8/26/2013

Did surge in number of concealed handgun permit holders more than make up for the reduction in the number of police officers in Michigan?

From a Michigan Live investigation by John Barnes:
. . .  Ann Arbor lost 31 percent of its officers, to 111. Population stayed nearly stable. Still, violent crimes dropped 11 percent; property crimes dropped 23 percent.
 Lansing lost 26 percent of its officers, falling to 187. Population fell just 4 percent. But violent crime fell 8 percent, and property crimes fell 20 percent.
 Saginaw lost 22 percent of its officers, to 86, and 15 percent of its population from 2003 to 2012. But violent and property crimes dropped much more, both nearly 30 percent.
There are exceptions of course, Flint lost half its force and violent crime soared. Detroit lost one in four officers, but it also lost about a quarter of its population. Per capita violent crime was up only slightly, about 6 percent.
Still, the downward trend in crimes and cops holds up statewide. . . .
More guns, less crimeAnother factor must be considered. Michigan adults have more guns.
In 2001, Michigan made it much easier for residents to carry concealed handguns. Permits have risen ever since.
Last month, 405,408 adults could lawfully carry concealed handguns. That’s up from 53,000 after the first year of Michigan’s shall-issue law.
That means one in 17 adults 21 or older is licensed to carry. Countless more people have guns for sport and protection in their homes.
John Lott, an economist and national pro-firearms commenter, authored the book, “More Guns, Less Crime.”
”When you see the percent of the population with permits rising, and how Michigan has seen a very substantial increase over almost the same period of time (studied by MLive), you are looking at the fact that victims can defend themselves and also deter criminals, just as police can deter criminals,” Lott said. . . .

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