Notorious anti-gun academic and law professor John Donohue of Stanford University has just produced another self-serving and self-fulfilling prophecy about law-abiding citizens and concealed carry. Donohue is the lead author of a mendacious fact-denying working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research that claims that widespread concealed carry increases violent crime rates. Numerous other studies including seminal research by concealed carry advocate John Lott show this claim to be completely untrue. Donohue admits, "The public may perceive the falling crime rate post-1996 . but our analysis suggests that Texas would have experienced a more sizable violent crime decline if it had not passed a RTC law."
Donohue has published numerous anti-gun articles and op-eds in years past. This report revisits numerous data sets about violent crime and adds figures from recent years. Donohue and his team use "synthetic control" simulations that purport to predict what violent crime rates would have been if concealed carry had not been permitted. Although their own data shows that states that enacted right-to-carry laws have in fact seen substantial reductions in violent crime, Donohue claims that those reductions would be greater without concealed carry. The report states, "the synthetic controls analysis best supports the view that the adoption of RTC (right to carry) laws substantially raises overall violent crime in the ten years after adoption."
That's a deliberately deceptive and mendacious statement disparaging the actual fact that more citizens carrying guns for self-defense reduce violent crime rates. Donohue's research is synthetic speculation masquerading as truth. It is presented as proof that concealed carry causes violent crime rates to rise, when in fact what it says is that crime rates do go down, but don't go down as much as he thinks they would have without concealed carry, according to his "synthetic control" models.
Donohue believes, and has argued in the past, that all citizens must be disarmed in order to decrease crime rates. But doing so only turns citizens into helpless victims without any evidence that doing so will protect them from being victimized and in the face of proof that an armed citizenry in fact makes society safer. His statistical argument ignores the reality that it is real people who are victimized, each of whom has a constitutional right to be armed against victimization.
Donohue and people like him simply fail to understand that the right to armed self-defense is not subject to being statistically apportioned. The individual's right to keep and bear arms for self-defense is not dependent on the amount of crime in their vicinity. It cannot be conditioned upon their statistical chance of victimization. It's complete, whole and indivisible.
It is not within the power of government to say to anyone, "Your being armed increases the overall risk of violent crime so we are going to revoke your rights based on an analysis and balancing of the various statistical risks to you and to society as a whole." This is not what Donohue actually claims, of course, but it's the message being propagated by the liberal anti-gun press like Vice magazine, which trumpets a headline about the report saying "The Good Guy with a Gun Theory, Debunked."
No right is subject to apportionment in such a manner. Government cannot say, "You have a right to freedom of religion only 30 percent of the time." It cannot say, "Your exercise of your right to free speech must be prohibited because it creates a 15 percent greater chance that someone else might abuse theirs." Nor can it say, "Your right to keep and bear arms in public is revoked and restricted only to your home because otherwise a criminal might become more violent."
It should be obvious that Donohue's speculation is a call for inherently unconstitutional legislative response by government. This must not be permitted or tolerated. You either have rights that are complete or you do not have rights at all, and in this country we have a right to keep and bear arms for self-defense, as the United States Supreme Court has pointed out on several recent occasions.