Dog Bites Man: Gun Crimes Down In Michigan Since Passage Of CCW Law

Michigan sees fewer gun deaths — with more permits (Detroit Free Press):

Six years after new rules made it much easier to get a license to carry concealed weapons, the number of Michiganders legally packing heat has increased more than six-fold.

But dire predictions about increased violence and bloodshed have largely gone unfulfilled, according to law enforcement officials and, to the extent they can be measured, crime statistics.

The incidence of violent crime in Michigan in the six years since the law went into effect has been, on average, below the rate of the previous six years. The overall incidence of death from firearms, including suicide and accidents, also has declined.

Michigan mirrors the experience of pretty much every state that’s liberalized its concealed carry laws: Hyberbolic predictions of the streets running red with blood before, reductions in violent crime after. With each new state that goes through this process, the former become more difficult to sustain and the latter harder to ignore (though some, of course, still do).

FILED UNDER: Guns and Gun Control
Dodd Harris
About Dodd Harris
Dodd, who used to run a blog named ipse dixit, is an attorney, a veteran of the United States Navy, and a fairly good poker player. He contributed over 650 pieces to OTB between May 2007 and September 2013. Follow him on Twitter @Amuk3.

Comments

  1. yetanotherjohn says:

    You would have to have a willing suspension of disbelief to believe that this reduction in gun violence is anything other than criminals anticipating the democrats taking over congress in 2006 and deciding that they needed to kick their rehabilitation into high gear.

  2. Triumph says:

    Michigan mirrors the experience of pretty much every state that’s liberalized its concealed carry laws: Hyberbolic predictions of the streets running red with blood before, reductions in violent crime after. With each new state that goes through this process, the former become more difficult to sustain and the latter harder to ignore (though some, of course, still do).

    What is the evidence that this is not simply a logical fallacy?

  3. Tlaloc says:

    Strangely enough the data I found contradicts the supposed story.

    Michigan rates of violent crime:
    http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/micrime.htm
    Compared to US rates of violent crime:
    http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/uscrime.htm

    I went ahead and graphed it for you to make the obvious- well obvious:

    Graph Michigan Crime

  4. William d'Inger says:

    OK, I looked at your graph, Tialoc, and even presuming it’s accurate (which is not certain in my opinion) it still does not contradict the story. The average violent crimes in the six years after the law went into effect is below the average of the six prior years (in so far as I can tell from the somewhat grainy nature of the graph).

    Unfortunately, for many Americans facts concerning gun control don’t matter. The pros and cons of the zealots are dogma frozen in cement for all eternity, and rational analysis makes no difference.

  5. Triumph says:

    Unfortunately, for many Americans facts concerning gun control don’t matter.

    Unfortnately, many Americans like you and Senator Dodd, have no comprehension of statistics and causality.

    Tloc’s graph compares Michigan with the rest of the country and you can see pretty clearly that the trend is identical. Given the fact that most states don’t have concealed-carry laws, the graph suggests that other variables may account for the crime data.

    This is why Senator Dodd’s assumption that the MI laws are responsible for a particular trend in crime stats is a logical fallacy.

  6. LaurenceB says:

    I think Tlaloc makes a very persuasive point. In fact, it’s so persuasive I’m surprised the Detroit Free Press missed it.

    I guess “new media” beats “old media” once more.

  7. Jameson says:

    Post hoc ergo propter hoc ?

  8. Gollum says:

    Tloc’s graph compares Michigan with the rest of the country and you can see pretty clearly that the trend is identical. Given the fact that most states don’t have concealed-carry laws, the graph suggests that other variables may account for the crime data.

    Actually, “most” states do have concealed-carry laws, which suggests that your position is uninformed.

  9. William d'Inger says:

    Unfortnately, many Americans like you and Senator Dodd, have no comprehension of statistics and causality.

    Man, talking about jumping to conclusions. I merely stated the fact that Tialoc’s graph does not contradict the article as he claimed it does. I made no assertion about the validity of either the graph or the article.

    Also, I might add, you haven’t the vaguest idea about my knowledge of statistics (or lack thereof), but I’ll let that affront slide this once.

  10. mannning says:

    If the data is broken down to a summary of states with and without concealed carry laws and plotted against the time at which those laws were enacted, there might well be a better picture of the influence of more open gun laws.

    Further, as John Lott found, the statistics covering all reported crimes in which a gun owner prevented or stopped a crime, are not readily available to the public. After going to over 2,400 police departments, Lott found that over 3 million crimes were prevented or stopped by gun owners in a single year.

    This is all one needs to support open gun laws, subject to verification of legal age, good citizenship and soundness of mind.

