John Lott has a new op-ed at the Daily Caller:
Last week, a New York Times editorial shockingly claimed that American concealed handgun permit holders have been responsible for 763 non-self-defense deaths since 2007. The Times editorial cites these numbers as proof of the “myth of the vigilant citizen” and “foolhardy notion of quick-draw resistance.”
But the numbers they rely on from the Violence Policy Center are fatally flawed, quadruple counting legitimate self-defense cases as criminal murders and blaming suicides on permits when the suicides don’t even involve guns. More disturbing, the Times has been called on using these same numbers before, but they keep on using the numbers and never acknowledge any of the problems.
Take Michigan, which is supposedly by far the worst with over a third of all claimed deaths — 278 of the 763. Of these 278 deaths in Michigan, 215 were suicides. But Michigan State Police reports don’t collect information on whether suicides were committed with their permitted concealed handgun — just that permit holders committed suicide. The police simply match their records on permit holders to the Michigan Department of Community Health’s records on suicides.
There is a simple response to the New York Times claim that permits cause suicides: Michigan permit holders committed suicide at less than 40% the rate of the general adult Michigan population. . . .
The rest of the piece is available here.