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More Guns then Less Crime - Statistics Back It Up!

Posted by John Mitchell from the blog of Dr. John R. Lott - 3/14/2017 on

When Dr John R. Lott, president of Crime Prevention Research Center, was interviewed on America's 1st Freedom recently his words and supporting research were very supportive of national concealed carry.

A1F asked "With introduction of national Right-to-Carry reciprocity legislation, we’re starting to hear the same old horror stories about citizens carrying concealed firearms posing a danger to themselves and others. What does your research show?"

Dr Lott responded "

Just as after Right-to-Carry laws have been passed before, a year or so after reciprocity is passed, everyone will wonder what all the fuss was about. The entire debate will disappear as an issue for gun control advocates.
By any measure, permit holders are extremely law-abiding. Police officers are rarely convicted of any crimes, but permit holders are convicted at even lower rates. According to a study in the December 2010 issue of Police Quarterly, the rate that police officers are convicted of misdemeanors or felonies was 0.102 percent per year. For example, Texas in 2015, the latest available data for that state, with about 1 million concealed handgun permit holders, the rate that permit holders are convicted of these crimes was 0.01 percent. Thus, permit holders were convicted at about one-tenth the rate of police.
If you look at firearm violations, Texas permit holders were convicted at a rate of one-seventh the rate of police officers. Other states show a similar pattern. More detailed discussions are available in my books, The War on Guns and More Guns, Less Crime.
The main source of alternative information is the Violence Policy Center, which is frequently cited by publications such as The New York Times. Most recently they have claimed that over nine years and eight months there were 900 non-self-defense gun deaths nationwide by concealed handgun permit holders. These non-self-defense gun deaths, they say, include suicides, murder and accidental deaths.
Suppose for the sake of argument that the Violence Policy Center has accurately identified the cases they refer to. With more than 14.5 million permit holders at the beginning of last year, the 19 pending homicide charges in 2016 implies an annual rate of 0.14 homicides per 100,000 permit holders. And the vast majority of these will be found to be in self-defense.
Yet the 900 number is wildly inaccurate. Take Michigan, with supposedly 72 homicides and 286 suicides. For homicides, many non-cases are triple or quadruple counted. “Pending” and “conviction” numbers from the Michigan State Police reports are both counted in the total, though cases can be listed as pending for years before going to court, and most never result in a conviction. News stories of these same events are also counted separately. The correct number of homicides in that case is actually 14 over almost 10 years.
For suicides, Michigan doesn’t collect information on how suicides were committed—just that permit holders committed suicide. Yet permit holders committed suicide at just 38 percent the rate of the adult Michigan population.
Despite being informed of these errors over the years, The New York Times refuses to publish letters to the editor discussing these problems and doesn’t acknowledge them in their articles.

Yet gun control advocates would have you think the opposite of what the proof of research shows!

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