It seems like the rule of thumb is that the more firearms a country has, the more crime there is. People like the NRA, some LGC members, and some RKBAers would argue otherwise, pointing to More Guns, Less Crime by John Lott.
Then the argument becomes about Lott and what he did or didn't do in regards to his study. Let's just bypass him completely and go all the way back to 2007. We'll look at a different study, which I wish I could quote more than three paragraphs of.
Right to Keep and Bear Arms is a DKos group of second amendment supporters who have progressive and liberal values. We don't think that being a liberal means one has to be anti-gun. Some of us are extreme in our second amendment views (no licensing, no restrictions on small arms) and some of us are more moderate (licensing, restrictions on small arms.) Moderate or extreme or somewhere in between, we hold one common belief: more gun control equals lost elections. We don't want a repeat of 1994. We are an inclusive group: if you see the Second Amendment as safeguarding our right to keep and bear arms individually, then come join us in our conversation. If you are against the right to keep and bear arms, come join our conversation. We look forward to seeing you, as long as you engage in a civil discussion.
First, the link (PDF, Harvard).
The title of this paper is:
WOULD BANNING FIREARMS REDUCE MURDER AND SUICIDE?
A REVIEW OF INTERNATIONAL AND SOME DOMESTIC EVIDENCE
The authors are Don Kates and Gary Mauser. I haven't heard of either of these guys. So I went to do some research. The first page I pulled up on Kates was a Wiki page with no sources.
So I went looking elsewhere and found this.
Don B. Kates is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute. He received his J.D. from Yale University Law School and has taught constitutional law and lectured on criminology at Stanford University, Oxford University, Saint Louis University School of Law, and the University of Melbourne.Couple different things here. One, the Independent Institute looks like a libertarian think tank. While I disagree with a lot of things big L Libertarians say, I also happen to agree with them on one or two things (mostly related to civil liberties). I also found it interesting that this guy worked for Kunstler.
He has previously worked for the late civil rights lawyer William Kunstler (Kunstler & Kinoy) and the California Rural Legal Assistance, where he served as Director of Legal Research and Senior Litigation Attorney. After many years as a private practitioner in San Francisco, Kates is now an associate with the firms Trutanich & Michel and the Law Offices of Donald Kilmer. He also maintains a civil liberties and rights practice that specializes in the right to bear arms.
In addition, he has been Trustee for the Poverty Lawyers for Effective Advocacy, Member of the California State Advisory Committee to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, Director of Litigation and Deputy Director for the San Mateo Legal Aid Society, Police Legal Advisor for the San Francisco Sheriff's Department, Research Fellow at the Pacific Research Institute, and consultant to the legal services program for the cities of Seattle and Berkeley and the state of Alaska. During the recent Supreme Court case, District of Columbia v. Heller, Kates served as an advisor to the council in the Court of Appeals.
There's a little bit of background on Kates. It looks like I could write a diary on the guy, but let's move on to the other author.
Gary A. Mauser is a Professor Emeritus at the Faculty of Business Administration and the Institute for Urban Canadian Research Studies at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia. Professor Mauser earned his Ph.D. from the University of California at Irvine. He has dual American and Canadian citizenship. He and his wife, Ede Wong, have five children and live in Coquitlam.Mauser's place of employ (SFU) doesn't look like it has the libertarian lean that Kates' does. His CV points to...let's just say NOT conservative employers.
His interest in firearms and “gun control” grew out of his research in political marketing. He has published two books, Political Marketing, and Manipulating Public Opinion and more than 20 articles. For the past 15 years, Professor Mauser has conducted research on the politics of gun control, the effectiveness of gun control laws, and the use of firearms in self defense.
He purchased his first firearm after moving to Canada and conducting research into firearm legislation. He is a member of the Canadian Firearms Advisory Committee for Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day and of the British Columbia Wildlife Federation.
1991 - 2007 Professor Emeritus, Simon Fraser UniversitySo now that we've explored the authors a bit, let's take a look at the paper itself.
1991 - 2007 Professor, Simon Fraser University
1980 - 1991 Associate Professor, SFU
1979 - 1980 Visiting Professor, Université Laval, Quebec City, Quebec
1975 - 1980 Assistant Professor, SFU
1974 - 1975 Assistant Professor, Loyola University, New Orleans, LA
1971 - 1975 Professeur invité, Université de Grenoble, France
1970 - 1971 Postdoctoral Fellow, Language and Behavior Laboratory,
University of California, Berkeley
Right off the bat (in the intro, if you're following along in the PDF), we see this block o' text:
International evidence and comparisons have long been offeredThey have my attention.
as proof of the mantra that more guns mean more deaths and that fewer guns, therefore, mean fewer deaths. Unfortunately, such discussions are all too often been afflicted by misconceptions and factual error and focus on comparisons that are unrepresentative. It may be useful to begin with a few examples. There is a compound assertion that(a) guns are uniquely available in the United States compared with other modern developed nations, which is why (b) the United States has by far the highest murder rate. Though these assertions have been endlessly repeated, statement
(b)is,infact,false andstatement(a)is substantially so.
Scrolling through (on pages 12/13 of whatever reader you're using), you'll find this:
One reason the extent of gun ownership in a society does not spur the murder rate is that murderers are not spread evenly throughout the population. Analysis of perpetrator studies shows that violent criminals—especially murderers—“almostIf you look back at our suggestions diary, you'll notice a section about Hartford, CT. From the original diary I quoted in THAT diary (diary-ception!):
uniformly have a long history of involvement in criminal behavior.” So it would not appreciably raise violence if all law‐abiding, responsible people had firearms because they are not the ones who rape,rob, or murder.
Hartford CT has finished the first year of a program to reduce gun violence, and the results are in. A 40 percent drop in gun homicides, and a 30 percent drop in first degree assaults with a firearm. I am a strong RKBA advocate, yet I approve. How is this possible?They didn't even go after ALL criminals, just the most violent ones.
The short form is that Hartford law enforcement worked to:
* predict retaliatory shootings
* identify potential future shooters or victims
* establish a regional stolen firearms protocol
* target the city's most violent criminals
Note what is missing from this list (and the news story). Absolutely no mention of making it harder for law-abiding, peaceful citizens to acquire firearms.
Let's skip down to the conclusion:
This Article has reviewed a significant amount of evidence from a wide variety of international sources. Each individual portion of evidence is subject to cavil—at the very least the general objection that the persuasiveness of social scientific evidence cannot remotely approach the persuasiveness of conclusions in the physical sciences. Nevertheless, the burden of proof rests on the proponents of the more guns equal more death and fewer guns equal less death mantra, especially since they argue public policy ought to be based on that mantra. To bear that burden would at the very least require showing that a large number of nations with more guns have more death and that nations that have imposed stringent gun controls have achieved substantial reductions in criminal violence (or suicide). But those correlations are not observed when a large number of nations are compared across the world.I look forward to the comments.
8:28 AM PT: From serendipityisabitch below (which goes towards background):
About Harvard JLPP
The Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy is published three times annually by the Harvard Society for Law & Public Policy, Inc., an organization of Harvard Law School students.
The Journal is one of the most widely circulated student-edited law reviews and the nation’s leading forum for conservative and libertarian legal scholarship.