Monday, November 12, 2012

John Lott Admits His Book's Title is a Lie

I don't think that increased sales of any particular type of gun is associated with crime rates


  1. He said “particular type”, Mike.

    1. No, he said ANY particular type. Why do you defend that con artist?

    2. I am not defending him. I am merely pointing out what he said. He said the particular type of gun doesn’t affect crime rates. Why on earth would he say your interpretation? Just read the whole post. He posted the question of crime rates dropping while AK-47 sales soared. He even through a question mark at the end, to imply that he is not claiming causation, and then lead it off with the part you quoted where he said he doesn’t think the type of gun matters. I wouldn’t think pistol grips affect crime rates either.

    3. The reality TS, is that any way you try to spin it, guns o not have a correlational relationship to reduction of crime.
      Quite the opposite, the presence of guns shows a strong correlation and causation to gun violence. Without guns you don't have gun violence; with guns, you do. It is that simple. People have violent impulses, people sometimes have self-destructive impulses; those are magnified and more likely to be acted on with guns.


    4. Dog Gone, the presense of guns shows a strong correlation and causation to gun violence? Then explain why Vermont and the Czech Republic have such low rates. The mere presence of a gun isn't a cause of violence, contrary to your magical and fetishist thinking.

    5. Dog gone, don’t you realize that crime is not the same thing as gun violence? They are two separate things with overlap. Not all crime involves a gun, and not a gun violence is a crime. So why do you say “guns o not have a correlational relationship to reduction of crime. Quite the opposite, the presence of guns shows a strong correlation and causation to gun violence.”? That is NOT “quite the opposite”, it is literally a different measure than what you are trying to refute.

      I want to make myself perfectly clear, and if you insist it is a spin, then prove it with reputable data. There is a negative correlation between gun sales and crime rates over the last decade. You cannot deny this. All you can do is attempt to move the goal posts by casually changing the word “crime” into “gun violence” and hope that nobody noticed, and even in that case, there is still a negative correlation over the last decade. So you’ll move the goal posts a little further and start making static comparisons to other countries rather than admit that crime, and gun crime is going in the wrong direction for your cause. It must suck to be rooting for violence to make your point.

      I’ll once again clarify my position that the data does not necessarily prove that guns cause a reduction in crime. That is a very difficult thing to prove, but disproving the gun control myths has been clear for a long time. Guns do not lead to an increase in crime rates, or murder rates.

      Dog gone: “Without guns you don't have gun violence; with guns, you do. It is that simple.”

      I’ll give you another simple statement. Just try and refute it. Without guns you don’t have DGUs; with guns you do. It is that simple.


    6. TS:
      "I’ll give you another simple statement. Just try and refute it. Without guns you don’t have DGUs; with guns you do."

      No one here (save Laci) has argued for the disarmament of State actors. The formation of a civilized society manifestly requires the forfeiture of individual defense, in favor of collective defense, practiced by an appropriate agent (police forces). DGU's may occur without an armed populace, so long as the State actors charged with the protection of society are issued firearms in order to fulfill their duty. Without civilian guns, you may still have collective DGUs. It is THAT simple.

    7. E.N., you're falling back on bullshit. There are fewer than one million law enforcement officers in all agencies in this country. That's less than one for every three hundred Americans. They cannot be everywhere at all times. Of course, a free society cannot tolerate the kind of comprehensive police coverage that what you describe would require.

    8. TS, the implication in his title is that BECAUSE there are more guns there is less crime. And, that is what the pro-gun folks believe. Why are you hedging on it?

      The truth is that the highly educated Prof. Lott, when pressed, cannot back that up. He even contradicts it as in the statement which I quoted.

    9. Mikeb, his statement doesn't contradict his overall claim. He said that the sales of a particular type of gun isn't, by itself, the cause of the decline in crime rates. His broader claim is that more guns of all kinds in the hands of good citizens drives down the rate.

      I don't buy that claim. What I do see is that more guns don't result in more crime or more death and injury, contrary to what your narrative tells us.

    10. Given the evidence that I provided below, I'm going to revise my statement. Certainly, population total and density has a lot to do with crime rates, but the presence of guns in the hands of good citizens appears to have a good effect as well.

  2. Dog gone said, "... [violent and self-destructive impulses] are magnified and more likely to be acted on with guns."

    Huh? If your assertion is true, then how do you explain the really high violent crime rate in the U.K. which has the gun control you want?

    I have a much simpler explanation. People who grow up in awful environments (e.g. without a loving family, proper values, and personal responsibility) act on their violent and destructive impulses. Fix that and you minimize the violence. All you can hope to argue about your position is that firearm alternatives might be less lethal.

