The Crime Prevention Research Center (“CPRC”) has done a deep dive into the FBI’s Active Shooting Reports from 2014-2022 and discovered that the reports grossly underestimate the number of times armed civilians have stopped active shootings. The FBI says that civilians stop fewer than 5% of active shooters, while the actual data say that civilians, on average, stopped over 35% of active shooters, with the number going up to 63.5% if you include defensive use of guns outside of “gun-free guns” (which I call “shooting fish in a barrel” zones). . . . [much more here]
There is much more in the CPRC essay, so I urge you to review it yourself. I just wanted to focus on the top-line information: Once again, an organization that is hostile to a constitutional right manages (coincidentally, I’m sure) to pervert the available data in a way that supports its biases. . . .Andrea Widburg, “The FBI massively erred about civilians stopping active shooters,” The American Thinker, September 10, 2023.
A new study reveals that “massive errors” in FBI active shooter reports have resulted in the bureau seriously undercounting how many times a “good guy with a gun” has come to the rescue to stop or diminish the destruction of an active shooting.
According to the report from the Crime Prevention Research Center, armed civilians have stopped attacks at a rate far higher than the mere 4.6 percent that the FBI reports.
In fact, in incidents that occurred outside of “gun-free zones,” an incredible 63 percent of attacks were stopped by legally armed citizens last year.
Overall, from 2014 to 2022 the real number stood at 35.7 percent of active shooters stopped by armed civilians, almost eight times the number cited by the FBI.
The CPRC concluded that “law-abiding citizens stopping these attacks are not rare.”
Carl Moody, the CPRC’s research director, also noted that “the data put together by the CPRC show that an armed citizen has yet to accidentally shoot an innocent bystander.”
So why the huge discrepancy between the FBI and CPRC numbers? . . . [the rest of the report contains errors in discussing our work]Warner Todd Huston, “Study Shows ‘Good Guys with Guns’ Are Very Effective in Stopping Active Shooter Situations,” The Western Journal, September 9, 2023.
On August 31, statistics expert and long-time analyst of crime data, John Lott, Jr. wrote for RealClearPolitics that he has uncovered what he notes is a troubling FBI undercount of the power of armed citizens to stop criminal active shooters.
Anyone familiar with etymology will understand that the moment any arm of the state touches anything, it connects that thing to “the polis,” thus, making it “political” by definition. But, as Lott — author of numerous books on self-defense with firearms, and the government/media attacks on it – explains, the degree to which many political operators are willing to lie and produce false narratives about guns and crime is shocking. As he observes: . . .
The fact that violent crime is not a virulent “disease” is worth noting, as are the more fundamental points that, first, there is no provision for the CDC in the US Constitution, and, second, that, even if there were such a provision, it is not just or moral for the state to make us pay for our own disarmament. We have a fundamental right to self-defense – always. . . . [and much more here]Gardner Goldsmith, “Crime Stats Expert Claims FBI, CDC Undercount Armed Civilians Who Stop Active Shooters,” MRC TV, September 6, 2023.
. . . John Lott, president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, told The Fix on a phone interview that most mass shootings are due to gang violence.
Lott said “what most people think of when they talk about mass shootings or what is called mass public shootings are four or more people killed in a public place not involving some other type of crime like a robbery or gang fight over drug turf.”
But in reality “about 87 percent of those are basically gang fights that occur. Almost all the rest are things like a robbery or something where people are shot,” according to data from the pro-gun control group Gun Violence Archive.
The researchers used this database for their paper.
Gang fighting over drug turf increases as profit potential for selling drugs increases, Lott told The Fix.
The economist noted that the paper did not include “a reference to gangs and so to go and talk about structural racism and talk about the victims being black, the reason why the victims are black is because you have drug gangs in urban areas fighting against each other, over controlling drug turf.”
Lott said that it is not surprising to see gangs overwhelmingly involve minorities, nor is it a surprise to see gangs fighting against each other to control drug turf in urban areas.MJ Cadman, “Mass shootings linked to ‘structural racism,’ professors say,” The Campus Fix, August 10, 2023.
