A new paper from Carlisle E. Moody published last month provides an alternative theory last century’s decline in violence. The paper, “Firearms and the Decline of Violence in Europe: 1200-2010”, finds that the sudden historical drops in crime are consistent with the “invention and proliferation of compact, concealable, ready-to-use firearms” which “caused potential assailants to recalculate the probability of a successful assault and seek alternatives to violence.”

And unlike the civilizing process theory, Moody’s firearms theory remains consistent with the evidence and breaks in violence. As concealed weapons became more available historically, crime rate dropped radically.

Holy Libertarian think-tank, Batman! To think that of all things flint-lock pistols put fear in the hearts of men...

Being largely unfamiliar with European history, this was a fun read for me, although I'll readily admit I have only the vaguest of notions on what criteria are necessary for a paper to be published, and whether or not this is actually meaningful at all. I'll give it a think, I guess.