'Assault' Weapons Lower Crime


June 29, 2005, 11:46 AM
Here is a great article by John Lott.


"This wasn't supposed to happen. When the federal assault weapons ban ended on Sept. 13, 2004, gun crimes and police killings were predicted to surge. Instead, they have declined."

You can read the rest of it at the above link.

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June 29, 2005, 12:18 PM
No, no one can say that assault weapons reduce crime. There are many factors to why crime happens, and guns in general have very little to do with it (or at least the studies by the CDC state so). There are many other reasons why states with bans would have higher crime, such as large cities, disparity between incomes, etc.

The only thing that one can say from the article is that assault weapons do not cause huge increases in crime that some anti-gunners stated would happen. But stating that they reduce crime is false, being that we really just donít know what their impact is among all of the other factors.

June 29, 2005, 12:47 PM
Lott is making things worse by drawing a correlation that hasn't been shown to exist. This is the same thing that anti gunners do in reverse, and it shouldn't be done at all. Doing it ourselves makes it fair game for them to do it, but it's a logical fallacy and shouldn't be done at all.

Just because two things happen at the same time or after another thing does not mean they're related. False correlation and ad hoc fallacies are very common in anti-gun arguments, and they need not be made to further a pro-gun stance. Remember, the burden of proof is on them to tell us why we shouldn't be allowed to own what we own. Claiming that we should own them because they reduce crime rates suggests that we need to prove a reason to have them.

The fact that it cannot be shown that the presence of weapons in responsible civilian hands increases crime rates is good enough for me. All the money that the CDC spent researching gun laws and their effects--and turning up nothing--is a vindication in and of itself. We needn't take it to the extreme.

I would respectfully submit that Lott needs to be careful or he'll end up being more valuable to the other side of the debate than he is to ours. Try talking to some Canadian left-wingers about U.S. gun laws sometime. Lott is well known among that crowd, and he'll always be brought up and called bad names for the Rosh incidents, and his coding "errors," and so on and so forth. It'll also be insinuated that you, being on the same side and being "associated" with Lott and his kind, must be dishonest as well (guilt by association). I'm not saying that this is fair, but that's the way they think and Lott has become a tool for these people to attack you with.

Let's face it, these "studies" that are commissioned by anti-gun policy groups and thinktanks, from Kellerman all the way up to today, do not vie well under peer review. I don't see a huge need for additional studies to "prove" we need guns while ignoring how easy it is to demonstrate that their attempts to "prove" that we don't are utter failures in the majority of cases.

June 29, 2005, 01:08 PM
How is that for a better title?

The title of Lott's article is to catch your attention, provoke a reaction, or so it seems to me. I hope you took the time to read it.

I think Lott understands quite well the debate he is involved with, since he has published at least two books on the topic, books that I have. No doubt he has been criticized, probably said a few things he shouldn't have, done a few things he shouldn't have, whatever, but he is doing serious academic research on the numbers, and his numbers should be used to refute the nutty gun control advocates. It is as simple as that.

His whole point is that the gun control advocates were wrong, the streets aren't full of blood because the gun ban ended.

June 29, 2005, 02:05 PM
How is that for a better title?


June 29, 2005, 02:32 PM
I'm betting drug dealers who are known to possess assault rifles, legal or not, are far less likely to be robbed and/or killed than drug dealers who think guns are new school.

Civil upheaval, (Oxymoron, isn't it!?), anyway, civil upheaval and the legal use of assault rifles to protect life and property enmasse during the event would be the only clear indicator to me that assault weapons prevent or deter crime and I don't wish the theory to be put to the test.

June 29, 2005, 02:55 PM
Y'all are beating Mr. Lott up for something he didn't say. His title is " More 'Assault Weapons,' Less Crime," a true statement, but not a statement that one causes the other. Later in the article, he suggests there might be causation, but does not go so far as to declare it as fact:
Even more interesting, the seven states that have their own assault weapons bans saw a smaller drop in murders than the 43 states without such laws, suggesting that doing away with the ban actually reduced crime. (States with bans averaged a 2.4% decline in murders; in three states with bans, the number of murders rose. States without bans saw murders fall by more than 4%.)
The genius of Lott is to apply the methods of economics to questions about guns and gun control. With so many uncontrolled variables, you never get an easy answer to what causes what. Economists have techniques to try to make sense of the quagmire of facts, and comparing the difference in rates-of-change before and after the ban, and in states with and without the ban, is one of those techniques. He's not overstating anything by saying that the facts suggest that there might be causation. He's right on the money. Now, proving it would be another matter, but in economics and sociology, proof is hard to come by, as there seems to be a lack of volunteers to be the control subjects in experiments.

June 26, 2006, 12:26 PM
I'll bet if we have another hurricane season this year like last year that thugs might think twice about looting if they have to face armed citizens with AW's.

June 26, 2006, 11:19 PM
I'll bet if we have another hurricane season this year like last year that thugs might think twice about looting if they have to face armed citizens with AW's.

Not if the fine folks in the LA legilature have anything to say about it. They will just find another excuse to send in the NG and take the weapons away from the law abiding citizens of the state, thus leaving them defenseless and at the mercy of the BG's.:cuss:

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