Analysis: Violent Crime DOWN since Ohio concealed carry became law

This article, originally published at, is being republished here in its entirety with permission of the author.

Gun Controllers: A Specious Species

Written by Howard Nemerov
Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Every time a state enacts right-to-carry, doomsayers predict scenarios like shoot-outs over parking spaces and traffic stops that turn deadly for law enforcement. That there are now 38 RTC states without such horrors does not deter the gun control addict, for theirs is not a crusade based upon logic or statistical reality. It is the purpose of these writings to expose gun controllers' defective reasoning, to give you the tools for addressing the issues surrounding gun control, and to promote and protect your right to carry.

In 2004, Ohio enacted their RTC law. A recent article, while presenting both sides, has a curious title, Ohio handgun law has had little effect,1 which in itself indicates the inherent media bias against guns. The implication here is that some sort of magic cure for crime was promised by the supporters of the law, which, having not materialized, demonstrates a fatal flaw in the premise of RTC.

The article states that "crime hasn't dropped noticeably." The preliminary 2004 FBI Uniform Crime Report indicates that for the first half of the year, including the first three months of Ohio's RTC law when 26,307 licenses were issued, violent crime dropped in 4 out of 5 cities with populations over 100,000.

Ohio Crime Rates, January to June 20042

Ohio Crime Rates, January to June 20042

Violent Crime

Property Crime













































Property crime rose in four cities, in keeping with John Lott's principle of substitution.3 When criminals know more citizens are armed, they switch from violent crimes, where they confront victims, to property crimes, where there is no contact. A big gambit for gun banners is to combine all crime into one total, ignoring the dynamics that differentiate violence from property
crime. In doing so, they don't have to confront the logic of Lott's principle. So instead of concluding that criminals are cowardly opportunists, they can blame RTC laws and continue promoting gun bans. Their bigotry does not allow for beneficial properties being attributed to firearms; in this case, protection against violent predators.

The article quotes Toby Hoover, executive director of the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence:

"If we have 45,000 more cars throughout the state of Ohio, we're going to have more accidents. If we have 45,000 more guns in public, we're going to have more incidents."4

In 1966, there were 95,703,000 registered vehicles and 100,998,000 licensed drivers in the US, with 50,894 traffic fatalities. In 2003, there were 230,788,000 registered vehicles and 196,166,000 licensed drivers, but only 42,643 fatalities. From 1966 to 2003, the motor vehicle traffic fatality rate per 100,000 population dropped from 25.89 to 14.66, a 43.4% decrease. In 1988, there 177,455,000 registered vehicles and 6,887,000 total crashes. In 2003 there were 230,788,000 registered vehicles and 6,328,000 total crashes.5

FACT: As the total number of automobiles and drivers increased, the total number of traffic fatalities and accidents decreased.

Between 1995 and 2001, 11 states enacted right-to-carry laws. Since the laws went into effect, these states' average annual drop in homicide was 3.9%, compared to an annual drop of 3.4% in the 18 states without right-to-carry during that time period. New right-to-carry states saw an average annual drop in rape of 1.6%, compared to 0.5% for non-CCW states.6 Also, the ATF estimates that an average of 4.5 million new firearms are sold each year.7

FACT: More guns, less crime.

Hoover is not done yet:

Ohio is home to about 7.5 million adults old enough to apply for the permit, Hoover said. That only about 45,000 of those applied shows her most Ohioans don't want the law.

"For us, the important part is that it asks a whole society (for something) that only a half percent (of the population) wanted to do," she said. "That in itself is bothersome because the majority of Ohioans don't want to have loaded guns around them all the time."8

In all states with right-to-carry, only a small percentage of all residents choose to spend the time and money to obtain a concealed carry permit. For example, since 1995, Texas has issued 223,584 CCW licenses through May 2002, 1% of the population.9 Nevertheless, with the increased reduction in violent crime, 99% of the population benefits from the deterrent effect created by
those who are willing to make the investment and take all the physical and legal risks. Because criminals don't know which person in a crowd is armed, they are less likely to instigate an assault. Finally, as there are now 36 with RTC laws, and two more with fairly administered may-issue laws, Ms. Hoover implies there are an awful lot of states being run by a tyrannical 1% of the electorate. In fact, RTC laws are the outcome of elaborate, years-long campaigns, debated in legislatures by duly-elected representatives and signed by duly-elected governors. In rare cases of governor veto, the bill must be passed by a 2/3 majority to override the veto. A reasonable person can only conclude that were there an outcry against such laws by an established majority of the electorate, such laws would never pass.

To highlight their extremes of wishful thinking, Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence has an action page to help people write Congress regarding the repeal of the Washington D.C. gun ban. They want people to "Send a Message: Keep Our Nation's Capitol Safe."10

FACT: In 2003, our nation's capitol experienced a murder rate of 44.2 per 100,000 population, nearly 8 times the national rate, and over 8.7 times the average rate of all concealed carry states. The D.C. violent crime rate is 2.5 times the national average and four times the rate of RTC states.11


Fear thrives in an environment of ignorance and illiteracy. When one begins to examine the supposed data which gun banners use to support their agenda, their entire flimsy structure disintegrates. It is not CCW statistics, but Hoover's blind, agenda-driven misinterpretation of reality that is bothersome, and fatal for innocent people.


1. Ohio handgun law has had little effect, Daniel Prazer, Gannett News
Service, Telegraph-Forum, April 4, 2005.

2. FBI Uniform Crime Report, 2004 Preliminary.

3. The Bias Against Guns: Why Almost Everything You've Heard About Gun
Control Is Wrong, John R. Lott, Jr., Regnery Publishing, 2003, page 11.

4. See 1.

5. Traffic Safety Facts 2003: A Compilation of Motor Vehicle Crash Data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System and the General Estimates System, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Table 1, page 14, and Table 2, page 15.

6. FBI Uniform Crime Reports. Selected data from 1995, 1996, 2001, and 2003.

7. Commerce in Firearms in the United States, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, & Firearms, February, 2000, page 1.

8. See 1.

9. Right-To-Carry 2005, NRA-ILA, March 17, 2005.

10. Take Action! Send a Message: Keep Our Nation's Capitol Safe. Urges Congress to not repeal the DC gun ban.

11. Crime in the States, 2003, FBI.

Howard Nemerov began doing his own research into gun control when he recognized that the media was full of distortions and half truths. He publishes with ChronWatch and other sites, and is a frequent guest on NRA News. He is currently working on his first book, Gun Control: Fear or Fact, which deconstructs and explains the gun control agenda and its arguments, debunking each one with a statistic-rich analysis. This is the handbook for when you want to talk to others about gun control. Howard receives email at [email protected].

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