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Less crime Err, has no real discernible impact on crime whatsoever:

Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy Confirms that Reducing Gun Ownership by Law-Abiding Citizens Does Nothing to Reduce Violence Worldwide

By now, any informed American is familiar with Dr. John R. Lott, Jr.’s famous axiom of “More Guns, Less Crime.” In other words, American jurisdictions that allow law-abiding citizens to exercise their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms are far safer and more crime-free than jurisdictions that enact stringent “gun control” laws.

Very simply, the ability of law-abiding citizens to possess firearms has helped reduce violent crime in America.

Now, a Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy study shows that this is not just an American phenomenon. According to the study, worldwide gun ownership rates do not correlate with higher murder or suicide rates. In fact, many nations with high gun ownership have significantly lower murder and suicide rates.

In their piece entitled Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder and Suicide? A Review of International and some Domestic Evidence, Don B. Kates and Gary Mauser eviscerate “the mantra that more guns mean more deaths and that fewer guns, therefore, mean fewer deaths.” In so doing, the authors provide fascinating historical insight into astronomical murder rates in the Soviet Union during the Cold War, and they dispel the myths that widespread gun ownership is somehow unique to the United States or that America suffers from the developed world’s highest murder rate.

To the contrary, they establish that Soviet murder rates far exceeded American murder rates, and continue to do so today, despite Russia’s extremely stringent gun prohibitions. By 2004, they show, the Russian murder rate was nearly four times higher than the American rate.

More fundamentally, Dr. Kates and Dr. Mauser demonstrate that other developed nations such as Norway, Finland, Germany, France and Denmark maintain high rates of gun ownership, yet possess murder rates lower than other developed nations in which gun ownership is much more restricted.

8 Responses to “More guns”

  1. davetha Says:

    Co-written by a guy named Dr. Mauser huh?

    Sometimes the Universe just laughs…

  2. Nomen Nescio Says:

    i’m fundamentally skeptical about inter-country statistical comparisons. having emigrated, and been through culture shock, i just don’t think there’s any way to gather truly comparable statistics in separate countries. at least not without the sort of massive effort that will cost enough money to get political interests involved, thus making the whole thing suspect for that reason.

    (and i emigrated from one industrialized, high-tech, first world nation to another. i had it easy.)

    but the U.S. is still a bit of a laboratory for democracy; we can look at intra-state statistics before and after shall issue carry laws, and i think by and large, we still find no real difference in crime statistics. (after controlling for changes in economy, and other such factors known to influence crime.) Michigan certainly seems to be playing out that way.

    so i like to make the argument that liberal carry laws and legal gun availability doesn’t seem to do harm to a society (under general U.S. conditions, anyway); and it increases individual liberty by a slight amount; so why not err on the side of harmless liberty?

    oh, and on another note: a recent UN study about male circumcision (which i also find highly suspect, for different reasons) is championed by a Dr. DeKok. (sp?) it’s been in the news recently, google it up.

  3. Volunteer Voters » Violence Begets Violence Says:

    […] Say Uncle reports that a Harvard study confirms the work of John Lott that higher gun ownership does not cause a corresponding increase in gun violence. Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages. […]

  4. Xrlq Says:

    Lott’s research shows pretty conclusively that more guns in the hands of the law-abiding translates into significantly less crime, not “no discernible impact on crime whatsoever.” So too did Gary Kleck’s before, even if Kleck himself was reluctant to put two and two together. This new study probably can’t do that, since it compares apples to oranges. Apples to apples comparisons are generally restricted to a single jurisdiction, e.g., Kleck comparing the number of crimes committed vs. prevented with guns in the U.S., or Lott comparing the violent crime rates of a series of states immediately before and after their CCW laws changed significantly. No comparison of France to Britain or Germany to Japan can get you that kind of clarity; there’s too damned many variables.

  5. Nomen Nescio Says:

    that’s if you believe lott, though. unfortunately, even if he’s right, his rather unprofessional conduct has pretty much discredited him totally, so quoting him isn’t going to convince anybody. quoting lott just invites your opposition to bring up mary rosh.

  6. Xrlq Says:

    Lott was never “discredited” by anything, except the fact that a lot of gun-grabbers who really, really, really want him to be wrong ever since he came on the scene. Mary Rosh was lame, but it has nothing to do with the validity of Lott’s research, and less to do with Kleck’s, Wright and Rossi’s, or that of anyone else who has looked at the issue in-depth enough to determine that gun control has a significant impact on crime after all – and not the kind of impact their proponents promised.

  7. Nomen Nescio Says:

    oh please. using internet sock puppets to tout his own work is discrediting, full stop. academically it might not prove his work is wrong, as such, but we’re not discussing academic merit here; we are necessarily talking politics on this subject, and that sort of behaviour is political suicide, from anybody. even academically, if you’d found out a professor whose class you’d considered taking had acted so, would you still sign up for it?

    Kleck, as far as i know, is a much better reference, and i rather like to quote him myself. i’ll have to make the time to read the other two, to be honest. got any full references to papers of theirs you’d recommend?

  8. Xrlq Says:

    Not handy, but I’m pretty sure their study appears in the bibliographies of Lott’s book, and probably Kleck’s as well, for that matter. Their study focused on career criminals who admitted to having foregone crimes when they feared the potential victim may be armed.

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