In America's 1st Freedom: Q&A: The Truth About Right To Carry
Here is Dr. John Lott's interview in America's 1st Freedom.
John Lott, president of the Crime Prevention Research Center and author of the new book, The War On Guns: Arming Yourself Against Gun Control Lies, knows more than a thing or two about Right to Carry. In fact, he’s probably done more research on the topic than anyone else in the nation.
This week we asked Lott to answer a few questions about Right to Carry and the current move to pass national reciprocity legislation.
A1F Daily: With introduction of national Right-to-Carry reciprocity legislation, we’re starting to hear the same old horror stories about citizens carrying concealed firearms posing a danger to themselves and others. What does your research show?
John Lott: Just as after Right-to-Carry laws have been passed before, a year or so after reciprocity is passed, everyone will wonder what all the fuss was about. The entire debate will disappear as an issue for gun control advocates.
By any measure, permit holders are extremely law-abiding. Police officers are rarely convicted of any crimes, but permit holders are convicted at even lower rates. According to a study in the December 2010 issue of Police Quarterly, the rate that police officers are convicted of misdemeanors or felonies was 0.102 percent per year. For example, Texas in 2015, the latest available data for that state, with about 1 million concealed handgun permit holders, the rate that permit holders are convicted of these crimes was 0.01 percent. Thus, permit holders were convicted at about one-tenth the rate of police.
If you look at firearm violations, Texas permit holders were convicted at a rate of one-seventh the rate of police officers. Other states show a similar pattern. More detailed discussions are available in my books, The War on Guns and More Guns, Less Crime.
The main source of alternative information is the Violence Policy Center, which is frequently cited by publications such as The New York Times. Most recently they have claimed that over nine years and eight months there were 900 non-self-defense gun deaths nationwide by concealed handgun permit holders. These non-self-defense gun deaths, they say, include suicides, murder and accidental deaths.
Suppose for the sake of argument that the Violence Policy Center has accurately identified the cases they refer to. With more than 14.5 million permit holders at the beginning of last year, the 19 pending homicide charges in 2016 implies an annual rate of 0.14 homicides per 100,000 permit holders. And the vast majority of these will be found to be in self-defense.
Yet the 900 number is wildly inaccurate. Take Michigan, with supposedly 72 homicides and 286 suicides. For homicides, many non-cases are triple or quadruple counted. “Pending” and “conviction” numbers from the Michigan State Police reports are both counted in the total, though cases can be listed as pending for years before going to court, and most never result in a conviction. News stories of these same events are also counted separately. The correct number of homicides in that case is actually 14 over almost 10 years.
For suicides, Michigan doesn’t collect information on how suicides were committed—just that permit holders committed suicide. Yet permit holders committed suicide at just 38 percent the rate of the adult Michigan population.
Despite being informed of these errors over the years, The New York Times refuses to publish letters to the editor discussing these problems and doesn’t acknowledge them in their articles.
A1F: Why do people in anti-gun groups and the so-called “mainstream” media continue to warn of going back to the “Wild, Wild West”?
Lott: I suppose that they think that they can scare people enough to prevent passage of laws that allow people to carry guns for protection. The risk for gun control advocates is that they keep making extreme claims that keep on being proven wrong. At least to some extent, it makes it more difficult for people to take seriously what they may say in the future. . . .
The rest of the interview is available here.
Six Defensive Gun Uses by People Legally Carrying Concealed Handguns over Six Day
Stories from the Crime Prevention Research Center.
The stories that we collect don't include home invasions or cases on a person's property where they don't a permit to carry. We also don't include cases where business owners or employees use their guns unless it is specifically mentioned that they had a concealed handgun permit and it was important to them carrying (such as being outside the business).
Arlington, Texas, February 22, 2017, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
A jogger carrying a concealed weapon shot a suspect who was trying to rob him at gunpoint early Wednesday in southwest Arlington, police said.
A man in his 20s was jogging about 6 a.m. from his home to LA Fitness, a part of his morning routine, when he noticed a pickup following him near the 6000 block of Poly Webb Road, said Lt. Chris Cook, Arlington police spokesman.
The truck circled in front of the jogger, then a juvenile suspect got out of the passenger side, pointed a gun at him and demanded his belongings. The jogger then pulled out his gun and began firing at the suspect, striking him at least once in the leg.
The suspect and a driver fled the scene and officers found the pickup truck abandoned nearby at Cedar Cove Court. The pickup was reported stolen in Arlington three days ago, Cook said. . . .
Miami, Florida, February 22, 2017, CBS Television Channel 4
. . . According to authorities, at approximately 11:30 p.m. on Friday, the victim was walking in the area of NW 2nd Court and NW 79th Street when he was approached by Bolanos, Palacio, and a third man, 18-year-old Alberto Medal.
