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Cold, Hard Facts on Gun Control
http://www.tsra.com/Lott6.htm ^ | John Lott

Posted on 07/14/2003 4:34:11 AM PDT by Mean Daddy

America may indeed be obsessed with guns, but much of what passes as fact simply isn't true. The news media's focus on only tragic outcomes, while ignoring tragic events that were avoided, may be responsible for some misimpressions. Horrific events like the recent shooting in Arkansas receive massive news coverage, as they should, but the 2.5 million times each year that people use guns defensively are never discussed--including cases where public shootings are stopped before they happen.

Unfortunately, these misimpressions have real costs for people's safety. Many myths needlessly frighten people and prevent them from defending themselves most effectively.

Myth No. 1: When one is attacked, passive behavior is the safest approach.

The Department of Justice's National Crime Victimization Survey reports that the probability of serious injury from an attack is 2.5 times greater for women offering no resistance than for women resisting with a gun. Men also benefit from using a gun, but the benefits are smaller: offering no resistance is 1.4 times more likely to result in serious injury than resisting with a gun.

Myth No. 2: Friends or relatives are the most likely killers. The myth is usually based on two claims: 1) 58 percent of murder victims are killed by either relatives or acquaintances and 2) anyone could be a murderer.

With the broad definition of "acquaintances" used in the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports, most victims are indeed classified as knowing their killer. However, what is not made clear is that acquaintance murder primarily includes drug buyers killing drug pushers, cabdrivers killed by first-time customers, gang members killing other gang members, prostitutes killed by their clients, and so on. Only one city, Chicago, reports a precise breakdown on the nature of acquaintance killings: between 1990 and 1995 just 17 percent of murder victims were either family members, friends, neighbors and/or roommates.

Murderers also are not your average citizen. For example, about 90 percent of adult murderers have already had a criminal record as an adult. Murderers are overwhelmingly young males with low IQs and who have difficult times getting along with others. Furthermore, unfortunately, murder is disproportionately committed against blacks and by blacks.

Myth No. 3: The United States has such a high murder rate because Americans own so many guns.

There is no international evidence backing this up. The Swiss, New Zealanders and Finns all own guns as frequently as Americans, yet in 1995 Switzerland had a murder rate 40 percent lower than Germany's, and New Zealand had one lower than Australia's. Finland and Sweden have very different gun ownership rates, but very similar murder rates. Israel, with a higher gun ownership rate than the U.S., has a murder rate 40 percent below Canada's. When one studies all countries rather than just a select few as is usually done, there is absolutely no relationship between gun ownership and murder.

Myth No. 4: If law-abiding citizens are allowed to carry concealed handguns, people will end up shooting each other after traffic accidents as well as accidentally shooting police officers.

Millions of people currently hold concealed handgun permits, and some states have issued them for as long as 60 years. Yet, only one permit holder has ever been arrested for using a concealed handgun after a traffic accident and that case was ruled as self-defense. The type of person willing to go through the permitting process is extremely law-abiding. In Florida, almost 444,000 licenses were granted from 1987 to 1997, but only 84 people have lost their licenses for felonies involving firearms. Most violations that lead to permits being revoked involve accidentally carrying a gun into restricted areas, like airports or schools. In Virginia, not a single permit holder has committed a violent crime. Similarly encouraging results have been reported for Kentucky, Nevada, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Tennessee (the only other states where information is available).

Myth No. 5: The family gun is more likely to kill you or someone you know than to kill in self-defense.

The studies yielding such numbers never actually inquired as to whose gun was used in the killing. Instead, if a household owned a gun and if a person in that household or someone they knew was shot to death while in the home, the gun in the household was blamed. In fact, virtually all the killings in these studies were committed by guns brought in by an intruder. No more than four percent of the gun deaths can be attributed to the homeowner's gun. The very fact that most people were killed by intruders also surely raises questions about why they owned guns in the first place and whether they had sufficient protection.

How many attacks have been deterred from ever occurring by the potential victims owning a gun? My own research finds that more concealed handguns, and increased gun ownership generally, unambiguously deter murders, robbery, and aggravated assaults. This is also in line with the well-known fact that criminals prefer attacking victims that they consider weak.

These are only some of the myths about guns and crime that drive the public policy debate. We must not lose sight of the ultimate question: Will allowing law-abiding citizens to own guns save lives? The evidence strongly indicates that it does.


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: bang; banglist; johnlott

1 posted on 07/14/2003 4:34:11 AM PDT by Mean Daddy
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To: Mean Daddy
This is the information the OldDominantLiberalMedia have suppressed, in some cases, for decades. They have done this for the most part because it involves a reality that they do not want to recognize.

It is dangerous to speculate about motives, but I am convinced that most liberals are unwilling to hear the truth about guns because it contradicts their whole world view.

2 posted on 07/14/2003 4:46:11 AM PDT by marktwain
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To: All
Hint! Hint!Hint! Hint!Hint! Hint!

