There are many errors in the New York Times on guns all the time. We regularly send letters to the Times, but they aren’t interesting in correcting the errors.
Dear Letters Editor:The Times erroneously asserts that over almost eight years there were 722 non-self-defense gun deaths nationwide by concealed handgun permit holders (“Concealed Carry’s Body Count,” 2/11).Take the supposedly worst state, Michigan. 217 of the 722 claimed deaths involved suicides in Michigan. But Michigan State Police reports don’t collect information on how suicides were committed — just that permit holders committed suicide. As to permits causing suicides, permit holders committed suicide at just 38% the rate of the general adult Michigan population.Michigan’s supposed 60 “murders” included legitimate self-defense cases, and a lot of triple counting or worse. “Pending” and “conviction” numbers from the Michigan State Police reports are both counted, though convictions are first listed as pending. Cases can be “pending” for years, and counted as separate murders.The correct number of murders or accidents is 18, or 2.3 per year — a rate in 2013 per permit holder of 0.0005%.Regards,
John R. Lott, Jr., Ph.D.PresidentCrime Prevention Research CenterSwarthmore, Pennsylvania 19081(484) 802-5373Data sources: