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The Bias Against Guns: Why Almost Everything You'Ve Heard About Gun Control Is Wrong Hardcover – February 1, 2003

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Following up on his controversial study More Guns, Less Crime, economist Lott argues that widespread gun ownership prevents crime. He cites survey data and news reports to argue that the fear that victims might be armed strongly deters criminals, and that guns are used in self-defense or to ward off criminal threats about 2.3 million times a year. Because they impede law-abiding citizens' access to guns, even mild gun-control regulations-assault weapons bans, "one-gun-a-month" laws-actually increase crime, according to Lott, while right-to-carry laws lower crime and help prevent (or violently terminate) terrorist attacks and "rampage" shootings. Even measures to keep guns away from children, like "gun-free school zones" and "safe storage" laws that require guns to be locked away, are misguided because children need guns for self-defense (he cites news reports of kids as young as 11 gunning down criminals). The benefits of untrammeled gun availability are clear, Lott insists, and only the anti-gun bias and selective reporting by the media and government officials have kept this fact out of public consciousness. Lott supports his bold claims with elaborate statistical analyses that tease sometimes small effects out of the welter of factors that influence crime rates; there are lots of graphs and tables, and much space is devoted to scholarly discussions of statistical methodologies. Many readers will find these sections rough going, but Lott's provocative thesis is sure to stir interest among second-amendment stalwarts and gun-control supporters alike.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 349 pages
  • Publisher: Regnery Publishing (February 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0895261146
  • ISBN-13: 978-0895261144
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #517,325 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Anyone who hasn't already made up their mind will find something to think about in this book.
Gary Mauser
The book can be somewhat difficult to read because it is so scholarly, and contains a lot of very detailed information.
Marty Ray
This volume should be read in conjunction with 'More Guns, Less Crime', also by John R. Lott, Jr.
Raymond Elliston

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

82 of 87 people found the following review helpful By Tracy W. Price on April 11, 2003
Format: Hardcover
John Lott's 1st book, "More Guns, Less Crime," was an eye-opening look into what the science shows about the presence of guns in society and clearly illustrated the benefits of armed, law abiding citizens. His latest book, "The Bias Against Guns," expands further into media and governmental bias on the issue of guns and he debunks many of the "common sense" proposals for gun regulation; showing that these proposals actually increase crime while having no effect on accidental gun deaths.
Dr. Lott is a brilliant economist and he approaches his subject with a detached and unemotional, scientific process. In "The Bias Against Guns," he takes the reader through the progression of verifying findings and considering alternate explanations. The result is a thoroughly convincing work that argues for gun policy based upon dispassionate science instead of vitriolic and emotional claims made by the media and some in government.
Part I of "The Bias Against Guns" is a careful analysis of how government and the media have unfairly framed the gun control argument to show only the costs of guns in our society. Liberal media and government have - for many decades - systemically and purposefully ignored the benefits of gun ownership in America and around the world. Many people who view themselves as clear-minded independent thinkers will be shocked when they read this section of the book. An open-minded appraisal will reveal that a distaste and fear of guns is far less rational than a fear of automobiles, or, for that matter, five gallon buckets. Guns, cars and buckets are tools that have costs (dangers) and benefits. Part I of "The Bias Against Guns" shows clearly how the media and the government have advanced a one-sided, costs-only view of guns in our society.
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192 of 211 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 16, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Even for a cynic such as myself, Lott's documentation of how the media and the government distort our perceptions of guns is amazing. The research that went into this book is impressive. He documents not only the imbalance in newscoverage but also how the media actually makes news to discredit guns. He shows how government studies systematically measure only the bad things that happen with guns and never discuss the benefits.
"If you want the truth the anti-gunners don't want you to know... you need a copy of The Bias Against Guns." --Sean Hannity, of Fox News Channel's Hannity & Colmes
"John Lott's thoughtful study should be read by everyone interested in the control of violent crime, and protection against terrorism." --Vernon L. Smith, 2002 Nobel Prize Winner in Economics
"John Lott's 1998 book, More Guns, Less Crime, created quite a stir among the gun-control romantics, whose expressive advocacy involves neither sound analytics nor empirical evidence. In this follow-on book, The Bias Against Guns, Lott continues the struggle, and responds to his critics, motivated by his strong conviction that analysis and evidence must, finally, win the day." --James Buchanan, 1986 Nobel Prize Winner in Economics
"Another major contribution by John Lott to the evidence on the effects--good and bad--of gun-control legislation. An important supplement to his More Guns, Less Crime."--Milton Friedman, 1976 Nobel Prize Winner in Economics
"As a gun-toting rock 'n' roll star all my life, I have lived firsthand the outrageous media and Hollywood bias against good guys with guns forever. I laugh in their face. John Lott is my academic hero.
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123 of 134 people found the following review helpful By W. Huber on March 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover
If you want the facts on gun control, Lott's two books, "The Bias Against Guns" and "More Guns, Less Crime" are the way to go. Of the two, this later work is perhaps easier to aborb and the better choice for the lay reader. Lott's evidence is especially compelling in the current climate of terrorism threats as we determine how best to protect a free society, (whether through creation of an impossibly large police force that can be in all places at all times, or through empowerment of law abiding citizens to take increased accountability for self protection and as a deterrent to crime in their communities.)
You will undoubtedly see some reviewers give this five stars and some only one. The one star reviewers will not include any factual refutation of the arguments that Mr. Lott presents. His research is simply sound, and this soundness is not changed by the shrill personal attacks by the gun control crowd.
I have taken off one star from this review because of occasional redundant sections that remind the reader of Yogi Berra's deja vu maxim. Perhaps a stricter editor might have improved the flow a bit!
This book has been endorsed by three Nobel prize winning economists. Lott's research will be the standard source material for the gun policy debate for years to come.
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83 of 89 people found the following review helpful By Joseph H Pierre on May 12, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Dr. John R. Lott is primarily an economist who has held positions at the University of Chicago, Yale, Stanford, UCLA and other respected institutions of higher learning. He was also the chief economist of the United States Sentencing Commission in 1988-89. He is no lightweight in the field, and he knows how to interpret statistics. Not only statistics that he himself has gathered, but those for every county in the United States over a period of several years that were gathered by the United States government.

Using the government's own figures, he wrote "More Guns Less Crime," evaluating the violent crime results emanating from the 33 states with "must issue" concealed carry laws as opposed to those without. The "must issue" laws, in effect, insist that law-abiding citizens who pass certain requirements must be issued a concealed carry permit for a handgun, regardless of the local sheriff's feelings about gun-control or an armed populace.

His evaluation of the statistics? Those states without the "must issue" laws, many of whom forbid the law-abiding to carry the means of defending themselves regardless of the U.S. Constitution to the contrary, have a considerably higher rate of violent crime and shootings, and in effect because of their gun-control laws are costing their citizenry hundreds of lives, thousands of injuries, and millions in property loss and damage.

John Lott says, on page 13 of this, his new book, "My role as an economist is not to consider whether Americans have a 'right' to own guns, to keep them unlocked, to sell them at gun shows, to carry guns with them wherever they go, and so on. My only objective is to study the measurable effect that gun laws have on incidents of violence, and to let the facts speak for themselves.
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