Dr. John Lott has his newest piece in The Hill newspaper on fake news in the media. It starts this way:
This claim will continue to be made as debate heats up over reciprocity, which would allow concealed handgun permits to be used across states like driver’s licenses.
With 192 co-sponsors lined up for the reciprocity bill in the House and 36 in the Senate, Democrats are already threatening a filibuster.
The Violence Policy Center (VPC), the source of these claims, asserts that in the 10 years from May 2007 to April 2017, U.S. concealed handgun permit holders were responsible for 969 non-self-defense gun deaths (with any type of weapon, not just handguns).
Of these deaths, 314 were suicides and 17 were the result of accidental shootings. In all, 324 permit holders purportedly killed people.
Looking at the VPC numbers for 2016, they claim that 26 permit holders supposedly committed 29 homicides. With over 15 million permit holders nationwide last year, those deaths amount to 0.2 homicides per 100,000 permit holders.
However, there is an arrest and investigation virtually anytime a permit holder uses a handgun in a public place. Almost all of the 2016 cases are listed as pending, and most of the defendants will be acquitted on account of self-defense.
The tally of 969 deaths is the result of triple and even quadruple counting. Michigan — by far the worst state according to VPC numbers — supposedly suffered 78 homicides and 290 suicides. Supposedly, Michigan was the site of over 40 percent of all deaths attributed to permit holders.
The main problem is that pending cases are counted in the same way as convictions. The Michigan state Police report the number of pending cases and convictions each year. . . .
The rest of the piece is available here.
More information on errors in the Violence Policy Center report are available here: Clayton Cramer’s analysis of VPC Concealed Killers.