Here is an article that a friend forwarded to me. (Who is that masked
I assume that it is in line with this discussion, and to Celts, since they
were known as fierce warriors, and rational about the need to be able to
You can't conceal carry a shotgun, only a handgun.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
The following article is reprinted by permission of
California Physician, copyright 1997. California Physician
is the monthly magazine of the California Medical
Association. It goes out each month to about 30,000
doctors in California. This article was printed in the
January 1997 issue.
Science and Sentiment: Balancing the Firearms Debate
Timothy Wheeler, MD
"False is the idea of utility that would take fire from men
because it burns, and water because one may drown in it;
that has no remedy for evils, except destruction. The laws
that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature.
They disarm those only who are neither inclined nor
determined to commit crimes."
Two centuries after criminologist Cesare Beccaria wrote
those words, modern criminologists are now reaching the
same conclusions. In a landmark study to be published in
the Journal of Legal Studies, and already available on the
University of Chicago researchers John Lott and David
Mustard found that allowing citizens to carry concealed
weapons deters violent crimes and it appears to produce no
increase in accidental deaths. The authors studied 3,054
counties in the United States using controls for time
periods, demographic differences, and changes in firearms
laws over the study period. In states which passed liberal
shall issue laws for concealed carry permits, the murder
rate fell by 8.5%, and rapes and aggravated assaults fell by
5% and 7% respectively.
Physicians who follow the public health firearms debate
may be shocked by these statistics. But the Lott study is no
surprise to those who read the criminology literature.
Similar studies go back as far as the Carter administration,
which funded an extensive literature review on weapons
and violent crime, published as the book Under the Gun:
Waepons, Crime, and Violence in America. Authors James
Wright, Peter Rossi, and Kathleen Daly's summation was
that there is no compelling evidence that the private
ownership of firearms among the general population is, per
se, an important cause of criminal violence.
More recently Northwestern University's Journal of
Criminal Law and Criminology published Kleck and
Gertz's national survey showing as many as 2.5 million
annual uses of firearms to defend against imminent violent
How can it be that doctors have not learned the whole truth
about guns and crime? The answer is simple. Most
doctors have never considered gun crime to be germane to
medicine, and have therefore not studied the subject. But
the large body of research amassed by criminologists
during the past 20 years mostly confirms what typical gun-
owning citizens know intuitively: Gun violence is the work
of a small minority of criminal aberrants, most of whom
have a lifelong history of violent and antisocial behavior.
This perspective is now accepted by many in the academic
community outside of medicine. Charges against the
National Rifle Association or the gun lobby fail to address
the scientific issues raised by these reputable researchers
and therefore contribute little to our understanding.
There are physicians who believe that criminologists have
something to teach physicians about crime. They want to
hear all the evidence and make up their own minds. The
evidence increasingly tells us that gun ownership by good
citizens is not only safe, but is a positive benefit in that it
helps protect innocent human life.