Right to carry arms reduces crime? (merged threads)


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basicblur
June 23, 2010, 04:37 AM
John Stossel's show on Fox Business News this week
This Week's Show - June 24 - More Guns, Less Crime?
Right to Carry Arms Reduces Crime?
FBN's John Stossel argues the right to carry a concealed gun would reduce crime.
Watch Thursdays at 9 p.m. and 12 midnight, Fridays at 10 p.m., Saturdays at 9 p.m. and 12 midnight, and Sundays at 10 p.m. (all times eastern).
http://www.foxbusiness.com/on-air/stossel/

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The_Shootist
June 23, 2010, 10:19 AM
Yeah I know I'm preaching to the choir here but almost fell off my chair reading this from John Stossel, a noted business columnist. While not a left-wing ideologue, Stossel never struck me as overtly 2A. Interesting how the Heller decision is starting to seep into some sections of journalism. Can't be a bad thing for us.

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More Guns Means Less Crime
By John Stossel

You know what the mainstream media think about guns and our freedom to carry them.

Pierre Thomas of ABC: "When someone gets angry or when they snap, they are going to be able to have access to weapons."


Chris Matthews of MSNBC: "I wonder if in a free society violence is always going to be a part of it if guns are available."

Keith Olbermann, who usually can't be topped for absurdity: "Organizations like the NRA ... are trying to increase deaths by gun in this country."

"Trying to?" Well, I admit that I bought that nonsense for years. Living in Manhattan, working at ABC, everyone agreed that guns are evil. And that the NRA is evil. (Now that the NRA has agreed to a sleazy deal with congressional Democrats on political speech censorship, maybe some of its leaders are evil, but that's for another column.)

Now I know that I was totally wrong about guns. Now I know that more guns means -- hold onto your seat -- less crime.

How can that be, when guns kill almost 30,000 Americans a year? Because while we hear about the murders and accidents, we don't often hear about the crimes stopped because would-be victims showed a gun and scared criminals away. Those thwarted crimes and lives saved usually aren't reported to police (sometimes for fear the gun will be confiscated), and when they are reported, the media tend to ignore them. No bang, no news.

This state of affairs produces a distorted public impression of guns. If you only hear about the crimes and accidents, and never about lives saved, you might think gun ownership is folly.

But, hey, if guns save lives, it logically follows that gun laws cost lives.

Suzanna Hupp and her parents were having lunch at Luby's cafeteria in Killeen, Texas, when a man began shooting diners with his handgun, even stopping to reload. Suzanna's parents were two of the 23 people killed. (Twenty more were wounded.)

Suzanna owned a handgun, but because Texas law at the time did not permit her to carry it with her, she left it in her car. She's confident that she could have stopped the shooting spree if she had her gun. (Texas has since changed its law.)

Today, 40 states issue permits to competent, law-abiding adults to carry concealed handguns (Vermont and Alaska have the most libertarian approach: no permit needed. Arizona is about to join that exclusive club.) Every time a carry law was debated, anti-gun activists predicted outbreaks of gun violence after fender-benders, card games and domestic quarrels.

What happened?

John Lott, in "More Guns, Less Crime," explains that crime fell by 10 percent in the year after the laws were passed. A reason for the drop in crime may have been that criminals suddenly worried that their next victim might be armed. Indeed, criminals in states with high civilian gun ownership were the most worried about encountering armed victims.

In Canada and Britain, both with tough gun-control laws, almost half of all burglaries occur when residents are home. But in the United States, where many households contain guns, only 13 percent of burglaries happen when someone_s at home.

Two years ago, the Supreme Court ruled in the Heller case that Washington, D.C.'s ban on handgun ownership was unconstitutional. District politicians then loosened the law but still have so many restrictions that there are no gun shops in the city and just 800 people have received permits. Nevertheless, contrary to the mayor's prediction, robbery and other violent crime are down.