    And I don't even have to argue that gasoline, cars (3000 pound missiles), welding gas canisters, pipe bombs, swords, crossbows, and tall buildings are every bit as lethal if not more lethal than firearms.

  3. "There is a negative correlation between gun sales and crime rates over the last decade. You cannot deny this. "

    Of course, it can be denied. Note you don't back up your assertion--you merely demand we prove it false.

    But I'll give it a quick treatment. First, you're playing a little fast and loose with your assertion. You talk of "gun sales" to mask the fact that what really should be discussed is gun ownership. Gun sales have been increasing while actual gun ownership is decreasing. Second, I think we can stipulate crime--as a whole--has been decreasing. However, most crime has nothing to do with guns. We really need to talk about gun-related crime. And if we do--gun-related crime has been flat over the past decade.

    Thus, we have declining gun ownership and a flat rate of gun-related crime.

    Again, this just a quick pass; we really need to look at varying gun laws and crime rates in various jurisdictions. There is certainly no negative correlation in that states with the most lax gun laws also have the highest rates of crime.

    1. From the U.S. Census Bureau:

      Violent crime rate per 100,000 by state in 2009:

      Maine: 119.9
      Massachusetts: 465.6
      New Hampshire: 169.5
      Vermont: 135.1

      District of Columbia: 1,348.9
      Maryland: 590.0
      Virginia: 230.0

      Arizona: 423.2
      California: 473.4

      Total violent crime rates aren't available for Illinois for the period, but look at the following homicide rates, again per 100,000:

      Illinois: 8.4
      Indiana: 5.3

      Total rates are also not available for Minnesota, so do the same comparison with Wisconsin:

      Minnesota: 1.5
      Wisconsin: 2.6

      All of this comes from this site:

      Now, Goldilocks, let's see what you can do with it.

      What I see here are geographically connected areas and similar demographics and cultures. In every case, the stricter the gun laws, the higher the rate of violent crime. Note that Minnesota and Wisconsin had similar laws, and their rates of homicide are close, but in 2009, Wisonsin didn't allow legal concealed carry, while Minnesota did.

    2. Jade, please pay more attention to the conversations we have had here. Many times we have discussed violent crime and gun statistics, with sourced facts from the FBI and even your own organizations to prove my points. So don’t pretend like I don’t back up my statements because I make a casual mention of things we have discussed before in great detail. I can think of three reasons why you act as if I have never presented facts on the matter:

      1) You have an absolutely awful memory- like “Memento” bad.
      2) You know it is bad for you, so you practice willful ignorance and distraction by trying to change the measure to something that includes gun suicides*, or cherry pick the data.
      3) You are suffering from clinical denial.

      *If you want to talk about suicides, that’s fine. But it is a different conversation and doesn’t do anything to refute claims made by our side that guns are not tied to violent crime rates or murder rates. Your constant attempts at changing the subject point to number 2, and reinforce how right we are about violent crime and murder rates.

      If your problem is number 1, I’ll link some of my pervious threads below, and maybe for the next 90 seconds or so you will see what I am talking about before you forget. If you don’t have the time for a full read, you can skip down to the third link where I compiled my own data using FBI statistics correlated to data provided by your side. Keep in mind this is addressing a different kind of correlation than the one mentioned in this thread. There are really two different ways to look at gun correlations. One is a static approach that examines different geographical areas (my third link). The other is a dynamic look where the area is fixed but we examine the data over changing time (how have crime/murder rates changed as laws/ownership changed?). We can go into more details later, or I can try and find some longer posts of mine on the subject if you really want to keep going with this, but I bet you bow out (and then come back forgetting all about it 3 weeks from now). I will pose these questions though: You want to claim that gun ownership has decreased, though admitting that sales have increased. Unlikely, but hard to prove given that we don’t have universal licensing. But Mike says that we gun owners don’t hold onto our guns very well which is a major contributor to the problem. So if the gun buying trend is just fewer people buying way more guns (during a recession), wouldn’t that still contribute to more guns on the street driving up murder? How do you explain that? Second, even you have to admit that carrying guns has had a major increase in the last decade (and the previous). There are orders of magnitude more people carrying concealed than 20 years ago. So if you still want to hang your hat on the idea that fewer people have guns in their closets and safes, how do you explain that crime and murder have decreased when there are no doubt more people with guns on their hips, pockets, and purses? Those are the guns that are out there making an impact for better or for worse. To give another car analogy, when making correlations to global warming, cars on the road are more relevant than cars in garages.

      By the way, If your problem is number 3, I really can’t do anything to help you.

  4. Look at Greggy cherry-pick.

    He uses the time-worn trick of using states where sheep outnumber humans while comparing them to far more populous states.

    Tennessee? Louisiana?

