Mad Prophet's Sanctuary

Book's Premise: More Guns, Less Crime

by Dr. Paul Gallant

"Does allowing people to own or carry guns deter violent crime? Or does it simply cause more citizens to harm each other?" That's the opening to a remarkable new book, "More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun-Control Laws", by Dr. John R. Lott, Jr., an economist at the University of Chicago.

The question concerns us all, and the answer can not be just somebody's guess, or personal opinion - it must be one we can bet our lives on, perhaps even the lives of our loved ones. The senseless tragedy which recently unfolded in Jonesboro, Arkansas, only serves to punctuate the need for that indisputable answer with a sense of urgency. Lott devotes the rest of his book to giving us that answer.

Lott's research - based on 54,000 separate observations from over 3,000 counties, spaced over 18 years - gives scientific validation to a very politically-incorrect premise: society benefits from ordinary people who accept the responsibilities of firearm ownership - not from gun-control laws. Preventing law-abiding citizens from carrying firearms for self-defense does not end violent crime - "it merely makes victims more vulnerable...".

Lott's findings, replicated independently by other researchers, challenge virtually every claim of traditional gun-control dogma. Here are some of his myth-shattering conclusions.

More Guns, Less Crime should be mandatory reading for every legislator or bureaucrat who has input into public policy-making. Some may not like what Lott has to say, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't be held accountable to the truth. Public policy ought not be held hostage to bias, hysteria, or ignorance.

Dr. Lott's book ends with a question: "Will allowing law-abiding citizens to carry concealed handguns save lives?" The answer he gives is a very definite "yes, it will." As Lott demonstrates, even those bent on disarming their fellow Americans are made safer by the choice of responsible citizens to own and carry firearms for protection.

The writer lives in Wesley Hills and is chairman, Committee for Law-Abiding Gun Owners, Rockland

Reprinted from the Rockland Journal-News (Rockland County, NY), May 1, 1998.

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