Dr. John R. Lott, Jr. professor of economics, wrote the book More Guns Less Crime, Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws. The book is now in its third edition. (1)
The book is extremely enlightening regarding gun control measures and increases in crime and conversely the removal of gun control measures and the reduction in crime. A very interesting topic is the major drop in violent crimes as well as other crimes regarding conceal-and-carry.
One needs to examine conceal-and-carry and how it relates to the economic proposition of the “free rider effect”.
When conceal-and-carry laws are enacted, those that want to commit crime are now faced with who in fact does have a concealed weapon. For example, if A, B, and C are walking along, who has the concealed weapon? A? B? C? All? None? Just one? Hence would-be-crime-committer Z is faced with a dilemma-deterrent in that Z may be completely out gunned, may be facing gun to gun, or may be the only gun. Which is it?
Consider A, B, and C now dispersed to different locals. Would-be-crime-committer Z remains faced with a question: is a concealed weapon involved?
In both cases, assume C does not have a concealed weapon nor does C ever intend to carry a concealed weapon. Hence C becomes the “free rider” of those with the concealed weapon as would-be-crime-committer Z has no idea who is, and who is not, carrying a concealed weapon. Hence C becomes less of a crime target as C may -or- may not be the concealed weapon carrier….and in this case C is not with weapon but free rides on A and B that cause the free rider effect for C.
The book is extremely comprehensive as Lott collected enormous amounts of data. More guns....less crime. Rather counterintuitive but none the less true.
A link below is to a 06/17/2010 discussion panel at the CATO Institute with Dr. Lott representing the position of more guns, less crime and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence representing those in favor of gun control. The discussion is enlightening:
(1) More Guns Less Crime, Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws, John R. Lott, Jr., University of Chicago Press, 3rd Edition, 05/15/2010.