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 John Lott (courtesy

“This past week, just in time for the NRA convention, gun-control advocates were at it again,” John Lott writes at, “touting ridiculous charges that concealed-carry permits were responsible for 636 deaths nationwide over the seven years from May 2007 to March 2014. The Violence Policy Center regularly puts out these bogus charges in a report called “Concealed Carry Killers.” But how does it claim to arrive at these numbers?” Personally, I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide. But John Lott does . . .

Assume, for the sake of argument, that the Violence Policy Center’s claim that concealed-handgun permits were responsible for 636 deaths in seven years is correct. One has to note that there are over 11 million concealed-handgun permits in the U.S. right now. With an annual number of deaths of 90, that means 0.00083 percent of concealed-carry permit holders were responsible for a shooting death each year. Removing suicides from the total reduces the rate even more, to 0.00058 percent.

I’m no math guy. I’d sooner read John Stuart Mill’s turgid prose than wade through Lott’s statistical analysis. But we want him on that wall. We need him on that wall. The antis want the truth? They can’t handle the truth. So click here to send Lott’s Crime Prevention Research Center some money to help protect your gun rights from lies, damn lies and statistics.

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    • I agree. You know, I was just thinking about this issue, or a facet of this issue, this morning. We’ve seen TTAG questions of the day regarding difference between partners on money spent on firearms purchases, range trip frequency, even ownership and concealed carry themselves. We’ve also seen questions as to which gun groups POTG support.

      What I was thinking about this morning, is whether and to what degree couples might disagree over over how often and how much to donate to firearms freedoms groups, beyond basic membership. I could see that being a potential souce of conflict with some couples.

  1. Assuming that figure is true (I have my doubt for any vpc figures, these are the same people who swear that the 500 s&w is a “vest buster” after all) how many of those murders were simply committed in the home by a concealed carrier, or even With a gun?

    • Read Lott’s link. He debunks every aspect of their figures, and shows that even if all their numbers are right, they didn’t even analyze them correctly. 110% incompetence.

    • A IIIA soft body vest is not rated to stop a .500 Smith or .460 Smith round when fired from standard barrel lengths. The continuing philosophy of most police departments is to provide a body armor vest which will stop a round from the standard issue firearms which the police officer is carrying. Typically that includes 9mm – .45 ACP of 115-230 grain police grade JHPs. That is considered a realistic ballistic threat against police officers. Many departments – including mine – automatically upgrade to IIIA ballistic protection. IIIA vests are not rated to stop .223 / 5.56 and above from a rifle or handgun rounds which exceed the .44 Magnum.

  2. Typical antigunner rhetoric:
    “My math and logic are flawed and make no sense, but you need to believe it because I tell you to!”

  3. I like John Lott, but statistics are like kryptonite to anti-‘s. Statistics are devoid of emotion and, as a result, have no place in their world. If they paid attention to statistics, the anti-‘s would’ve packed up and gone home a long time ago. After all, these are the same people who include Tamerlan Tsarnaev in their list of gun violence victims.

    • John Lott’s statistics is ammunition in the fight. Yes, the anti’s don’t like real data, but…fence sitters do.

      And, politicians do when it comes to campaign time.

      Our war is on multiple fronts. Having good data and analysis is one of those fronts.

      • There was a great article 6-12 months ago that detailed how uniformed the “fence sitters” were. IIRC, these fence sitters made their last minute decisions on spurious and emotional reasons and not any kind of facts.

        Face it, the Leftists have driven this country to the edge of the precipice purely on emotional horsepower. It’s time for us to use the same tactics to try to steer things back to sanity.

    • Even being an engineer, whenever a pro/anti gun article starts going into statistics I jump over that section. Gun-grabbers will not listen to facts and I certainly don’t believe any stats I’d read from them.
      If it was any statistician besides John Lott I’d ignore the plea, but since I know he gets pulled into quite a few debates I’ll make the exception for him.

      The MFM greases its gears on emotional appeals and the best person on our side today is Ben Shapiro. He utilizes the Left’s Alinsky tactics on them and leaves our opponents in a bloody mess on the floor.

      If you donate to John Lott I suggest you also donate to Ben Shapiro here…

      Ben’s tips on dealing with Leftists

      Ben dismembering Piers Morgan about Guns and delivers a knockout blow with his first line at just 14 seconds into the interview.

      • I am the honorary president of the Ben Shapiro fan club here at TTAG and I approve your message! Enthusiastically. I think I have watched How to Debate a Liberal 46 times at last count …

        and you’re right it’s enough to know the facts & data are on our side but I never trot them out – I use Ben’s techniques and I destroy them, every time.

  4. When you jump into it without any agenda, bias, or preconceived notions, you will be very hard pressed to find just one (1) concealed carry licensee in each state who uses their concealed handgun to murder someone each year.

