Freedomnomics

Article published Monday, February 23, 2015, at The Advertiser.

Guns can protect

By John R. Lott, Jr.

ANDREW Goldsmith and Rick Sarre are correct that murder and violent crime rates have generally fallen over recent decades (The Advertiser, 19/2/15).

But that doesnít explain why US states that issued the most concealed handgun permits saw bigger falls.

Making it legal for law-abiding people, particularly women, to defend themselves deters crime and is by far the safest course of action.

That conclusion holds after accounting for hundreds of factors.

Moreover, firearm permit holders donít escalate violence: they are an exceptionally law-abiding group.

So why do Goldsmith and Sarre believe that, unlike Americans, their fellow Australians canít be trusted with guns?

Goldsmith and Sarre are inconsistent in failing to apply their falling-crime-rate argument to their claims about Australia.

Homicides and suicides were falling at the same rate before and after the Howard buyback. Contrary to their theories, crime and suicide rates did not suddenly drop, and increase as gun ownership increased again.

Our challenge to name a single place anywhere in the world that has banned guns and seen its murder rate decline remains unanswered.

John R. Lott Jr. is the president of the Crime Prevention Research Center and the author of the recently released ďAt the Brink: Will Obama Push Us Over the Edge?Ē

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Cold Comfort, Economist John Lott discusses the benefits of guns--and the hazards of pointing them out.

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Some data not found at www.johnlott.org:

Updated Media Analysis of Appalachian Law School Attack

Since the first news search was done additional news stories have been added to Nexis:

There are thus now 218 unique stories, and a total of 294 stories counting duplicates (the stories in yellow were duplicates): Excel file for general overview and specific stories. Explicit mentions of defensive gun use increase from 2 to 3 now.

Journal of Legal Studies paper on spoiled ballots during the 2000 Presidential Election

Data set from USA Today, STATA 7.0 data set

"Do" File for some of the basic regressions from the paper