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Using Speculation To Meet Evidence: Reply to Alba and Messner

NCJ Number
Journal of Quantitative Criminology Volume: 11 Issue: 4 Dated: (December 1995) Pages: 411-424
G Kleck
Date Published
This paper answers Alba's and Messner's criticisms of the author's conclusions regarding the impact of gun control and widespread citizen gun ownership.
Alba and Messner argue that Kleck interprets data to support the value of gun ownership in controlling crime in society and the futility of using gun-control legislation to reduce the rate and impact of violent crime. The data, they claim, is subject to other interpretations than those given it by Kleck. Kleck, on the other hand, argues that his methods for interpreting the data are scientifically stronger than Alba's and Messner's, who consider it "legitimate to answer evidence with speculation." Overall, Kleck rejects all of Alba's and Messner's criticisms of his findings in "Point Blank" and reaffirms his conclusions regarding general levels of gun ownership and rates of criminal violence, offender gun use and the lethality of incidents, defensive gun use and the deterrent effects of gun ownership, and the ineffectiveness of gun-control laws. 19 references