CPRC on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal on people’s changing views on guns, Bloomberg’s research director explains why he won’t debate

Apr 25, 2015 | Featured

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From C-SPAN: “John Lott talked about the new study put out by Pew Research Center which finds that support for gun rights have increased and, for the first time, protecting gun rights is more important than controlling ownership.”

Lott was originally supposed to be on for an hour on C-SPAN to discuss these issues with Ted Alcorn, the research director for Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown.  When Acorn was informed of this, he first insisted that he be allowed to appear without Lott, but the C-SPAN producer informed Alcorn that Lott had already been invited and that Lott would appear on the program.  Alcorn then apparently told the producer that he would not be able to appear because of a scheduling conflict, but the C-SPAN producer told him that was too bad but they were still going to do the segment with Lott even if that was the case.  Alcorn then realized that he could appear, but that he would not appear at the same time and insisted that he be allowed to appear after Lott. This clip is from the end of Lott’s appearance on C-SPAN.

The first caller to Mr. Alcorn segment asked him why he wouldn’t appear on air with John Lott and Mr. Alcorn had this response.

The rest of Mr. Alcorn’s segment is available here.

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C-SPAN’s Washington Journal program listing is available here.  4,679 downloads for his segment places his show in the top 0.5 percent of downloaded shows over the last two years.

Excluding Lott’s and Alcorn’s appearances since October 1, 2013, here is a list of gun segments on Washington Journal.

Pro-gun control (total time 157 minutes, 56 seconds): Jonathan Lowy (Sunday, December 14, 2014, length of segment: 32:51, views: 256); Chelsea Parsons (Tuesday, October 21, 2014, length of segment: 42:24, views: 520); Saturday, Shannon Watts (July 19, 2014, length of segment: 42:54, views: 319); Mark Follman (Wednesday, December 11, 2013, length of segment: 39:47, views: 302).

Self-defense supporters (total time 85 minutes, 35 seconds): Larry Pratt (Saturday, December 13, 2014, length of segment: 44:06, views: 553); Emily Miller (Saturday, February 22, 2014, length of segment: 44:29, views: 3,826).

Shows by those advocating gun control had 85% more minutes than those by self-defense supporters.  There were four other segments that were telephone call-in segments without guests and one segment where there were two representatives of law enforcement (Saturday, December 14, 2014, length of segment: 1:00:31, views: 878).

Bloomberg’s Everytown later posted this Facebook response.



  1. Denver

    “unprecedented level of protection”

    What part of “shall not be infringed” confuses these people?

  2. david carson

    Herr Alcorn is definitely challenging Joe Isuzu for lack of credibility–Bloomberg and Notown are only interested in gun bans and as evidenced by the poor showing at the MDA protest at the NRA meeting–namely about 100 of Bloomberg’s minions compared to 70000+ NRA members–Bloomberg is paying for astroturf. In regards to Bloomberg==I find his stance hypocritical since he goes NOWHERE without armed guards while he would disarm people that need it far more than he does,namely those that live and work in bad neighborhoods, especially at night

  3. Billc

    Alcorn should have stood up to tap dance like that.

    It’s obvious where their mindset is. Alcorn shows it here by not answering directly WHY he won’t debate Lott, et al. Instead he says Heller allows possession but also allows “reasonable laws to keep guns out the hands of dangerous people”. In other words, he’s focused on ways to “keep guns out of the hands” of people, regardless of the benefits they may provide. I need not point out that his use of adjectives like “reasonable” laws and “dangerous” people are subjective and slippery. One advocate may claim that a former Navy Seal is highly qualified in the use of arms while another may claim his training makes him too “dangerous” to let him have a guns.

    And, of course, he shows that they are afraid of Lott by trying to paint him as not a “credible scientist” who minimizes “gun violence”. Their claim that they’re willing to have a debate with some others can loosely be translated to we’ll debate researchers who mostly agree with us.

  4. ezkl2230

    Hmm. Lott isn’t credible? Lott is the ONLY researcher whose research has been peer-reviewed. On top of that, Lott’s research was quoted in the study commissioned by Obama himself – and it helped take the wind out of the sails of his push for more gun control. Seems to me that speaks to his credibility.

      • boomtown

        Lamentably I’ll probably never get the chance to shake your hand in person, Mr. Lott, but I’d like to thank you for the great work you are doing. The very future of our great country hangs in the balance and we are only one disarmed populace away from disaster.

  5. Sian

    Big guy, insisting on being on the program after Prof. Lott, preventing any of his points from being rebuked on-air.

    Don’t these people go on and on about just wanting to have “an open conversation about guns and gun violence”? If so then why do they go through so much trouble to avoid them at every turn, as if they’re full of bees? (The sort that kill more people per year than all homicides with rifles combined)

    We’d be happy to have a conversation, but they keep running away!

  6. Chris Bennett

    hi John, looks like you’re doing far too well at your job! Someone who shies away from a debate is the loser. If you’re confident of winning, especially on this subject, you get stuck in.

    I’ll take you as the winner of the “debate.”

    One thing, please can you show me the way to studies on the effect of gun control on the trends in home invasions? I live in South Africa and home invasions are our greatest fear, often carried out with extreme brutality. Getting our stats is difficult but I have seen major upward trends since our gun control laws were significantly tightened in 2004/2005.

    Do you guys have any studies on home invasion trends and gun control?

  7. Edward Guelpa

    There is a mountain of peer reviewed evidence on the subject, going back to at least the early 1980s, some of which was produced by two of my colleagues, Joe Magaddino and Marshall Medoff. Some time ago, I became aware of a 1967 “study” by Berkowitz and LePage, which purports to demonstrate that the presence of a firearm provokes people to aggression. This work involved electric shocking and, I understand would be considered unethical by current standards. I wonder if it would be profitable to shed some light on this sort of thing, which seems to be the underpinning of much of the irrationality of the gun control movement.


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