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Old March 22, 2013, 10:51 AM   #1
Dashunde
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More CCW = Lower Crime Rate?

I stumbled across this in the FBI's website.
It appears violent crime has been steadily decreasing even through hard economic times.

CC has expanded widely during that time frame, and it seems more and more people are joining in and actually carrying.

How much influence do you think CC has on the minds of criminals nowadays?
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Old March 22, 2013, 11:56 AM   #2
Glenn E. Meyer
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Older interview studies indicated that criminals paid attention to running across armed citizens.

I might have missed it but I don't know a current similar interview study of felons to see what they know about concealed carry and how they respond to it.

If someone knows a scholarly study or wants to search - that would be good.

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Old March 22, 2013, 12:23 PM   #3
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There are a couple of problems with claiming that "CCW=less crime." To my mind, the primary problem is causation. We can measure crimes that happen in Year X, and compare it to crimes that happen in Year Y. But does that mean that CCW was the reason? It's hard to know, and many factors come into play: economics, demographics, gun issues, population density, etc. all play a role. So we need to be careful with our claims. We can say, for example, that "CCW went up M% in Year X, and crime went down N%." But can we say that "crime went down N% because of the M% increase in CCW?" Perhaps, but we have to account for as many other possible causes (thus eliminating them as operative factors) before we make that claim.
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Old March 22, 2013, 12:54 PM   #4
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Well, I for one have no issue pronouncing that CCW=less crime. Unfortunately it would be hard to prove and even if it could be the mainstream media/liberals would never let the word get out.
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Old March 22, 2013, 01:05 PM   #5
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Too many variables to place blame solely on ccw. It hurts us when we use arguments like that
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Old March 22, 2013, 01:31 PM   #6
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To me, it stands to reason based soley on the axiom-

If you want more of a thing or behavior, you make it cheaper, safer, and more convenient. If you want less of a thing or behavior, you make it more expensive, hazardous, and inconvenient.

I can not think of much of anything that makes a street criminal's vocation more potentially expensive, hazardous, and inconvenient like the increased likelyhood of a controlled pair of supersonic jacketed hollowpoints to the chest...... just not worth it ..... the Identity Theft racket is much less risky, and potentially more lucrative than violent crime these days.
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Old March 22, 2013, 02:02 PM   #7
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If I was a criminal, threat from CCWers would not bother me. Since the notion of More CCW = Less crimes assumes the bad guys have a running knowledge of CCW data, then they would have a running knowledge that of the CCW folks in a given state likely don't average more than 4% of adults. A couple of states are a bit more, but most are quite a bit less. So they know that at any given time, probably 80% of those with CCWs aren't carrying. There are all sorts of reasons folks don't carry and the schooled bad guys must know the data, right? Some are lazy. Some only carry when they are going some place dangerous. Some only have the CCW for if they ever decide to carry. A tremendous number of folks can't carry at work and so don't travel with a gun to and from work, sometimes because they can't even have a gun on property (specific states). The criminal element will also know that of those folks with CCWs, many will not respond unless directly threatened and if taken by surprise and directly threatened, won't respond at all.

So as a bad guy, I figure I have a 99% chance or maybe better of NOT encountering an armed CCW holder, and likely better chances of that when it comes to encountering one who is willing to respond. So, so long as I stay away from people's homes where home ownership of guns is tremendously higher than CCW rates, stay away from carjackings where folks are apt to carry guns in cars, I can nearly totally negate the risk to myself of encountering a legal CCW holder who is willing and capable to act.

Okay, let's face it. Criminals that think that much are not the criminals committing most of the crimes. CCW does not stop the junkies from needing their fixes who turn to crime to do so. CCW does not stop child molesters from desiring children. CCW does not stop mentally debilitated people who do crimes from being any less debilitated to reason away doing crime....etc.

I found this interesting. CCW does not lower domestic violence numbers. Here are some stats from Texas from 2001-2008. While the number of Texas CHLs increases annually, so does domestic abuse.
http://www.tcfv.org/pdf/dvam2009/Yea...Statistics.pdf

If you look at city data, some of the highest concentrations of CCW holders are in locations that have some of the highest rates (depending on year) of violent crimes such as Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, New Orleans, Memphis, Atlanta, Miami, etc. If CCW was supposed to bring the rate down, this then pattern should not occur.
---

To date, CCW cannot be shown to affect the rate of crime, violent crime, murder, etc. It can definitely have a very significant and game changing impact on any given crime where lethal force or threat of lethal force is warranted and necessary.
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Old March 22, 2013, 05:25 PM   #8
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Since the notion of More CCW = Less crimes assumes the bad guys have a running knowledge of CCW data, then they would have a running knowledge that of the CCW folks in a given state likely don't average more than 4% of adults.
You're assuming that criminals would have to have knowledge of CCW data. They wouldn't have to. If more and more people are carrying, it stands to reason that more and more criminals are running into good people with guns. I don't know the minds of criminals, but it stands to reason that having the business end of a gun pointed at their face could potentially make them rethink their life.

I'm making an assumption here too. The problem is there are several factors that could be involved. This could be one factor.

