Last updated on: 8/2/2012 | Author:

James Q. Wilson, PhD Biography

Late Professor of Political Science at Boston College
Pro to the question "Should Adults Have the Right to Carry a Concealed Handgun?"

“[John] Lott’s work convinces me that the decrease in murder and robbery in states with shall-issue laws, even after controlling statistically for every other cause of crime reduction, is real and significant. Of the many scholars who were given Lott’s data and did their own analyses, most agree with his conclusions. States that passed these laws experienced sharp drops in murder, rape, robbery, and assault, even after allowing for the effects of poverty, unemployment, police arrest rates, and the like. States that did not pass these laws did not show comparable declines. And these declines were not trivial – he is writing about as many as 1,000 fewer murders and rapes and 10,000 few robberies. Carrying concealed guns reduces – it does not increase – the rate of serious crime, and that reduction is vastly greater than the generally trivial effect of gun-carrying on accidental shootings.”

“Guns and Bush,”, Oct. 13, 2000

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Professor, Political Science, Boston College, 2009-2012
  • Recipient, Presidential Medal of Freedom, 2003
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, American Political Science Association, 2001
  • Professor, Public Policy, Pepperdine University, 1998-2008
  • President, American Political Science Association, 1991-1992
  • Recipient, James Madison Award, American Political Science Association, 1990
  • Professor, Management and Public Policy, UCLA, 1985-1997
  • Member, President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, 1985-1990
  • Member, Attorney General’s Task Force on Violent Crime, 1981
  • Chairman, National Advisory Commission on Drug Abuse Prevention, 1972-1973
  • Member, Board of Directors, Police Foundation, 1971-1993
  • Chairman, White House Task Force on Crime, 1966
  • Professor, Political Science, Harvard University, 1961-1987
  • Soldier, United States Navy, 1952-1955
  • PhD, Political Science, University of Chicago, 1959
  • MA, Political Science, University of Chicago, 1957
  • BA, University of Redlands, 1952
  • Died on Mar. 2, 2012
  • Has two children and five grandchildren
  • Raised in Long Beach, CA
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Pro & Con Quotes: Should Adults Have the Right to Carry a Concealed Handgun?