Harvard Study: More Guns Do Not Mean More Crime

There’s a study out of the ivy-covered walls of Harvard University that’s a must-read for those on both sides of the gun control debate. Or, at least it has a must-read conclusion (though you’ll have to trudge through 46 pages to get there). Don Kates and Gary Mauser were sick and tired of hearing the claim that “more guns equals more crime” without anyone actually, you know, backing that statement up with some facts. So they took it upon themselves to determine if it’s true. They studied a large number of European countries and trends involving gun ownership and crime rates, and guess what?It turns out that the claim is completely false. There is, in fact, no correlation between guns and crime. At all . . .

From the study:

This Article has reviewed a significant amount of evidence from a wide variety of international sources. Each individual portion of evidence is subject to cavil—at the very least the general objection that the persuasiveness of social scientific evidence cannot remotely approach the persuasiveness of conclusions in the physical sciences. Nevertheless, the burden of proof rests on the proponents of the more guns equal more death and fewer guns equal less death mantra, especially since they argue public policy ought to be based on that mantra. To bear that burden would at the very least require showing that a large number of nations with more guns have more death and that nations that have imposed stringent gun controls have achieved substantial reductions in criminal violence (or suicide). But those correlations are not observed when a large number of nations are compared across the world.

You can read the whole paper here. It’s interesting and worth your time. Well, interesting for people who derive enjoyment from tables, charts and footnotes. So, basically myself and Bruce.