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John R. Lott's Book on Gun Control

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by jamming, Jan 4, 2003.

  1. jamming

    jamming Banned

    More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun-Control Laws (Studies in Law and Economics (Chicago, Ill.).)

    Whatever you point of view this is a must read book, if you ignore it you are ignoring factual connections.
  2. Advocat

    Advocat Viral Memes a Speciality Staff Member

    Just to play devil's Advocat(e) :)
    here's an involved analysis of Lott's survey, methodology and book by Tim Lambert, one of his major critics.

    Do More Guns Cause Less Crime:

    Be warned, it's <b>very</b> long, with tons of citations and references.
  3. jamming

    jamming Banned

    What other people say about it, not a gun control advocate looking for or making holes, where only some exist.

    "More Guns, Less Crime is one of the most important books of our time." -- Thomas Sowell, Professor, Stanford University

    "John Lott has done the most extensive, thorough, and sophisticated study we have on the effects of loosening gun control laws." -- Gary Kleck, Professor, Florida State University

    "Lott has done us all a service by his thorough, thoughtful, scholarly approach to a highly controversial issue." -- Milton Friedman, Nobel Prize winning economist, Stanford University

    "A model of the meticulous application of economics and statistics to law and policy." John O. McGinnis, Professor, Cardozo Law School

    "His empirical analysis sets a standard that will be difficult to match. . . . This has got to be the most extensive empirical study of crime deterrence that has been doen to date." -- Public Choice

    "The standard reference on the subject for years to come." Stan Liebowitz, Professor, University of Texas

    "This book will - or should - cause those who almost reflexively support the limitation of guns in the name of reducing crime to rethink their position." -- Steve Shavell, Professor, Harvard University Law School

    So you gonna believe, a lecturer,essentially an employed Graduate Student at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), and admitted antigun advocate or.....
  4. Paladin

    Paladin Have Gun -- Will Travel

  5. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    I think what Advocat is saying is that for any issue to be believed--especially if you are on an opposing spectrum-- one needs to read and understand both sides.

    This reminds me of the book The Bell Curve which had more books written in order to explain the flawed logic of this book than any other.
  6. Advocat

    Advocat Viral Memes a Speciality Staff Member

    Right, Ethics! Scholarly arguement, questions of methology and applicability of surveys are the meat of both works. As we all know, if you're not very careful, surveys and statistics can easily lead you to the wrong conclusions; only through critical review -- pointing out potential flaws in theory or data -- and rebuttal can the final product actually be vindicated.

    For either author!

  7. Coriolis

    Coriolis Bob's your uncle

    Putting my obvious bias aside (as much as possible), I read Tim Lambert's document from start to finish with as much objectivity as I could. I use multiple-regression techniques (and teach them to graduate level students) all the time in my research, and I must say that Lambert has his ducks in a row. He has correctly identified some major flaws in Lott's analysis. While I would not entirely dismiss Lott's work as overly creative (a term we often use in research when someone makes the statistical analysis fit their hypothesis), I think he's missed the mark on this -- the data appear to show no causual link, and thus his study is truly inconclusive.
  8. jamming

    jamming Banned

    What I am saying is that how come this appears to be the only person publishing the kind of statistical obfuscation to this product. If it was so fallacious, how come other Gun Control Advocates are not attacking this book based upon these fallacies.

    The Gun Control Advocates use their own statistical studies sometimes fatally flawed ones, to support their own preconceptions, when it is pointed out there is no out cry like those which are trying to engendered here by Lambert. good arguments refuting these claims has been done at junkscience.org and other websites. Eveything has flaws, but the flaws within this "most extensive, thorough, and sophisticated study we have on the effects of loosening gun control laws," still does not refute the data gathered only the conclusions made.
  9. Coriolis

    Coriolis Bob's your uncle

    Lambert is not the only person publishing such critiques. If you read his article, you would see there are many others.

    The followup studies (using data after 1992) of Lott's analysis (using 1977-1992 data) cited in Lambert's article, show that Lott's model simply did not replicate the original results (in fact, the relatonship was in the opposite direction!). This is a death sentence for any predictive model. I'm sure Gun Control Advocates have also used faulty statistical modelling techniques to arrive at conclusions which statistify their hypothesis, but that is not the issue at hand. And if I were critiquing a critique of such work, I could be equally objective (as I am trained to be in such matters).

    It's not clear to me what you mean by this. I will not argue that Lott's work is not extensive, thorough, and sophisticated -- it clearly is -- but if the conclusions are not supported by the data, then either the data are flawed or the analysis is flawed, or both. Lambert makes a good argument for both, in fact.
  10. jamming

    jamming Banned

    It is my opinion, that any data and analysis, can be approached in such a way as to make it fit the conclusion that it is flawed. When other pro gun control studies are put to the same intensive evaluation they fail as well or worse, but it would not stop people from citing them. I feel that your "Scholarly Analysis" has two standards one for those you support and another for those you oppose.
  11. Coriolis

    Coriolis Bob's your uncle

    You're entitled to your opinions, but your conclusion is incorrect. :p
  12. jamming

    jamming Banned

    Lets just say I have experience that leads me to believe that.
  13. Coriolis

    Coriolis Bob's your uncle

    Oh? Like...?
  14. ditch

    ditch Downunder Member

    An extract from Advocat's link to the critique of Lott's study:

    "In the case of Lott's model we are in the fortunate position of being able to test its predictive power. Lott's original data set ended in 1992. Between 1992 and 1996, 14 more jurisdictions (13 states and Philadelphia) adopted carry laws. We can test the predictive power of Lott's model by seeing if it finds less crime in those jurisdictions. Ayres and Donahue [2] have done this test. They found that, using Lott's model, in those jurisdictions carry laws were associated with more crime in all crime categories . Lott's model fails the predictive test."

