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Readers Either Neutral or Feel Less Safe Around Open Carry

September 18, 2019 Featured No Comments
Grand Theft Auto’s gun store Ammu-Nation

To many people the presence of a firearm makes them feel less safe.  Some research indicates it isn’t just a feeling — they’re less safe!

Does carrying a gun make you safer? Does it make other people safer? Millions of Americans who pack heat think so, and 33 states with “right to carry” laws permit them to tote a gun. But a long-range study released by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that these states would have had less violent crime had they restricted gun-carrying. John J. Donohue, a Stanford law professor and economist, is a lead author of the analysis, which used more than 30 years of crime statistics and a novel algorithm: Researchers identified states whose crime rates paralleled those of states like Texas before it passed a “right to carry” law, and came up with models — called synthetic states — to look at before-and-after violent crime in right-to-carry states and non-right-to-carry “synthetic” states. It’s comparing apples and virtual apples, and Donohue – who’s also an expert witness in a right-to-carry lawsuit against the state of California — concluded that gun-toting indeed makes a difference in violent crime: it can increase it, by as much as 15%. (Los Angeles Times op-ed)

The NBER research report can be found here.

From the conclusion:

The extensive array of panel data and synthetic control estimates of the impact of RTC laws that we present uniformly undermine the “More Guns, Less Crime” hypothesis. There is not even the slightest hint in the data that RTC laws reduce violent crime. Indeed, the weight of the evidence from the panel data estimates as well as the synthetic control analysis best supports the view that the adoption of RTC laws substantially raises overall violent crime in the ten years after adoption.

Many who participated in the recent non-scientific Sunday Poll likely concur with this conclusion.

Q: Agree or disagree: I feel safer patronizing retail stores/restaurants that allow open carry of firearms.

  • Strongly agree: 10 [17.24%]
  • Agree: 4  [6.9%]
  • Somewhat agree: 1 [1.72%]
  • Neither agree or disagree: 12 [20.69%]
  • Somewhat disagree: 2 [3.45%]
  • Disagree: 12 [20.69%]
  • Strongly disagree: 17 [29.31%]
  • Unsure/No Answer: 0 [0%]

A minority of people feel safer around guns. Here’s an interesting  article by a person explaining why he and his wife carry a gun, though not open carry.

— Steve Patterson


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