I don't mean to nitpick, but your post is full of assumptions, and light on facts. You assume that only 20% of CCW holders carry. You assume you can tell who has a gun in the house, and who doesn't. The risk of a criminal running into a CCW holder is enough to keep *some* (probably a small percentage) from committing a violent crime. Even if it's only a few percent who stop, or slow down their actions, it would still be a statistically significant number.

But again, I'm assuming also. Correlation is not causation, and we need to be careful to make the claim that higher CCW relates to lower crime. All we would need is for some anti-gun think tank to "prove" some other factor is at work, and then we have egg on our faces. I tend to believe that higher gun ownership, and more people carrying guns have an effect on crime, but I would never say for sure that's the reason.

Quote:
I found this interesting. CCW does not lower domestic violence numbers. Here are some stats from Texas from 2001-2008. While the number of Texas CHLs increases annually, so does domestic abuse.
http://www.tcfv.org/pdf/dvam2009/Yea...Statistics.pdf
This is important. Most pro-gun people would say the two aren't related. But they seem to be correlated. I think there's probably another factor involved. But if we keep spouting off "more CCW = less crime" expect to get stuff like this thrown back. Also, I just washed my car, so obviously, it's going to rain.
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Old March 22, 2013, 09:35 PM   #9
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Unfortunately it would be hard to prove and even if it could be the mainstream media/liberals would never let the word get out.
It's actually impossible to prove. Spats is correct: causation is the issue.

Atlanta has very high rates of violent crime across most categories, but it's in a very permissive state. On the other hand, Giuliani slashed crime rates in New York without doing anything to remove their draconian laws. There are simply too many variables in economics, policing, and demographics to boil things down to one factor.

Statistics can be manipulated, and they can be used to "prove" either side of the argument. This is my main problem with this line of argument. Arguing from the standpoint of social utility is a time-tested tool for the other side, and they've got more practice than we do.

The one thing I think it is safe to infer is that more guns and liberalized CCW do not increase crime.
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Old March 22, 2013, 11:45 PM   #10
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there is no causation that is deffinitely attributable. only thing that would prove it concretely is to ask the criminals who commited violent crime last year, and ask them if ccw was a detterent for this year.
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Old March 23, 2013, 12:03 AM   #11
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Atlanta has very high rates of violent crime across most categories, but it's in a very permissive state. On the other hand, Giuliani slashed crime rates in New York without doing anything to remove their draconian laws. There are simply too many variables in economics, policing, and demographics to boil things down to one factor.
Very good point, and if you're going to be intellectually honest, you have to be willing to "stink check" ALL of the arguments, even the ones that are favorable to YOUR cause.

As an example, I see lots of pro-gun folks who bring up Chicago's high murder rate and Draconian gun laws, and some of them are making the implicit (or sometimes explicit) argument that the gun laws are contributing to the high crime rate (fearless criminals, unarmed victims, etc).

But as Tom pointed out, there are cities with more-relaxed laws that have higher murder rates. It's possible that Chicago's gun laws are merely a failed attempt to reduce a crime rate that's high for completely unrelated reasons. Or perhaps the gun laws aren't a failed attempt at all - it's entirely possible that Chicago's murder rate would be even higher without those laws. Unfortunately, unless we have two cities that are identical *in every way* except for their gun laws, there's simply no way to prove causation.
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Old March 23, 2013, 12:16 AM   #12
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Re: NYC crime rate drop

Giuliani cut the crime rate by arresting habitual / career criminals for anything, or at least putting them back into the overburdened court system with requested bails he knew most charged couldn't meet.

There was no magic: By removing known rapist from the streets for jaywalking (literally), long-rap-sheet-burglars for loud mufflers/ littering or lesser, he turned a sizable % of the bad guys into pre-trial detainees when they couldn't make the sizeable bails prosecutors requested.

That was a classic case of rabid enforcement of existing laws.
Gee what a novel idea.
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Old March 23, 2013, 12:23 AM   #13
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There was no magic: By removing known rapist from the streets for jaywalking (literally), long-rap-sheet-burglars for loud mufflers/ littering or lesser, he turned a sizable % of the bad guys into pre-trial detainees when they couldn't make the sizeable bails prosecutors requested.
That would work to get the criminals off the street in the short term, but jaywalking or littering wasn't going to get them back into prison and off the streets for the long haul. Unless that practice of "rabid enforcement" and pre-trial detention is continued forever, any resulting reduction in crime rates will be temporary. But the violent crime rate in NYC has been dropping pretty steadily since 1990, four years before Guiliani even took office.
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Old March 23, 2013, 09:03 AM   #14
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Another issue without a metric...

In getting my CHL here in Texas, the first thing we were taught is that no matter what the circumstances, as soon as your concealed handgun was unconcealed, you have broken the law. The circumstance & outcome of the event will determine if charges are brought against you.

During my renewal, I heard several carriers tell stories of how once they made known they were armed, the threat very quickly left. Illegal? YES! How often it happens with a positive outcome, we'll never know. I guess we'll never know if it's a significant factor either in CC reducing crime.

