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Some Media Coverage of CPRC’s Survey of Economists and Criminologists on Guns

13 Feb , 2016  



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The Blaze, Friday, February 12, 2016

Academia is generally viewed as a liberal bastion, but one survey finds that despite their broad political leanings, college professors who have studied the impact of guns on society believe ownership of firearms makes the country safer.

The academic survey by Gary A. Mauser, a professor at Canada’s Simon Fraser University Beedle School of Business, and U.S. economist John Lott, president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, finds that the attitude of academics actually corresponds with that of the general public.

“Prior to the 1990s, the debate was about how bad guns were,” Lott told TheBlaze. “Since that time, the debate among economists and criminologists has moved to how large the benefits are. That has coincided with a change in public opinion.”

The study narrowed the survey to professors of economics and criminology.

Lott, who has taught at Yale University, the University of Chicago and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, is the author of “More Guns, Less Crime.”

The survey found that professors provide pro-gun answers on almost every response. But there was a consistent split with economists being more pro-gun than criminologists.

Academics overall believed by a 40-point margin that concealed handgun permits reduced murder rates. Among economists, that was a 12-1 margin, but only 2-1 among criminologists. . . .

“Economists are more inclined to believe if benefits outweigh the costs it will encourage more of something, while criminologist tilt toward a net benefit of gun ownership but are still divided,” Lott said. “Economists and criminologists also have different world views. Economists think deterrence matters. Criminologists are less likely to think deterrence matters.”

Lott added that political ideology plays some role. He said the study didn’t ask professors about their partisanship, but noted surveys show Democrats outnumber Republicans by 3-1 among faculties in economics, and Democratic faculty outnumber Republicans 37-1 in sociology. Criminology is a subfield of sociology. . . .

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Breitbart.com, February 11, 2016

A recently released Crime Research Prevention Center (CRPC) study on academics and concealed carry in the United States shows that economists’ consensus is overwhelmingly that concealed carry lowers crime.

The study surveyed “50 economists,” comprised of 43 Americans, four Canadians, two Australians, and one Swedish economist.

CRPC asked, “In the United States, are guns used in self-defense more often than they are used in the commission of a crime?” When allowing for three possible answers of “Yes,” “No,” or “Undecided,” sixty-six percent of economists in the U.S. answered “Yes,” guns are used more often for self-defense. When only two answers were allowed–“Yes” or “No”–eighty-eight percent of economists in the U.S. answered “Yes,” concurring that guns are used for self-defense more often than in committing crime.

When the same question was applied to all economists–U.S., Canadian, Australian, and Swedish–sixty percent said “Yes” when given the option of “Yes,” “No,” or “Undecided” and eighty-three percent said “Yes” when given the option of “Yes” or “No.”

CRPC also asked, “How does allowing people to carry a permitted concealed handgun affect the murder rate?”

When given four options for response–“Decrease,” “No Effect,” “Increase,” or “I don’t know”–seventy-two percent of economists in the U.S. said concealed carry decreases the murder rate. When the options for response were narrowed to “Decrease,” “No Effect,” or “Increase,” eighty-one percent of economists in the U.S. said concealed carry decreases the murder rate. . . .

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Townhall.com, February 10, 2016

. . . So where do academics stand on the relationship between gun ownership and crime? A newly released survey of experts from the Crime Prevention Research center found that researchers supported what Second Amendment advocates have argued all along regarding concealed handgun laws, gun-free zones, self-defense and crime, and suicide and guns.

Authors of the report John R. Lott, Jr., president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, and Gary Mauser, Professor Emeritus of the Marketing Department at Simon Fraser University, surveyed criminologists and economists who had published peer-reviewed empirical research on gun issues. The survey found that differences exist between these two groups of academics, with the economists much more inclined to believe guns makes people safer.

Criminologists, on the other hand, do not hold this belief as strongly. They are also more divided on the idea of deterrence than economists. Still, when their responses are combined, the results show that the researchers believe guns are used more for self defense than crime; gun-free zones fail to deter criminals, rather, they attract them; guns in the house don’t increase the risk of suicide; those who hold concealed handgun permits are more law-abiding than the average American; and permitted concealed handguns lower the murder rate. . . .

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