My piece in the LA Times is still accurate today. While I will write up a more substantive discussion, James Q. Wilson’s very unusual dissent in the first appendix says a lot. Wilson concluded that all the research provided “confirmation of the findings that shall-issue laws drive down the murder rate . . . .” The NAS won’t tell me how many panels have had dissents previously, though they admit that they are very rare. It is disappointing that the panel refused to let me ask questions during their presentation.
Lott misrepresents Wilson’s conclusion. Wilson did not conclude that all the research provided confirmation that shall-issue laws decrease murder, rather that the committee’s analysis of Lott’s data and models confirmed Lott’s claim about murder. His actual conclusion:
In sum, I find that the evidence presented by Lott and his supporters suggests that RTC laws do in fact help drive down the murder rate, though the effect on other crimes is ambiguous.
Wilson agrees with the rest of the committee that Lott has failed to show declines in violent crime, assault, rape and robbery—he just disagrees about murder. (On that point Wilson is mistaken, since he has misunderstood the committee’s analysis. More on this later.)
Update: Lott has altered his post. The sentence
Wilson concluded that all the research provided “confirmation of the findings that shall-issue laws drive down the murder rate . . . .”
has been replaced by
Wilson concluded that the research provides “confirmation of the findings that shall-issue laws drive down the murder rate . . . ,” though he is less convinced of the change in other crimes.
I’m afraid Lott loses the brownie points he gets for making a correction by not indicating that his post had been corrected.