No matter how you interpret the phrase ``more guns'', it remains true that there were not a significant number of ``more guns''. This fact alone is sufficient to destroy Lott's case.

However, while this theory is not advanced by Lott, there is a way that carry laws could have caused a reduction in crime without having ``more guns''. The publicity about the new law could have caused criminals to overestimate the risks that they faced from permit holders. If this was the case, you would expect to see an immediate decrease in crime followed by a gradual increase as criminals learned that they were not at any greater risk. Lott does not test for this possibility--his models either have an immediate effect or a gradual one, not a combination. However, Ayres and Donahue [2] test such a combination model and find exactly the opposite of what the publicity theory predicts--an immediate increase followed by a gradual decrease.

Tim Lambert