Because Heller applied only to Washington, that case was not the big one. McDonald v. Chicago is the big one, and the Supreme Court is expected to rule on that next week. Otis McDonald is a 76-year-old man who lives in a dangerous neighborhood on Chicago's South Side. He wants to buy a handgun, but Chicago forbids it.

If the Supremes say McDonald has that right, then restrictive gun laws will fall throughout America.

Despite my earlier bias, I now understand that striking down those laws will probably save lives.

Copyright 2010, Creators Syndicate Inc.

BTR
June 23, 2010, 10:32 AM
Stossel is a libertarian, and does write some good stuff.

DoubleTapDrew
June 23, 2010, 11:41 AM
Stossel is Pro-2A and has a CHL. A refreshing voice of reason in the MSM.

Zack
June 23, 2010, 11:46 AM
Keith Olbermann, who usually can't be topped for absurdity: "Organizations like the NRA ... are trying to increase deaths by gun in this country."

Well I guess we should stop selling cars and no more knifes or electic toaster because you can kill someone in a bath tub. I guess you should stop selling pills because that causes death. And oh yeah evil doctors who want to operate on you with sharp tools.

Art Eatman
June 23, 2010, 11:49 AM
This is more about reducing crime than law, seems like, and unless somebody shifts the focus to law, I think it oughta be in the General forum. So, off we go. :)

searcher451
June 23, 2010, 12:14 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_YTM_eAWnQ

Stossel has done a lot of good work on gun myths for ABC News as well.

JellyJar
June 23, 2010, 12:23 PM
To expand on what Mr Stossel said:

No bang, no blood, no gore, no news!

wishin
June 23, 2010, 12:37 PM
Hat's off to John Stossel. This message needs to be seen more in the media, especially coming from prominent, well respected folks not affiliated with the NRA.

basicblur
June 23, 2010, 04:46 PM
If you plan on watching or DVRing this show, you might want to check for re-airs etc. For some reason Comcast guide in my neck o' the woods shows Stossel's show not coming on at 8pm Thursday-the first viewing is 12am Friday.

For some reason, FBN often has errors on their DVR listings-don't know if the disconnect is FBN or Comcast?

I often have to set the DVR to record multiple airings of Stossel in order to make sure I get it.

Bullnettles
June 23, 2010, 05:38 PM
I saw him on Bill O'Reilly last night and was pleasantly suprised to hear that from him after seeing him on ABC all those years.

MagnumDweeb
June 23, 2010, 07:29 PM
Stossel rides a seemingly very general gate so to speak. He's not per Pro-2 but rather pro-American and pro-constitution, and as such he is naturally Pro-2 like any sane, rational, and intelligent person would be once confronted with the true facts.

ArmednSafe
June 24, 2010, 12:00 AM
Keith Olbermann, who usually can't be topped for absurdity: "Organizations like the NRA ... are trying to increase deaths by gun in this country."

I agree! The NRA has been authoring all the gun control bills for the last 100 years, taking arms out of good people hands making them victims.

danprkr
June 24, 2010, 07:37 AM
Stossel never struck me as overtly 2A.

I think he's more pro freedom than pro 2A or pro gun.

Double Naught Spy
June 24, 2010, 07:57 AM
Right to carry arms reduces crime?

Nope, that is a myth. It sounds good and seems like it would make sense.

People like to think crime went down because of concealed carry, but that isn't the case. There is no causation. Texas is a great example. In 2006 in Texas Commissioner Jerry Patterson published a nice article talking about how Texas CHL's lowered the crime rate in Texas. He was, after all, the senior author on the bill for granting CHLs and it had been a decade of dropping crime rates in Texas since CHL went into effect in 1996. Cool, right? Stats prove it works.

