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Release date: May 24, 2010| ISBN-10: 0226493660 | ISBN-13: 978-0226493664| Edition: Third Edition
On its initial publication in 1998, John R. Lott’s More Guns, Less Crime drew both lavish praise and heated criticism. More than a decade later, it continues to play a key role in ongoing arguments over gun-control laws: despite all the attacks by gun-control advocates, no one has ever been able to refute Lott’s simple, startling conclusion that more guns mean less crime. Relying on the most rigorously comprehensive data analysis ever conducted on crime statistics and right-to-carry laws, the book directly challenges common perceptions about the relationship of guns, crime, and violence. For this third edition, Lott draws on an additional ten years of data—including provocative analysis of the effects of gun bans in Chicago and Washington, D.C—that brings the book fully up to date and further bolsters its central contention.
“A compelling book with enough hard evidence that even politicians may have to stop and pay attention. More Guns, Less Crime is an exhaustive analysis of the effect of gun possession on crime rates. . . . Mr. Lott’s book—and the factual arsenals of other pro-gun advocates—are helping to redefine the argument over guns and gun control.”
(James Bovard Wall Street Journal)
“John Lott’s More Guns, Less Crime revives the wisdom of the past by using the latest tools of social science. By constructing careful statistical models and deploying a wealth of crime data he shows that laws permitting the carrying of concealed weapons actually lead to a drop in crime in the jurisdictions that enact them. . . . By providing strong empirical evidence that yet another liberal policy is a cause of the very evil it purports to cure, he has permanently changed the terms of debate on gun control. . . . Lott’s book could hardly be more timely. . . . Lott’s work is a model of the meticulous application of economics and statistics to law and policy.”
(John O. McGinnis National Review)
About the Author
John R. Lott, Jr., is the author five books, including Freedomnomics and Are Predatory Commitments Credible? Who Should the Courts Believe?, the latter also published by the University of Chicago Press.
Series: Studies in Law and Economics
Paperback: 472 pages
Publisher: University Of Chicago Press; Third Edition edition (May 24, 2010)
First, some background about me: I am a Ph.D.-holder and tenured professor whose immersion in the insular politics of academia had led me to harbor many negative perceptions about firearms. Though I was never staunchly "anti-gun," I was not a gun owner, did not understand the appeal of firearms, and generally believed that gun control legislation was only common sense. That changed four years ago when I (finally) decided to look into the data on guns, crime, and public safety for myself. I am a trained researcher, but I conducted my research for personal not professional reasons. My wife was pregnant and I wanted hard facts--not talking point from the political parties--so I could make an informed decision about what to teach my children about firearms, and whether it would be prudent or dangerous to have one in our house.
I was drawn into that research almost immediately by the sheer force of my own disbelief. I discovered fact after fact that starkly disproved the claims and "facts" so many teachers and colleagues had expressed about firearms and their relationship to violence, and which, during my long trip through academia, had led me to believe stricter gun control was just plain common sense. For two years, I read thousands of pages of information, starting with raw data from the FBI and CDC so that I would be better able to assess the claims I subsequently read in books, peer-reviewed journals, news publications, blogs, and so forth. In the course of that research, I came across numerous references to John Lott's studies, but so many of them suggested there were "fatal flaws" in his methodology (and questions about his motives) that I never bothered to read him. I simply assumed based on the sheer number of such comments that his work was indeed more propaganda than serious study.Read more ›
More Guns, Less Crime 2010 is the third edition of Lott's book originally based on his and David Mustard's Right-To-Carry study of 1997 that measured the result of 22 states going "shall issue" on carry permits for handguns between 1986 and 1996. The first 1998 edition was focussed on the RTC issue.
The 2nd edition 2000 looked at other gun control policies as well, and commented on the controversy that Lott & Mustard 1997 and Lott 1998 engendered in the media and among academics.
Since the 2nd edition 2000, a lot has happened: the CDC 2003 and NAS 2004 reviews on gun laws and gun violence, the sunset of the 1994-2004 federal Assault Weapon Ban, the Supreme Court decision on the Heller case in 2008 (gun ban in DC v Second Amendment), and so on. The 3rd edition 2010 is expanded by about 150 pages to cover these new issues.
I would like to correct an impression that may be created by an earlier reviewer, that Lott's book is a major Second Amendment resource. First, in the 2nd edition there were one sentence and one paragraph in the text and three paragraphs in the footnotes on the Second Amendment out of 300+ pages (Second Admendment issues were "...important issues that are beyond the scope of this book"--Lott at page 168); while the 3rd edition expands somewhat on the Second Amendment, it is not a resource book on the Second Amendment. Secondly, Lott stated in the Oct 2008 NPR debate on guns that his family did not own a gun until his 1996 research convinced him that having a gun was beneficial for self defense within reasonable safety costs. Lott's argument on guns and gun control is based on weighing the economic benefits v the costs of gun ownership and gun control: this is a law and economics argument, not a constitutional law argument.Read more ›
Nine more years of data in this third edition of "More Guns, Less Crime."
When I read the second edition eight years ago, I was pleased that John Lott's hypothesis of the mid-1990's had up held.
After all, it's just common sense that if a potential rapist thought a woman might be able to protect herself with a gun that he would be less likely to attack, being the cowards rapists are.
But the leap from common sense to policy formation sometimes takes facts.
Fortunately, this book is packed with them.
Besides showing that no state that has adopted right-to-carry legislation has seen any of the parade of horribles that opponents trot out occur, the data presented show that crime actually does decrease when people are allowed to carry firearms.
In my own state of Illinois, there was a member of the Armed Forces killed while sitting in the front row of the Northern Illinois University lecture hall when the shooter entered the stage from an outside door and started firing. Lott points out that campus security arrived in six minutes---faster than in any other mass shooting at an institution of higher learning---but that was still not good enough.
Maybe, had NIU not been a protection free zone, she (the soldier was a woman) and others would be alive today.
Perhaps the mayor of Washington, D.C., whom I understand is a fellow graduate of Oberlin College, will read the book and figure out that he could lower his city's crime rate by advocating something no good little Oberlin liberal would ever think would work...unless he or she actually was willing to follow data to their logical policy conclusions.Read more ›