Gun control advocates want to argue that the only reason that people would support gun ownership is because they are getting paid off by gun makers. Shira Goodman, the Executive Director of CeaseFirePA, made this argument in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (on November 1, 2015). Bizarrely, she had also just recently made the same claim during an October debate that I had with her at Duquesne Law School. The exchange was similar to this exchange in the pieces noted below, but that previous exchange didn’t stop Ms. Goodman from making the claim yet again. Our statement of purpose makes it clear that we do “not accept donations from gun or ammunition makers or organizations such as the NRA or any other organizations involved in the gun control debate on either side of the issue.” Here is her piece:
Mr. Kelly repeats the now familiar refrains of the National Rifle Association — myths about mass shooting locales, the efficacy of gun laws and the ability of law- abiding gun owners to stop bad guys with guns. . . .
Here are the facts: Introducing guns into the mix increases the risk of homicide, suicide and accidental or negligent shootings. In states with stronger laws regarding access to guns, homicide rates are lower.
Mass shootings most frequently occur in residences and private businesses where firearms are not prohibited. And good guys with guns only rarely can or do intercede to stop bad guys with guns.
We know why Mr. Lott and the gun lobby perpetuate the myths: They represent gun manufacturers that want and need to sell more guns or expand their market share, and they’re not having luck with the latter. So, they use fear to persuade people to buy more guns.
And they are focused on pushing a simple, terrifying agenda: guns for anyone, anywhere, anytime, without any regulation. So, they turn to fear mongering and myth peddling.
What’s not clear is why Jack Kelly would buy wholesale the junk Mr. Lott is selling. The readers of the Post-Gazette deserve better than this.
Not able to rely on the facts, CeaseFirePA Executive Director Shira Goodman resorts to personal attacks against me (“Don’t Buy into the Fallacies Peddled by the Gun Lobby,” Nov. 1). She claims that I am a “paid spokesman for the gun lobby” and I “represent gun manufacturers.” But she provides no evidence for these outlandish assertions.
In all my years at academic institutions such as the University of Chicago, Wharton Business School and Yale, neither gun manufacturers nor the “gun lobby” nor any related organization ever funded my research. The same holds for the Crime Prevention Research Center, where I am currently president.
Ms. Goodman says that my research is “discredited.” But look at the criminology and economics journals and you’ll find that two-thirds of peer-reviewed research agrees with the conclusion that U.S. right-to-carry laws reduce violent crime. Not a single such peer-reviewed article finds that right-to-carry laws increase murder, rape or robbery. This doesn’t exactly support Ms. Goodman’s claim that more guns mean more homicides.
Our center’s academic advisory board consists of world-class researchers from such institutions as Harvard and Wharton.
Unable to respond to Jack Kelly’s column (“Good Guys with Guns,” Oct. 25) that since at least 1950 all but two American mass public shootings have occurred in gun-free zones, Ms. Goodman raises the issue of shootings in homes. But this doesn’t contradict the basic point that killers prefer places where victims can’t defend themselves. Such mass killers frequently know if the homeowner owns guns for protection and, if so, where they are kept. Many of these shootings also involve gang fights.
Ms. Goodman overlooks that those who benefit most from owning a gun are the most vulnerable: the physically weak (women and the elderly) and those most likely to be victims of violent crime (disproportionately, poor blacks in high crime urban areas).