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John Lott wrote a book called More Guns, Less Crime, in which he argues that allowing law-abiding citizens to own guns reduces crime because they can defend themselves against criminals who will get hold of guns even if they are banned or restricted. The NRA, The Heritage Foundation, and many others in the United States have made similar arguments, often citing Lott.

But, countries such as the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, and others have fewer guns and fewer gun homicides. Many believe that the correlation is clear, and having fewer guns and more restrictions would likely lead to much lower gun homicide (and perhaps other benefits).

What are the reasons to believe that more guns in private hands leads to fewer gun homicides? What are the reasons to believe the opposite?