    The tragic events at schools and other places must be handled by adequate “soundness of mind” checks at various steps along the path of a potential killer.

  11. Tlaloc says:

    OK, I looked at your graph, Tialoc, and even presuming it’s accurate (which is not certain in my opinion) it still does not contradict the story

    Really? Cause when I look at that graph I see the rates of violence look like they stay the same, not trend down, comparing 2000 to 2001-6 (they dip down for a couple years and then pop up higher than 2000 for the last two). Furthermore compared to the national average really highlights that as the rest of the country has gotten better Michigan has pretty much stayed the same.

  12. Tlaloc says:

    If the data is broken down to a summary of states with and without concealed carry laws and plotted against the time at which those laws were enacted, there might well be a better picture of the influence of more open gun laws.

    If you find the data I’ll plot it.

    Further, as John Lott found, the statistics covering all reported crimes in which a gun owner prevented or stopped a crime, are not readily available to the public. After going to over 2,400 police departments, Lott found that over 3 million crimes were prevented or stopped by gun owners in a single year

    I don’t consider John Lott remotely credible. He works for the AEI, he creates sock puppets on the internet to push his work (Wait, do I know you?), and he’s deliberately lied about his work.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Lott

    He’s a text book duplicitous rightwing hack.

    The tragic events at schools and other places must be handled by adequate “soundness of mind” checks at various steps along the path of a potential killer.

    Or by not flooding society with guns in the first place. Self defense purposes are readily served by any number of nonlethal weapons (particularly when the offender is similarly disarmed of firearms).

  13. Tlaloc says:

    The stat that really should be measured is how many violent crimes result in death vs serious injury (extended hospitalization) vs minor injury (emergency room or first aid treatment).

    That’s where I suspect the real problem will lay- i.e. it’s not that guns make violence more likely, its that they make it far more lethal when it happens.

  14. William d'Inger says:

    Really? Cause when I look at that graph I see the rates of violence look like they stay the same, not trend down, comparing 2000 to 2001-6 (they dip down for a couple years and then pop up higher than 2000 for the last two).

    But 2000 vs 2001-2006 is notthe comparison mentioned in the article. The article says the average of the six years under the law (2001 – 2006) is less than the average of the six prior years (1995 – 2000). The graph confirms that claim.

    I do NOT believe the decrease is due to the law. At the very least, that claim cannot logically be drawn from the available data. Even so, bloodbath prediction was clearly wrong.

    I am neither a gun nut nor an anti-gun nut. I believe a reasonable balance can be found between the right to gun ownership and the right of the government to protect the public. I detest the all or none positions adopted by the zealots.

  15. mannning says:

    That was a totally expected attack on Lott. The anti-gun crowd has tried everything to keep his work suppressed, or discredited as in your case. This actually includes the police and the media, that have not reported the good that gun owners have done. Who are you to try such a put-down?

    It seems that neither the police nor the media want to make a second foray into collecting and publishing an updated account of gun owner “saves.” If done honestly, it would silence the anti-gun mob on the point, and make them look even more foolish.

    Besides being a constitutional right, gun ownership and gun use in the US is enjoyed by over 60 million people. It is senseless to suggest that somehow they lose their guns, so that their families can be more easily robbed and killed by criminals; you remember, those who do not respect any laws to begin with, and will ever have access to weapons.

    Out of that 3 million “saves” by gun owners, one can reasonably expect a number of potentially violent encounters to have been stopped. I would suggest about 5%, which translates into 150,000 stoppages of violence and murder in a year. Even at a mere 1%, it is an overwhelming number–30,000!

    Anyone that does not take this saving grace of gun ownership into account is simply misguided (to say it mildly!).

  16. mannning says:

    I love it! I am to protect my family with a kitchen knife! Idiotic!

    Many gun owners and others are of advanced age and cannot wield a knife effectively against a younger and stronger opponent in the first place, and the criminal’s gun would rule the encounter in the second place. The only counter to a gun wielder that makes any sense at all is another gun wielder–the great equalizing fact.

    I see that we are going into an endless loop here, with the anti-gun crowd trying to seize upon anything all to buttress their case, including defamation. I have had my say, and while I do enjoy long debates, in this situation it is useless. There is zero hope of persuading any anti-gun person to change, so I will leave it to the deluded ones to continue.

  17. Tlaloc says:

    That was a totally expected attack on Lott.

    I should think so, when you choose to reference a well known hack with a penchant for lying you should expect for someone to point out that he’s a hack with a penchant for lying.

