John Lott’s newest piece at Fox News starts this way:
. . . Gun control advocates just can’t accept the fact that concealed handgun permit holders are incredibly law-abiding. The New York Times’ recent attack on permit holders is typical. It is filled with triple-counting of legitimate self-defense cases. Murders or suicides by permit holders are blamed on guns, even when no gun was involved. In point of fact, permit holders are incredibly law-abiding. Some new evidence puts things in perspective.
Police are the single most important factor for reducing crime, but even police commit crimes on very rare occasions. Even more law-abiding than police, however, are permit holders.
According to a study in Police Quarterly, the period from January 1, 2005 to December 31, 2007 saw an average of 703 crimes by police per year. 113 of these involved firearms violations. This is likely to be an underestimate since not all police crimes receive media coverage. The authors of the study may also have missed some media reports.
So how law-abiding are police? With about 570,000 full-time police officers in the US at that time, that translates into about 124 crimes by police per hundred thousand officers. For the US population as a whole over those years, the crime rate was 31 times higher — 3,813 per hundred thousand people.
Perhaps police crimes are underreported due to leniency from fellow officers, but the gap between police and the general citizenry is so vast that this couldn’t account for more than a small fraction of the difference.
Concealed carry permit holders are even more law-abiding. Between October 1, 1987 and January 31, 2015, Florida revoked 9,366 concealed handgun permits for misdemeanors or felonies. This is an annual rate of 12.5 per 100,000 permit holders — a mere tenth of the rate at which officers commit misdemeanors and felonies. In Texas in 2012, the last year the data is available, 120 permit holders were convicted of misdemeanors or felonies – a rate of 20.5 per 100,000, still just a sixth of the rate for police. . . .