When I read the second edition eight years ago, I was pleased that John Lott’s hypothesis of the mid-1990’s had up held.
After all, it’s just common sense that if a potential rapist thought a woman might be able to protect herself with a gun that he would be less likely to attack, being the cowards rapists are.
But the leap from common sense to policy formation sometimes takes facts.
Fortunately, this book is packed with them.
Besides showing that no state that has adopted right-to-carry legislation has seen any of the parade of horribles that opponents trot out occur, the data presented show that crime actually does decrease when people are allowed to carry firearms.
In my own state of Illinois, there was a member of the Armed Forces killed while sitting in the front row of the Northern Illinois University lecture hall when the shooter entered the stage from an outside door and started firing. Lott points out that campus security arrived in six minutes—faster than in any other mass shooting at an institution of higher learning—but that was still not good enough.
Maybe, had NIU not been a protection free zone, she and others would be alive today.
Perhaps the mayor of Washington, D.C., Adrian M. Fenty, whom I understand is a fellow graduate of Oberlin College, will read the book and figure out that he could lower his city’s crime rate by advocating something no good little Oberlin liberal would ever think would work…unless he or she actually was willing to follow data to their logical policy conclusions.
Not that I think my former legislative colleague Richard Daley, now mayor of Chicago, could make that leap, but, maybe, just maybe, the mayor of Washington can.
The rest of us who read this book will be armed with information to promote a logical “we can protect ourselves when the police aren’t around, if policy makers will let us” policy.
Incidentally, lower hurdles to get a license (in training and dollars) tend to result in larger drops in crime rate.
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The above was published as a book review on Amazon.com.