guns reduce crime

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Debate description coming soon.

  • Stephen Halbrook

    For

    Stephen Halbrook

    Represents the NRA in suits against the DC and Chicago handgun bans

  • Gary Kleck

    For

    Gary Kleck

    Professor in the College of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida State University

  • John R. Lott

    For

    John R. Lott

    Senior Research Scholar at the University of Maryland

  • John J. Donohue

    Against

    John J. Donohue

    Leighton Homer Surbeck Professor at Yale Law School

  • Paul Helmke

    Against

    Paul Helmke

    President of the Brady Campaign/Center to Prevent Gun Violence

  • R. Gil Kerlikowske

    Against

    R. Gil Kerlikowske

    36-year Veteran of Law Enforcement

  • Moderator Image

    Moderator

    John Donvan

    Author and correspondent for ABC News.

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Stephen Halbrook

For The Motion

Stephen Halbrook

Represents the NRA in suits against the DC and Chicago handgun bans

Halbrook's most recent book is The Founders' Second Amendment. He filed a brief on behalf of over 300 members of Congress in the Supreme Court case of DC v. Heller, and won three Supreme Court cases on firearm issues. Holding a Ph.D. from FSU and J.D. from Georgetown, his other books include Freedmen, the 14th Amendment, & the Right to Bear Arms, That Every Man Be Armed, Target Switzerland, and The Swiss & the Nazis.

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Gary Kleck

For The Motion

Gary Kleck

Professor in the College of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida State University

Kleck's research centers on violence and crime control, focusing on gun control and crime deterrence. Kleck is the author of Targeting Guns: Firearms and Their Control (1997) and Point Blank: Guns and Violence in America (1991), which won the Michael J. Hindelang Award of the American Society of Criminology in 1993 for making "the most outstanding contribution to criminology" in the preceding three years.

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John R. Lott

For The Motion

John R. Lott

Senior Research Scholar at the University of Maryland

Lott has held positions at the University of Chicago, Yale University, Stanford, UCLA, Wharton, and Rice and was the chief economist at the United States Sentencing Commission during 1988 and 1989. He is the author of Freedomnomics: Why the Free Market Works and Other Half-Baked Theories Don’t, The Bias Against Guns and More Guns, Less Crime.

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John J. Donohue

Against The Motion

John J. Donohue

Leighton Homer Surbeck Professor at Yale Law School

Donohue’s recent work has used large-scale statistical studies to estimate the causal impact of law and public policy in a wide range of areas from civil rights and employment discrimination law to the effect of legalized abortion, guns, and the death penalty on crime. Donohue is the empirical editor of the American Law and Economics Review and a research fellow of the National Bureau of Economic Research

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Paul Helmke

Against The Motion

Paul Helmke

President of the Brady Campaign/Center to Prevent Gun Violence

The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence is the nation's largest national, non-partisan, grassroots organization leading the fight to prevent gun violence, since mid-July 2006. Prior to this, Helmke was a lawyer in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where he served as mayor from 1988-2000. In the early 1990s he worked with Jim and Sarah Brady to help build support for the Brady Law and the federal Assault Weapons Ban.

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R. Gil Kerlikowske

Against The Motion

R. Gil Kerlikowske

36-year Veteran of Law Enforcement

Kerlikowske was appointed as chief of police for Seattle in August 2000. Kerlikowske served as the police commissioner for Buffalo, New York. He has also worked as a patrol officer, as a detective in narcotics and robbery, and as a hostage negotiator in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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Declared Winner: For The Motion

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    6 comments

    • Comment Link Jeremy Thursday, 10 January 2013 13:20 posted by Jeremy

      When did we become so frightened? Are there roving bands of marauders that I'm unaware of? I mean it's pretty obvious that there is a concerted effort out to keep us on our toes to say the least. It's never so brash as to come right out and tell you that you need a gun cause someone is trying to kill you and your family, but hey, "when seconds count"..... right Paul... er Ali.... well whichever pre-scripted attempt to sway your opinion in favor of guns you look at. I grew up with guns in the house. Several of them. Never locked up. Never a secret where the ammo was. I did, however, grow up with a strong sense of exactly what they were; tools that were used to kill. Deer, grouse, ducks, or anything else you pointed them at. Sure they could be fun with clays or other targets, but that never overshadowed their actual purpose..... "Never point that at anything you don't want to kill.... loaded or not." Something about arguing that more people having them, and in whatever configuration they like, will make life safer just doesn't sit right with me.

