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More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws (Studies in Law & Economics) Paperback – 7 Jul 2000

4.5 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 234 pages
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press; 2nd Revised edition edition (7 July 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226493644
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226493640
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.2 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,970,177 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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From the Author

Comments from the book's reviewers:


"This sophisticated analysis yields a well established conclusion that supports the wisdom of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution rather than of those who would limit the right of law-abiding citizens to own and carry guns. The general reader may find of most interest chapter 7 which documents how far ‘politically correct’ vested interests are willing to go denigrate anyone who dares disagree with them. John Lott has done us all a service by his thorough, thoughtful scholarly approach to a highly controversial issue."—Milton Friedman

"Armed with reams of statistics, John Lott has documented many surprising linkages between guns and crime. More Guns, Less Crime demonstrates that what is at stake is not just the right to carry arms but rather our performance in controlling a diverse array of criminal behaviors. Perhaps most disturbing is Lott's documentation of the role of the media and academic commentators in distorting research findings that they regard as politically incorrect."—W. Kip Viscusi, Cogan Professor of Law and director of the Program on Empirical Legal Studies, Harvard Law School

"John Lott has done the most extensive, thorough, and sophisticated study we have on the effects of loosening gun control laws. Regardless of whether one agrees with his conclusions, his work is mandatory reading for anyone who is open-minded and serious about the gun control issue. Especially fascinating is his account of the often unscrupulous reactions to his research by gun control advocates, academic critics, and the news media."—Gary Kleck, professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Florida State University

"Until John Lott came along, the standard research paper on firearms and violence consisted of a longitudinal or cross-sectional study on a small and artfully selected data set with few meaningful statistical controls. Lott's work, embracing all of the data that are relevant to his analysis, has created a new standard, which future scholarship in this area, in order to be credible, will have to live up to."—Dan Polsby, Kirkland & Ellis Professor of Law, Northwestern University.

"John Lott destroys the politically correct argument that arming law abiding citizens will have a harmful effect on their safety. There is no doubt that criminals prefer to prey upon the unprepared. This book will arm those who read it with the important facts they need in order to decide where they stand on the gun control issue."—Dale Gulbrantson, executive director, Illinois Police Association, Inc.

"This book will — or should — cause those who almost reflexively support the limitation of guns in the name of reducing crime to rethink their positions."—Steve Shavell, Professor of Law, Harvard Law School --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
John Lott's subtitle mentions that the book is a study in law and economics, and that's exactly what it is. For the most part, the book is very readable. On one or two occasions I found myself drawing on my knowledge of statistics, but this book is by no means accessible only to academics. Lott's study is significant because it deals with every county in the US as a separate entity. As he shows, it is unjustifiable to treat entire states as homogeneous units. As well as presenting a thorough explanation of his study and results, Lott deals with some of the most common objections to his work. I would recommend this book to anyone attempting to understand the effects of concealed carry reform.
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Format: Hardcover
John Lott's book-More Guns Less Crime-should be required reading for anyone interested in crime reduction. Lott's comprehensive study of crime and gun control clearly establishes that allowing law abiding citizens to carry concealed weapons does, in fact, reduce crime. As expected, this politically incorrect book brought out vicious attacks from the anti-gun lobby, but Lott successfully debunks many of the myths fantasized by gun control proponents. Chapter 7 of Lott's book is particuraly interesting as to how far gun-control zealots will go to discredit anyone who disagrees with them.
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Format: Hardcover
Whether or not one agrees with Lott, it must be said that this is a pioneering work. Until its publication, almost all the scholarly research has come from the side of gun-control advocates; this may be the first pro-gun book to include a bibliography. It's likely that this book will become a reference as indisputable as the Bible for many pro-gun people who want their opinions substantiated--no matter how contrary to common sense they actually are. However, I doubt that even a third of Lott's fans will read even a dozen pages of his sophisticated sounding rhetoric and mind-numbing figures. The title will be good enough for most of them. Lott's book masquerades as an empirical, unbiased study of the effects of concealed weapon permits, but it is really a political document about as unbiased as a Wayne LaPierre direct mailing. Much of the book is simply Lott attempting to debunk his critics, bashing the Brady Law and the ATF and, seemingly oblivious to several Supreme Court rulings, misinterpreting the meaning of the Second Amendment.
Mr. Lott contends that murder and rape are the two crimes that decrease most dramatically after a state liberalizes its existing CCW laws. This hardly comes as a surprise, for if his "investigation" only yielded declines in lesser crimes, such findings would not outweigh the increased danger that would be produced by having so many more guns on our streets. With respect to this and his supposedly impartial approach, Lott actually writes, "society as a whole might be better off even if crime rates were to rise as a result of concealed-handgun laws." How empirical is that?
Much of Lott's data seems selective and questionable to me.
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Format: Paperback
John Lott has undertaken the only study of the relationship of private gun ownership to the level of violent crime that is not blatantly conclusion-driven. (You should read some of the academic gun studies; because the primary facts so clearly favor ubiquitous gun ownership, a result that is anathema to every educational journal extent, these professors are reduced to producing pages of turgid text debating how many unarmed angels can dance on the head of a pin.)

Lott clearly shows that in nearly every U.S. State in which private citizens were allowed to carry concealed handguns (up to 38 at this time), violent crimes rates dropped, often precipitously. Criminals may be dumb, but they are not stupid. In jail house interviews they admit that their first concern in robbing or mugging someone is not to get shot. This simple fact has somehow escaped the notice of the entire liberal establishment. So what is a liberal manqué who wants to beat his breast to do? He writes about the unsafe aspect of gun ownership. But only in the most restricted sense. The average safety message of the anti-gun left is that people get killed by guns accidentally, full stop. Yes, that is true. But, as Jophn Lott shows, the number of accidental deaths is miniscule compared to the number of people who don't get killed because they were able to thwart a crime by "presenting a firearm." Aaah, the bleeding hearts respond with a vengeance: "But how are you going to bring back the life of little Johnny..." And round and round it goes.

The elephant in the room in this argument that can never die, is that the left is terrifed that the truth might come out. If the left truly believed more guns mean more crime, they could agree to test that supposition, say in Trenton, NJ, or Detroit, MI.
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By A Customer on 11 Aug. 1998
Format: Hardcover
This book explodes many myths about crime and guns. Professor Lott has put together a truly monumental study on crime. This is one book that people will be discussing for many years to come.
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Format: Hardcover
Anyone interested in seeing how anti-gunners ignore blatant facts (in their efforts to take away your constitutional rights) needs to read this book.
Anti gunners: you should also read the book--to familiarize yourself with "the enemy"! Be careful though--you might feel a little bit foolish about your position by the time you finish!
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