CNN Gun Debate: Roland Martin should learn not to rely on the Brady Campaign for facts

John Lott by John Lott on August 10th, 2012

This is article 219 of 558 in the topic Gun Rights

It would have been nice to have had a chance on the show to correct some of Roland Martin’s mistaken claims.  Possibly in the future I could meet with Mr. Martin and we could go through some of these claims.

1) Two hundred defensive gun uses a year.  Mr. Martin ought to actually look at the FBI Uniform Crime Reports because if he goes through the data he will find that much of the country doesn’t even report the data. More importantly, pointing to the number of criminals killed by law-abiding citizens ignores defensive gun uses that injured the criminal or got him to run away simply by brandishing the gun or firing a warning shot.  Fewer than one out of every thousand times that people use guns defensively is the attacker killed.  But why should we ignore all the other defensive gun uses.

2) 100,000 people shot or killed?  Mr. Martin doesn’t understand where the data for estimated number of woundings comes from.  You have a few urban areas like Baltimore where the data is collected and then that rate is extrapolated to the country as a whole.  Does that seem like a serious estimate to you?  More importantly, the violence in the urban areas that he is concerned about is because of gangs fighting each other over things such as drug turf.  Just as it is difficult to stop these gangs from getting drugs to sell, it is very difficult to stop them from getting the weapons that they use to try protecting those drugs.  Drug gangs can’t just call the police when their drugs are stolen.  They have to set up their own militaries to protect their valuable property.

3) Mr. Martin worries that Americans buying guns will simply “pop off a lot faster.”  The point is that permit holders are extremely law-abiding, losing their permits for any type of firearms related violation at hundredths or thousandths of one percent.

4) Regarding the 2009 study that Mr. Martin points to, here is a discussion that I have in the third edition of More Guns, Less Crime about it.

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