A book written John Lott, Jr. The author researched the various gun laws around the world and found that those places with more guns actually has less crime. This goes against everything the gun control people tell you.

See also DMan's write-up A society where guns are everywhere but crime is low

Lott is (or was, at the time he wrote the book -- don't know about now) an economist (therefore, a statistically minded individual) at the University of Chicago. He analyzed FBI crime records, county-by-county across the United States, for correlation to gun control measures, number and types of other crimes, etc. He also analyzed some international statistics, but most of his work was US-based.

Some of his conclusions, or at least the ones I remember off the top of my head (my copy of the book is in Richmond, so I can't look them up):

  • In the U.S., a place having more guns equates to less crime. Simple, shocking statement, that's why it's the title of the book.
  • Non-restrictive concealed carry laws greatly reduce street crime against the innocent.* It's a case of criminals behaving logically -- if they don't know who on the street has a gun and who doesn't, they're much less likely to try their luck. The Florida tourist murders of 1992-93 directly demonstrate the effect of non-restrictive concealed-carry laws, like those in place in Florida -- interviewed in prison, the murderers said plainly that they went after tourists immediately after they left the airport in rental cars because they knew those drivers wouldn't have a gun. They weren't so sure about the average Florida-plated car driving down Interstate 95.
  • In societies where weapons were confiscated, non-gun crimes shot up after confiscation. Australia is a particular example, where home invasions skyrocketed -- the honest citizens turned in their guns, lessening the threat to criminals who didn't turn theirs in.
  • The correlation between women being unarmed and being the victims of violent crime (rape, sexual assault, murder) was extremely high. Causation was not explored as to whether this was a result of actually using the weapon for self-defense, or whether the armed women were more outwardly confident in situations with a high potential for victimization, thus causing a predator to look for an easier-looking target. I'd venture to say that it's more of the latter than the former, but especially in cases of women with abusive ex-lovers, possession of and knowledge of the proper use of a handgun was a strong deterrent to the abusers.

Probably the most telling statement made in the book, though, was that Lott had never owned a firearm at the beginning of his study. With his analysis complete and the data giving such strong credence to gun ownership as a crime deterrent, he went out and bought a gun.

* "Non-restrictive", in this case, means that the burden is on the government to prove a person should not be allowed to carry a concealed weapon, rather than the burden being on the permit applicant to prove he/she should be allowed to carry. Required safety training is not considered a "restriction" for this purpose (non-restrictive laws, as in Virginia, may require training).

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