What the Commissioner failed to note was the effect on the time/space continuum and failed to tell people was concealed carry's effect on crime was retroactive and dropped the crime rate in the years leading up to 1996 as well when Texas CHL went into effect. Apparently the notion of the bill was so powerful, crime in Texas started dropping in the previous decade, wavering back and forth a bit, then started its downward fall in 1992. But this just proves that pro-gun legislation and activities now can have such a powerful effect as to affect crime levels backward through time!!!!

Clear evidence that Texas CHLs reduce crime was so effective that when it went into effect in 1996, not only did the crime rate drop in Texas, but there was a national ripple effect that carried over to MA, CA, NY, and ME for several years(from Uniform FBI Crime Reports found online for each state). That is right, statistics have proven that since the implementation of Texas CHL, the crime rates dropped in decidedly anti-gun states as well.

Florida is often shown as a leader in concealed carry legislation and the success of their reduction in crime is noted time and time again, right?

It is like the example I noted above about Texas getting its CHLs. It scared off the criminal element so badly that is caused crime to drop a couple years prior to the inception of the CHL program and even cause crime to drop in states where concealed carry either wasn't allowed or was highly restricted were more than 1000 miles distant!!

In other words, something else was going on at the time to cause crime rates to go down that had NOTHING to do with the CHL program.

People like to point out Florida as a great example of where the violent crime rate went down the year their concealed carry program went into effect...as if criminals all of a sudden realized that everyone became magically armed. Strangely, the crime rate in Florida went up in the following three years after that! So much for guns reducing crime.http://www.fdle.state.fl.us/content/...FSAC-Home.aspx

Here is the violent crime data. Inception was 1987.

Year// Total Violent Crime// Volume % Change// Total Violent Crime Rate Per 100,000 Population// % Change
1971 38,572 0.0 547.80 0.0
1972 40,248 4.3 540.90 -1.3
1973 46,430 15.4 591.80 9.4
1974 54,852 18.1 665.00 12.4
1975 57,663 5.1 679.60 2.2
1976 54,543 -5.4 637.80 -6.2
1977 57,916 6.2 664.40 4.2
1978 65,784 13.6 733.60 10.4
1979 73,866 12.3 799.00 8.9
1980 94,068 27.3 982.00 23.0
1981 98,090 4.3 971.40 -1.10
1982 93,406 -4.8 900.30 -7.3
1983 88,298 -5.5 833.70 -7.4
1984 95,368 8.0 872.50 4.7
1985 106,980 12.2 948.50 8.7
1986 120,977 13.1 1,037.70 9.4
1987 123,030 1.7 1,021.50 -1.6
1988 138,343 12.4 1,114.10 9.1
1989 145,473 5.2 1,136.70 2.0
1990 160,554 10.4 1,220.90 7.4
1991 158,181 -1.5 1,198.70 -1.8
1992 161,137 1.9 1,200.30 0.08
1993 161,789 0.4 1,188.90 0.9
1994 157,835 -2.4 1,137.20 -4.3
1995 150,208 -4.8 1,061.60 -6.6
1996 151,350 0.8 1050.20 -1.1

The same holds for Texas in 1996. It is lauded as showing a remarkable drop in crime when CHLs were allowed, but then again, crime dropped in some 43 states in 1996, including some that did not have concealed carry or that were anti concealed carry. What does that tell you?
http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/Cius_97/96CRIME/96crime2.pdf

It should tell you that something else is at work other than concealed carry.

The notion that concealed carry drops crimes rates, especially violent crime rates, is pretty silly. It is a lot of wishful thinking and rose colored glasses.

Concealed carry does not affect the overall crime rates or overall violent crime rates in an appreciable manner, or it hasn't so far. It does have a tremendous effect for those individuals who do carry and defend themselves however. That is where the real power of this comes into play and why folks carry.

Tommygunn
June 24, 2010, 10:57 AM
:confused::confused:

"Gun control lowers the crime rate."
"No, concealed carry reduces the crime rate."
"Banning guns makes society safer."
"That's not what the 'Lott/Mustad <->Gary Kleck' study says!"