    The article further says that there was not a significant indrease in the number of firearms caried by citizens.

    To quote further from the critique:

    "It would be nice if there was a simple and inexpensive way to reduce crime significantly, but unfortunately the world does not usually work that way and we should be careful to avoid wishful thinking on this subject.
    Lott is undoubtedly sincere in his belief that more guns caused less crime and one cannot be other than impressed by the energy he has devoted to marshaling the evidence in favour of his proposition and dismayed by the tactics of some of his opponents that he describes in chapter 7. However, he is none the less completely wrong--there weren't significantly more guns, there wasn't less crime, and the mechanism for causation just isn't there.

    There may be good reasons for a state to introduce ``right-to-carry'' laws but reducing crime is not one of them."
  15. ditch

    ditch Downunder Member

    jamming, I believe you should not look at the critique of Lott's book as coming from an anti gun perspective. As Lambert says "There may be many reasons for a state to introduce "right to carry" laws but reducing crime is not one of them."

    I don't believe he has an axe to grind. He certainly does not try and push that gun view atall. No where does he say concealed weapons, legally carried, are wrong. It is not a subjective, biased critique.
  16. Jedi Writer

    Jedi Writer Guest

    In reading the "my guy says" debate I am reminded of court litigation.

    Each side in the big show has its experts. All the experts have credentials that are a mile long and with the stamp of authority.

    Ah, but they disagree! How can this be?

    I can only say that if necessary in a trial I could produce an expert with the credentials recited above who would give a very convincing and believable expert explanation and analysis of how under specific circumstance pigs can in fact actually fly.
  17. valgore

    valgore Veteran Member

    I don't own a gun. I have owned shotguns and pistols in the past but I never did a lot of hunting or target practicing nor did I feel my life was in danger in any way, they just laid around collecting dust, so I saw no point in having them. however I do not advocate gun control, the constitution guarentees our right to bear arms and there was a very good reason the founding fathers put that in there. they knew how oppressive a government can become so they gave the citizens the right to bear arms to defend against the govt. as much as from criminals. the very first thing a totalitarian government does is disarm it's citizens.
  18. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    Let's look at this from a common sense point of view. Toss the damned numbers out, they can tell you any story you want them to say.

    I have yet to see proof that any type of control, registry, ban reduces crimes committed with a firearm.

    I debated long and hard on whether I wanted to bring my guns up here when I moved here a few years ago. Bad enough I had to register myself as a firearm owner, but this new firearm registry really had me worried. It finally came down to the realisation that this was just the first step in the Liberal Government's attempt to do away with firearms all together. Don't believe me? Why else would a program that was supposed to cost under 100 million be costing over ONE BILLION today, and the government STILL insists on pouring more money into it? There's no proof that the damned thing has prevented any crime. Although murder's have stayed on a somewhat even keel in Toronto, murder's committed with a gun have increased 50%. Yeah.. The registry and controls work just fine.

    The only thing that gun control does is control law abiding citizens. Do we really think a criminal gives a rat's ass if he's not supposed to have a gun or not?
  19. Advocat

    Advocat Viral Memes a Speciality Staff Member

    Lambert is vocally anti-gun. Lott is pro-gun. Their works reflect their beliefs, of course. That's not the point; if we're going to be sure the theories presented are correct, we need a critical look at both, not just acceptance because their theories/data agree with our beliefs.

    Personally, I'm not sure that accepting a theory through testimonial is proper. Testimonials are ment to sway the reader through the exercise of authority, not facts. And even these people are subject to bias; for example, the quote: ""most extensive, thorough, and sophisticated study we have on the effects of loosening gun control laws," is by Gary Kleck, a famous academic who's written several books suggesting more guns cause less crime... Lott quotes his research quite a bit. One could say he is pre-disposed to accept Lott's work. ;)

    As for Tim Lambert being a grad student; sorry, incorrect. Contact infor for Dr. Tim Lambert is available:
    though I'm not sure what bearing this has on his work. Degrees don't automatically assure correct theory or methodology.
  20. Copzilla

    Copzilla dangerous animal Staff Member

    Which would tend to make their conclusion of Lott's model being inaccurate an inaccurate conclusion in itself, wouldn't it? I'm not sure Lott's model would be accurately based on laws being passed, but by arming the common citzenry, which didn't happen? Just a thought...

    Any law like concealed carry which is impossible to obtain is ineffectual. Many of these jurisdictions which pass concealed carry laws make them so impossible to obtain that they might as well have passed stricter gun control laws.

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