This is the first 1,000 characters of 39566 words (158.26 pages) in the essay titled Gun Laws
States from Michigan to Nebraska to California, as well as the federal government, are considering new rules on letting law-abiding citizens carry guns. Does allowing citizens to carry concealed handguns deter violent crimes? Or does this cause otherwise law-abiding citizens to harm each other? Thirty-one states now have guaranteed their citizens the right to carry concealed handguns if applicants do not have a criminal record or a history of significant mental illness. So what have the results been?
The numbers tell the story
Using the FBI's crime-rate data for all 3,054 U.S. counties by year from 1977 to 1992, I co-authored a study in the January 1997 Journal of Legal Studies. We found that concealed handguns deter violent crimes and produce no significant increase in accidental handgun deaths. The accompanying figures show how dramatic this drop is by illustrating how different violent crime rates change before and after the adoption of these laws. The size and ti...
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