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August 17, 2011
More guns in bars, less crime
More guns less crime? John R. Lott's pithy summary describing the advantages of owning guns seems to be borne out in Virginia according to a report by Mark Bowes of the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
Last year the Virginia legislature passed a law allowing those with gun permits to carry concealed weapons into bars and restaurants serving alcohol. Opponents predicted Wild West shootings and bloody mayhem from drunken patrons; instead
The number of major crimes involving firearms at bars and restaurants statewide declined 5.2 percent from July 1, 2010, to June 30, 2011, compared with the fiscal year before the law went into effect, according to crime data compiled by Virginia State Police at the newspaper's request. (snip)
"The numbers basically just confirm what we've said would happen if the General Assembly changed the law," said Philip Van Cleave, president of the pro-gun Virginia Citizens Defense League, which strongly lobbied for the law's change that made Virginia one of 43 states to allow concealed guns in restaurants that serve alcohol. "It's sort of a big yawn. So from my point of view, none of this is surprising."
Granted, Virginia has enjoyed an over all drop in crime and these figures may just reflect that.
"Keep in mind," Van Cleave added, "what the other side was saying -- that this was going to be a blood bath, that restaurants will be dangerous and people will stop going. But there was nothing to base the fear-mongering on."
David Rittgers, an attorney and decorated former Army special forces officer who is now a legal policy analyst at the libertarian Cato Institute, said the growing number of states that are adopting concealed-carry measures like Virginia's have seen no appreciable rise -- and in some cases a decline -- in violent crime.
"The worst that you can say about these laws is that they are statistically value neutral" in terms of impacting the crime rate, Rittgers said.
So, at worse upholding a Second Amendment Constitutional right is " statistically value neutral" not a pathway to death and destruction; at best maybe a crime reducer.
Either way, society as a whole benefits.
hat tip: Jon Stewart, The Daily Show
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