Matt Richtel: "New Fashion Wrinkle: Stylishly Hiding the Gun"
Woolrich, a 182-year-old clothing company, describes its new chino pants as an elegant and sturdy fashion statement, with a clean profile and fabric that provides comfort and flexibility.
And they are great for hiding a handgun.
The company has added a second pocket behind the traditional front pocket for a weapon. Or, for those who prefer to pack their gun in a holster, it can be tucked inside the stretchable waistband. The back pockets are also designed to help hide accessories, like a knife and a flashlight.
The chinos, which cost $65, are not for commandos, but rather, the company says, for the fashion-aware gun owner. And Woolrich has competition. Several clothing companies are following suit, building businesses around the sharp rise in people with permits to carry concealed weapons.
Their ranks swelled to around seven million last year from five million in 2008, partly because of changes to state laws on concealed handguns.
Shawn Thompson, 35, who works at an auto dealership in eastern Kentucky, bought two shirts last month from the Woolrich Elite Concealed Carry line. Both, he wrote on his blog, are a step up from more rugged gear.
“Most of the clothes I used in the past to hide my sidearm looked pretty sloppy and had my girlfriend complaining about my looks,” he wrote, adding in an interview, “I’m not James Bond or nothing, but these look pretty nice.” . . .
By contrast, in 1984 only 8 states had such statutes, and 15 did not allow handgun carrying at all, said John Lott, a researcher of gun culture who has held teaching or research posts at a number of universities, including the University of Chicago.
Only one state, Illinois, now forbids handgun carrying in any form, but the legislature is considering a change.
A majority of states have long allowed the open carrying of handguns, said Mr. Lott, who also provided the data on gun permits. But the reality, said Mr. Lott and other gun experts, is that people do not want to show others that they are carrying a weapon or invite sharp questioning from the police. . . .
1) "It's curious that the Times went to Lott for comment, given that the paper has previously noted that studies of his work 'have found serious flaws in his data and methodology.'"Media Matters rarely responds to what I write and of course they have prevented me from leaving comments on their website (they don't want to confuse the audience). I made a post about the NY Times' piece here, though I kept it limited because I was hoping that the Times would publish my letter to the editor. Unfortunately, they didn't publish it.
2) "Lott first gained fame in the 1990s for his claim that the passage of laws allowing for the concealed carry of handguns causes levels of violent crime to drop -- a claim that has since been debunked."Again, among peer-reviewed academic studies by criminologists and economists, 18 find that right-to-carry laws reduce violent crime, 10 claim no effect, and just one claims one type of crime increases slightly [a slightly out of date list is available here and the new totals are discussed here].
3)"Lott has since been convincingly alleged to have fabricated data to claim that 98 percent of defensive gun uses don't involve the firing of a weapon."I may have been "alleged to have fabricated data," but this ignores the statements by those who say that they took my survey, the replication of the survey, and the differences between my survey and those of others. In addition, where I have referenced this survey the data was biased against the claim that I was making. I argued that the simple defensive brandishing or warning shots are not news worthy. The higher the rate of defensive brandishing or warning shots, the easier it is to explain why the media is not biased when it doesn't cover most defensive gun uses. If I wanted to show that the media was more biased, I should have used the surveys with lower defensive brandishing rates. But ultimately the point of science is replication, and, as just noted, the results were replicated.
Media Matters' link refers to something I wrote up regarding the accuracy of NICS background checks. My response to their claims is available here.
4a) "cited data that doesn't exist to claim that the end of the assault weapons ban reduced murders"Here is what I wrote in the LA Times: "Well, more than nine months have passed and the first crime numbers are in. Last week, the FBI announced that the number of murders nationwide fell by 3.6% last year, the first drop since 1999. The trend was consistent; murders kept on declining after the assault weapons ban ended."
So what happened? The FBI data is available here.
The monthly data is shown here. The Assault Weapons Ban sunset in mid September 2004. Yet, the murder rate did fall during the last quarter, and it fell more in the fourth quarter of 2004 than it fell during the fourth quarter of 2003.
When I wrote the piece I not only had the FBI UCR data for 2004 in hand, but I had called up the FBI and I had been told that the murder rate numbers had fallen in the fourth quarter.
I also wrote this in the LA Times: "Overall, violent crime also declined last year, according to the FBI, and the complete statistics carry another surprise for gun control advocates. Guns are used in murder and robbery more frequently then in rapes and aggravated assaults, but after the assault weapons ban ended, the number of murders and robberies fell more than the number of rapes and aggravated assaults."
The FBI UCR violent crime data is available here.
So everything that I wrote about was correct, but Media Matters still references this claimed attack as evidence that I "cited data that doesn't exist."
4b) From Media Matters' 2005 hit piece on my op-ed in the Los Angeles Times that the current piece links to: "The FBI will not release state-by-state and month-by-month UCR data for 2004 until fall 2005, as part of its final report "Crime in the United States, 2004" (the bureau has released previous years' reports in late October)."Media Matters may not understand this, but the FBI's UCR had already released an estimate on what different violent crime rates were for the first half of 2004. Thus it was possible to compare the number of crimes for the entire year to those over the first half of the year and tease out the number of crimes in both the first six months and last six months of 2004. If there was any substantial change in crimes during the last 3.5 months of 2004, it would presumably show up in the estimate for the last six months of that year. Finally, in addition, I had called up a person who I had gotten data from in the past at the FBI and asked them whether violent crime rates had fallen in the last quarter of 2004 and I had been told "yes."
5) "altered blog posts after the fact to eliminate false claims for which he had been criticized"Media Matters is well-known to publish doctored photos (see here for an example). My pages are regularly backed up by other sites.