The media isn’t going to make much of this, but it does show the principal reason WHY law-abiding people should be allowed to own firearms. (H/T Czar B.)
On September 26, an armed company owner intervened in an attack by shooting a former employee who had already beheaded one worker and was stabbing another.
The attack took place at Vaughan Foods in Moore, Oklahoma.
Fox News reports that the alleged attacker, 30-year-old Alton Nolen, drove his car into another car in the parking lot of Vaughan Foods’ parking lot, then entered the business and beheaded 54-year-old Collee Hufford. He was allegedly stabbing a second victim, 43-year-old Traci Johnson, when company owner Mark Vaughan drew the gun he was carrying and shot Nolen.
Vaughan is C.O.O. of the food company and “a reserve county deputy.”
Moore Police Sgt. Jeremy Lewis praised Vaughan’s actions, calling him a “hero.” He said the situation “could have gotten a lot worse” if had not had his gun.
The Associated Press reports that Lewis added: “This was not going to stop if [Vaughan] didn’t stop it.”
Nolen was recently fired from Vaughan Foods. The FBI is “probing whether Nolen’s recent conversion to Islam had anything to do with the attack.”
Time to review the evidence for allowing people to own and carry guns for self-defense.
A quick refresher on why people own guns
People own guns so that they deter criminals and reduce the crime rate in their communities. The more guns there are in the hands of law-abiding citizens, the lower the crime rate goes, because criminals don’t like being shot at by their crime victims.
Whenever I get into discussions about gun control, I always mention two academic books by John R. Lott and Joyce Lee Malcolm.
- The Lott book was published by the University of Chicago Press (now in its 3rd edition)
- The Malcolm book was published by Harvard University Press
Here is a paper by Dr. Malcolm that summarizes one of the key points of her book.
Tracing the history of gun control in the United Kingdom since the late 19th century, this article details how the government has arrogated to itself a monopoly on the right to use force. The consequence has been a tremendous increase in violent crime, and harsh punishment for crime victims who dare to fight back. The article is based on the author’s most recent book, Guns and Violence: The English Experience (Harvard University Press, 2002). Joyce Malcom is professor of history at Bentley College, in Waltham, Massachusetts. She is also author of To Keep and Bear Arms: The Origins of an AngloAmerican Right (Harvard University Press, 1994).
Upon the passage of The Firearms Act (No. 2) in 1997, British Deputy Home Secretary Alun Michael boasted: “Britain now has some of the toughest gun laws in the world.” The Act was second handgun control measure passed that year, imposed a near-complete ban on private ownership of handguns, capping nearly eighty years of increasing firearms restrictions. Driven by an intense public campaign in the wake of the shooting of schoolchildren in Dunblane, Scotland, Parliament had been so zealous to outlaw all privately owned handguns that it rejected proposals to exempt Britain’s Olympic target-shooting team and handicapped target-shooters from the ban.
And the result of the 1997 gun ban:
The result of the ban has been costly. Thousands of weapons were confiscated at great financial cost to the public. Hundreds of thousands of police hours were devoted to the task. But in the six years since the 1997 handgun ban, crimes with the very weapons banned have more than doubled, and firearm crime has increased markedly. In 2002, for the fourth consecutive year, gun crime in England and Wales rose—by 35 percent for all firearms, and by a whopping 46 percent for the banned handguns. Nearly 10,000 firearms offences were committed.
[…]According to Scotland Yard, in the four years from 1991 to 1995 crimes against the person in England‟s inner cities increased by 91 percent. In the four years from 1997 to 2001 the rate of violent crime more than doubled. The UK murder rate for 2002 was the highest for a century.
I think that peer-reviewed studies – from Harvard University, no less – should be useful to those of us who believe in the right of self-defense for law-abiding people.
A more recent study – from 2014
A recent study showing a reverse correlation between concealed weapons and murder rates has renewed the contentious national debate about the effect of gun controls on violent crime.
Reason magazine reported last week on economist Mark Gius’ study of gun controls, published in the journal Applied Economics Letters showing states with restrictions on concealed weapons had higher gun-related murder rates than other states.
The study looked at the effects on murder rates of both state-level assault weapons bans and concealed weapons restrictions from 1980 to 2009.
[…]The findings come as A 2007 study has been also getting a new look from those who dispute gun control efforts aimed at stemming gun violence, Boston magazine reported last summer.
In research first published in Harvard’s Journal of Public Law and Policy, criminologists Don Kates and Gary Mauser looked at the correlation between gun laws and death rates.
“International evidence and comparisons have long been offered as proof of the mantra that more guns mean more deaths and that fewer guns, therefore, mean fewer deaths,” the pair wrote in their introduction. “Unfortunately, such discussions [have] all too often been afflicted by misconceptions and factual error and focus on comparisons that are unrepresentative.”
The pair found “correlations that nations with stringent gun controls tend to have much higher murder rates than nations that allow guns.”
It’s not a reasonable position to think that disarming law-abiding citizens will reduce crime rates. The evidence is against it.