The National Rifle Association disputes the view of a National Research Council expert panel that there is no proof “right-to-carry” concealed handgun laws reduce crime. NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam told the New York Times, “I think these laws have been tremendously effective. This is not rocket science, but common sense. The whole purpose of these laws is to allow people to defend themselves when the need arises.”
The report also cast doubt on research about how often guns are used to deter crimes. Some research says that guns are used 100,000 times a year to defend against a crime, but other research put that figure as high as 2.5 million times a year. Such a wide variation calls the accuracy of the findings into doubt, leaving it unclear what is actually being measured, the study said. It also questioned some favorite findings by advocates of gun control, saying there was not enough evidence to conclude that owning a gun increases the risk of a gun injury. “My sense is that people on both sides of the debate won’t like the report,” said Jens Ludwig of Georgetown University. “The main thrust of it is, we don’t know anything about anything, and more research is needed.” The report was commissioned by the Justice Department’s National Institute of Justice, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; the Joyce Foundation; the Annie E. Casey Foundation; and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.