Lott gets British and Australian laws and crime rates wrong

Lott has a new entry on his blog. First, he approvingly links to an NRO opinion piece by John Derbyshire, who writes about the case of Tony Martin, who was convicted of murdering a 16-year old burglar. Derbyshire feels that Martin's imprisonment is "preposterous". Glenn Reynolds, in a rather overwrought column goes further, declaring Martin to be a "political prisoner" and wants Amnesty International to weigh in. Unfortunately, Reynolds and Derbyshire have uncritically accepted the Martin's defense lawyers version of the events, apparently without checking to see if it was accurate. If you look at an account that presents the prosecution's side of the story as well, you will find that Martin was accused of lying in wait for the burglars and shooting them without warning. The jury, who presumably were more familiar with the facts in the case than Derbyshire decided that the prosecution had proved their case.

Lott goes on to claim that "the British 1997 Act ... literally made it a crime to use a gun defensively." He offers no support for this remarkable claim and the fact that Martin was not charged for a crime of using a gun defensively rather undercuts Lott's claim.

Next Lott reprints a passage from The Bias Against Guns where he asserts that there were dramatic crime increases in Britain and Australia following tighter gun laws. Mary Rosh made similar claims about Britain, which I corrected here. And Ken Parish already demolished Lott's claims about crime in Australia. Lott also falsely claims that the new laws in Australia made "it a crime to use a gun defensively."

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