Media Coverage

CPRC in the News: Los Angeles Times, San Diego Union-Tribune, Politifact, Epoch Times, Real Clear Politics, and much more

5 Aug , 2021  

U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez on June 4 issued a permanent injunction against enforcement of much of California’s ban on purchasing assault rifles. State Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta has appealed the Benitez ruling, saying the state’s “strong common sense gun laws help curb not only mass shootings but gun violence as a whole.” . . .

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit against the assault weapons ban had their own experts, including John Lott, an economist, gun-rights advocate and author of the book “More Guns, Less Crime.”

Lott concluded in a court filing that “there is no credible evidence that so-called ‘assault weapons’ bans have any meaningful effect on reducing gun homicides and no discernable crime-reduction impact.”

Benitez came down on Lott’s side.

“One is to be forgiven if one is persuaded by news media and others that the nation is awash with murderous AR-15 assault rifles. The facts, however, do not support this,” the judge wrote.

He said that the number of mass shootings in California involving assault weapons was about the same before and after the 1989 law.

“The assault weapon ban has had no effect. California’s experiment is a failure,” the judge wrote. . . .

Patrick McGreevy, “California’s long history on assault weapons on the line in court battle,” Los Angeles Times, July 30, 2021. Bakersfield California, August 1, 2021, San Diego Union-Tribune, July 30, 2021.

Fact-checks about firearms always draw reactions, and our check of the House Republicans’ claim that Biden wants to ban handguns was no different. Second Amendment researcher and activist John Lott thought our False rating was off the mark:

Biden said “that he wanted to eliminate the sale of pistols ‘that can have the ability to fire 20, 30, 40, 50, 120 shots from that weapon.” The key word here is that they have the ‘ability’ to do that. Are you going to argue that all semi-auto pistols don’t have that ability?”

Jon Greenberg and Amy Sherman, “Mailbag: ‘Show me your better side,’ and other reader reactions,” Politifact, July 28, 2021.

. . . For perspective, I turned to John Lott, the nation’s top gun expert. I reviewed his book “More Guns, Less Crime” when it was released two decades ago. He recently was a senior adviser for research and statistics at the Office of Justice Programs at the U.S. Department of Justice. He now heads the Crime Prevention Research Center.

“The notion that you will stop criminals from getting guns simply because you stop them from having legally acquired guns seems as likely to succeed as preventing criminals from buying illegal drugs, which obviously has worked flawlessly,” he told me, with a touch of irony. “The major source of illegal guns is drug dealers, who have to have weapons to protect their very valuable property.”

The Brady Background Check System was enacted by the U.S. Congress in 1993. That’s what you go through when you buy a gun, and is used with APPS.

But, Lott pointed out, “There is no real evidence that the Brady system has reduced violent crime [even gun control people agree, but they now claim that is because it didn’t go far enough]. I would argue that there is no evidence that background checks on the private transfer of guns have reduced violent crime or mass public shootings.”

He pointed to his research on those issues in Chapter 10 of the 3d Edition of “More Guns, Less Crime,” which came out in 2010. . . .

Getting back to guns, Lott said, “The background check system that we have is a mess, with about 99 percent of the 3.8 million who have been stopped being mistakes. It is one thing to stop a felon from buying a gun, but it is something else to stop a law-abiding person simply because they have a name similar to a felon.”

With racial tensions rising since the killing of George Floyd more than a year ago, the last thing we need to do is make that worse over guns. But that’s what’s happening.

“The error rate is very high among minorities because people tend to have names similar to others in their racial groups,” Lott said. “When I was recently working at the [U.S. department of justice] the error rate for black males was three times their share of the population and for Hispanic males was 2.5 times their share of the population.”

That is, the minorities’ Second Amendment rights were violated at a much higher rate than were those of whites. . . .

John Seiler, “Time to End Another Failed California Gun Control Law,” Epoch Times, August 1, 2021.

Case in point: until recently, the cost of obtaining a concealed carry permit in Indiana was fifty dollars. But step across the state line into Illinois, and the same right costs a whopping $400! And that is without the gun.

John Lott, president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, notes that 20.3 percent of Indiana adults hold a CCW license, as opposed to 3.3 percent in Illinois. I’m betting the 3.3 percent are not poor black people living in crime ridden areas.

Every Monday we get a fresh report on how many shootings occurred in Chicago the previous weekend. Politicos’ answer to the problem? More gun control. . .

Fred Causley, “Gun control’s discrimination problem,” Stillwater News Press, August 3, 2021.

