More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun-Control Laws

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Does allowing people to own or carry guns deter violent crime? Or does it cause more citizens to harm each other? Wherever people happen to fall along the ideological spectrum, their answers are all too often founded upon mere impressionistic and anecdotal evidence. In this direct challenge to conventional wisdom, legal scholar John Lott presents the most rigorously comprehensive data analysis ever done on crime. In this provocative work he comes to a startling conclusion more guns mean less crime. In what may be...
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Overview

Does allowing people to own or carry guns deter violent crime? Or does it cause more citizens to harm each other? Wherever people happen to fall along the ideological spectrum, their answers are all too often founded upon mere impressionistic and anecdotal evidence. In this direct challenge to conventional wisdom, legal scholar John Lott presents the most rigorously comprehensive data analysis ever done on crime. In this provocative work he comes to a startling conclusion more guns mean less crime. In what may be his most controversial conclusion, Lott finds that mass public shootings, such as the infamous examples of the Long Island Railroad by Colin Ferguson or the 1996 Empire State Building shooting, are dramatically reduced once law-abiding citizens in a state are allowed to carry concealed handguns.
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Editorial Reviews

Nelson Lund
Lott has gone so far beyond other scholars that his work deserves a central place both in future academic inquiry and in popular and political debate. -- Weekly Standard
Daniel D. Polsby
An important new book by one of America's most resourceful and fearless econometricians. -- Reason
John O. McGinnis
By providing strong empirical evidence that yet another liberal policy is a cause of the very evil it purports to cure, [Lott] has permanently changed the terms of the debate on gun control....Lott's book could hardly be more timely. -- National Review
James Bovard
A compelling book with enough hard evidence that even politicians may have to stop and pay attention. More Guns, Less Crime is an exhaustive analysis of the effect of gun possession on crime rates. -- The Wall Street Journal
Booknews
Lott takes the position many have supported anecdotally for centuries that the best deterrent to crime is an armed populace. He backs up his argument with the FBI's yearly crime figures for every county in the U.S. over 18 years, the largest national surveys on gun ownership, and state police documents on illegal gun use.
Kirkus Reviews
An intriguing and shocking look at crime, guns, and gun control policy. Lott (Law/University of Chicago) writes with a relentless distaste for conventional wisdom, such as the belief that most people are killed by someone they know. That category, Lott protests, is simply too large to be meaningful, and he takes to task the notion that concealed guns increase crime. To Lott's mind, citizens who carry concealed guns protect themselves against both friends and strangers and prevent the death of innocent citizens. Lott cites a host of cases where armed victims managed to outwit or kill their attackers. Common sense approaches like gun buyback programs or waiting periods for gun parchases, the hallmark of the Brady Bill, also seem useless to Lott. He draws on studies and data to suggest that an armed citizen is a safe citizen. Lott stresses that many western states like Arizona, Texas, and Oklahoma have nondiscretionary handgun laws, and crime is significantly lower in those areas. Sure to raise questions and some controversy, and hopefully will draw attention to the complex issue of crime and potential solutions.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226493640
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/2000
  • Series: Studies in Law and Economics Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 332
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 0.97 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
1 Introduction 1
2 How to Test the Effects of Gun Control 21
3 Gun Ownership, Gun Laws, and the Data on Crime 36
4 Concealed-Handgun Laws and Crime Rates: The Empirical Evidence 50
5 The Victims and the Benefits from Protection 97
6 What Determines Arrest Rates and the Passage of Concealed-Handgun Laws? 117
7 The Political and Academic Debate 122
8 Some Final Thoughts 158
Appendixes 167
Notes 185
Bibliography 217
Index 221
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 11 of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2001