    That is incredibly profound given that 100s of thousands of people have concealed carry licenses in every state — or at least in shall issue states anyway. That being the case, I cannot endorse infringing on the rights of hundreds of thousands of people in a state because of the criminal action of 1 bad apple.

    • I have had a CCW for a pretty long time now (let’s just call it more than 5 years) and neither me nor my guns have shot anyone, justifiably or not. Before the everytown folks use that to say that I don’t need to carry I will add that I have been wearing my seatbelt since before I had a driver’s license and it has not been used either.

  5. 0.0006% (rounding) is, crude as it may sound, a statistical blip.

    There’s another angle that we could play with the percentage of concealed carry permit holder related deaths (wow) to ALL deaths in the U.S.

    There were 2.5 million deaths in the U.S. in 2011. That same year the FBI reports 8,500 homicides in which a gun was used. Quick math: 0.35% of ALL deaths that year were homicides involving a gun.

    Better yet, the 90 that involved concealed carry permit holders make up 0.0036% of ALL deaths in the U.S. that year.

    Any death is tragic, but a simple freaking Pareto would show that these aren’t the causes you’re looking for.

    • All deaths aren’t tragic, certain deaths are tragic. Some are deserved, others merciful and don’t get me started on the Darwin awards…

    • That is precisely why anti-gunners such as Obama, Feinstein, Biden, Bloomberg, Yee, etc. must give so much attention to mass shootings. Fly victims around in Air Force One. Throw out slush money for Sandy Hook remembrance events. Make public spectacles of their visits to funerals. They must create the appearance that gun violence is worse than ever to push their agendas. In the minds of many in the public, the words of Obama are gospel. It’s sad.

      Once the “gun violence epidemic” is created, our “saviors” must step in to show us their “solutions.”

  6. Surveying the VPC report, it seems they included all deaths that “were not ruled self-defense”, including cases that are still pending. Several of those do, indeed, involve claims of self-defense. They also include accidents, such as the case of Joshua Henry, who is being charged for negligently leaving a loaded handgun out where it was picked up and accidentally fired by a female acquaintance.

    Also, while the report claims not to count shootings ruled as self-defense, in at least some cases they include perpetrators shot by police or bystanders in the body count, as in the Vishna Beepot and Ian Burlakoff cases.

    When you weed all those out, I’d be surprised if you found a murder rate among CCW holders of even 0.5 per 100,000.

  7. They also include Michigan State police reports on the number of CCW holders, no names attached, with homicide charges pressed against them within a given year. No attempt appears to be made to avoid double-counting specific instances already called out specifically, or even to verify if the homicide was committed with a firearm:

    Between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012, Michigan State Police report that three Michigan concealed handgun permit holders were convicted of criminal homicide. In their annual report, the Michigan State Police do not release the offender’s name, the exact date of the event, nor the type of weapon used in the homicide.

    If you thought that was absurd, get a load of this one:

    Between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011, Michigan State Police report that two Michigan concealed handgun permit holders were convicted of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated causing death. In their annual report, the Michigan State Police do not release the offender’s name, the exact date of the event, nor the type of weapon used in the homicide.

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess the “weapon” used was a motor vehicle.

    • You are exposing a critical problem with the raw data. Even in instances where a concealed carry licensee used a firearm to murder someone, the licensee’s concealed carry license may not have been relevant. For example the licensee may have murdered the victim with a long gun which you can legally possess without a concealed carry license. Or a licensee may have used a handgun to murder someone on private property where they do not need a concealed carry license to legally carry a concealed handgun.

      The list gets pretty small after you remove those types of events.

      • For example the licensee may have murdered the victim with a long gun which you can legally possess without a concealed carry license. Or a licensee may have used a handgun to murder someone on private property where they do not need a concealed carry license to legally carry a concealed handgun.

        You see, this just shows you don’t possess the depravity of mind it would take to suspect the depth of deception being perpetrated by the VPC here. Those examples are positively on-point compared to some of the examples they actually included in the list, which include:

        -People killed by drunk drivers who happened to also have CCW permits.
        -At least three instances of CCW-holders being killed by others with their own gun (yes, they count cases where the CCW-holder was the victim).
        -People dying in a house fire believed to have been caused by a ND from a rifle.

  8. I like the percentage of CRIMINAL gun deaths caused by government employees (LEOs, etc) to be shown alongside that number. CCW permit holders may make bad decisions from time to time, but the burden of upholding the 2nd amendment keeps us all on the straight and narrow path.

    • just read somewhere that in the past decade the nation’s police forces have averaged like 500 innocent people killed per year.

      but totally only the police and military should have guns…because..CHILDRENS!!

  9. Logic & reason doesn’t matter. Just like the Bundy flap all gun owners are painted with the same BS brush. Especially us OFWG.

  10. My favorite was the Brady Campaign Violently Promoting Handgun Control Inc.’s “documentary” about 13 – 15 years ago, when they claimed 10,000 children were killed every day by guns.

    or week or something.

