Letter to the Editor -- The Economist

From John R. Lott Jr.

Is that a gun in your pocket?

SIR – Contrary to your claims of the Americanisation of armed robbery in Britain, one could only hope that robbery in England and Wales was truly becoming Americanised (“You're history”, January 3rd). The International Crime Victimisation Survey shows that for 2000, the latest year available, the robbery rate in England and Wales was twice America's rate.

Equally tellingly, your figure shows that armed robberies stopped falling in England and Wales in 1997 and started rising dramatically almost immediately afterwards. Was not the 1997 handgun ban in Britain supposed to reduce armed robberies? By contrast, American robbery rates have fallen during the 1990s just as more and more Americans have been able to carry concealed handguns for protection.

John Lott
American Enterprise Institute
Washington, DC

The figure from The Economist:

Graph is from The Economist

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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