It would be nice if there was a simple and inexpensive way to reduce crime significantly, but unfortunately the world does not usually work that way and we should be careful to avoid wishful thinking on this subject.

Lott is undoubtedly sincere in his belief that more guns caused less crime and one cannot be other than impressed by the energy he has devoted to marshaling the evidence in favour of his proposition and dismayed by the tactics of some of his opponents that he describes in chapter 7. However, he is none the less completely wrong--there weren't significantly more guns, there wasn't less crime, and the mechanism for causation just isn't there.

There may be good reasons for a state to introduce ``right-to-carry'' laws but reducing crime is not one of them.

Tim Lambert