    Makes you stop and think

    This book is well written and researched. It is a real eye-opener. For many years, I was on the proverbial fence about guns, leaning more to the gun-control side, especially after Columbine. I bought and read this book only because one of my pro-gun relatives challenged me to. I expected to find arguments that were emotionally stirring but baseless. Instead, I found logic, real data, sources, facts and figures; John Lott doesn't try to sway the reader through symbolism and emotion, but with facts. It was a bit frightening for me because I found myself agreeing with what was written! While I'm not ready to go out and buy a gun myself, it's made me see how important guns are to individual liberty and freedom. I don't just rubber-stamp everything that the gun control lobby says anymore. For years we've been told that 'shall-issue' concealed-carry states would turn into bloodbaths of violence and road-rage shootings, and I believed it. But so far, it hasn't happened. I would highly reccommend this book to anyone, especially those who lean towards gun control. It's a fair, balanced, and factual work.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 5, 2013

    THE definitive piece of research work. Dr Lott explodes the myth

    THE definitive piece of research work. Dr Lott explodes the myths.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2003

    Get Past The Numbers

    Get past the numbers, get past the dry stats and look to the message. If you own a gun, predators will not want to target you, plain and simple. John Lott does a stellar job proving that with cold hard facts.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2000

    Excellent empirical analysis

    Lott's analysis of the impact of gun carrying laws in more than 3,000 counties in the US addresses the concerns of those who inspire to ban guns in America. Lott's conclusion is insightful, analytical, and unbias.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2000

    A Must read for anti-gun, and Pro gun People.

    I'm a member of the NRA and a college student who witnessed first hand a highschool shooting a few years ago. It happened in my small hometown of Springfield Oregon. The author of the book More Guns, Less Crime did an excellent job researching and writing this book. 'LONG LIVE JOHN LOTT' !!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2000

    Striking a blow for freedom and security

    The previous reviewers have stated the point better than I could have but I just want to state my affirmation that John Lott has tackled the liberal gun control monster and exposed its argument as nothing more than an attack on freedom under the guise of ensuring safety. In More Guns, Less Crime, John Lott explains the results of THE most exhaustive study ever undertaken on the impact of nondiscretionary concealed hand gun (or right-to-carry) laws on violent crime. His statistically-relevent conclusion supports the common sense and Constitutionally-guaranteed notion that an armed citizenry is the best safeguard against violent crime. His work also reveals the statistically negligible positive effects of well-intentioned but wrong-headed gun control legislation like waiting periods, gun safety classes, and others. In fact, Lott shows that these laws may actually increase the incidence of violent crime by keeping guns out of the hands of vulnerable law-abiding citizens especially when a threat of violence is imminent as in the case of domestic abuse. The Founding Fathers who risked their lives for the principles embodied in the Constitution would applaud the return of freedom that this book champions.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2000

    A Must Read for Pro-gun people and Anti-Gun People Too

    I bought this for one reason only. To give me verbal ammo that I can document on the issue of concealed weapons. I'll admit it, I'm an activist. This provided me with information to pass onto my Senators and Rep. I'm inspired to start a non-profit organization to mail a couple of this book to my state officals. Truely a must read for everyone pro-gun and anti-gun.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 1999

    Rigorous Analysis Torpedoes Naive Antigun Assumptions

    Professor Lott, an economist and statistician who has served on the US Sentencing Commission, analyzes crime and violence in terms of costs and deterrents. Potential perpetrators, even the seemingly irrational ones, take into account the risk to themselves. Increase the risk, and the crime is less likely to take place. Prof. Lott demonstrates that this simple principle operates effectively when potential victims are perceived to be able to defend themselves against assaults. Most of the book is devoted to an exhaustive statistical examination demonstrating that nondiscretionary concealed carry laws reduce rates of violent crime dramatically. Detailed replies and rebuttals to criticisms of that study are also included. Side effects concerns such as accidents and suicides are also addressed. He concludes concealed carry works, and it works well. He also devotes space to statistically debunking such citizen-disarmament panaceas as waiting periods. This is an important book for those who wish to better understand the importance of the armed citizen in general, and especially for those for whom a state 'shall-issue concealed carry' bill is an issue. Since more states have adopted concealed carry since this study, and more data has surely become available, it would be interesting to see a followup study soon.

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    Posted January 4, 2010

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