Do concealed weapons make us safer? Stanford study suggests otherwise | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Do concealed weapons make us safer? Stanford study suggests otherwise

Posted By on Thu, Jun 22, 2017 at 9:36 AM

click to enlarge 1375291776-gun.png
This just in from a researcher at Stanford University:

States that have enacted right-to-carry (RTC) concealed handgun laws have experienced higher rates of violent crime than states that did not adopt those laws, according to a Stanford scholar.

Examining decades of crime data, Stanford Law Professor John Donohue’s analysis shows that violent crime in RTC states was estimated to be 13 to 15 percent higher – over a period of 10 years – than it would have been had the state not adopted the law.

The working paper, released this week by the National Bureau of Economic Research, challenges the effectiveness of RTC laws and could have a significant impact on pending litigation between the National Rifle Association and the state of California.
Arkansas has had a right to carry law (on a journey) for two decades and a concealed carry permit law for a decade. It expanded the right just this year to allow guns to be carried in more places, including bars,  college campuses and government buildings including the Capitol.

The Stanford summary of the research by Donahue, who's done this type of work for years, has a few points sure to trigger howling from the Trent Garners and Charlie Collinses of the world.

“There is not even the slightest hint in the data that RTC laws reduce overall violent crime,” Donohue stated in the paper.

To put the significance of a 15-percent increase in violent crime in perspective, the paper notes that “the average RTC state would have to double its prison population to counteract the RTC-induced increase in violent crime.”

The increase in crime came despite increased rates of incarceration and law officer employment.

Guns CAN have benefits, Donohue acknowledged, but "conflicting effects almost must be considered."

RTC proponents often overlook how often gun-carrying leads to lost and stolen guns, which are then in the hands of criminals.

Moreover, one can incur all of the costs of buying and carrying a gun, only to find that a criminal attack is too sudden to effectively employ the gun defensively. Donohue cites a 2013 report from the National Crime Victimization Survey that showed in 99.2 percent of the violent attacks in the United States, no gun is ever used defensively – despite the nearly 300 million guns in circulation in the country today.

For most Americans, said Donohue, carrying a gun to avoid a criminal attack is similar to thinking that having a weekly brain scan will save your life, without considering the potential hazardous effects.
And Donohue doesn't mention the regular news of accidental shootings in households with guns, often by and of children.

Donohue's paper shows Arkansas at about the median in increase in crime rate among concealed carry states, at roughly 14 percent over 10 years. We know it's not a result of cutting people loose from our bulging prisons.

The study notes, among others, the obvious impact of how a permit might put a gun in the hands of someone who wouldn't otherwise have one and then use it. (George Zimmerman, for example.) Defenders of concealed carry point to a small return of permits by violators. Says Donohue:

First, official withdrawals clearly understate criminality by permit holders. For example, convictions for violent crime are far smaller than acts of violent crime, so many permit holders would never face official withdrawal of their permits even if they committed a violent criminal act that would warrant such termination.

Moreover, official withdrawals will be unnecessary when the offending permit holder is killed. In the nightmare case for RTC, two Michigan permit holding drivers pulled over to battle over a tail-gating dispute in September of 2013 and each shot and killed the other. Again, without permits this would likely have not been a double homicide, but note that no official action to terminate permits would ever be recorded in a case like this
Donohue argues that the "culture of gun carrying" promotes confrontation.

If you are an angry young man, with somewhat of a paranoid streak, and you haven’t yet been convicted of a crime or adjudicated to be a mental defective, it is likely that the ability to carry a gun will both be more attractive and more likely in a RTC state. That such individuals will, therefore, be more likely to be aggressive once armed and hence more likely to stimulate violence by others should not be surprising.
Furthermore, more armed people means an ever growing source of guns for criminals. And the presumption that many people are armed may make legal challenges less likely. It certainly makes matters harder for police, who have more to fear in a traffic stop. That, in turn, can lead to terrible consequences, such as the police slaying of a permitted Minnesota driver who was apparently reaching for his wallet, not his gun.

Tags: , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (19)

Showing 1-19 of 19

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-19 of 19

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Something else for Little Rock to live down

    Think Progress expects John Bush, a Little Rock native who practices law in Lousiville, to be confirmed as a 6th Circuit Court of Appeals judge in a party line 51-48 vote this afternoon. Sad!
    • Jul 20, 2017
  • Homicide victim a Little Rock newcomer

    Little Rock police have identified the latest city homicide victim as Samuel "Chris" Gilmore, 19. His body was found late Monday night in the 4800 block of W. 14th. Police said he had just moved to Little Rock from Texas.
    • Jul 20, 2017
  • French Hill gets a prominent mention in Russian intrigue

    The lede of a Politico article on Russian intrigue is perhaps not an ideal place for Republican U.S. Rep. French Hill of Little Rock to find himself:
    • Jul 20, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Federal judge wants John Goodson to explain class action maneuvering

    A show-cause order filed Monday by federal Judge P.K. Holmes of Fort Smith indicates class action attorney John Goodson has some explaining to do about the move of a class action complaint against an insurance company from federal to state court with an instant pre-packaged settlement that has been criticized as a windfall for Goodson.
    • Dec 22, 2015
  • Speaking of the Clinton Foundation: Returns in maize and beans

    A reporter for Politifact, the Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking organization, sent a reporter to Africa to see where money given to the Clinton Foundation has been put to work. He found tangible results.
    • Sep 6, 2016
  • Jason Rapert vs. Wikipedia

    Sen. Jason Rapert against the world: Wikipedia edition.
    • Jan 23, 2016

Most Shared

  • So much for a school settlement in Pulaski County

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Cynthia Howell got the scoop on what appears to be coming upheaval in the Pulaski County School District along with the likely end of any chance of a speedy resolution of school desegregation issues in Pulaski County.
  • Riverfest calls it quits

    The board of directors of Riverfest, Arkansas's largest and longest running music festival, announced today that the festival will no longer be held. Riverfest celebrated its 40th anniversary in June. A press release blamed competition from other festivals and the rising cost of performers fees for the decision.
  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation