Here is Dr. John Lott’s interview in America’s 1st Freedom.
John Lott, president of the Crime Prevention Research Center and author of the new book, The War On Guns: Arming Yourself Against Gun Control Lies, knows more than a thing or two about Right to Carry. In fact, he’s probably done more research on the topic than anyone else in the nation.
This week we asked Lott to answer a few questions about Right to Carry and the current move to pass national reciprocity legislation.
A1F Daily: With introduction of national Right-to-Carry reciprocity legislation, we’re starting to hear the same old horror stories about citizens carrying concealed firearms posing a danger to themselves and others. What does your research show?
John Lott: Just as after Right-to-Carry laws have been passed before, a year or so after reciprocity is passed, everyone will wonder what all the fuss was about. The entire debate will disappear as an issue for gun control advocates.
By any measure, permit holders are extremely law-abiding. Police officers are rarely convicted of any crimes, but permit holders are convicted at even lower rates. According to a study in the December 2010 issue of Police Quarterly, the rate that police officers are convicted of misdemeanors or felonies was 0.102 percent per year. For example, Texas in 2015, the latest available data for that state, with about 1 million concealed handgun permit holders, the rate that permit holders are convicted of these crimes was 0.01 percent. Thus, permit holders were convicted at about one-tenth the rate of police.
If you look at firearm violations, Texas permit holders were convicted at a rate of one-seventh the rate of police officers. Other states show a similar pattern. More detailed discussions are available in my books, The War on Guns and More Guns, Less Crime.
The main source of alternative information is the Violence Policy Center, which is frequently cited by publications such as The New York Times. Most recently they have claimed that over nine years and eight months there were 900 non-self-defense gun deaths nationwide by concealed handgun permit holders. These non-self-defense gun deaths, they say, include suicides, murder and accidental deaths.
Suppose for the sake of argument that the Violence Policy Center has accurately identified the cases they refer to. With more than 14.5 million permit holders at the beginning of last year, the 19 pending homicide charges in 2016 implies an annual rate of 0.14 homicides per 100,000 permit holders. And the vast majority of these will be found to be in self-defense.
Yet the 900 number is wildly inaccurate. Take Michigan, with supposedly 72 homicides and 286 suicides. For homicides, many non-cases are triple or quadruple counted. “Pending” and “conviction” numbers from the Michigan State Police reports are both counted in the total, though cases can be listed as pending for years before going to court, and most never result in a conviction. News stories of these same events are also counted separately. The correct number of homicides in that case is actually 14 over almost 10 years.
For suicides, Michigan doesn’t collect information on how suicides were committed—just that permit holders committed suicide. Yet permit holders committed suicide at just 38 percent the rate of the adult Michigan population.
Despite being informed of these errors over the years, The New York Times refuses to publish letters to the editor discussing these problems and doesn’t acknowledge them in their articles.
A1F: Why do people in anti-gun groups and the so-called “mainstream” media continue to warn of going back to the “Wild, Wild West”?
Lott: I suppose that they think that they can scare people enough to prevent passage of laws that allow people to carry guns for protection. The risk for gun control advocates is that they keep making extreme claims that keep on being proven wrong. At least to some extent, it makes it more difficult for people to take seriously what they may say in the future. . . .
The rest of the interview is available here.