    • Comment Link Alexander Wednesday, 24 October 2012 18:15 posted by Alexander

      Pro should have won. They gained more support . Measuring that way is more accurate.

    • Comment Link Paul Saturday, 20 October 2012 21:25 posted by Paul

      Where I live asking seomone if they own a gun would get a "yes" about as often as asking them if they owned a car. The truth that when secnds count the police are ony minutes away is quite obviouis in rural America.I bought my first pistol a few weeks ago, primarily for home protection and to carry on walks and bicycle rides. You never know what kind of animals my pop out of the woods. Bears and mountain lions have been reported in my county. I've seen a bobcat on my back porch and in my front yard. Plus a wild dog or coyote is always a possibilty.As for doctors, my doctor made enough mistakes in my treatment for me to go elsewhere. Simple stuff like incorrectly running glucose test and such. We could save a lot of lives if doctors policed themselves better.I think I'll use Trey's response if asked. I keep my gun unloaded but the clip and gun within reach of each other.

    • Comment Link Patrick Wednesday, 03 October 2012 01:19 posted by Patrick

      I would no more tell my doctor if I owned fimrreas than I would tell the local busybody bureaucrats if I owned 6 pit bulls! Such omissions can have consequences. Like a visit from an armed government team of one sort or another. What worries me about the dismissive tone of the linked post towards those who worry about invasive questions from physicians is that they have too much power, and it is growing -- thanks to insurance companies. Hence the above comment:He did apologize, but claimed that he was required to ask by the insurance companies.We are fast approaching a point where lying to a doctor is insurance fraud if it isn't already. Insurance fraud is a crime. And when a doctor is required to ask, how far is that from the patient being required to answer? When doctors have that kind of power, the only redress people have is with legislation. So I am not inclined to dismiss out of hand the concerns of people who feel they need a law. They may!

    • Comment Link Ali Sunday, 09 September 2012 16:05 posted by Ali

      Where I live asking sooemne if they own a gun would get a "yes" about as often as asking them if they owned a car. The truth that when secnds count the police are ony minutes away is quite obviouis in rural America.I bought my first pistol a few weeks ago, primarily for home protection and to carry on walks and bicycle rides. You never know what kind of animals my pop out of the woods. Bears and mountain lions have been reported in my county. I've seen a bobcat on my back porch and in my front yard. Plus a wild dog or coyote is always a possibilty.As for doctors, my doctor made enough mistakes in my treatment for me to go elsewhere. Simple stuff like incorrectly running glucose test and such. We could save a lot of lives if doctors policed themselves better.I think I'll use Trey's response if asked. I keep my gun unloaded but the clip and gun within reach of each other.

    • Comment Link Alexander Sunday, 22 July 2012 19:32 posted by Alexander

      1. How to properly measure effect on gun control

      You know, if gun control advocates knew how to use statistics I would actually be more open to their side, they need to know how to measure the effects gun control. Something they have failed to do. Lets look at the most common gun control mistakes.

      a) Comparing countries

      This is the most common failure that gun control advocates cite, they claim because crime in the UK, for example, is lower than in the US it is proof that gun control works. If it is put into a form of a study, it is referred to cross sectional studies. In this case cross sectional evidence. And its exactly that, comparing crime rates between countries at any one given time. Using this data falsely assumes gun control works. Economists call this the "endogenity" problem. In other words, it is likely in results of a problem gun control was passed, and it was not gun control that eradicated the problem. A good example of the endogenity being used, other then in the gun control debate, is the death penalty. Politicians and journalists cite evidence that in states with no DP have lower crime rates, and therefore the DP increases crime. But those states before these laws enjoyed lower crime rates then the states with the death penalty. To make a valid argument one must look into the rate change overtime while attempting to account for other factors.[1]

      Engogenity is looked as the fallacy of statistics.

      b) Before and after averages

      This is less of a problem in the world of the internet debating and war over information, but it is commonly used by proponents of gun control (John Donahue uses them frequently when he debates John Lott). John Lott, however, can destroy these arguments easily.

      Using before and after averages can do two things, 1) Amplify something so it looks like it had an effect when it didn't, and 2) Make it look like laws have an effect when they actually do. It basically amplifies or underestimates effects, which is bad when trying to gain well thought out opinions on the subject. If pre-law decline and a pre-law increase trends where about the same (decrease 1% before law, increase 1% after law) the trend is about the same, a 0% difference. But if you look at the facts, we see a whole trend change hinting it likely had an effect. However, if the pre law decline in crime was minus 30%, and after the law had an increase in 5%, this way of calculation would make it look like the law still decreased crime.[1]

      [--How to really measure effects--]

      How do you measure them? Its a hard thing to calculate, it really is. And gun control advocates always fail in doing it. So lets make a scenario.

