On November 14 The Washington Post ran a story on Stanford law professor John Donohue’s claim that “educated judgments” show concealed carry laws are associated with higher crime rates.
These “educated judgments”–i.e., educated guesses–come from a law professor who previously said “restriction has to be at the core of…the right to self-defense.”
According to the Washington Post, Donohue “extended” a 2004 National Research Center study which originally concluded there was not enough evidence to show “a causal link between the passage of right-to-carry laws and crime rates.” Donohue commented: “The totality of the evidence based on educated judgments about the best statistical models suggests that right-to-carry laws are associated with substantially higher rates [of aggravated assault, robbery, rape, and murder].”
At the same, Donohue admits that he is not really sure because “different statistical models can yield different estimated effects, and [the] ability to ascertain the best model is imperfect.”
The Post then points to Donohue’s uncertainty as the “very reason it’s important for policy makers on both sides of the gun control debate to exercise caution” in trusting claims that increased gun ownership reduces crime.
On December 4, 2013, Breitbart News reported a Congressional Research Service (CRS) study showing that the number of privately owned guns rose from 192 million guns in 1994 to 310 million guns in 2009. Over that same time period, “firearm-related murder and non-negligent homicide” fell from 6.6 per one hundred thousand Americans to approximately 3.6. The number fell to 3.2 per one hundred thousand Americans by 2011.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.