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When it comes to gun control, it’s easy for people on both sides to become very emotional, which often drives any discussion about it off the rails. For various reasons, there are few hard, reliable numbers or sets of data to point to when discussing whether or not certain gun laws are effective.

Now there are. This story from on a survey from John R. Lott Jr., president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, and Gary Mauser, Professor Emeritus of the Marketing Department at Simon Fraser University, of criminologists and economists who had published peer-reviewed empirical research on gun issues.

The survey found that, while criminologists and economists differed a bit, they came to the same conclusions: guns are used more for self defense than for crime; gun-free zones fail to deter criminals, rather, they attract them; guns in the house don’t increase the risk of suicide; those who hold concealed handgun permits are more law-abiding than the average American; and permitted concealed handguns lower the murder rate, the story says.

“Economists and criminologists have very different approaches to research and different political views, but then both generally find benefits from gun ownership,” Lott told in an email. “Economists, on the whole, were much more likely than criminologists to believe that there are benefits from gun ownership.”

For the full story from go here. For Mauser and Lott’s report, go here.