At gunpoint, they then took the victim’s belongings.
However, a witness, who was also carrying a firearm, saw the crime unfold and shot at the three young men to stop the robbery, striking Medal.
“We do know that a Good Samaritan in the area saw the entire crime unfold, armed himself with a handgun and began to fire at the three robbers. One of them was struck,” said Miami Police Ofc. Kenia Fallat.
The three crooks fled the scene to seek medical attention, Miami Police added. . . .
Houston, Texas, February 28, 2017, Houston Chronicle
Police responding to a shooting about 8 p.m. Tuesday at a west Houston convenience store found a man with several gunshot wounds and another man who said he shot the first in self-defense.
The wounded man was taken to a hospital in serious condition but is expected to survive the shooting, Houston Police Lt. Larry Crowson said. A second man approached officers at the scene in the 9800 block of Beechnut near Club Creek to say he shot the wounded man to defend himself during an armed robbery.
The purported robbery victim did have a license to carry (LTC), Crowson said. There was a shootout between the two men but only the alleged robber was injured. . . .
Salisbury, North Carolina, February 24, 2017, Charlotte Observer
A Salisbury man was stabbed in the neck, head and back before he shot at the teenager trying to break into his car early Friday, police said.
The teen, Tyler Aaimer Spencer Nichols, 17, of Salisbury, turned himself in at the Salisbury Police Department later Friday and was charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury, four counts of breaking and entering of a motor vehicle and three counts of larceny. Nichols was jailed on $25,000 bail pending a court appearance on Tuesday. . . .
Police learned Falkner confronted the teen who was breaking into his car. Falkner was then stabbed, before he shot at the suspect. The teen then ran into woods. Several cars were broken into at the apartments, police said. Nichols was uninjured. . . .
Boise, Idaho, February 22, 2017, KBOI Television Channel 2
A woman saved herself from a dangerous situation with her pistol kept in her car Monday.
"I couldn't believe it, it was shock and fear," said the unidentified woman.
It happened at the corner of west Kootenai and south Hilton streets. A woman just dropped off her 9-year-old daughter Monday morning around 7:30 a.m. She was driving alone when a man jumped out in front of her car. She slammed on the brakes and it stalled.
"He came to the driver's side door of my car and opened it and demanded my keys and my purse and when I refused to give it to him he started hitting me in the head multiple times," the woman said. . . .
Spokane, Washington, February 24, 2017, KHQ Television Channel 6
The man says he shot the dog after he went to back up and was bit a second time.
Police told SCRAPS that the man who shot the dog had a license to carry, and have determined that the man acted appropriately in the situation. . . .
Testimony before the Minnesota state House Committee on Public Safety on Stand Your Ground bill
New Op-eds in the Hartford Courant and the Minneapolis Star Tribune, fees to price concealed handgun permits out of the hands of poor people and another on Stand Your Ground laws
I have a new piece in the Hartford Courant on Connecticut Governor Malloy's push to raise the state's concealed handgun permit fee from $140 to $370. The piece starts this way:
Why do Democrats, self-proclaimed champions of the poor, make it so difficult for poor people to defend themselves? Democrats oppose even free voter IDs as imposing too much of a burden on the poor, but when it comes to guns, they don't hesitate to impose fees, expensive training requirements and onerous background checks. These are precisely the things that can put guns out of reach for poor people.
Connecticut already charges $140 in initial fees for handgun permits — twice the national average. Now Gov. Dannel P. Malloy wants to raise it to $370, with a $300 renewal fee required every five years.
The proposed initial fee would be roughly 50 percent higher than California's concealed-carry fee, which is currently the highest among states. . . .
I also testified before the Minnesota House Committee on Public Safety and Security Policy will hear testimony this past Wednesday on a Stand Your Ground bill. In connection with my testimony, I had a new op-ed piece in the Star Tribune on Minnesota. The piece starts this way:
In fact, as the Minnesota House Committee on Public Safety and Security Policy will hear in testimony today, Stand Your Ground laws do not allow the initiation of force. Since the response must be proportionate to the threat, a defendant cannot shoot unless he is in imminent danger of serious bodily harm or death. Or, at least, a reasonable person must have cause to perceive such a grave threat.
Prior to Stand Your Ground, citizens have had to retreat as far as possible and then warn the criminal of their intention to shoot. The concept of “appropriate retreat” is vague and potentially confusing to a defendant who needs to take immediate, decisive action. Delay can sometimes be fatal. Overzealous prosecutors have sometimes argued that the defendant should have retreated even farther. These trials, even if they end in acquittal, are very costly and destroy defendants’ lives.
It stands to reason that the most likely victims of violent crime will benefit the most from Stand Your Ground laws. And who are the most likely victims? Poor blacks in high-crime, urban areas who definitely cannot count on the police to come to their rescue in time. . . .