Less guns, more crime?

Ethel C. Fenig
The dynamics of Chicago's--and other cities'--"long hot summer (not to mention the other seasons) of gun violence" are complex, linked to and part of other related social pathologies such as teen pregnancy, fatherless homes and poverty endemic among certain racial and ethnic groups more than others.

As further noted


"The city that has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation - and vigorously enforced -"


But no matter how the strict gun control laws are vigorously enforced, and Illinois now has the dubious, or honorable, depending on your point of view, distinction as the only state in the nation prohibiting concealed carry, those who want guns will get guns. Easily. Those with murder, revenge or robbery on their minds are not intimidated by such minor nuisances as gun control laws. Guns are freely available for those who want them no matter what the pesky law states. The law abiding citizens however are effectively disarmed, vulnerable in their stores, in an auto accident, in the neighborhood.


As John Lott, author of "More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws", has researched:

Question: What does the title mean: More Guns, Less Crime?

John R. Lott, Jr.: States with the largest increases in gun ownership also have the largest drops in violent crimes. Thirty-one states now have such laws-called "shall-issue" laws. These laws allow adults the right to carry concealed handguns if they do not have a criminal record or a history of significant mental illness.

Question: It just seems to defy common sense that crimes likely to involve guns would be reduced by allowing more people to carry guns. How do you explain the results?

Lott: Criminals are deterred by higher penalties. Just as higher arrest and conviction rates deter crime, so does the risk that someone committing a crime will confront someone able to defend him or herself. There is a strong negative relationship between the number of law-abiding citizens with permits and the crime rate-as more people obtain permits there is a greater decline in violent crime rates. For each additional year that a concealed handgun law is in effect the murder rate declines by 3 percent, rape by 2 percent, and robberies by over 2 percent.

Concealed handgun laws reduce violent crime for two reasons. First, they reduce the number of attempted crimes because criminals are uncertain which potential victims can defend themselves. Second, victims who have guns are in a much better position to defend themselves.

Ah, the uncertainty element combined with less vulnerable victims because they are armed reduces crime; fundamental rules of war. And make no mistake about it, parts of Chicago are a war zone.

"No arrests - and no answers - for why Chicago has as many casualties on some nights as a city in a war zone."

Will Illinois' new governor, along with Chicago's new mayor, and their respective legislatures finally have the strength to admit that their treasured philosophy is actually increasing crime? Probably not. So as they talk of eliminating corruption in their respective high corrupt jurisdictions the innocent crime victims--and their bereaved families--will continue to suffer until the powers that be finally recognize that yes indeed, more guns equal less crime.


The dynamics of Chicago's--and other cities'--"long hot summer (not to mention the other seasons) of gun violence" are complex, linked to and part of other related social pathologies such as teen pregnancy, fatherless homes and poverty endemic among certain racial and ethnic groups more than others.

As further noted


"The city that has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation - and vigorously enforced -"


But no matter how the strict gun control laws are vigorously enforced, and Illinois now has the dubious, or honorable, depending on your point of view, distinction as the only state in the nation prohibiting concealed carry, those who want guns will get guns. Easily. Those with murder, revenge or robbery on their minds are not intimidated by such minor nuisances as gun control laws. Guns are freely available for those who want them no matter what the pesky law states. The law abiding citizens however are effectively disarmed, vulnerable in their stores, in an auto accident, in the neighborhood.


As John Lott, author of "More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws", has researched:

Question: What does the title mean: More Guns, Less Crime?

John R. Lott, Jr.: States with the largest increases in gun ownership also have the largest drops in violent crimes. Thirty-one states now have such laws-called "shall-issue" laws. These laws allow adults the right to carry concealed handguns if they do not have a criminal record or a history of significant mental illness.

Question: It just seems to defy common sense that crimes likely to involve guns would be reduced by allowing more people to carry guns. How do you explain the results?

Lott: Criminals are deterred by higher penalties. Just as higher arrest and conviction rates deter crime, so does the risk that someone committing a crime will confront someone able to defend him or herself. There is a strong negative relationship between the number of law-abiding citizens with permits and the crime rate-as more people obtain permits there is a greater decline in violent crime rates. For each additional year that a concealed handgun law is in effect the murder rate declines by 3 percent, rape by 2 percent, and robberies by over 2 percent.

Concealed handgun laws reduce violent crime for two reasons. First, they reduce the number of attempted crimes because criminals are uncertain which potential victims can defend themselves. Second, victims who have guns are in a much better position to defend themselves.

Ah, the uncertainty element combined with less vulnerable victims because they are armed reduces crime; fundamental rules of war. And make no mistake about it, parts of Chicago are a war zone.

"No arrests - and no answers - for why Chicago has as many casualties on some nights as a city in a war zone."

Will Illinois' new governor, along with Chicago's new mayor, and their respective legislatures finally have the strength to admit that their treasured philosophy is actually increasing crime? Probably not. So as they talk of eliminating corruption in their respective high corrupt jurisdictions the innocent crime victims--and their bereaved families--will continue to suffer until the powers that be finally recognize that yes indeed, more guns equal less crime.