UNCONVENTIONAL WISDOM: New facts and hot stats from the social

Matthew Gaylor (freematt@coil.com)
Mon, 31 May 1999 09:40:07 -0400

To: Matthew Gaylor <freematt@coil.com>
From: Declan McCullagh <declan@well.com>

Here's something for Matt to add to his already-comprehensive list of articles on gun control... In today's Outlook (should really have been in the A section)...



UNCONVENTIONAL WISDOM: New facts and hot stats from the social sciences Guns and Gun Massacres: A Contrary View By Richard Morin

Sunday, May 30, 1999; Page B05

Talk about timing.

A month after the massacre in Littleton, Colo., and not even a week after six students were shot at a Georgia high school, economist John R. Lott Jr. of the University of Chicago appeared at a conference to argue that there are good reasons for more people to have more guns.

Specifically, Lott and colleague William M. Landes, a law school professor at Chicago, say their research has led them to conclude that allowing people to carry concealed weapons dramatically reduces the occurrence and the severity of multiple-victim shootings.

Most experts find those assertions counterintuitive. Some dismiss them as ridiculous. As you might expect, gun advocates embrace Lott and Landes's findings, and gun opponents pillory them. In reply, Lott says: "Just look at the evidence"--which is exactly what his doubters and critics say they're doing.

Lott and Landes base their claims on a statistical analysis of multiple-victim shootings that occurred between 1977 and 1995 in the United States. They focused on shootings in public places "where the point of the attack was to produce carnage," Lott told a conference at the American Enterprise Institute here.


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