My response in the Chicago Tribune to their Editorial on Assault Weapon Bans

Here is my response to this editorial in the Chicago Tribune. Not a bad week. I had something in both the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune the same week.

Uncertain effects

Published January 27, 2006

With all the claims that your editorial makes about so-called assault weapons ("Ban assault weapons in Illinois," Commentary, Jan. 26), murder rates should have soared after the Federal ban sunset on Sep. 13, 2004.

On Oct. 18 last year, the FBI released the final data for 2004. It shows clearly that for the U.S. monthly murder rate plummeted 14 percent from August through December. By contrast, during the same months in 2003 the murder rate fell only 1 percent. Curiously, the seven states that have their own assault-weapons bans saw a smaller drop in murders during 2004 than the 43 states without such laws.

Instead of you just citing gun control organizations, does it matter that there is not a single published academic study showing that these bans have reduced any type of violent crime? Even research funded by the Clinton Justice Department concluded that the effect of the ban on gun violence "has been uncertain."

John R. Lott, Jr.
Washington, DC

Copyright © 2006, Chicago Tribune


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is interesting to note that in so many articles relating to gun contol laws, journalists want to talk about the number of times a specfiic gun was used and totally ignore the effect on the actual crime rate. You may reduce the use of AR15's, but if violent crimes and murders increased what have you accomplished. Better to focus on laws and police programs that reduce crime.

1/30/2006 6:26 PM  
Blogger Wadical said...

My favorite episode of "All in the Family" finds Gloria spouting gun violence statistics to Archie in her attempt to sell him on gun control, to which he replies... "Would it make you feel any better, little girl if they was pushin' 'em outta windows?"

Removing one tool out of the hands of someone bent on violence does not make that person suddenly not violent. They'll seek another tool.

1/31/2006 12:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All arguments aside, it has been shown that the second ammendment was intended by the founding fathers to allow(and declare as a right)ALL citizens to "keep and bear" weapons that are equivilant to that the common soldier carries. (Read The Federalist Papers) or any other means that could be afforded. So if you can't afford an M-16, then get SOME kind of firearm.

An AR-15 is NOT an M-16(A1 or A2) as it is a semi-automatic weapon and does not fire burst or fully automatic.

It is NOT within the power of the federal goverment to regulate firearms owenship or sales, it is NOT a power granted to them by the constitution and it is reserved by the people. (the individual)

2/02/2006 9:39 AM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear Anonymous, I agree that the assault weapons ban banned guns that are semi-automatic guns that are no different than the typical gun that Americans buy. The civilian version of the AK-47 fires the same bullets, at the same rapidity, and do the same damage as the typical deer hunting rifle.

2/02/2006 10:39 AM  

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