New Research: Do Researchers from Different Fields have a Consensus on Gun Control Laws and do Registered Voters Agree with any of them?

Sep 2, 2019 | Featured

Dr. John Lott joined with Professors Arthur Z Berg, MD and Gary A. Mauser in surveying criminologists, economists, and public health researchers on gun control. A copy of the new research is available here.


Hundreds of millions of dollars go to firearms research on crime, suicides, and accidental deaths, but the vast majority of the money, particularly government money, is being spent on public health research. We got a response rate of over 43%, or 120, from the 277 researchers we approached, and we found large statistically significant differences in the views of academic researchers in criminology, economics, and public health on 33 different gun control policies for both mass public shootings and murder will reduce crime and save lives. Our sample is much larger than two surveys of 32 researchers by the New York Times. While none of our groups are quite as supportive of gun control as reported by the Times, public health researchers come closest.

We find that Economists and to a lesser extent criminologists rank order the efficacy of gun control policies in the opposite order that public health researcher do. If one believes that any group of the experts have properly ranked the effectiveness of different gun control regulations, registered voters have essentially ordered the effectiveness of regula-tions entirely randomly.

The paper is available here.



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  1. Tom Campbell

    Great report. Thank you!!!

  2. Gordon Couger

    We all tend to dance with the one that brung and only change with reluctance. Admitting to yourself that you wasted all that time on being wrong is hard. A soft science academic has a harder time because they often can’t recognize anything but the “Truth” of their discipline. If they try to publish or speak on anything that goes against the core belief’s of their cronies they have a hard time finding anyone to review their papers making it hard to change their minds over trivial things such as facts. They can only find that kind of courage for truly important thing such a Federal funding.