    It seems that neither the police nor the media want to make a second foray into collecting and publishing an updated account of gun owner “saves.” If done honestly, it would silence the anti-gun mob on the point, and make them look even more foolish.

    So you think you can rigorously prove that a gun prevented a crime, huh? I don’t suppose the glaring logic flaw there leaps out at you.

    Besides being a constitutional right

    Show me the right in the constitution that says you get “guns”. Go on, quote it.

    I love it! I am to protect my family with a kitchen knife!

    Well at least your family is unlikely to kill themselves with said knife. Of course you could also use tasers, chemical sprays, stun guns, or any of a number of other options.

    Many gun owners and others are of advanced age and cannot wield a knife effectively against a younger and stronger opponent in the first place, and the criminal’s gun would rule the encounter in the second place. The only counter to a gun wielder that makes any sense at all is another gun wielder–the great equalizing fact.

    And why does the criminal have a gun? Because idiots flood the country with guns somehow forgetting that that means one is always available to the person intent on harming others.

    If you remove guns from the system, then the criminals don’t have them because they aren’t there to have.

  18. Clovis says:

    If you remove guns from the system, then the criminals don’t have them because they aren’t there to have.

    Or they make zip-guns, or switch over to knives like in the UK, prompting calls for the UK to outlaw knives to keep them out of the hands of the criminals.

    Gee, the world isn’t made out of Nerf. Better remove anything potentially harmful from the system by government fiat.

  19. Dodd says:

    Given the fact that most states don’t have concealed-carry laws, the graph suggests that other variables may account for the crime data.

    40 states, as stated in the article, now have “shall issue” CCW permit laws (actually, it’s 39; Vermont doesn’t require a permit at all). The number is 1991 (at the peak of your graph) was 17.

    Since, as it happens, I have graduate level training in statistics, I know that there are a number of factors involved in the nationwide decrease in violent crimes, and that the one that explains the largest share of the variance is the reduction in young males as a percentage of the population. However, to suggest that 23 states adopting shall issue CCW laws since then had no effect on the trend would be an act of willful ignorance.

    But that isn’t really the point which, as I thought was obvious, is that (despite having been wrong when they made the same claims in other states) the gun banners predicted doom and destruction if Michigan’s CCW law passed and were flat out wrong. Again.

  20. mannning says:

    If you remove guns from the system, then the criminals don’t have them because they aren’t there to have.

    Let me see now. The current estimate is that there are over 280 million registered guns in the US. To collect them all would be most difficult, since the tendency would be to hide them and give the gestapo at the door a blank look. Are they going to arrest a good proportion of 60 million gun owners? I think not.

    The number of unregistered guns, mostly in the hands of the dark people, is actually unknown, but it is probably in the multi-millions too, and these guns would be most difficult to locate, though readily available to the criminals.

    Gun running is an ancient art, along with dope smuggling, which a rather all-out war hasn’t really dented in 20 years. So it would most probably be the same with black market guns, hence resupply wouldn’t be a major problem to anyone that wants a gun.

    Then, too, the number of gun makers in the world has just about doubled since WWII, and their products are readily available to anyone that wants one, or ten, or more… AK-47s are made in over 40 nations, for instance, and ammo as well, of course. Handguns are made everywhere too, so to be successful in eliminating guns in the US, you must shut down the entire world’s armament industries and their sales channels (“the idiots of the world.”). I believe this would take far more than 20 years to do, if ever. I won’t hold my breath! In the meantime, the threat to the citizenship will persist for decades and more decades. Very smart, indeed! Good maneuver!

    Thus, the criminals would still be armed to the teeth, and all the removal of citizen’s legal guns from our system would do is disarm the ordinary citizen. How very stupid! You can look at the enormous rise of crime in the UK and Australia as a sterling example of the folly of confiscating guns from the populace.

    This puts as many as a 100 thousand or more citizens at risk per year of being wounded or killed by the criminal element, to save what? A few thousand deaths, other than suicide; about which one can argue that the kitchen knife, razor, a rope, or poison, would be their next choice, thus taking that death stat out of the gun picture entirely. If someone really wants to kill himself, he will find a way.

    Some day, you should read the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution very carefully.

    To a lefty, anyone that faces them down on gun control is a hack. I am sure that Lott would wear your derogatory label with pride. Meanwhile, the stats are the stats, and 3 or more million gun owners each year are grateful for their ownership because of what guns helped to thwart. Obviously, you are not, and do not care for their lives and their well-being. You want to ignore this aspect, don’t you? For shame!

    How very bloodthirsty of you to want to condemn all of these people to God knows what harm, wounding, rape, or death. That is disgusting in the extreme. Nauseating, in fact.