CPRC in the Los Angeles Times: “Think background checks prevent gun violence? Think again.”

15 Dec , 2015  

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From the Los Angeles Times on December 15, 2015.

To the editor: Adam Winkler claims that we can reduce violent crime by requiring background checks on private gun transfers. This just isn’t the case. (“Why banning assault rifles won’t reduce gun violence,” Opinion, Dec. 11)

Indeed, California, Colorado and Oregon — sites of the three most recent mass public shootings — already have such laws in place. The same is true of mass public shootings that have occurred in France, Belgium, Norway, Germany and other European countries.

Peer-reviewed research by criminologists and economists consistently shows that background checks don’t reduce any form of violent crime. Law-abiding citizens, not gang members, are the ones paying for these background checks, with fees that frequently range between $60 and $80.

What these laws do is disarm the law-abiding poor, disproportionately blacks, and prevent them from being able to defend themselves.

John R. Lott Jr., Swarthmore, Penn.

The writer is president of the Crime Prevention Research Center and author of “More Guns, Less Crime.”

John Lott has debated Adam Winkler previously, and they show a pattern of behavior.  Most enlightening, here is one example of them debating on KPCC on October 13, 2011.  Some notes on that debate are available here.  Another debate on the PBS Newshour is available here.

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2 Responses

  1. David Loeffler says:

    I have been in the firearms business, off and on for over 40 years, mostly in California but now in New Mexico. The idea that background checks even slow down crime is ludicrous. Criminals don’t obey laws. An unusual criminal buys a gun legally before committing a crime but that is vanishingly rare. FBI and other research bears this ous. The laws restricting the overwhelming majority of gun buyers are there for one reason, to discourage participation in a basic human right, that of being armed for self defense and discouragement of tyranny.

  2. David M. Bennett says:

    Remember the Gun Control Act of 1968? That was the year that Congress required felons to buy their firearms off the black market.
    We’ve spent billions and billions of taxpayer dollars since then trying to close this, or that, supposed loophole in the retail or private sales market. But in the end, the arms black market is just as conveniently open for business as is the black market for drugs, prostitutes, etc.

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