Accusations on gun law research are unfounded

Re “Shooting holes in a lawsuit,” Opinion, May 31

Jon Wiener claims that “nobody” tried to replicate my research, which demonstrated that right-to-carry laws reduce crime rates.

This is false. Not only has everyone who tried managed to replicate my findings, but many academics have gone beyond that and shown that right-to-carry laws reduce violent crime under a variety of approaches (see

Wiener fails to note that since my research was published, not a single peer-reviewed publication has found that right-to-carry laws increase crime, and there is research that finds even larger drops than I found.


Wiener’s Google search implies that many other scholars agree with his claims of research fraud. Yet Wiener fails to note that only about a sixth of the postings are actually scholars of any type.

Wiener claims that my defamation suit wants to “silence” certain claims of fraud. I and other academics have tried to engage Stephen D. Levitt in discussions on the accuracy of his claims, but he won’t respond to us.

Instead, he falsely charges that the research with which he disagrees was published only because the University of Chicago Press overrode the journal’s editor, and that I bought the press’ decision.



Burke, Va.