(Link to Amazon)

Published Saturday, September 16, 2006, in Deseret News

Data in gun piece disputed

Marjorie Cortez's opinion piece is filled with errors ("Legislature should look again at gun law, Sept. 12). My data on right-to-carry laws have been examined by academics at more than 100 universities worldwide.

Dozens of studies have been published using this data set and the conclusion is clear: Not one single referred journal publication examining the national data has claimed that right-to-carry laws increase violent crime. While there are some papers that claim that right-to-carry laws do not affect crime, even more find evidence that right-to-carry laws reduce violent crime (for those interested, a partial list can be found here: johnrlott.tripod.com/postsbyday/RTCResearch.html). It is hard to think of academic data that have been as closely examined by as many different academics as this has been. Cortez isn't even able to accurately state the number of books that I have written on gun control.

Despite Cortez's other claims to the contrary, the vast majority of right-to-carry states, such as Utah, had adopted before my research was done and before it received any attention. The most telling response, though, is that 40 states now have right-to-carry laws and no state has moved to rescind them. On the safety issue she raises, only hundredths or thousandths of 1 percent of permit holders nationally lose their permits for any firearms-related violation, and there is not one published academic study that finds right-to-carry laws increase firearms accidents.

John R. Lott Jr.
dean's visiting professor
Department of Economics
State University of New York
Binghamton, N.Y.


Academic papers:

Social Science Research Network

Book Reviews:

For a list of book reviews on The Bias Against Guns, click here.

List of my Op-eds

Posts by topic

Research finding a drop in violent crime rates from Right-to-carry laws

Baghdad murder rate

Arming Pilots

Appalachian law school attack

Sources for Defensive Gun Uses

The Merced Pitchfork Killings

Fraudulent website pretending to be run by me

Ayres and Donohue

Stanford Law Review

General discussion of my 1997 and 2002 surveys as well as related surveys

Mother Jones article

Johnlott.org (description of book, downloadable data sets, and discussions of previous controversies)

Collection of some of my other op-eds


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

A debate that I had with George Mason University's Robert Ehrlich on guns

Lyonette Louis-Jacques's page on Firearms Regulation Worldwide

An interview concerning More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws

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

Alphecca -- weekly review on the media's coverage of guns


A Nation of Riflemen

Clayton Cramer's Blog

My hidden mathematical ability (a math professor with the same name)


My AEI Web Page

Craig Newmark

Eric Rasmusen

William Sjostrom

Dr. T's EconLinks.com

Interview with National Review Online

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

International Crime Victimization Survey data from 2000

John Lott's CV