New Study Linking Concealed Carry with Violent Crime is Dead Wrong

Are you familiar with John Lott’s book More Guns, Less Crime, first published in 1998, republished in 2000 and again in 2010. Lott wrote about the statistics, taken from every county in the United States and showed how locations with more guns and easier to obtain concealed carry laws generally had lower crime rates. His book is still used today to support gun rights and it continues to draw a lot of criticism from anti-gun liberals like Stanford law professor John J. Donohue III.

Donohue along Abhay Aneja from the Hans School of Business and Kyle D. Weber from Columbia University, worked together on a study that supposedly counters Lott’s book. This new study, titled Right-to-Carry Laws and Violent Crime: A Comprehensive Assessment Using Panel Data and a State-Level Synthetic Controls Analysis, is available online but has yet to be published. However, a number of liberal mainstream media outlets have jumped on the new study, touting it as proof positive that right-to-carry laws actually increase violent crime rates.

The Crime Prevention Research Center reported on the Donohue study, saying in part:

“A new, unpublished study by John Donohue, Abhay Aneja, and Kyle Weber has received a lot of attention for supposedly finding some evidence that right-to-carry laws increase overall violent crime rates. It has been covered in NewsweekThe AtlanticBloombergViceSnopes, and many newspapers such as Newsday and the Salt Lake City Tribune. As is typical of Donohue’s work, there is no attempt to mention or respond to prior criticisms, and he just repeats the same, seriously biased methods and errors.”

“Publications such as Time and Newsweek would always interview critics when they ran stories on Lott’s original research. But when studies have the right political biases, reporters no longer get both sides of the story. But especially when the media explicitly describes a study as “debunking” John Lott’s previous research, you might think a reporter would call up Lott and get his take on it. It has been two weeks after the Donohue-led research started getting attention, and not a single reporter has contacted him.”

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“The bottom line is pretty clear: Since permit holders commit virtually no crimes, right-to-carry laws can’t increase violent crime rates. You can’t get the 1.5 to 20 percent increases in violent crime rates that a few of their estimates claim with only thousandths of one percent of permit holders committing violent crimes. To put it differently, states would have to be miss reporting 99%+ of crimes committed by permit holders for their results to be possible.”

The CPRC report meticulously destroyed the accuracy and integrity of the Donohue report. It concluded:

“There are many other points that have been previously raised and could be raised again, but these are three major mistakes in the Donohue, Aneja, and Weber paper.  But the media doesn’t even try to get both sides of the story, eschewing the most fundamental tenet of journalism. The authors also commit intellectual malpractice by refusing to address longstanding objections to their methods, which create the false impression that right-to-carry laws increase violent crime.”

Therefore, be warned that when you see any of the liberal media outlets running with and touting the Donohue study, know that they are using inaccuracies and biased data to promote their anti-gun and anti-American agendas. The only thing the Donohue study is good for is helping to light a fire in a fireplace and nothing more.


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