Geeesh.
I have been told by experienced police officers that criminals fear armed citizens more than even police!
The presence of firearms in the hands of honest citizens must have some effect. There has been more than one study indicating that where the citizens can obtain firearms more readily, the crime rate is lower.
Any one study might be screwy. But do other investigators make the same screwy errors? Or are the facts the same even when more than one study
is made? I can get five people to add two plus two and assuming they have the sense God gave a pump handle they will always get the same answer.

I understand that altering a law will not effect what happened prior to it. When the assault weapon ban was passed in 1994 it was later touted as being responsible for lowering the crime rate, yet the type of crime it was charged with decreasing had been on the decline even prior to the AWB.
But did Texas CCW change anything? Did the rate change after the law was introduced?

I don't know ... debates such as this give me headaches. In 1764 On Crime and Punishment was published and its author noted that the banning of weapons only encouraged the criminal element, a treatise that appears entirely reasonable to me. Lions and other predators will select the weakest gazelle in the herd, and similarly we know the criminals will go after the weak.
If the criminals believe their target might be armed, they might decide to change their target. Their judgement might prove wrong; the "weak" target may have a black belt in five martial arts and beat the tar out of the criminal, but still, in general, we know this is a principle used by both lions and criminals.
Statistics?:banghead:

TexasRifleman
June 24, 2010, 11:02 AM
Concealed carry does not affect the overall crime rates or overall violent crime rates in an appreciable manner, or it hasn't so far. It does have a tremendous effect for those individuals who do carry and defend themselves however. That is where the real power of this comes into play and why folks carry.

Right, it appears to move the balance of power and WHERE crimes are happening.

If you dig deeper into the crime stats what you find often is a movement of crime to more "scumbag on scumbag" for lack of a better way to put it. Criminals don't work less, they just change their target audience.

Difficult to show that gun laws are the direct cause, but it's certainly possible.

I have been told by experienced police officers that criminals fear armed citizens more than even police!

In an FBI study of prisoners who used guns in crime they agreed with this overwhelmingly. They knew that cops operated under restrictions of when they could shoot, and they knew how to maneuver in those restrictions. They had NO idea what a civilian with a gun would do.

Cosmoline
June 24, 2010, 12:21 PM
Crime has so many definitions and causes that any attempt to link a single factor to an overall rise or fall is doomed to fail.

I do suspect that widespread carry has an impact on changing the nature of crime, but I don't thin it can be given credit for widespread overall drops. You're far less likely to get mugged in Anchorage, for example, than Chicago. Then again the smarter criminals have learned to target nice houses for their gun collections.

Beyond that, I think it's a mistake to try to justify a fundamental right with statistics.

bskillet
June 24, 2010, 12:26 PM
It should tell you that something else is at work other than concealed carry.


This is why I'm glad their are professional sociologists like John Lott who know how to use a simple tool called regression analysis to account for the other variables you mentioned. If, after controlling for those variables, one still finds a statistically-significant t-statistic for right-to-carry laws, then your "analysis" fails to hold.

Maybe you should read up on multivariate regression analysis, t-statistics, covariance matrices, and so forth. When you're done, then you can come back and try to make the same argument

Roswell_Kid
June 24, 2010, 01:08 PM
Right on, bskillet.

:D

wishin
June 24, 2010, 01:32 PM
Maybe you should read up on multivariate regression analysis, t-statistics, covariance matrices, and so forth.
Huh?:confused:

JoeSlomo
June 24, 2010, 06:24 PM
Meh...

Guns don't effect crime one way or the other.

PEOPLE do.


Firearms access only increases the POTENTIAL to stop crimes, however, it all comes down to the citizen, and NOT the tool.

When citizens have the same tools available to defend themselves that criminals have to commit crimes, the potential for the citizens to defend themselves is improved, and therefore justified imo.

Six
June 24, 2010, 07:00 PM
I sincerely hope that my gun will never have any effect on crime whatsoever.

