Michael Luo of the New York Times on permitting rate to those who should have had their permits revoked in North Carolina
In the article, Luo referred to John Lott, whose statistical crime analysis shows that crime falls when gun ownership increases, but he quickly dismissed Lott’s research as discredited. Valone said when he asked Luo if he had contacted Lott, the reporter told him: “There is no reason to call John Lott.” . . .Original: From the article:
In about half of the felony convictions, the authorities failed to revoke or suspend the holder’s permit, including for cases of murder, rape and kidnapping. . . . While the figure represents a small percentage of those with permits, more than 200 were convicted of felonies . . . .I would like to address multiple attacks from Mr. Luo, but the New York Times doesn't let you discuss those points in a public forum like my website here if you want them to publish your letter. So I will limit myself to the above quote. Say that there were 225 felons/2 (half not revoked)/5 years of data = 23. (If it were 250 or more, he would have rounded the number up.) If the number of active permits were 240,000. But 23/240,000 is 0.0096 percent. That is the percent of people who committed felonies annually and who didn't get their permits revoked. If you want to look at over the full five year period it is 0.04 percent. The real question here is how many of that 0.0096 or 0.04 percent committed another crime with a gun while they were supposed to not have a permit. It is interesting that the article never mentions this so I assume that the number was likely zero.
All this of course assumes that Mr. Luo got these numbers correct. I would also like to know a lot more about these felonies. There are other issues that I have with Mr. Luo's results, but this is a first pass. The rate that permit holders are getting in trouble for felonies is 0.019 percent.
In More Guns, Less Crime (p. 246) I show the results from having called up various sheriff's offices in North Carolina. Their discussion of the types of cases indicated that the crimes committed did not involve the use of a gun.
As to what other research as found, here is a table from the third edition of More Guns, Less Crime. You can buy a copy of the book with its extensive literature review for just $3.42 here.
UPDATE: There are a lot of comments on Mr. Luo's news article. A nice collection is here at Instapundit.
UPDATE 2: See also this.