As it turns out, though, the FBI’s disinformation operations aren’t limited to presidential elections. The bureau is also downplaying the importance of an armed citizenry. As Crime Prevention Research Center President John Lott writes at RealClearPolitics: . . .
This isn’t just a rounding error. These are hugely influential discrepancies. As Lott writes: “While the FBI claims that just 4.6% of active shootings were stopped by law-abiding citizens carrying guns, the percentage that I found was 35.7%. I am more confident that we have identified a higher share of recent cases, and our figure for 2022 was even higher — 41.3%.”
Lott’s research also illuminates the life-saving difference that the Second Amendment affords us. “The FBI doesn’t differentiate between law-abiding citizens stopping attacks where guns are banned and where they are allowed,” he writes, “but you can’t expect law-abiding citizens to stop attacks where it is illegal to carry guns. In places where law-abiding citizens are allowed to carry firearms, the percentage of active shootings that were stopped is 51%. For 2022, that figure is a remarkable 63.5%.”
There’s no magic formula here: More guns = more self-defense.
Sadly, the FBI isn’t the only government agency that’s been politically compromised. Last year, at the request of anti-2A organizations, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention removed from the CDC website its estimates of defensive gun uses. As Lott adds: “For nearly a decade the CDC cited a 2013 National Academies of Sciences report showing that the annual number of people using guns to stop crime ranged from about 64,000 to 3 million. The CDC website listed the upper figure at 2.5 million. Mark Bryant, who runs the Gun Violence Archive, wrote to CDC officials after a meeting last year that the 2.5 million number ‘has been used so often to stop [gun control] legislation.’ The CDC’s estimates were subsequently taken down and now lists no numbers.”
What Lott’s research indicates is that there are a lot more good guys with guns out there than the FBI and the CDC would like you to believe — good guys like Eli Dicken, the young man whose quick and heroic actions on a Sunday evening last summer stopped a massacre in progress at Indiana’s Greenwood Park Mall.
Perhaps most troubling is that Lottt has alerted the FBI to numerous errors in its reporting of defensive gun uses, but the bureau has refused to correct its numbers. Thus, Lott’s organization is keeping an updated list. . . .
True that. But, as Lott concludes, the FBI doesn’t seem to think we can handle the truth about how some of the most cold-blooded killers are being stopped dead in their tracks by good guys with guns.
“The FBI data on active shootings is missing so many defensive gun uses that it’s hard to believe it isn’t intentional,” Lott writes. “Errors can happen, but the failure to fix past reports shows a troubling disregard for the truth. The reality is that armed, law-abiding citizens are unsung guardian angels.” . . .Douglas Andrews, “The Truth About Good Guys With Guns,” September 5, 2023.
And the left-wing totalitarian urge to suppress dissent surfaces yet again, this time at the far left Media Matters.
The issue, but of course, is gun control. And Dr. John Lott, the renowned gun control expert who has made a life’s work of studying gun control and its flaws, was in the sights of Media Matters even before this latest shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas that left 26 dead inside a small church.
Note the Media Matters headline in the wake of the Las Vegas shooting:
Discredited gun researcher John Lott’s misleading Las Vegas massacre claims are falling apart
Lott doesn’t want readers to know that strong gun regulations are associated with lower levels of homicide
Note that description? “Discredited gun researcher” is how they describe Lott, who’s thorough research is anything but discredited. In fact Lott’s work is so thorough that a representative of the gun control-crazed Michael Bloomberg’s “Every town for Gun Safety” project refused outright to discuss guns with Lott on a C-SPAN show two years ago.
