The gun control crowd has tried, endlessly, to exploit tragedies to make a push for new or expanded anti-gun laws. But the narrative that these devout advocates try to paint often falls flat.
For example, gun control activists will tell us that gun violence is an epidemic for which the only cure is more onerous gun laws. But this defies reality. After all, the gun homicide and non-fatal gun violence rates have dropped by 49% and 75% since 1993.
This same crowd will tell us that gun ownership should be discouraged, even though Centers for Disease Control study confirmed that “[s]elf-defense can be an important crime deterrent” and pointed to other research that has found “consistently lower injury rates among gun-using crime victims.”
Another frequent claim is that concealed carry laws will turn society into a Hollywood depiction of the Wild West. But a new study by Mark Gius, an economist at Quinnipiac University, found that the states with concealed carry laws had lower murder rates than states that restrict the practice.
“Using data for the period 1980 to 2009 and controlling for state and year fixed effects,” wrote Gius in the abstract, “the results of the present study suggest that states with restrictions on the carrying of concealed weapons had higher gun-related murder rates than other states.”
“These results suggest that restrictive concealed weapons laws may cause an increase in gun-related murders at the state level,” he noted. “The results of this study are consistent with some prior research in this area, most notably Lott and Mustard (1997).”
In 1997, John Lott and David Mustard published a study — Crime, Deterrence, and Right-to-Carry Concealed Handguns — which found concealed carry served as a deterrent to crime.
The two authors also argued that the economy would have gained $6.214 billion (in 1992 dollars) by allowing concealed carry. In addition to further research, Lott later used the findings from the study in his 1999 book, More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws.
In the most recent study, Gius also noted that state-level assault weapons bans “did not significantly affect murder rates,” meaning that the handful of state legislatures that passed such a policy in response to the Sandy Hook shooting effectively did nothing to stop violent crime.
The National Institute for Justice, the research arm of the Justice Department, noted in a January 2013 memo that “an assault weapon ban is unlikely to have an impact on gun violence” because “assault weapons are not a major contributor to US gun homicide.”