"Story on pros, cons of concealed carry was one-sided"

The Peoria Star Journal had this attack on my work last week. I wrote Ms. Adams an email, but she refused to respond so I turned my email to her into a letter and sent it in. Here is my response that was published a week later.

Reporter Pam Adams' March 6 news article ("Concealed carry debate picks up steam with Gun Owners Lobby Day, testimony before Congress this week") provided a very lopsided discussion on my academic research regarding right-to-carry laws. The piece only quotes organizations and researchers who are opposed to letting people carry permitted, concealed handguns.

One person is quoted as claiming, "It's hard to find a serious researcher who says the research indicates concealed carry laws reduce violent crime." In fact, the overwhelming majority of studies support my research. Among peer-reviewed studies in academic journals by criminologists or economists, 18 studies examining national data find that right-to-carry laws reduce violent crime, 10 indicate no discernible effect or just a small benefit, and none find a bad effect from the law. Among non-refereed studies, three found drops in crime and two said either no effect or temporary, small increases in crime.

With Wisconsin likely adopting a right-to-carry law, Illinois may soon be the last state that bans people from being able to carry concealed handguns for protection. Despite gun control advocates worrying about what might go wrong, there is a reason why none of the states adopting right-to-carry laws have ever held even one single legislative hearing about rescinding their laws.

Since Ms. Adams wasn't able to find researchers to interview who have found right-to-carry laws reduce violent crime, here are a few names: Carl Moody at William & Mary, Stephen Bronars at Georgetown, David Mustard at the University of Georgia, and Eric Helland of Claremont College.

John R. Lott, Jr.
Author, "More Guns, Less Crime"
Alexandria, Va.



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