One of the most confusing arguments I’ve ever seen is the argument that more guns will some how mean less crime. Now, I’m not one to make appeals to common sense (enough of the world violates “common sense” that I don’t bother making appeals to it; see: the Banach-Tarski paradox), but it seems to me like having more guns in a society, with humans as hot-heated and temperamental as we are, would result in more, not less, crime.
And it turns out that intuition is probably correct.
A new report from the researchers at Stanford and Johns Hopkins universities, published in September, adds to other studies of a similar vein carried out over the last decade that discredit the “more guns, less crime” hypothesis. That failed hypothesis, which argues that right-to-carry laws serve as a criminal deterrent, isn’t just wrong — it’s fractally wrong.
Recall that a decade ago, the National Research Council conducted a study and found “no credible evidence” that associated concealed-carry laws with a drop or rise in violent crimes. In that study, the NCR panel relied on county-level crime data from 1977 to 2000, and cited weak research models lacking sufficient data.
The new report out of John Hopkins and Stanford, however, used data from 1979 to 2010, covering an additional 10 years. It also adjusted for new statistical methods.
The study suggests that right-to-carry states are “associated with substantially higher rates” of aggravated assault, rape, and robbery. Among violent crimes, the most significant increase came in aggravated assault. In some cases, may have risen by as much as 33%, as did murder rates, which jumped in eight states that adopted right-to-carry laws. Based on the new research, the director of the John Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, Daniel Webster, told the Huffington Post that “right-to-carry laws increase firearm-related assaults.” He did, however, note that “the exact magnitude of that effect is uncertain.”