The scientific value of a study can only be determined by examining how it was conducted, not by parroting its “conclusions.” This section is intended to make available the actual study rather than what people are saying about it.
Authored by Gary Mauser, professor at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada, this study examines crime trends in Commonwealth countries that have recently introduced firearm regulations: i.e., Great Britain, Australia, and Canada. The widely ignored key to evaluating firearm regulations is to examine trends in total violent crime, not just firearms crime. The United States provides a valuable point of comparison for assessing crime rates because its criminal justice system differs so drastically from those in Europe and the Commonwealth. Perhaps the most striking difference is that qualified citizens in the United States can carry concealed handguns for self-defense. The upshot is that violent crime rates, and homicide rates in particular, have been falling in the United States. The drop in the American crime rate is even more impressive when compared with the rest of the world. The study can be downloaded as a 304K pdf file.
From, of all places, the United Nations, comes this look at crime rates and victim attitudes for 17 major industrialized countries. What is of interest to gun owners is the not-so-surprising revelation that England now has the worst crime rate of all major countries. Following a near-total ban on civilian ownership of firearms, crime in England began to skyrocket. In the UN study, researchers found that nearly 55 crimes are committed per 100 people in England and Wales compared with an average of 35 per 100 in other industrialized countries. England and Wales also have the worst record for “very serious” offenses, recording 18 such crimes for every 100 inhabitants, followed by Australia with 16 (yet another country that has all but banned legitimate self-defense, thus creating a lucrative hunting ground for criminals). In typical UN layered-bureaucracy fashion, the ICVS is funded out of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, but the link is to the Dutch WODC (Research and Documentation Centre). Study data are available for download in English as Acrobat pdf files.
More United Kingdom data. Found here is an interesting and comprehensive dichotomy involving the differing approaches to fireams ownership in Northern Ireland and England itself. Of particular interest is the “Minutes of Evidence” section, whereby Members of the House of Commons respond to questions about just how trustworthy folks are with these pesky guns.
Dr. John R. Lott of More Guns, Less Crime fame teamed with John E. Whitley of the University of Adelaide on this study of more than twenty years worth of “Lock Up Your Safety” madatory gun storage laws. They found no support at all for the usual gun banner claims that such laws will reduce juvenile accidental gun deaths and suicides. On the contrary, the data suggest that these laws appear to impair the ability of citizens to properly use their guns in self-defense. During the first five full years after the passage of the safe storage laws, the group of fifteen states that adopted these laws faced an annual average increase of over 300 more murders, 3,860 more rapes, 24,650 more robberies, and over 25,000 more aggravated assaults. On average, the annual costs borne by victims averaged over $2.6 billion as a result of lost productivity, out-of-pocket expenses, medical bills, and property losses. The link is to the abstract; the actual study available for download is a 238K Acrobat pdf file.
This groundbreaking study, published in The Journal of Law and Economics, has discovered that states implementing concealed carry laws benefit the safety of police. The author, David B. Mustard of the University of Georgia’s Department of Economics, found that allowing law-abiding citizens to carry concealed weapons “does not endanger the lives of officers, and may help reduce their risk of being killed.” This is an Acrobat pdf file.
From the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention within the U.S. Department of Justice comes this study focusing on crime, gang activity, and drug use among youths in cities. Of particular interest is page 18. The study showed that those youths who owned illegal guns are involved in street crime at a whopping 71% rate. By contrast, the government researchers admit that youths owning legal guns have a crime rate lower than those who own no guns at all! The link between the socialization of the family and instruction by fathers to legal gun ownership and low crime rates is mentioned. The thugs, of course, are getting their socialization “on the street.” This is an Acrobat pdf file.
A federal grant from the Clinton Justice Department went to two anti-gun scholars to fund this research project. Result: findings which support the work on defensive uses of firearms done by Dr. Gary Kleck of FSU. Kleck’s research has been unfairly vilified in the media, but now even anti-gun researchers are admitting to more than a million defensive uses per year. The above link is to a text version; the 20-page report is also available as an Adobe Acrobat file.
This is the famous 1996 Lott and Mustard multi-year study which proves the link between concealed carry and the lowering of the crime rate. Several download options available.
This Clinton Department of Justice study looks at crime in the U.S. vs. the U.K. from 1981-1996. Gun control in England is nearly total, with yet another major ban passing in 1997. England’s attempts to control its society-wide crime problem with ever-more restrictive gun control have proven to be a dismal failure.
The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports. Most files available as .pdf (Adobe Acrobat) only.
One of the oldest studies, from October of 1994, relying heavily upon early Florida and Washington data.
From the Florida Department of State, updated monthly.