The other week Media Matters threw a fit when the Washington Post Fact Checker committed the cardinal sin of talking to Dr. Lott to help evaluate Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy’s claim on CNN that “What we know is that states that have tougher gun laws, that keep criminals from getting guns, that keep those dangerous weapons like AR-15s out of the hands of civilians, have dramatically lower rates of gun violence.” The Post fact-checker gave Murphy’s claim “three Pinocchios.” Media Matters approvingly quotes Dan Webster of the Bloomberg School of Public Health who instantly jumped on the liberal Post, saying: “I recognize that especially on an issue considered divisive like guns, media feel the need to report ‘both sides.’ But offering the opinions of widely-discredited pundits is not ‘presenting the other side.’”
In other words, Media Matters, using a Bloomberg spokesperson, is desperately trying to shut Lott up. Which, of course, is the MM routine. An organization that devotes itself to removing conservatives from television and radio surely has no problem in trying to silence one of the leading and most respected experts on gun control and the realities of its failures. . . .“Media Matters Tries to Shut Down John Lott,” angelocarusone.com
The FBI appears to be cooking the books. At least, that seems to be what John Lott found. [Long quote from Lott]
The FBI has been made aware of this discrepancy. They’ve just elected not to do anything about it.
Honestly, though, that’s not surprising. We’ve all seen how various parts of the United States government have been weaponized in recent years, all to focus on a single side of the political spectrum. That’s generally the same side that favors gun rights. . . .Tom Knighton, “Lott calls out FBI data on good guys stopping mass shootings,” Bearing Arms, September 5, 2023.
Everytown is suing just about everyone they can think of over the Buffalo mass shooting. They’re suing social media companies, a gun manufacturer, and even the company that makes body armor.
In their mind, all are responsible for what someone not named in the lawsuit did, all despite no one having broken any laws.
It’s a reach in many cases, of course, but that won’t stop them from trying.
Yet when John Lott looks at what they’re doing, he sees something important. . . .
Lott then makes the case that if we’re going to play the blame game, his thoughts on climate change implicate people like the mainstream media and President Joe Biden. His anti-capitalist comments warrant a lawsuit against people like AOC and Bernie Sanders, among others.
In other words, his motivations are ignored all in the name of punishing people who literally had no reason to do anything differently than they had.
Yet the big takeaway is that the killer explicitly noted the role gun control played in his target selection. He wanted an area with strict gun control laws so as to minimize his chances of being taken out before he could slaughter as many people as possible. . . .Tom Knighton, “Lott: Gun control groups don’t care what causes mass shootings,” Bearing Arms, August 26, 2023.
In 2016, Canada legalized euthanasia and assisted suicide – which I will call assisted violence – under the legal name of “medical assistance in dying (MAiD).” It allows terminally ill adults to control their deaths; physicians can administer a cocktail of drugs similar to what’s used in the death penalty to end a person’s life. A couple of years ago, Canada expanded its assisted violence program to cover persons with disabilities and chronic diseases.
I was able to independently verify the numbers using the provided sources (the CDC and Statistics Canada websites).
Out of curiosity, I looked at the total firearms mortality rate for 2021, including homicides and suicides but excluding justifiable homicides, and found that it was 14.13 per 100,000 people. Using that as the denominator instead of just the suicide rate, we get 27.5/14.13 = 1.95. What that means is that the Canadian assisted violence rate is almost double that of the total American firearms mortality rate.
As the CPRC article notes, the numbers have been ramping up; the number of Canadian assisted violence deaths jumped up from 10,500 to 13,500 from 2021 to 2022. Canada’s relaxation of who qualifies for their assisted violence program will only drive the multiplier up in the future, especially as the American homicide rates are coming down even as gun sales are through the roof. . . .Ranjit Singh, “Canada’s assisted violence death rate is 4.45 times the American firearm suicide rate,” Bearing Arms, August 18, 2023.
So, John Lott, an author, former professor, and the founder of the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC), decided to challenge all of the leading gun-control-promoting academics to a bet.
