More Guns, Less Crime

Via Instapundit comes the latest on the John Lott saga. Professor Reynolds says:

As I wrote a while back, Lott has been the subject of so many bogus attacks that I’ve been skeptical of this one. But I trust Jim Lindgren as a neutral arbiter with expertise in the area, and it seems to me that this time Lott’s critics have him dead to rights, and he’s failed to mount a convincing response.

For me it was the “Mary Rosh” bit that discredited Lott in my eyes. Defending yourself through a pseudonymous alter-ego was, IMHO, dishonest. If he was willing to be mendacious about that, then why should I trust his word on other matters?

I would also say that I never was accepting of the 2.5 million annual defensive gun use estimate. I certainly don’t accept the National Crime Victimization Survey estimate of 108,000 as accurate, but I’d be amazed if the actual number much exceeded 250,000. Then again, how many does there need (Get it, “need?”) to be? 108,000 DGUs a year is 295 a day.

Lott gives the appearance of being the gun-rights Michael Bellesiles, and James Lindgren, who Eugene Volokh notes seems pretty neutral on the entire gun-rights issue, was instrumental in showing Bellesiles’ flaws. That he is doing so with Lott makes his criticism more believable, not less.

One fact remains, though: There are more guns. There isn’t more crime. Correlation does not mean causation, but spin this however they wish the gun control forces cannot point to Dodge-City shootouts and blood running in the streets. Crime levels haven’t been this low since the 1960’s. Guns do NOT CAUSE crime.

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