      Over the last decade crime rates have been falling, and in that time two factors could account for the drop. Lets say... Gun control and increase in death penalty usage. But based in this scenario it is impossible to tell which scenario explained the drop, or whether both played a role. So the best way to determine gun controls effect on crime is a mix of endogenity and before and after. Extend the before/after for a long length in time, while compare its crime rate relative to a neighbor state/region that has a similar socio-economic outlook as well as many other similar factors, use many regressions to account for other variables, and use panel data technique to make a 50-50 coin much more precise in predicting somethings effect.

      Only one side has been able to use the right type of statistical information, and that is the side of guns reduce crime.

      2. Safe Storage laws. Lock them up?

      Using the correct data techniques, Lott looks into his data not knowing what to expect. He found if the safe storage law was never passed, crime would be a natural curve and crime per 100,000 people would be a little over 400 people. If the law was never passed, though, crime would unnaturally increase too over 600.

      Safe storage laws have no effect on accidental gun deaths or on total suicide rates. While there is extremely weak evidence it has small effects on juvenile gun deaths, it does not affect the overall rate. Most suicidal people just substitute to other methods. The only consistent and moderately strong data is its effect on rape, robbery, and Burglary. Conservative estimates show an increase in 3,738 more rapes, 21,000 more robberies, and 49,733 more burglaries when these laws are passed. The estimates on murder are weaker, but are still existent and considered a moderate range, an increase of 309 murders.[1]

      3. Assault weapons ban & Gun Show loophole

      Apollo.11 is the only one I have conversed with on this subject, but now I have the evidence in my hand.

      Violent crime increase assault weapons ban: 1.5% increase
      Murder crime increase assault weapons ban: 11.9% increase
      Robbery increase assault weapons ban: 9.9% increase
      Rape increase assault weapons ban: 3.2% increase
      Aggravated Assault decrease assault weapons ban: -4.8%
      Property crime increase assault weapons ban: 6.7% increase
      Auto Theft decrease assault weapons ban: -12.4%
      Larceny increase assault weapons ban: 5.4% increase[1]
      -**-
      The next listing of numbers is analysis of closing the gun show loophole on crime.

      Violent crime: increase 5.4%
      Murder: Increase 9.2%
      Rape: Decrease 4.3%
      Robbery: increase 14.3%
      Assault: increase 3.1%
      Property crime: increase 3.8%
      Auto theft: increase 15.9%
      Burglary: increase 4.8%
      Larceny: increase 4.3%[1]

      Although there is a large campaign to end the loophole and ban assault weapons, there is no evidence either of these controls lower crime. Indeed, if there is any effect assault weapons band seem to increase robbery and murder rates to large extents. Further, closing the gun show loophole seems to increase crime across the board.

      4. Right to carry on crime

      - Law Passed Murder fell 7.7%, Rape fell 5.3%, Aggravated assault by 7.01%, robbery 2.2%, Burglary .5%, Larceny 3.3%, Auto 7.1%.[2]

      - "If those states which did not have right-to-carry concealed gun provisions had adopted them in 1992, approximately 1,570 murders; 4,177 rapes; and over 60,000 aggravate assaults would have been avoided yearly."[3]

      - " Ten years ago this month, a controversial "concealed- carry" law went into effect in the state of Florida. In a sharpbreak from the conventional wisdom of the time, that law allowed adult citizens to carry concealed firearms in public.Many people feared the law would quickly lead to disaster: blood would literally be running in the streets. Now, 10years later, it is safe to say that those dire predictions were completely unfounded. Indeed, the debate today overconcealed-carry laws centers on the extent to which such laws can actually reduce the crime rate."[4]

      ===NOTE===

      If you want me to post an analysis of data [on this forum] from Europe and Jamaican gun bans I can do that too.

      [1] Lott, John R. "The Bias against Guns: Why Almost Everything You've Heard about Gun Control Is Wrong." Washington, DC: Regnery Pub., 2003.
      [2] Lott, John R. "More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun-control Laws." 3rd ed. Vol. 1. Chicago: University of Chicago, 2010.
      [3] Lott, Jr., John R., and David B. Mustard. "Crime, Deterrence, and Right-to-Carry Concealed Handguns." The Journal of Legal Studies 26.1 (1997)
      [4] Snyder, Jeffery R. "Fighting Back: Crime, Self-Defense, and the Right ToCarry a Handgun." CATO, 22 Oct. 1997

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