Arthur Berg, John Lott, and I conducted a large comparative survey (pdf) of researchers in criminology, economics, and public health who had conducted empirical research on firearms legislation. We asked our three samples of experts to evaluate the effectiveness of 33 gun-related policies in reducing both murder and mass-public shootings, including 20 policies evaluated in the 2017 New York Times survey.

Public-health researchers tended to believe policies that restricted civilian access to firearms (e.g., banning assault weapons and “buying back” firearms) would be effective at reducing murder rates, while both criminologists and economists were more likely to skeptical about these policies.

We also asked about eight policies that would relax or eliminate governmental restrictions on firearms usage, such as expansion of personal carry. In contrast with public health academics, criminologists and economists both rated highly policies such as allowing K-12 teachers to carry concealed handguns and encouraging the elimination of gun-free zones. These were judged the least effective by public health experts. The explanation for these differences is that methodologically solid research tends to undercut the effectiveness of restrictive firearms policies that are favored by public safety activists.

Samples of researchers were chosen who had published at least one English-language empirical study on firearms or firearms and violence in a peer-reviewed academic journal. Our survey obtained responses from 120 experts. Among our respondents were 50 public health researchers, 38 criminologists, and 32 economists. The sample included a small number of non-Americans, whose responses didn’t differ importantly from the American sample.

All participants were told that they were selected because of their expertise in firearms research and they were asked not to participate if they didn’t consider themselves to be experts in this area.

Response rates were acceptable. We had an overall response rate of 43.3 percent (120 responses out of 277 valid emails). The response rate for criminologists was 63 percent, and 74 percent for economists. The response rate for public health researchers was lower, just 30 percent, even after multiple attempts to gain a response. This may be due in part to the higher number of co-authors on public health publications.

Gary Mauser, “Can We Trust Experts?,” Epoch Times, July 26, 2021.

Biden Reveals His True Goal: To Ban Most Guns. John R. Lott Jr. responds to comments the president made last week during a CNN town-hall meeting. 

Carl M. Cannon, “Sponsored by The Motley Fool: Cruz Holds Forth; Celebrity Factor; Fateful Journey,” Real Clear Politics, July 29, 2021.

. . . John R. Lott, Jr., wrote “More Guns, Less Crime” in 1998. At that time he taught criminal deterrence law and economics at the University of Chicago. He states that he searched the FBI’s massive, yearly crime figures for all 3,054 U.S. counties over 18 years as well as state police documents on illegal gun use. His unexpected findings reveal that many of the most commonly held assumptions about gun control and its crime-fighting usefulness are simply wrong.

Instead, Lott argues, “right to carry” laws and legally concealed handguns currently represent the most cost-effective methods available for reducing violent crime. One wonders about the push to defund police departments. Could this be why the media puts a dim light on this defunding? The people would need to take up arms to defend themselves, crime would diminish and the police might be out of a job.

In 2003, John Lott wrote “The Bias Against Guns.” In this book, he states you will learn: How talking heads promote gun control in the guise of news; the clever way reporters and the New York Times “spike” pro-gun facts; the trick government statisticians use to “cook” data for the anti-gun lobby; the sleight of hand that gun-controllers use to grab your taxpayer dollars for their agenda; why bicycles, water buckets and playing football are more dangerous to children than guns; giving citizens the right to carry concealed weapons to cut crime; why Britain, which recently banned handguns, now has a violent crime rate double that of the U.S; the fallacy of “safe storage” laws; why assault weapons bans and gun show regulations are counterproductive. . . .

Aldon Maleckas, “In defense of owning, bearing firearms,” Ludington Daily News (Ludington, Michigan), July 31, 2021.

Researcher John Lott examined the FBI classification of various active shooter incidents. When Jack Wilson stopped the attacker after two members of the West Freeway Church of Christ were murdered in White Settlement Texas, it was not listed as a case of “citizen engagement” by the FBI.  The FBI claimed this was not “citizen engagement”, because Jack Wilson was a voluntary member of the church security team. Therefore, according to the FBI, it was not “citizen engagement”, but law enforcement/security.

Lott makes the case the FBI has a bias toward minimizing the importance of armed Samaritans in stopping active shooters.

Dean Weingarten, “Man who Stopped Mass Murder in Arkansas found Justified,” Ammoland, August 3, 2021.

These numbers verify the research of John Lott, which shows there is no correlation between homicide numbers and the number of guns owned per 100 people. Lott’s study compares all the countries in the world he could obtain data from.

Dean Weingarten, “Gillibrand Believes the Impossible; Making Gun Sales Illegal Will Work,” Ammoland, July 25, 2021

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