In The Washington Times: “A fair debate on guns is needed, but liberal lobbying groups refuse to participate”

28 Apr , 2017  

Dr. John Lott has a new op-ed in the Washington Times about how gun control advocates refuse to debate gun control:

When you receive glowing media attention and have hundreds of millions of dollars to spend, you don’t really have to debate. Michael Bloomberg just announced last week that he would be putting $25 million into next year’s House and Senate races. From 2013 to 2016, he donated $48 million toward congressional races. By contrast, the NRA contributed a measly $2.1 million. And Mr. Bloomberg spent about 85 percent more on lobbying, more on television advertising, and much more for state and local political races.

Mr. Bloomberg’s groups, like other gun control organizations, usually have control over whom they debate on TV and radio. I know this from personal experience. On a half dozen occasions, I have been asked to appear on CNN or elsewhere, only to be canceled on because the representative from Mr. Bloomberg’s group didn’t want to appear with me on the show. I have even been told this as I was driving to the studio. All that the producers could give me was their sympathy. A couple of them even asked me if I could recommend someone to replace me.

In April 2015, C-SPAN’s Washington Journal invited me to participate in a one-hour debate with Ted Alcorn, research director at Mr. Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety. Mr. Alcorn had already agreed to appear, but said he was unavailable as soon as the C-SPAN producer informed him of my participation. He said something had come up. When the producer suggested that the two of us could appear in separate, half-hour segments, his availability changed once again. However, he was only available for the half-hour segment after mine. Conveniently, that prevented me from responding to his points.

I learned all of this from the C-SPAN producer, who encouraged me to let viewers know about Mr. Alcorn’s unwillingness to debate me. From the show transcript:

Lott: “I was really disappointed that the people from Everytown — your producer said that I should mention this — weren’t willing to go on with me right now to discuss this. I think that the audience would gain a lot more from the give and take, where someone could make a claim, and the other person could rebut it. I am disappointed that they have continually refused to appear at the same time.”

When Mr. Alcorn finally appeared on “Washington Journal,” the first caller asked him about his unwillingness to debate. . .

The rest of the piece is available here.

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