In response to claims in the Indianapolis Star by Stephen Dunlop, with Hoosiers Concerned about Gun Violence, about the benefits of gun regulations and the risk of guns in the home John Lott has this letter to the editor:
Stephen Dunlop, with Hoosiers Concerned about Gun Violence, makes a number of mistakes in his Aug. 15 letter, “Gun violence remains a public health issue.” In talking about the risks of guns in the home, Dunlop ignored that the research he cited assumes that if a person was killed and a gun was owned in the home, it was the gun in the home that was responsible for the death. In fact, virtually all of those deaths were due to guns being brought in by criminals getting into the home. For one of the papers in the meta-analysis, in only eight of the 444 homicide cases was a “gun involved (that) had been kept in the home.” Nor do the studies separate homes of gang members from those of law-abiding citizens.
As to Dunlop’s claim that my research is “discredited,” if he had looked at the literature, he would have discovered that about two-thirds of peer-reviewed research by economists and criminologists find that right-to-carry laws reduce violent crime. And no one finds higher murder, rape or robbery from concealed handgun laws.
John R. Lott Jr.
Crime Prevention Research Center