CPRC in the News: Bloomberg Businessweek, Detroit Free Press, Washington Examiner, Maine Sun Journal and others

28 Jun , 2017  

Breitbart.com, June 15, 2017

Congressmen Louie Gohmert (R-TX) noted Dr. John Lott’s work in an interview that he did on SiriusXM radio.

“We cannot allow Washington D.C. to continue to be a place where only the criminals and the police have guns. That needs to change. We need to have law-abiding folks carry guns. As John Lott’s research has constantly shown, you look at the areas where gun control is the strictest, and that’s normally where you have the biggest problems,” Gohmert said. . . .

Bloomberg Businessweek, June 15, 2017

The notion that carrying of concealed weapons reduces crime is most closely associated with an economist named John Lott, whose books include More Guns, Less Crime (1998). Based on research of county crime levels in states with varying guns rules, Lott concluded that “allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons deters violent crimes without increasing accidental deaths.” His findings, widely publicized and embraced by the gun-rights movement beginning in the late 1990s, helped propel many states to make it easier to carry firearms in public. Today every state allows so-called concealed carry, although permitting rules vary. . . .

Maine Sun Journal (Lewiston, Maine), Thursday, June 15, 2017

At least three Maine lawmakers have asked Gov. Paul LePage to allow members of the Legislature to carry concealed handguns in the State House.

Peter Steele, LePage’s communications director, noted in response Thursday that the governor “is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment. He is not opposed to concealed carry in the State House.”

The request by a trio of Republican representatives followed an attack in Virginia on Wednesday that left one congressman critically wounded . . . .

Many states allow concealed guns in their statehouses.

The Crime Prevention Research Center counts 19 state capitols that allow at least some people to carry weapons who are not in law enforcement. Two others — Georgia and Wyoming — let legislators carry guns.

Iowa appears to be the most recent state to open its doors to anyone with a valid weapons permit from any U.S. state to bring a gun into its capitol building. Its governor signed the enacting legislation in April. . . .

Washington Examiner, Thursday, June 15, 2017

According to the Crime Prevention Research Center, 18 state capitols allow their legislators to keep a gun on their person. And for the most part, it’s been more than safe. Guns have gone off accidentally in both Kentucky and Virginia and guns have been left unattended in both Missouri and Colorado. But otherwise, no injuries have been recorded from legislative firearms. . . .

Detroit Free Press, Sunday, June 11, 2017, WZZM Channel 13 ABC (Grand Rapids, Michigan)

Last week, the Michigan House approved a series of controversial bills that would allow lawful gun owners to carry concealed weapons without a permit or state-mandated training.

Since 2001, the state has:

  • Expanded access to concealed weapon permits
  • Passed a law allowing Michigan gun owners to “stand your ground”
  • Streamlined pistol purchases by allowing gun dealers to use instant computer background checks
  • Eliminated county gun boards, which had decided who received a carry permit
  • Barred local governments from passing gun ordinances

The trend goes well beyond Michigan, said John Lott Jr., a gun-rights advocate who runs the Crime Prevention Research Center, a nonprofit research center that studies guns and crime.

“That’s the same type of thing you’ve seen in state after state,” Lott said. “Generally, what you’ve seen is a gradual liberalization of gun laws.”

Lott said the liberalization typically happens in stages beginning with the right to carry a weapon, the reduction or elimination of gun-free zones, broader access to concealed weapon permits and eventually the elimination of licensing and training requirements. . . .

Lott said that in 1992, eight states were considered “shall issue” states and now there are 42 and the number of Americans licensed to carry a concealed weapon now tops 15 million, about 5% of the nation’s population, or one in 20 Americans. . . .

America Now, June 19, 2017

In contrast, economist John Lott concluded that “allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons deters violent crimes without increasing accidental deaths.” . . .

American Thinker, June 15, 2017

What we do know is that killers will deliberately choose gun-free zones such as Umqua or that Aurora, Colorado movie theatre to target their victims knowing there will be no one thereto immediately return fire:

As John R. Lott Jr., president of the Crime Research Prevention Center, wrote in an op-ed in the Chicago Tribune on Tuesday, “Since at least 1950, all but two mass public shootings in America have taken place where general citizens are banned from carrying guns.” This is usually why they are selected as targets, Lott says.