And this wouldn’t be some open-ended bet levelled at all possible challengers. Lott personally contacted a dozen gun-control-supporting academics and offered them a $1,000 wager on whether Brazil’s homicide rate will go up or down. If the homicide rate goes down as Brazil’s new leftist president enacts a long list of gun-control laws, Lott would pay them. If it goes up as the populace is choked with more gun-control laws, they would have to pay Lott. “The ultimate test of a theory is whether it accurately predicts what will happen,” said Lott, and these academics have predicted that gun bans will reduce the homicide rate.
He contacted Phil Cook, of Duke University; Jens Ludwig, of the University of Chicago; John Donohue, of Stanford Law School; Andrew Morral, of the Rand Corporation; Garen Wintemute, of the University of California, Davis; David Hemenway, of the School of Public Health, Harvard; Chris Koper, of George Mason University; Mark Siegel, of Boston University; Adam Winker, of the University of California, Los Angeles; Paul Helmke, of Indiana University; and Frank Zimring, of the University of California at Berkeley.
Lott notes that the media and gun-control advocates in academia predicted disaster in Brazil when Jair Messias Bolsonaro, who served as the 38th president of Brazil from 2019 until 2022, allowed private gun ownership in the country to increase by over 600%. But then the homicide rate actually fell. Later, when the socialist Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, often simply referred to as “Lula,” the 39th and current president of Brazil, took over on Jan. 1, 2023, and as he signed an executive order banning the sales of guns and ammunition, banning concealed carry and more, many of these academics predicted that murder rates would fall.
“Well, they were wrong that Bolsonaro’s policy would increase murders,” said Lott. “The murder rate fell dramatically under Bolsonaro.” And now, months after Lott challenged these academics to put their money behind their publicly stated opinions, “none were willing to bet me,” said Lott.
Lott explained that 7 of the 12 didn’t respond to his emails. But Duke University’s Phil Cook did write back to say, “I like the idea of a bet, but am not going to take this one, since I have no confidence that guns and ammo will actually become scarcer in the neighborhoods with high rates of violence.”
Yes, criminals will likely keep their guns.
Stanford’s John Donohue answered to say researchers should look at past data rather than making predictions. Lott pointed out that Donohue hadn’t shied away from making many predictions in the past; for example, Donohue wrote in The Washington Post last year after the Supreme Court’s New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen decision: “We unfortunately know what effects this ruling will have in the relatively few states that still restrict the carrying of weapons. … It will cause a spike in violent crime.”
“These academics have no problem confidently making predictions for the press or legislative committees about the future effects of gun-control laws. But they aren’t willing to put their money where their mouths are in a way that would make people remember their bad predictions. Maybe that’s because they already know the crime-fighting benefits of private gun ownership,” said Lott.
The bet is an important one, as here we have a large nation that loosened gun restrictions for several years before a new administration came in and implemented gun-control laws designed to disarm law-abiding people. If gun-control laws work, as these academics, President Joe Biden (D), many in the mainstream media and others claim they do, then murder rates should have gone up under Bolsonaro and they should fall under Lula.
As Lula had only been in office for six months as this was being written, we don’t yet have comparable violent-crime statistics from Lula’s freedom-ending regime, but it is telling that not one of these researchers has been confident enough in their policy predictions to bet Lott.
One reason must be that, before Bolsonaro became president, Brazil was ranked as the world’s most-murderous country. But, during Bolsonaro’s administration, something changed. Homicide rates tumbled somewhere between 27 and 34%. This occurred at a time when former President Bolsonaro enabled law-abiding Brazilians to acquire firearms more freely.
As of earlier this year, there were an estimated 1.9 million registered citizen firearms in Brazil; this is a significant leap from around 695,000 when Bolsonaro was first elected, according to data from Brazil’s army and police, that was analyzed by Brazilian security think tank Sou da Paz. . . . [more gun out]
As for Lott, he says he is not surprised that the dozen gun-control-promoting academics he contacted wouldn’t put a little money behind their claims. “It was a serious bet,” says Lott. “I went public with it because people need to know what the research actually says about the benefits of their freedom.”John R. Lott, Jr., “A Brazil-Sized Problem … for Gun-Control Groups,” America’s First Freedom, August 29, 2023.