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Evaluating Gun Policy: Effects on Crime and Violence (James A. Johnson Metro Series) y First edition Edition

1.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0815753117
ISBN-10: 081575311X
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This collection of essays deserves special praise for including authors on both sides... It ought to be the starting point for any future debate over gun policy... " — Washington Post Book World, 2/2/2003

About the Author

Jens Ludwig is associate professor of public policy at Georgetown University and formerly the Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution and a visiting scholar at the Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research. Philip J. Cook is the ITT/Sanford Professor of Public Policy at Duke University. Cook and Jens Ludwig coauthored Gun Violence: The Real Costs (2000, Oxford University Press).

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Product Details

  • Series: James A. Johnson Metro Series
  • Paperback: 469 pages
  • Publisher: Brookings Institution Press; y First edition edition (February 21, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 081575311X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0815753117
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 1.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,816,870 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I was hoping for an even-handed treatise on gun policy when I picked this up, and it was bad by page 3, already petulantly casting rocks at other researchers and making broad statements that didn't ring true, and I had to go research some of the statements that sounded like BS. I found many deep flaws, and since these can effect gun policy, flaws of this nature are written in blood, so I'll point them out, so you know how bad this book is. The most glaring is that they repeatedly state that there is no correlation between gun ownership and crime (when gun ownership has nearly doubled over the last 2 decades, and violent crime is at a 16 year low), and citing the drop in violent crime in the UK following massive firearms confiscation (crime has instead risen).

It quickly became clear that the authors hold two views that cannot both be true - they state that there is no correlation between gun ownership and prevention of crime (false), then also state that gun laws that reduce gun ownership would save lives - ignoring the fact that criminals, by definition, don't follow laws. It became quickly obvious that they treated any use of a gun as bad, even if it was by a potential victim to avoid a crime. Confused by their bald inconsistency, I went and cranked the numbers myself, comparing the annual FBI violent crime stats to the annual Brady Campaign "report cards" for aggressive gun control. Those states with the most restrictive gun laws have the highest crime per capita, and vice-versa, by quartile. Bzzzt! Sorry guys, wrong again.

After contending emphatically that there is NO correlation between gun ownership and crime rates, the authors again contradicted themselves 10 pages later by lauding the banning of handguns in Washington D.C.
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Format: Paperback
This book isn't meant for ... Well anyone. I really enjoy the study of statistics, especially as it relates to social theory and crime, however, this book is just some political rhetoric.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This collection of studies is, unfortunately, not light reading (especially for those lacking a solid grounding in statistical methods). Nor, like many of the pro-gun tracts, do the studies included set out clear and definitive conclusions.
What it does is present a number of studies and articles by those scholars who the NRA would label as "gun grabbers" offering evidence that challenges many of the more widely disseminated pro-gun arguments and pseudo-scientific works of authors like John Lott.
For example, while John Donohue's article presents a rather compelling case that Lott's conclusion (summed up as "More Guns, Less Crime") is deeply flawed he notes:
"If one had previously been inclined to believe the Lott and Mustard results, one might now conclude that the statistical evidence that crime will rise when a shall-issue law is passed is at least as compelling as the prior evidence that was amassed to show it would fall. However, there are still enough anomoliesin the data that warrent caution."
That's quite different from Lott's certitude in "More Guns, Less Crime" and, given the evidence, it is Lott's certitude that should be called into question, even before the conclusions about which he is so certain.
One other example merits particular note. That study, by Steven Raphael and Jens Ludwig, challanges the effectiveness of one program that is the "darling" of both the NRA *and* the Brady Campaign -- Richmond's Project Exile. The study concludes that the drop is actually something more akin to "regression to the mean" -- where the implementation followed a particurly steep risee in homicides and the subsequent drop is more attributable to the return to the "normal" rates than the increased focus itself.
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Format: Paperback
This book is simply another pseudo-scientific "study" in which the author has already come to his conclusion long before even finishing the book.
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By A Customer on March 16, 2004
Format: Paperback
Gun Control is the greatest untruth in the face of determination. Something the general population has come to understand.
I found this book to be a very articulate example of a complete loss of reason and sense of reality. One that suggests that my right to bear arms is subject to how others "feel" about it. I could care less what others think, my freedom is not negotiable. The battle to end slavery continues.
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