In the July 2012 mass shooting inside a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., the shooter had a choice of seven movie theaters within 20 miles of his home that were showing the Batman movie he was obsessed with. The Cinemark Theater he chose wasn’t the closest, but it was the only one that banned customers from carrying guns

Guns.com, June 26, 2017

It’s worth noting that the VPC has been criticized by gun advocates in the past, including John Lott’s Crime Prevention Research Center. The CPRC called out VPC in 2014 for publishing data on “concealed carry killers” with “massive errors.”

Ammoland, June 6, 2017

A writer at Pacific Standard, Peter Moskowitz, assigned a measure of responsibility for a few of the latest mass public shootings ( Orlando Pulse Jihadi attack, Columbine, Sandy Hook, Fort Hood Jihadi attack, Navy Yard shooting, Aurora Theater shooting, and Charleston Church shooting) to John Lott. Why?

It appears to be because John Lott conducts research that shows that more legally armed citizens reduce violent crime, and that gun free zones attract mass shootings. . . .

Every person is faced with the problem of confirmation bias when determining how to evaluate various claims. People selectively prefer claims that confirm their perception on disputed subjects. Scientists are trained to fight this tendency. It was with interest that I read another scientist’ evaluation of Lott’s work. It was posted in a series of comments on Mosqowitz’ article.

The commenter with the screen name of Dan N agreed to the publishing of his comments. Daniel sent me an updated copy. The arguments and data presented are essentially the same:

This article is written in reaction to a piece published on June 1, 2017 by Peter Moskowitz entitled “Inside the mind of America’s Favorite Gun Researcher”. To give the reader some perspective, I never fired a firearm until I was 36 years old and did a year of research before bringing one into my house. I was firmly on the fence about owning a gun until I did this research. I took it seriously and did not give much credence to opinions that were not thoroughly supported by statistics. I have a Ph.D. in a science that requires me to be at conversant, however not fluent, in statistics. I take the frustrating stance that people need to validate what they read. If the statistics are too confusing, as Moskowitz says, then you need to learn some basic statistics, not just trust what someone else tells you.

It is clear that Moskowitz of has not thoroughly read the source material. I have read Lott’s updated “More Guns, Less Crime” (3rd edition, 2013) and some of Hemenway’s reports and other leading anti-gun reports.

I cannot comment on the original 1997 publication; however Lott has updated it extensively with new data and did additional permutations in response to the criticisms of Hemenway and others. In some of Lott’s responses to criticisms he added additional permutations, the results are more dramatic. In other permutations, it’s less.

Lott gives a tremendous amount of detail on how he handles the data sets. None of it appears outlandish. It is mostly for mathematical purposes. . . .

America’s 1st Freedom, Tuesday, June 20, 2017

In an educational op-ed posted Thursday at newyorkdailynews.com, criminologist and author John Lott makes the case that the previous day’s shooting at a GOP Congressional baseball practice proves why the country needs national Right-to-Carry reciprocity.

Lott, president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, said restrictive carry laws—like the one in Washington, D.C., forbidding nearly all law-abiding citizens from carrying firearms, even if they have permits from their home states—leave people helpless against attack.

“It’s not easy for a truck driver to avoid troublesome state and city gun laws as he drives across the country with valuable merchandise,” Lott writes. “He can quickly run into trouble in ‘may issue’ states such as New York, New Jersey, Illinois or California, which give out few permits and require applicants to demonstrate sufficient ‘need.’

“Or imagine a single woman driving across state lines at night, hoping that her car won’t break down along the highway.” . . .

America’s 1st Freedom, Saturday, June 10, 2017

If you haven’t heard, the so-called “mainstream” media have been sharpening their knives for Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, President Donald Trump’s choice for an assistant secretary position at the Department of Homeland Security. His conservative beliefs are just too much for them, including his long-standing support for the right to keep and bear arms.

On Friday, author and researcher John Lott, president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, completely debunked media claims of plagiarism on Clarke’s master’s thesis in a story posted at thehill.com.

“CNN focused on 23 short segments of his nearly 40,000-word thesis. Eighteen are mere sentence fragments; five are full sentences,” Lott wrote. “CNN cites the supposedly standard definition of plagiarism: ‘If a passage is quoted verbatim, it must be set off with quotation marks … The length of the phrase does not matter … even if only a few words are involved.’

“But what Sheriff Clarke did was not dishonest. He footnoted each of these segments, citing the correct sources right on the same page.” . . .


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