Lott's
and praised his research. In addition, several academicians are
seeking answers from John Lott about questions involving a telephone
survey Lott claims to have done for "More Guns, Less Crime." Lott
can't produce evidence the phone survey took place, claiming that
his computer crashed.
called Lott's conclusions -- that citizens carrying loaded handguns
in public helps to reduce crime -- "deeply flawed" and "misguided."
Donahue states in the Brookings Institution Press book that data
suggests that, in fact, crime may increase when CCW laws are implemented.
has been widely cited by gun advocates as justification for passing
CCW laws that require states to issue handgun-carrying permits
to citizens who meet minimum requirements (shall-issue laws).
that the 10 states that enacted shall-issue laws between 1985
and 1991 experienced declines in murder and other violent crimes
relative to the crime trends observed in other states that did
not pass shall-issue laws. In contrast, Donohue contends that
the 13 states that enacted shall-issue laws after 1992 experienced
relative increases in crime.
is stronger that passing shall-issue concealed weapons laws are
increasing crime, rather than decreasing crime, " said John Donohue
Ph.D., J.D. "I don't see any strong data that shall-issue laws
are decreasing crime."
to Lott's scholarship is similar to that faced by former Emory
University Professor Michael Bellesiles. His book, "Arming America:
The Origins of a National Gun-Culture in 2000, was almost immediately
attacked when it was published. Eventually, Emory University formally
investigated the issue and found that Bellesiles had misled critics
and falsified data. Michael Bellesiles resigned during the investigation.
Thus far, the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think
tank, has not yet commented on the accusations made against Lott.
Lott most recently
authored "The Bias Against Guns," released by Regnery, a conservative
on "Evaluating Gun Policy: Effects on Crime and Violence" can
be found at: http://www.brookings.edu/press/books/evaluatinggunpolicy.htm