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Guns In Arizona: A Life-Or-Death Question

Publication Date: 
July 17, 2011
The Arizona Republic
Ronald J. Hansen and Dennis Wagner

Professor John Donohue is quoted in this Arizona Republic article on the doubt he has over research done by economists at the University of Chicago that indicates allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons deters violent crimes. Donohue and Yale Professor Ian Ayres calls the evidence "sporadic and extraordinarily fragile."

Arizona has some of the least restrictive gun laws in the nation. It also has one of the highest rates of gun deaths in the country.

But how closely are guns and violence connected?

The answer, like much involving guns in America, is complicated.


Law professors Ian Ayres of Yale and John Donohue of Stanford are among those who have cast doubt on the rigor of the analysis.

In their 2003 paper, they acknowledged that Lott and Mustard had established that the predicted bloodbaths from more lenient concealed-weapons laws didn't happen. But Ayres and Donohue found "sporadic and extraordinarily fragile" evidence that the changes helped reduce crime. They said it appeared just as likely the gun laws increased crime.