  11. 20 bones headed their way. Not much, but every dollar helps. Keep it going. Tell them TTAG sent you.

  12. I sent them $100.

    Time to start putting your money where your mouths are folks. There isn’t a pro-gun org you shouldn’t be donating to if you value your rights. So how about delaying the purchase of another Glock for a month or so and send some money to the NRA, GOA, CPRC NAGR, and any state or local gun rights orgs that are fighting the good fight on your behalf.

  13. Let’s think about this:

    CCW holders: 636 deaths in 7 years

    Chicago residents: ~500 deaths every year

    Who do we need to banish?

  14. Followed the link to donate and read their About page. This little tidbit is in there and is something I did not know:

    “………. In 2012, Mayor Michael Bloomberg donated $250 million to Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health to hire new professors, many whose primary objective is to do expanding research on gun violence….”

    Bloomie is buying a LOT of research. Any guesses on what the researchers conclusions will be? Doesn’t have any facts on his side? Simple, he’ll just buy some.

    • And yet we hear about “consensus” all the time in regard to externally funded (public or private, does not matter…it’s external to the researcher himself) research.

      I file it under things that make you go “Hmmmm.”

  15. Presentation is important: He needs pancake on his face to blend this complexion and a better haircut.

    He’s a smart dude and super nice, I have bantered with him once or twice. But if he’d gonna go on TV or get in front of a camera would be nice if he prettied up a little!

  16. Okay, I own every book Lott has published and am totally behind his research. But really — what’s up with his EYES? Anybody got the skinny on that, ’cause he looks like he had one seriously bad day at Rob Zombie’s barber shop or something.

  17. When anti-folks, and pro-folks alike, bring up crime and statistics I always say the same thing,” I don’t really care.”

    If there were only a .000000001 percent chance of women being raped, and that was the reason given for disarming America. Do you think the woman being raped, who is in the .000000001 percentile, would give two sh*ts about that particular statistic?

    Or if there were only a .00000001 percent chance of a home invasion, what solace would be had if you were the except to the rule and you heard men breaking into your home late one night?

    You want to see stats, watch the NFL draft. You want the true worth of stats, see how many of those drafted with high stats actually did anything worth a damn in the NFL five years later.

    You won’t be impressed, I assure you.

  18. $50 down range (to go along with the $50 down range this month to the NRA, the NRA-ILA, and the SAF).

    More later.

    So may good organizations, so little money.

    • See and raise $50, plus the satisfaction of knowing my name is reported on the donor list to the IRS every year (Wonder what that’ll get me?).

  19. As committed as I am to the NRA, 2AF and CalGuns, John Lott has been clarifying data and regularly, clearly exposed the myths and outright lies of the anti-gun crowd for a long time. He has just become a favored recipient on my short list of favored organizations to whom I regularly contribute time and/or money. A check (as preferred) will be in the mail to his Crime Prevention Research Center tomorrow before noon.

    Well worth it!

    I wonder how many of those so called “grassroots” workers Bloomberg employes are committed enough to their cause to put their money where *their* mouth is?

    My bet; not many, if any.

  20. My apologies to Mr. Lott and everybody else, but I’ve already used my entire donations budget in the People’s Democratic Republic of Taxifornia, equally shared between CALGUNS and CAL FFL.

    • I can add your name to my donation, post-submittal.

      But next time we get invited to a party, you bring the wine for both of us!

      • I don’t drink wine, but I can sure pick some up for you. I can bring some Black Velvet, and I have to ask, will we be enjoying it an an herbal-friendly environment? Because I have some stress medicine….

  21. To put that percentage in perspective, the homicide rates are normally quoted in per 100,000.
    0.00058 percent means 0.58 per 100,000. This is about half the homicide rate of most Northern European countries (roughly 1 per 100,000), which the anti gunners normally consider the gold standard in gun safety. The gun homicide rate in the USA overall is about 4 per 100,000. This is according to the CDC mortality stats as of 2009. So lawful CCW holders stack up very favorably with their peers.

  22. I sent him a few and put the link on my favorites bar, to remind me to help again when my donations budget resets. thanks for publishing this.

  23. While I know that much of Lott’s work has been meritorious and I appreciate his contribution to our movement, I personally find it hard to trust him after seeing him on CNN promoting the false myth that 5.56x45mm NATO was designed to wound and not kill. I won’t trust his assertions without scrutinizing his evidence. I think he’s a meager spokesman for the right to keep and bear arms. Those ridiculous unnaturally stylized eyebrows alone call into question his mental health and make him hard to take seriously.

    • I don’t know from specific rounds, but I have heard legends that things like flechettes, which they wanted to use in the ‘Nam, were banned by the Geneva Convention. The thing is, if you kill an enemy soldier, you take out one enemy soldier. If you wound an enemy soldier, you take him out of the battle plus occupy the resources of a half-dozen medics and other support personnel rescuing him.


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