The important thing is that there's no evidence that gun ownership increases crime - so there should not be a rational reason to prohibit them.

Tommygunn
June 24, 2010, 07:31 PM
This is why I'm glad their are professional sociologists like John Lott who know how to use a simple tool called regression analysis to account for the other variables you mentioned. If, after controlling for those variables, one still finds a statistically-significant t-statistic for right-to-carry laws, then your "analysis" fails to hold.

Maybe you should read up on multivariate regression analysis, t-statistics, covariance matrices, and so forth. When you're done, then you can come back and try to make the same argument

Hmmm. Sounds like the "Charlie Epps" character in that old "Numb3rs" TV series . . . .
I liked the show, but listening him explain his theories was often headache inducing...:confused::uhoh::p:p

labhound
June 24, 2010, 08:04 PM
Statistics didn't convince me to have a gun in my home, the question "how do I protect my family until the police arrive" did. My wife and I both now have concealed handgun permits for the times we feel it prudent to carry on person or in our vehicles for the same reason...."how do I protect my family until the police arrive".

Roswell_Kid
June 24, 2010, 08:19 PM
"Guns don't affect crime one way or another."
:barf:

Very few law-abiding people here have a gun. To get one you have to pass a written and shooting test, take a psych exam, get a national police record check and in my case a certified background check from the US, provide a sworn statement as to why you feel you need a firearm (attorney required), be fingerprinted and photographed, wait a month for approval (Armas y Explosivos can deny at their whim), and if everything goes OK pay approximately 2x US prices for any firearm/ammunition.

Very few people go through all the hassle and expense. And the price of a firearm here, as compared to income, makes it unaffordable to most.

With such restrictive gun control in place for the past three generations, and with so few armed homeowners, gun control advocates might expect a peaceful nirvana. Hardly. Costa Rica has a higher gun murder rate per capita than the US. In fact, crime is so open and rampant that Costa Rica has "evolved" into a barrier society. People live in cages. Almost every house has bars on all windows and doors, and those that don't will have a nasty barrier of razor wire or electric fence all around as shown in the pic. High walls topped with cemented-in nails and broken glass are common.

You can imagine the crime in the streets. People get killed in broad daylight for a Chinese-made scooter or a cellphone.

The US enjoys a relatively low violent crime rate as compared with the rest of the world, even with its whopping, world-leading 90 firearms per 100 citizens (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_gun_ownership). Most houses have no bars or fences, and street crime is a tiny fraction of what goes on here. It is the threat of the armed citizen that makes home invasion so much less frequent there, and makes it so much safer to walk the streets in the daylight (not to mention the night).

This business of saying that that presence of CCWs on the street makes no difference is the same as saying that the presence of firearms in homes makes no difference.

Simply not true, period.

When gun ownership is a crime, only criminals will own guns.

Double Naught Spy
June 24, 2010, 08:30 PM
Right, it appears to move the balance of power and WHERE crimes are happening.

If you dig deeper into the crime stats what you find often is a movement of crime to more "scumbag on scumbag" for lack of a better way to put it. Criminals don't work less, they just change their target audience.

I have looked at a lot of statistics. You would have to show me where having guns causes criminals to turn on criminals. I certainly can't find where the presence of guns does not stop gang on gang violence in the least.

The bottom line here is that the oft stated claim that guns or concealed carry reduces crime just does not hold water. The crime rates fluctuate regardless of gun ownership and concealed carry. Texas and Florida have both been herald as great success stories and that is simply just a misrepresentation of the data.

As noted, where gun ownership and concealed carry works is at the individual level. Guns can most definitely save lives and that is a very good thing, but saving lives does not mean that crime has gone down. If you protect yourself with a gun, it is because a crime is being committed against you. The statistic gets recorded. The NRA claims millions of crimes are stopped every year by guns, but that is a lie of detail. The crimes may not end up as successful for the criminal, but the crime is successful as being a crime. Since millions of criminals are not stopped every years during the commission of those crimes, only a very small percentage are arrested and convicted or otherwise killed, many of those criminals who were "stopped" simply move on to commit additonal crimes, thereby NOT lowering the crime rate.

