Violence Policy Center


IndexOnline NewsPress ReleasesFact SheetsPublicationsLinksHomeAbout VPC
Looking for something?

Analyses of Pro-Gun Self-Defense Studies

  1. Survey Research and Self-Defense Gun Use: An Explanation of Extreme Overestimates, David Hemenway, PhD, The Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology, Vol. 87, No. 4, 1997, pp. 1430-1445.

    This paper analyzes survey methodology by Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz, who have claimed that civilians use guns in self-defense against offenders up to 2.5 million times each year�a number repeatedly cited by gun advocates. This paper concludes that the Kleck and Gertz survey design contains a huge overestimation bias and that their estimates are highly exaggerated.

  2. Concealed Handguns: The Counterfeit Deterrent, Franklin Zimring and Gordon Hawkins, The Responsive Community, Spring 1997, pp. 46-60.

    This essay sharply criticizes the work of John Lott and David Mustard who claim that "shall-issue" concealed carry laws lead to a decrease in crime. The authors point out that, since Lott and Mustard make no attempt to measure how many citizens actually carry handguns on the street or how many times civilians have used them to defend themselves against criminals, their work tells nothing of value about concealed carry laws.

  3. Flawed Gun Policy Research Could Endanger Public Safety, Daniel W. Webster, ScD, MPH; Jon S. Vernick, JD, MPH; et al, American Journal of Public Health, Vol. 87, No. 6, June 1997, pp. 918-921.

    This article examines methodological problems in Lott and Mustard's study and finds that serious shortcomings render their conclusions insupportable. The authors conclude that "the flaws in Lott and Mustard's study of shall-issue laws are so substantial, and the findings so at odds with criminological theory and research, that any conclusions about the effects of shall-issue laws based on this study are dubious at best."

  4. Two Guns, Four Guns, Six Guns, More Guns: Does Arming the Public Reduce Crime?, Albert W. Alschuler, Valparaiso University Law Review, Volume 31, Number 2, Spring 1997, pp. 365-373.

    This paper summarizes other researchers' critiques of Lott and Mustard's study, as well as raises new questions about Lott and Mustard's overall conclusions. The author concludes that "at this point, there is essentially no reason for an intelligent consumer of social science research to accept the Lott and Mustard findings."

Where did you get that?

   Eight Publications Every
   Advocate Needs

   Firearms Violence - General
   Firearms Homicide
   Firearms Homicide and
   Domestic Violence
   Firearms Homicide in
   the Workplace
   Firearms Suicide
   Firearm Deaths of Children
   Nonfatal Firearm-Related Injuries
   Costs of Firearms Violence
   Firearms and Crime
   Firearms Ownership,
   Concealed Carrying,
   Self-Defense Use, and Gun
   Analyses of Pro-Gun
   Self-Defense Studies
   The Gun Lobby - Firearms
   Industry and Organizations
   Licensed Dealers

   Marketing Firearms to
   Women and Youth

   Appendix One: Organizations
   and Agencies

   Appendix Two: Understanding
   and Using Statistics

All contents � 2000 Violence Policy Center