Just food for thought.
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Old March 23, 2013, 10:33 AM   #15
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Another way of making the previous point of questionable causation is to realize that in controlled experiments you only allow one factor to vary. There just is no way to control or to statistically eliminate other variables, especially economic ones, and say what the effect of CCW is on crime.

On the flip side, there is nothing in the statistics to give any credence at all to the dire predictions of gun control advocates that violent crime would soar if civilian access to firearms increased.
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Old March 23, 2013, 10:44 AM   #16
Glenn E. Meyer
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Like I said, the causal part (as others pointed out) hasn't been investigated thoroughly. We do know that street criminals have victim selection metrics that are reported to be based on gate, gaze and attentiveness. The idea being a victim who is easy to take relatively unaware and will comply.

As far as I know prediction of having a gun doesn't enter into it or has not been tested.

We do know that burglar interviews and time patterns of such suggest they try to avoid running into an armed homeowner. Our patterns differ from countries that don't have significant numbers of home guns.

You have to get down to a more microlevel for causal interpretations. I remember Lott saying that gun locks were related to more rapes, implying a causal link. That was just global rates and no attempt to look at rape dynamics. It was unfortunately a silly causal stretch.

The point that we haven't seen a global increase in crimes and the crime rate of CCW/CHL types does speak to the CHL population itself not being a major risk of increasing gun crime.
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Old March 23, 2013, 10:47 AM   #17
Dashunde
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Quote:
How much influence do you think CC has on the minds of criminals nowadays?
Strangely, I'm quoting myself because after reading the posts so far, I've changed my perspective on the whole concept of ccw being a crime deterent and I would not phrase the question the same way now.
Although I am optimistic that a certain percentage view ccw's as a unacceptable risk, it really is an impossible thing to quantify.

All that matters is how much influence our ccw has on our particular criminal's next choice during his attack - a decision to retreat is the best possible outcome for us.
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Old March 23, 2013, 12:12 PM   #18
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I'm with Spats on this one.

The threat of harm or the threat of punishment do not seem to be really effective deterrents.

We all hear how released criminals, ostensibly rehabilitated members of society, often go on to re-offend. Clearly, the thought of prison either isn't scary, or isn't even considered.

There is evidence showing that the existence of the death penalty does not result in a reduction of murders. Indeed, such states often have higher murder rates than the states without such a punishment.

So, in the case of CCW, I feel it may tip the scales more in the favour of the intended victim (as, no doubt, they'd been chosen because the criminal felt they either yielded good pickings, easy pickings or both).

Therefore, all I would be willing to say is that if victim of crime turns out to be carrying, it may give the criminal cause to regret committing the crime, but by then the offence has already been set in motion and so technically has occurred, regardless of the outcome...
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Old March 23, 2013, 01:58 PM   #19
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I don't mean to nitpick, but your post is full of assumptions, and light on facts.
That is kind of the point of the ignorance of the claim that More CCW = Less crime. It is very strong on assumptions and light on facts. I was simply demonstrating how the same process can be shown why criminals don't fear CCW enough for crime rates to change. We can make whatever argument you want that is strong on assumptions and light on facts.

Quote:
You assume you can tell who has a gun in the house, and who doesn't. The risk of a criminal running into a CCW holder is enough to keep *some* (probably a small percentage) from committing a violent crime. Even if it's only a few percent who stop, or slow down their actions, it would still be a statistically significant number.
I never assumed that a I or a criminal can tell which house has a gun and which doesn't. You are the one making that assumption. I simply noted that it was more likely for there to be a gun in a house then a person legally ccw. This is backed up by the tremendous number of gun owners but relative few licensees. Gary Kleck's estimates are that 43% of US households have guns. Even if each household contained to legal aged adults (which they don't), no state has a 21.5% CCW rate. Most are significantly lower than that. So yeah, you are more likely to encounter a house where a gun is than a person with a gun. If, as a criminal I wish to commit a violent crime and reduce to risk from legal firearms, picking a victim NOT at home is better than picking one who is.

Quote:
I tend to believe that higher gun ownership, and more people carrying guns have an effect on crime, but I would never say for sure that's the reason.
Yes, we would all like for this to be true (even if you are mixing the concepts of simple ownership with the concept of the thread, CCW), but the fact of the matter at this time is that the only stats where we can show that crime is definitely influenced by CCW is when a person with a CCW stops a crime against themselves or others. Of course, that is where CCW matters most. Of course, even when a crime is stopped, that is a crime statistic that gets added to the tally of crimes committed, even if it doesn't come to fruition.
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Old March 23, 2013, 02:14 PM   #20
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At the same time John Lott was writing "More Guns Less Crime". claiming that Florida's relaxing concealed carry laws caused a reduction in crime, the nation as a whole saw reductions in crime. Some states with strict gun laws saw greater reductions than Florida.
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Old March 23, 2013, 08:20 PM   #21
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Lott argued through some regression stats that he controlled for overall changes. He also argued that there was a sharp discontinuity in the decline of crime in 'more gun' states as compared to others using time series analyses.

However, other progun scholars have some trouble with Lott if you want to fight through complicated stat arguments.
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