    Don't look at Hawaii.

    He also engages in the not-so-sleight-of-hand trick of conflating violent crime with gun-related crime.

    1. Cherry picking? You're the one who asks me to compare Tennessee to Hawaii. I took geographically and culturally and demographically linked regions.

      But do tell us: How many sheep live in Maryland, Virginia, and D.C.? President Wilson used sheep to mow the White House lawn during W.W. I, but that's been a while.

      Your last point shows your true nature. There's no sleight of hand involved in looking at violent crime. Gun crime is a subset of violent crime. The fact that you care only about crimes committed with a gun shows that you're really only interested in getting rid of guns, not in reducing rates of violence.

      As I expected, you have no answer to actual data. Try again, if you'd like.

  5. Greggy: DC is not a state--it's a city. And at less than 600K population, it's not a major city.

    Thus, if we compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges, we easily see New Orleans (lax gun laws) is far worse--crime-wise--than DC. So is Memphis, TN, St. Louis, MO, Detroit, MI, and Atlanta, GA.

    Greggy also misses the point that cities may have different gun laws than the rest of the state. For example, NYC has stricter gun laws than the rest of NY state---which explains why NYC is far safer than Buffalo, NY.

    The point is plain: stats do not support gunloon assertions. Gunloons like Greggy constantly have to massage, tweak, cherry-pick and otherwise misstate data to attempt to justify their fetish.

    1. Goldilocks, quit being an idiot. You ask me to compare D.C. to Memphis or New Orleans? Did you notice how Maryland, D.C., and Virginia are contiguous territory? Do you notice how New Orleans and D.C. aren't? Did you note that I didn't refer to New York? I'm aware that New York City violates the rights of its citizens even more than the state as a whole does.

      But let's compare what you want:

      D.C. violent crime rate per 100,000 in 2010: 1,241.1
      New Orleans in the same year: 727.7

      Again, when we look at the actual data, your side loses.

  6. Again, Greggy has to play mix and match with his categories. As I sagely noted previously, not all crime is gun-related. Nor is all violent crime gun-related. Truth be told--gun-related crime is gun-related crime. Period. Full stop.

    Greggy doesn't want to admit this. The reason is that if he did, we'd have to acknowledge your chances of being shot and killed (or wounded) is several factors higher in NOLA than DC. And there are a number of cities (such as mentioned earlier) that are deadlier than DC.

    Greggy would like you to believe that crime is a one-size-fits-all---that murder is the same as cheating on your taxes is the same as jaywalking. It isn't, of course, but Greggy's fetish compels him to vain attempts.

    1. Goldilocks, where did I say that murder is the same as cheating on taxes is the same as jaywalking? I quoted violent crime rates. Gun crime is a subset of violent crime. What should matter to you is how much violent crime occurs. Do you really care how a person is murdered? The number of murders is the important fact, as are the number of rapes and other acts of violence.

      If you're not a total idiot, go back and look at the numbers. Violent crime rates in contiguous regions are lower in the areas that have good gun laws. Places that restrict gun ownership and carry have higher rates of violence. You can whine about how someone commits an act of violence, but I'm concerned about the total rate more than if the person uses an icepick or a howitzer to do it.

  7. From an editorial in the Washington Times;

    A telling story is illustrated by the murder numbers since the handgun ban and gun-lock bans were struck down. Between 2008 and 2009, the FBI’s preliminary numbers indicate that murders fell nationally by 10 percent and by about 8 percent in cities that have between 500,000 and 999,999 people. Washington’s population is about 590,000. During that same period of time, murders in the District fell by an astounding 25 percent, dropping from 186 to 140. The city only started allowing its citizens to own handguns for defense again in late 2008.

    Few who lived in Washington during the 1970s can forget the upswing in crime that started right after the ban was originally passed. In the five years before the 1977 ban, the murder rate fell from 37 to 27 murders per 100,000. In the five years after the gun ban went into effect, the murder rate rose back up to 35. One fact is particularly hard to ignore: D.C.’s murder rate fluctuated after 1976 but only once fell below what it was in 1976 before the ban. That aberration happened years later, in 1985.

    This correlation between the D.C. gun ban and diminished safety was not a coincidence. Look at the Windy City. Immediately after Chicago banned handguns in 1982, the murder rate, which had been falling almost continually for a decade, started to rise. Chicago’s murder rate rose relative to other large cities as well. The phenomenon of higher murder rates after gun bans are passed is not just limited to the United States. Every single time a country has passed a gun ban, its murder rate soared.

    Read more: EDITORIAL: Guns decrease murder rates - Washington Times
    Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter

    1. It's not all about guns, man. You guys love to point that out to us when it's convenient but other times like this, you pretend it is.