Officers'Wife
June 24, 2010, 08:31 PM
Maybe you should read up on multivariate regression analysis, t-statistics, covariance matrices, and so forth. When you're done, then you can come back and try to make the same argument

In MA-351 we were shown how math could be used to skew any stat to say whatever the person wanted with a reasonable degree of reliability. I like the question my Dad asked of a certain lecturer giving a talk on the stats du jour.

What are the odds of a man (woman) that has been law abiding all his life is going to suddenly start shooting people without warning? And please show your math.

JoeSlomo
June 24, 2010, 11:56 PM
This business of saying that that presence of CCWs on the street makes no difference is the same as saying that the presence of firearms in homes makes no difference.

While you have my sympathy, the problems you describe stem from criminals, and NOT firearms.


NO firearm has ever committed a crime, or prevented a crime, by itself. It takes a human to use it as a tool for good or bad. THAT is my point.

Firearms are simply tools, and they do NOT cause or prevent crimes, they simply exist. HUMANS are the cause for both crime and crime prevention.

I most certainly agree with ALL citizens having access to the same tools, and do NOT support "gun control".

mljdeckard
June 25, 2010, 12:00 AM
Guns neither cause nor prevent crime. Crime is a socio-economic problem, not a gun problem. If guns aren't the cause, they aren't the solution either.

Manco
June 25, 2010, 09:49 AM
Crime is a socio-economic problem, not a gun problem.

Weighted heavily on the "socio" part, I think.

TexasRifleman
June 25, 2010, 10:01 AM
What are the odds of a man (woman) that has been law abiding all his life is going to suddenly start shooting people without warning? And please show your math.

According to an old HCI report I read once the presence of a handgun causes the lower functions of the brain to resort to more "animal like" instincts. The instinct to kill becomes uncontrollable.

Wish I had a copy of it, it had to be from 10, 15 years ago. HCI had some doctor write up a whole thing on why the presence of handguns was an influence. It was hilarious.

Roswell_Kid
June 25, 2010, 10:51 AM
"...the problems you describe stem from criminals, and NOT firearms."

"If guns aren't the cause, they aren't the solution either."

Yes, yes, we know all that. Itīs the statement that the presence of privately owned guns does not affect crime which is incorrect.

Whether or not guns reduce overall crime makes for a great debate. But the presence (or lack) of guns in private hands sure as hell makes a big difference in the way law-abiding people live.

Not right away. It takes 15 or 20 years for the slime to ooze completely out of the dark alleys of a declawed society and bring that violence in full frequency right to the doorstep. The end result will be a situation like this one, where lawful folks are forced to live like turtles in a shell.

The DC city council and those geniuses around Daly should come down here and see what their brilliant strategy is actually creating for the next generation.

mljdeckard
June 25, 2010, 02:29 PM
No, I would not say that they do not affect crime at all. But exactly how much and to what extent is very difficult to quantify and varies greatly from one region to another.

Manco, you may well be right.

Southern Rebel
June 25, 2010, 11:09 PM
As many intelligent and thoughtful members frequent this forum, I am amazed that none of you can see why the crime rate has gone down - the bad guys no longer have to rob us because our good American citizens are more than willing to give them all their money for the drug goodies! The bad guys have also figured out that it is more lucrative to go after those with real money - rob their fellow drug dealers! (Who certainly wouldn't be likely to report the crime.) :rolleyes:

Actually, I really don't give a rat's derriere whether right-to-carry laws are the real reason for reduced crime rates. I just want to have some input as to whether I am part of the statistics. (I tend to be somewhat self-centered in that particular area of my life! :D )

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