John R. Lott, Jr. is one of the most-respected and widely-cited experts in the study of gun violence and gun control laws. On Monday, he appeared on the HausRules radio show and talked widely on numerous firearm-related issues.
During the interview he made multiple points, 5 of which are likely unknown to most people (and certainly unstated in almost all mainstream media articles and discussions on the topic):
1) From 1950 on, all but 3 mass public shootings occurred in gun-free zones
The key to this, as in many statistically-laden analyses, is to understand the definitions and descriptions. In this case, “mass” is defined as “more than 4 people killed.” “Public” is defined as an area where civilians are generally permitted to go – such as a dance club, church, school, movie theater, or similar – and not a private residence. It also discludes gang or drug-related murders. These are circumstances where a killer intended to kill as many randomly chosen victims as possible for maximum impact and publicity, and did so in a busy and congested locale.
For more details on this topic, go HERE.
2) 40 states allow concealed carry in alcohol-serving establishments
One of the well-discussed facts about the Orlando shooting is that the Pulse nightclub was a state-required gun-free zone, despite Florida having fairly liberal gun ownership rules. A large majority of states, on the other hand, allow it.
A more surprising fact: there has never been an incident where an inebriated concealed-carry permit holder pulled out their gun and shot someone in a bar.
3) Concealed carry holders are far more law-abiding than the population at large
Less than 1% of felony homicide convictions are for those with concealed-carry permits.
An additional objection levied is that police or other similarly trained individuals are better equipped and more law abiding – and that it should be OK for them to carry guns but not the general population. Detailed studies show that although law enforcement officers commit crimes are a far lower rate than citizens do (at 1/31st or 3.2%), holders of gun permits commit crimes at even lower rates than do police officers (under 15%).
4) Homicide rates in the UK jumped 50% after they banned handguns
England and Wales banned handguns in 1997. Look what happened immediately thereafter:
The murder rate only began to fall after a huge increase in the number of police officers.
5) Comparing murder rates and gun ownership between countries is a risky business
Piers Morgan, for example, famously said this:
“America has the worst incidents of gun murders of any of what they call the civilized world.”
The big problem with any comparison between countries is the quality of the data, the interpretations used, and differing legal procedures and standards. This fact is often conveniently and dishonestly overlooked when enforcing an “Americans own more guns and murder more people” narrative.
For example, some countries do not include cases where there is no conviction (although a homicide did occur) and others include gang-related violence. Others flat out lie to bolster their international image. Other countries, like Israel and Switzerland, have extraordinarily high gun ownership rates, but these numbers often are not reflected in the data as many of the guns are officially owned by the government and not the individual. Almost every household in these countries have guns but aren’t officially included as individually-owned weapons.
Lott’s book More Guns Less Crime was a bestseller and with multiple updates, is still a go-to source for information and statistics about gun use, state laws, and violent crime. His new book, The War on Guns, will be released in August.
You can listen to the entire interview here:
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