John Lott is probably the best known academic researcher on gun laws and the effects of gun ownership on crime rates. He discussed the topic on a Canadian radio station CKNW, and did a great job of covering many of the important points in the debate. The commercial-free show is available here. If you are a Canadian, or if you have never heard the other side of the gun control debate, then you need to spend 18 minutes listening to the case against gun control. The case against gun control is something you may never hear about in the mainstream media.
Here is a summary of some of the points he touches on during the dialog.
- Lott begins by noting that guns can be used in tragic ways, but that they can also be used to prevent crimes. The only way to decide whether gun ownership should be allowed is to compare the ratio between the tragic incidents against defensive gun usage incidents.
- Lott also briefly discusses the media bias in reporting on firearms. The media selects stories that result in actual violence, so that the vast number of defensive gun uses go unreported. These defensive gun uses seldom involve injuries, or even firing a shot. Instead, a crime is prevented by merely displaying or brandishing the weapon, which scares off the assailant.
- Lott notes that gun control laws are only obeyed by law abiding citizens, never by criminals. Thus, the only purpose gun control serves is to increase crime rates by disarming the potential victims of criminal activity. He also argues that gun bans actually increase violent crime and murder rates in countries where bans have been implemented.
- Lott compares crime rates in the USA and Canada using official United Nations surveys. Lott notes that most of the crime in the USA is due to gang violence, and as such is isolated to small areas within a few counties.
- Lott addresses Canada’s gun registries and gun laws specifically. He explains why gun registries are virtually useless for lowering crime rates. Lott also discusses concealed carry laws in the USA, and their effect on crime rates.
- Lott also notes that concealed-carry permit holders commit fewer crimes than off-duty police officers. In other words, private gun ownership doesn’t cause crime, and gun owners are extremely law-abiding.
But there is hope for Canada. This press release, (dated February 9, 2009), states that:
Saskatchewan M.P. Garry Breitkreuz has introduced a Private Members’ Bill to scrap the decade-old Canadian long-gun registry (see link below to Bill C-301).
The long-gun registry was originally budgeted to cost Canadians $2 million, but the price tag spiraled out of control to an estimated $2 billion a decade later. Breitkreuz says it’s time to pull the plug on this useless money pit, because the registry has not saved one single life since it was introduced.
Finally, this video clip is a hilarious knock on gun control laws.