There is good reason to believe that a similar situation takes place when pollsters ask Americans about gun ownership. Economist John Lott contends that many Americans refuse to answer or do not answer truthfully when asked about whether they own a firearm. In a piece for Fox News, Lott noted “current events influence people’s willingness to acknowledge gun ownership. After mass shootings, a sudden drop can be seen in the polling numbers.”“Most Election Polling Is Garbage, Gun Control Polling Is Too,” Daily Caller, November 9, 2020.
according to Economist John Lott, numerous Americans “refuse to answer or do not answer truthfully” when questioned about owning a firearm.
“Current events influence people’s willingness to acknowledge gun ownership. After mass shootings, a sudden drop can be seen in the polling numbers,” Lott said.
David Yamane, a Wake Forest Professor of Sociology, shared Lott’s belief that polling “systematically underestimates gun ownership in the U.S.”Liz George, “Gallup: Support for stricter gun control laws lowest since 2016,” American Military News, November 16, 2020.
Crime Prevention Research Center (CRPC) just released a bombshell report that reveals important omissions by the FBI in reporting the effect of armed civilians in mass shooting events. The omission of these incidents from FBI reporting is significant, both from a numeric perspective as well as being a lens through which to view the role of concealed carry in public safety.
According to CPRC, in the years 2018-2019, the FBI reported 55 crimes that meet the agency’s definition of a mass shooting. However, CRPC notes that seven more exist, and in six of those seven, a legally-armed citizen ended the attack.
The inclusion of six more crime-stopping, lawful gun uses in these figures makes for a remarkable increase in the apparent effectiveness of armed citizens to stop mass murder. The FBI number for the selected period is 6.2%. However, when the additional seven cases are added to the total, six representing armed defense by an innocent party, the percentage of attacks thwarted increases to 14.52%.
In an uncharacteristic slip, CRPC’s report refers to the citizens as being licensed handgun carriers using a handgun, but at least one rifle was used to quell a rampage. The FBI report makes no overt distinction regarding civilians’ concealed carry licensure status or type of firearm used.
The incidents “missed” by the FBI have received wide recognition in media and have been celebrated by area law enforcement and at least one state governor as examples of heroism. Here are a couple examples.
In August 2019, at Fat Boys Bar & Grill in Norman, Georgia, a rowdy patron caused enough trouble to cause himself to get tossed out of the bar (literally at one point) multiple times in a single night. An off-duty employee of the bar, Ben McCoy, heard gunshots from the parking lot as the angry customer returned, seeking revenge. McCoy retrieved a rifle from his own parked vehicle, drawing the would-be killer’s attention away from the crowd inside.
The disgruntled customer used a handgun to shoot McCoy “four to six times” and kept shooting even after McCoy fell. The attacker ultimately stole McCoy’s rifle and fled. He was later arrested and charged with aggravated assault. Local deputies recognized McCoy as a hero for having stopped a planned attack on those inside the bar.
Another incident is well-known, at least in the concealed-carry community and in the State of Texas. Just after Christmas 2019, a local male, known to the church but not a member, entered the West Freeway Church of Christ during the Sunday sermon, wearing a disguise. The male eventually stood, produced a shotgun, and began firing. Two congregants were killed, the second being a member of the church’s volunteer security team whom the murderer noticed was struggling to retrieve a handgun from under his shirt. . . .Eve Flanigan, “CPRC Says FBI Ignores “Good Guys With Guns” in Recent Data,” All Out Doors, November 11, 2020.
But they claim that mail-in balloting is safe and secure and reliable, and that its critics are delusional. Why, then, does the rest of the civilized world have much more stringent mail-in balloting standards than the United States? “If concern about vote fraud with mail-in ballots is delusional,” says researcher John Lott, “it is a delusion shared by most of the world.” . . .Douglas Andrews, “Wanted: Evidence of Massive Fraud,” Patriot Post, November 20, 2020.
This is the same argument that has been produced in every state (now about 40) where shall-issue concealed-carry laws have been proposed. This fallacy has been proven wrong. Professor John Lott, an economist and respected researcher, has found that mass public shootings declined by 85 percent and injuries fell 82 percent in the 14 states that adopted shall-issue carry laws between 1977 and 1995.Gordon Hutchinson, “Concealed on campus will reduce killings,” Louisiana Sportsman, November 12, 2020.
Honest people know better. And Democratsused to know better, too. One of them, in fact, once put it bluntly: “Absentee ballots remain the largest source of potential voter fraud.” It sounds like a complaint that Donald Trump might’ve registered, but, as researcher John Lott pointed outin an April Wall Street Journal piece, “It’s the conclusion of the bipartisan 2005 report of the Commission on Federal Election Reform, chaired by former President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James Baker III.”Douglas Andrews, “A Fraud We Saw Coming,” The Patriot Post, November 12, 2020.
There is good reason to believe that a similar situation takes place when pollsters ask Americans about gun ownership. Economist John Lott contends that many Americans refuse to answer or do not answer truthfully when asked about whether they own a firearm. In a piece for Fox News, Lott noted “current events influence people’s willingness to acknowledge gun ownership. After mass shootings, a sudden drop can be seen in the polling numbers.”“Most Election Polling is Garbage, Gun Control Polling is Too,” NRA-ILA, November 8, 2020.
There are now more than 19.48 million citizens with permits to carry concealed handguns in America, and that’s not counting the millions who carry in the 16-plus states—depending on how you count them—that have some type of constitutional carry, where a permit is not required if you are a law-abiding citizen. This new and steadily rising number is from research done by the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC), and its updated report shows a 34% increase in concealed carry since 2016.
“Last year,” the report says, “the number of permit holders continued to grow by about 820,000. At 4.4% growth over 2019, that is the slowest percent and absolute increase that we have seen since we started collecting this data in 2011, but part of that is due to many states not issuing concealed handgun permits during the coronavirus pandemic.”
According to this data, which was compiled by John R. Lott, the president and founder of the CPRC, 7.6% of American adults now have a carry permit. When you eliminate the most-restrictive states, such as New York and California, this number jumps to 9.2%. Also, five states now have more than 1 million carry permit holders: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Texas. Florida has over 2 million permit holders. . . .Staff, “New Numbers on Our Concealed-Carry Nation,” America’s First Freedom, November 20, 2020.
As John Lott has documented at the Crime Prevention Research Center, the number of concealed-carry permits increased every year over the last decade through 2019. With the boom in gun sales this year, especially among first-time firearms owners, one would assume a surge in new carry permits, too. Instead, the number of new carry permits for 2020 has declined compared to past years.
“There is a simple reason that concealed handgun permits have not increased as much as gun sales: many states stopped issuing new permits for many months because of the [COVID-19] virus,” Lott reported. . . .Brian McCombie, “Are Concealed-Carry Applications Being Slowed on Purpose?,” America’s First Freedom, November 4, 2020.