When you see an academic “study” that flies in the face of known facts, which should you discount… the known facts, or the conclusions of the questionable study?
Despite being contradicted by previous research and the regularly documented instances we and other sites publish of concealed carriers thwarting crime, a Texas academic is attempting to claim that concealed carriers are not reducing crime, which the media is happy to echo.
Supporters insist that allowing people to legally carry concealed handguns reduces crime, but that has not been the result in at least four states that have tried it, including Texas, according to a newly published academic study led by a Texas A&M researcher.
The study published in the Journal of Criminology looked at the connection between crime rates and concealed handgun permits for each county in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Florida and Texas.
Researchers used two sources of data from 1998 to 2010: concealed handgun license information and arrest data from Uniform Crime Reports, which the FBI compiles nationwide to gauge arrests for serious crimes including homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, theft and arson.
Overall, they found no connection between allowing concealed weapons and crime rates, which are trending downward nationwide.
“The idea that concealed handguns lead to less crime is at the center of much firearms legislation, but the science behind that conclusion has been murky,” said study lead Charles D. Phillips, an emeritus regents professor at the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health, in a statement. “The results have been so inconclusive that the National Academy of Sciences in 2004 called for a new approaches to studying the issue, which is what we’ve done with this research.”
Phillips based his study on two data points: the number of concealed carry permits in a given county, and the number of arrests.
He found “no connection” because no connection does or should exist. Concealed carriers do not arrest people, and therefore Phillips’s “study” would seem to be nothing more or less than a formal fallacy.