There is an interesting editorial by John Derbyshire at National Review Online. John discusses some of the problems with the most recent gun control laws in the United Kingdom. My only clarification for his piece is that the British 1997 Act banning handguns was probably not as important in increasing crime as the fact that the law literally made it a crime to use a gun defensively. Anyway, the discussion reminds me of some facts that I write about in my new book, The Bias Against Guns, regarding changing crime rates in Australia and England after their recent gun control laws.

p. 77:

In 1996, Britain banned handguns. Prior to that time, over 54,000 Britains owned handguns. The ban was so tight that even shooters training for the Olympics were forced to travel to Switzerland or other countries to practice. Four years have elapsed since the ban was introduced and gun crimes have risen by an astounding 40%. The United Kingdom now leads the United States by an almost two-to-one margin in violent crime (according to the 2000 International Crime Victimization Survey). Although murder and rape rates are still higher in the United States, the difference has been shrinking. A recent Associated Press Report notes:

Dave Rogers, vice chairman of the [London] Metropolitan Police Federation, said the ban made little difference to the number of guns in the hands of criminals. "The underground supply of guns does not seem to have dried up at all."

Australia also passed severe gun restrictions in 1996, banning most guns and making it a crime to use a gun defensively. In the next four years, armed robberies there rose by 51 percent, unarmed robberies by 37 percent, assaults by 24 percent, and kidnappings by 43 percent. While murders fell by 3 percent, manslaughter rose by 16 percent. In Sydney, handgun crime rose by an incredible 440 percent from 1995 to 2001. Again, both Britain and Australia are "ideal" places for gun control as they are surrounded by water, making gun smuggling relatively difficult. The bottom line, though, is that these gun laws clearly did not deliver the promised reductions in crime.


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The End of Myth: An Interview with Dr. John Lott

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

An interview with John R. Lott, Jr. author of More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws

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