Leav­ing threat­ened women de­fense­less

McAuliffe for­bids do­mes­tic vi­o­lence vic­tims tem­po­rary con­cealed carry

The Washington Times Daily - - OPINION - By John R. Lott Jr. John R. Lott Jr. is the pres­i­dent of the Crime Preven­tion Re­search Cen­ter and the au­thor of “Dumb­ing Down the Courts: How pol­i­tics keeps the smartest judges off the bench” (Bas­com Hill Pub­lish­ing Group, 2013).

Pro­tec­tion or­ders are pieces of pa­per that can only do so much to keep women safe from vi­o­lent men. But at the end of March, Vir­ginia’s Demo­cratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe ve­toed a bill that would tem­po­rar­ily al­low do­mes­tic vi­o­lence vic­tims to tem­po­rar­ily carry a per­mit­ted con­cealed hand­gun for 45 days with­out a per­mit. This is length of time it can take to process a per­mit ap­pli­ca­tion.

Mr. McAuliffe said it is “dan­ger­ous fic­tion that the vic­tims of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence will be safer by arm­ing them­selves.”

Guns do make it eas­ier to kill. But there is a sim­ple bi­o­log­i­cal fact that gun con­trol ad­vo­cates like Mr. McAuliffe ig­nore. Men are typ­i­cally much stronger phys­i­cally than women, par­tic­u­larly when it comes to up­per body strength. Un­for­tu­nately, real life isn’t like the movies where one sin­gle woman is able to knock out and over­power sev­eral well-trained men. Men are also tend to be faster run­ners. Even with­out a gun, men can do a lot of harm to or even kill a woman.

A gun rep­re­sents a much big­ger change in a woman’s abil­ity to de­fend her­self than it does in a man’s abil­ity to hurt her.

My re­search in my book “More Guns, Less Crime” shows that mur­der rates de­cline when ei­ther more women or more men carry con­cealed hand­guns, but ad­di­tion­ally I found a woman car­ry­ing a con­cealed hand­gun re­duces the mur­der rate for women by about 3 to 4 times more than a man car­ry­ing a con­cealed hand­gun re­duces the mur­der rate for men.

And this mes­sage is get­ting across to women. Be­tween 2012 and 2016, in states that pro­vide data by gen­der, the num­ber of women with con­cealed hand­gun per­mits has in­creased twice as quickly as the num­ber for men.

And a poll by Pew Re­search Cen­ter helps to ex­plain this. The per­cent of women who say gun own­er­ship pro­tects peo­ple from crime has been grow­ing faster than for men.

Of course, the whole dis­cus­sion com­pletely ig­nores the cases where a woman may bran­dish a gun to pre­vent bad things from hap­pen­ing. That is a rea­son that re­search such as mine looks at the rate at which women are mur­dered af­ter they have been al­lowed to carry per­mit­ted con­cealed hand­guns.

Mr. McAuliffe pushed for Vir­ginia to use back­ground checks to stop peo­ple from get­ting guns if they are un­der a two-year pro­tec­tive or­der for do­mes­ticvi­o­lence of­fenses. But there is lit­tle ev­i­dence that back­ground checks stop vi­o­lent crime. Michael Bloomberg’s group, Every­town for Gun Safety, praises th­ese laws for re­duc­ing the rate at which in­ti­mate part­ners kill women, but the

A woman car­ry­ing a con­cealed hand­gun re­duces the mur­der rate for women by about 3 to 4 times more than a man car­ry­ing a con­cealed hand­gun re­duces the mur­der rate for men.

group never ac­tu­ally ex­am­ines how crime rates change be­fore and af­ter laws are adopted. They look across states and ig­nore the fact that the states that al­ready had low rates at which in­ti­mate part­ners kill women were the ones that adopted th­ese laws. When you look at mur­ders be­fore and af­ter changes in th­ese laws, no ben­e­fit was found.

Mr. McAuliffe points out that in 2014, there were “112 fam­ily and in­ti­matepart­ner re­lated homi­cides.” But he pads this num­ber by count­ing 46 deaths that didn’t in­volve guns. More bizarrely, the state data looks at homi­cides, not mur­ders. Most peo­ple don’t re­al­ize this, but homi­cides in­clude self-de­fense killings. So Mr. McAuliffe’s num­ber in­cludes cases where a woman le­git­i­mately used a gun to de­fend her­self from a vi­o­lent part­ner. Nor does the state note that many of th­ese in­ti­mate part­ner homi­cides were cases in­volv­ing pros­ti­tutes.

Democrats have long at­tacked Repub­li­cans for not car­ing about vi­o­lence against women. On Fri­day, af­ter Pres­i­dent Trump de­clared April to be na­tional sex­ual as­sault aware­ness and preven­tion month, Tina Fey re­marked that this was “surely an April Fools’ joke.” But the pres­i­dent has been a strong sup­porter of let­ting women carry guns for pro­tec­tion.

Democrats claim that they are the true de­fend­ers of women. But they ap­par­ently don’t trust women to pro­tect them­selves.

ILLUSTRATION BY HUNTER

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