3 posted on 07/14/2003 4:47:05 AM PDT by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
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To: Mean Daddy
I have periodically seen letters to the editors that attempt to discredit Lott's work. They cite two professors study that supposedly discredits Lott's studies. I have read Lott's response to that study and found what he says to be reasonable. What is the status of this pi**ing contest? Who is right and who is wrong?
4 posted on 07/14/2003 4:47:41 AM PDT by Loyal Buckeye
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To: Loyal Buckeye
Do you really have to ask?
JFK
5 posted on 07/14/2003 4:53:10 AM PDT by BADROTOFINGER (Life sucks. Get a helmet.)
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To: Mean Daddy
Great article MeanDaddy I am in whole hearted agreement with you, and I would like to know the source you got your statistics from? I would like to use your statistics and would need to know their source. The truth is a powerful tool!
6 posted on 07/14/2003 4:55:34 AM PDT by Texas Patriot (HOOHAA!!)
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To: Mean Daddy
OOPS! SORRY, I see it now the Chicago tribune, sorry I'm still kind of new to FR and it's still early yet only 1 cup of coffee so far. zzzzZZZZZ
7 posted on 07/14/2003 4:58:52 AM PDT by Texas Patriot (HOOHAA!!)
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To: *bang_list
Bang!
8 posted on 07/14/2003 5:47:39 AM PDT by wysiwyg (What parts of "right of the people" and "shall not be infringed" do you not understand?)
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To: Mean Daddy
Don't worry.

The Liberals will never let these facts get in the way either!

9 posted on 07/14/2003 6:05:49 AM PDT by Gritty
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To: Mean Daddy
Eleven years ago, I was leaving an ATM after making a withdrawal. A man, apparently high on something, approached me and said,"Buddy I need some money and I want yours." All I had to do was open my jacket and shown him my holstered .357 Magnum.

The following Monday morning, the Bank Manager got an earful from me.

10 posted on 07/14/2003 6:13:27 AM PDT by CholeraJoe (White Devils for Sharpton. We're baaaaad. We're Nationwide)
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To: CholeraJoe
I am very curious, what did you complain to the bank manager about?
11 posted on 07/14/2003 6:24:55 AM PDT by logic ("all that is required for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing")
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To: logic
About the poor lighting around their ATM and the fact that derelicts hang out there and either panhandle or rob.
12 posted on 07/14/2003 6:29:27 AM PDT by CholeraJoe (White Devils for Sharpton. We're baaaaad. We're Nationwide)
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To: CholeraJoe
What was the look on the criminal's face when you showed him the bottom line?
13 posted on 07/14/2003 6:31:40 AM PDT by Imagine
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To: Imagine
He turned and ran so quickly that I didn't get a chance to see his expression.
14 posted on 07/14/2003 6:35:32 AM PDT by CholeraJoe (White Devils for Sharpton. We're baaaaad. We're Nationwide)
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To: Mean Daddy
BTTT!
15 posted on 07/14/2003 7:58:35 AM PDT by Travis McGee (----- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com -----)
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To: CholeraJoe
Hey Joe, lover your web page and the pics of your two pups. My son hopefully will enter the Naval Academy in Sept 04, God willing (plus his SATs) Regards, Imagine
16 posted on 07/14/2003 8:22:14 AM PDT by Imagine
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To: CholeraJoe
Opps, lover = loved
17 posted on 07/14/2003 8:23:26 AM PDT by Imagine
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To: Texas Patriot
Lott is/was a professor of economics with a specialty in statistics; he does his own research.

He was shown the anti-gun literature and it was so poorly done [statistically] he set out to fix it for them. There was one problem, all the data came in the reverse and he switched sides. Since then, he has been one of the greatest pro-2nd amendment advocates the movement has seen.
18 posted on 07/14/2003 9:54:34 AM PDT by El Laton Caliente
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To: El Laton Caliente
Thank you El Laton Caliente for the back ground Information on Professor Lott.
19 posted on 07/14/2003 11:02:15 AM PDT by Texas Patriot (HOOHAA!!)
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To: Texas Patriot
You can find a more in depth discussion of the facts as well as there sources in Lott's two books: The Bias Against Guns and More Guns, Less Crime. The Bias Against Guns is the newest of the two and has the most updated information. If you can borrow, it I think that you will find it has everything that you need.
20 posted on 07/14/2003 11:30:53 AM PDT by Washingtonian
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To: CholeraJoe
He turned and ran so quickly that I didn't get a chance to see his expression...

Perchance he left a "calling card"?

the infowarrior

21 posted on 07/15/2003 4:48:11 AM PDT by infowarrior
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To: Texas Patriot
I would like to use your statistics and would need to know their source.

Another source: www.guncite.com

22 posted on 07/15/2003 12:00:17 PM PDT by slowry
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To: Mean Daddy
bttt
23 posted on 07/15/2003 1:25:45 PM PDT by Badray (Molon Labe!)
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