The editorial in the Australian today stated:
With memories of the 35 killed at Port Arthur still raw, many Australians would be shocked to learn that the gun lobby in the US pounced on the Virginia Tech massacre to call for extending the right of citizens to carry concealed weapons.
Not those who get the Australian, because today they also printed an op-ed by John Lott calling for just that.
Bill Landes of the University of Chicago law school and I examined multiple-victim public shootings in the US from 1977 to 1999 and found that when states passed right-to-carry laws, the rate of multiple-victim public shootings fell by 60 per cent. Deaths and injuries from multiple-victim public shootings fell even further, on average by 78 per cent, as the remaining incidents tended to involve fewer victims per attack.
Lott doesn’t tell you that he was unable to get this research pass peer review into a journal. He doesn’t tell you that a peer-reviewed paper by Duwe, Kovandzic and Moody in Homicide Studies 2002 6:4 analyzed the same data and found:
Right-to-carry (RTC) laws mandate that concealed weapon permits be granted to qualified applicants. Such laws could reduce the number of mass public shootings as prospective shooters consider the possibility of encountering armed civilians. However, these laws might increase the number of shootings by making it easier for prospective shooters to acquire guns. We evaluate 25 RTC laws using state panel data for 1977 through 1999. We estimate numerous Poisson and negative binomial models and find virtually no support for the hypothesis that the laws increase or reduce the number of mass public shootings.
You might think that “virtually no support for the hypothesis that the laws increase or reduce the number of mass public shootings” was a substantially different result from Lott’s claimed reduction of 60 per cent, but not according to Lott who claimed that Duwe “gets the same results I do”.
Lott repeats his discredited claim that
While right-to-carry laws – now operating in 40 states – do reduce violent crime generally,
However, when the National Academy of Sciences assessed all the evidence they concluded:
There is no credible evidence that “right-to-carry” laws, which allow qualified adults to carry concealed handguns, either decrease or increase violent crime.
Lott also claims:
Annual surveys of crime victims in America by the US Bureau of Justice Statistics continually show that, when confronted by a criminal, people are safest if they have a gun.