Lott on workplace carry

Lott and Dabney have an op-ed in the Washington Times on concealed handguns in the workplace. As usual, Lott misrepresents the state of current research on firearms. Lott and Dabney write:

Indeed, international data as well as data from across the United States indicate that criminals are much less likely to attack residents in their homes when they suspect that the residents own guns.

Not so. In The Effects of Gun Prevalence on Burglary: Deterrence vs Inducement Philip Cook and Jens Ludwig found that areas in the US with higher gun ownership tended to have more burglaries, and more burglaries where the residents were home.

They also claim:

The vast majority of academic research finds that concealed handguns reduce violent crime, and, despite all the national studies that have been done, there is not a single refereed academic journal publication that claims a statistically significant increase in violent crime.

But the vast majority of research on concealed handguns does not support Lott. Furthermore, the National Academy of Sciences panel on firearms and violence reviewed the research and found:

There is no credible evidence that “right-to-carry” laws, which allow qualified adults to carry concealed handguns, either decrease or increase violent crime.

And note the careful phrasing about “refereed academic journal” so that he didn’t have to mention Ayres and Donohue’s Stanford Law Review paper Shooting Down the More Guns, Less Crime Hypothesis which found crime increases associated with carry laws. The Stanford Law Review is not refereed, but Lott has had ample time to come with a refutation of their work and failed.

They also claim:

Examining all the multiple-victim public shootings from 1977 to 1999, one of the current authors with Bill Landes at the University of Chicago found that, on average, states that adopt right-to-carry laws experience a 60 percent drop in the rate at which the attacks occur and a 78 percent drop in the rate at which people are killed or injured from such attacks.

After making a fuss about publication in peer-reviewed academic journals, Lott cites a paper he wrote that he could not get published in an academic journal, peer reviewed or otherwise. He somehow forgets to mention that the only study on multiple-victim public shootings to be published in a peer-reviewed journal did not find that carry laws had any effect on mass public shootings.

Comments

  1. #1 SayUncle
    August 28, 2005

    “Not so. In The Effects . . . burglaries where the residents were home.”

    Burglary is not an attack.

    “But the vast majority of research on concealed handguns does not support Lott. ”

    That doesn’t really refute his point.

  2. #2 Tim Lambert
    August 28, 2005

    Burglary is not an attack, but Lott is referring to “at-home” burglaries when he wrote “criminals are much less likely to attack residents in their homes”.

    The fact that the vast majority of research on concealed handguns does not support Lott refutes his claim that the vast majority of research supports him.

  3. #3 SayUncle
    August 28, 2005

    From the paragraph preceding the quoted one, I’m not sure. Otherwise, why all the nonsense about gun free zones at a home? Seems like Lott is mixing to gun issues to try to tie them together.

    “The fact that … the vast majority of research supports him.”

    Again, you sniped at him but didn’t refute his point.

  4. #4 Tony
    August 28, 2005

    If Lott really wants to show is metal, how about concealed carry on the White House Tour! Clearly, anything less would endanger the safety of the President.

  5. #5 z
    August 28, 2005

    To antiparaphrase a commonly heard rhetorical question from the guns=safety forces, “If burglars are deterred by guns, why don’t you all have signs on your houses reading ‘Warning; guns inside'”? In fact, while some burglars would avoid such a house, some burglars are no doubt atracted to guns, which are a valuable and fungible commodity.

  6. #6 ben
    August 29, 2005

    >why don’t you all have signs on your houses reading ‘Warning; guns inside'”?

    Answer: security through obscurity. Why invite them if you don’t have to. While saying “gun free zone” pretty much invites any criminal in the area, “gun in home” gives your hand away. Plus, you’re right, they might come to steal the gun.

  7. #7 jet
    August 30, 2005

    Who cares if they rob yourhouse while you are gone? Your guns should be in a safe and everyone should have a security system (~$15/month) and property insurance.

    But if you are home, it is nice to know that you don’t need 911 (5-30 minute wait) since you have 1911 right there handy.

  8. #8 Joe c
    August 31, 2005

    “Indeed, international data as well as data from across the United States indicate that criminals are much less likely to attack residents in their homes when they suspect that the residents own guns”.

    Not so. In The Effects of Gun Prevalence on Burglary: Deterrence vs Inducement Philip Cook and Jens Ludwig found that areas in the US with higher gun ownership tended to have more burglaries, and more burglaries where the residents were home.

    I don’t know Lott, I have no reason to suppoprt him, and no I am not in the pockets of the gun makers or cigarette ompanies. And to save you the trouble of full disclosure I am a sock puppet.

    Dipsuting the comment by Lott is to fly in the face of logic. Of course robbers would want to avoid house owners who own guns. Why? Because they may get blown away. If you don’t believe this then necessary logic would mean you must support the opposite, which is: Robbers would be attracted to homes of owners who own guns for house protection. Your argument stands logic upside down.

    I don’t know about the study you mentioned and I have no interest in auditing it. However, I have this comment to make: maybe you and your buddies are looking at this issue upside down. Isn’t there a good possibility that high levels of gun ownership indicate people’s concern with crime. In other words high crime rates force law abiding citizens to go out and buy guns.

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