CPRC in the News: Reason, The College Fix, The Tennessee Conservative, Bearing Arms (4), and More

Apr 1, 2024 | Media Coverage

Concealed handgun permit holders are “extremely law-abiding” and make up an insignificant portion of violations, John Lott told The Fix via email.

The Crime Prevention Research Center president said permit holders are convicted of firearms violations at thousandths or tens of thousands of one percentage point,” across the country. He pointed to a study he conducted that was published several month ago.

In particular, Lott took issue with the violence on January 6, 2021 being the basis for any gun regulation. “January 6th was not something anyone supports,” Lott told The Fix. However the evidence would seem to indicate political violence as stemming mainly from progressives he said, pointing to the 2021 Lafayette Square riot and the 2017 riots during President Donald Trump’s inauguration.

He also criticized the recommendation that people not be allowed to carry guns in polling places or government buildings. He shared a study, last updated in 2021 that found “23 states officially allowed people to carry guns in state capitols, and there were no problems reported,” Lott said.

He shared other research he conducted that questioned the value of “red flag laws.”

“If a person is a danger to themselves or others civil commitment laws are much better ways of dealing with these problems,” he told The Fix.

Brendan McDonald, “Stop ‘insurrection’ threat with gun control: Johns Hopkins report,” The College Fix, February 20, 2024.

In a curious case of letting culture wars or tribal considerations overwhelm legal thinking, gun law scholar and generally a tenacious defender of a hardcore interpretation of the Second Amendment John Lott is suspicious that this is just “an Obama judge acting in a very calculated way to try to create problems for interpreting the Second Amendment.”

He’s not alone; social networks are full of right-wing supposed Second Amendment partisans angry that this Barack Obama–appointed judge has gone too far, in the service of some scheme to either have the U.S. conquered by gun-wielding immigrant Biden shock troops or to make the Second Amendment seem absurd by overapplying it. . . .

Brian Doherty, “Another Judge Says Illegal Immigrants Have Second Amendment Rights,” Reason, March 20, 2024.

A proposed law that would provide lifetime protection for victims of stalking and harassment passed by roll call vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday. 

All nine members of the committee, led by Senator Todd Gardenhire (R-Chattanooga-District 10), voted unanimously to send the bill to the full Senate floor for a final vote.

Sponsored by Senator Paul Rose (R-Lauderdale, Shelby, and Tipton Counties-District 32) Senate Bill 1699 (SB1699) expands eligibility for filing petitions to obtain lifetime orders of protection that includes victims of aggravated stalking, especially aggravated stalking, and felony harassment.

As guest speaker Nikki Goeser testified,victims of stalking and harassment are currently required to renew orders of protection annually with the courts which ends up continually retraumatizing victims. Goeser appeared before lawmakers three years ago when the Tennessee General Assembly was considering the original lifetime orders of protection bill which became state law on July 1st, 2021. . . .

Paula Gomes, “Tennessee Bill That Increases Protection For Victims Of Stalking And Harassment Passes Out Of Committee And Heads To Senate Floor,” Tennessee Conservative, March 12, 2024

If you were worried that the left-leaning nature of Artificial Intelligence chatbots would push it to the anti-gun side of the firearms debate, you were correct.

A recent study by John Lott, president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, showed that AI has an overwhelmingly leftwing bias concerning guns, gun control and crime.

According to his commentary posted on Friday at realclearpolitics.com, Lott asked 20 chatbots whether they strongly disagree, disagree, are undecided/neutral, agree or strongly agree with nine questions on crime and seven on gun control.

For starters, Lott found that there was a distinct liberal bias on the crime questions. For our purposes, however, we’ll explore the gun control questions here. . . .

Warren Bud, “NEW LOTT STUDY: AI CHATBOTS LEAN LEFT ON GUN CONTROL,” GunUSAallDay.com, March 23, 2024.

If you were worried that the left-leaning nature of Artificial Intelligence chatbots would push it to the anti-gun side of the firearms debate, you were correct.

A recent study by John Lott, president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, showed that AI has an overwhelmingly leftwing bias concerning guns, gun control and crime.

According to his commentary posted on Friday at realclearpolitics.com, Lott asked 20 chatbots whether they strongly disagree, disagree, are undecided/neutral, agree or strongly agree with nine questions on crime and seven on gun control.

For starters, Lott found that there was a distinct liberal bias on the crime questions. For our purposes, however, we’ll explore the gun control questions here.

“The leftwing bias is even worse on gun control,” Lott reported. “Only one gun control question (whether gun buybacks lower crime) shows even a slightly average conservative response. On the other hand, the questions eliciting the most liberal responses are background checks on private transfers of guns, gun lock requirements and red-flag confiscation laws.”

Lott reported that for background checks on private transfers, all the answers express agreement (15) or strong agreement (3). Similarly, all the chatbots either agreed or strongly agreed that mandatory gun locks and red-flag laws save lives.

“There is no mention that mandatory gun lock laws may make it more difficult for people to protect their families,” Lott reported. “Or that civil commitment laws allow judges many more options to deal with people than red-flag laws, and they do so without trampling on civil rights protections.” . . .

Mark Chestnut, “New Lott Study: AI Chatbots Lean Left On Gun Control,” The Truth about Guns, March 23 2024.

It’s usually somewhat of a misnomer to talk about the “gun control debate” in this country, given that there’s rarely an actual debate talking place. Gun control advocates in particular seem loathe to engage with their pro-Second Amendment counterparts in a back-and-forth discussion. Maybe that’s because they know they don’t have a great argument, or perhaps its because they don’t want to do anything that risks legitimizing (from their point of view anyway) support for the right to keep and bear arms. 

Whatever the reason, it’s rare to see representatives from both sides of the cultural and political divide over guns take part in a two-way conversation, so I was thrilled when Dr. John Lott of the Crime Prevention Research Center reached out to let me know about a recent debate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison between himself and University of Texas law professor Sanford Levinson. . . .

All in all, it was a collegial debate between Lott and Levinson, and while I think Lott had the better argument it was still interesting to hear Levinson’s point of view, no matter how much I might disagree with it. You can check out the entire debate for yourself in the video window below, and if you want to support the work that Lott is doing with the Crime Prevention Research Center, I’d encourage you to visit the CRPC website and kick in a few bucks to help aid in its research and scholarship. . . .

Cam Edwards, “Lott & Levinson Debate Whether Second Amendment was a Mistake,” Bearing Arms, March 17, 2024.

The brief from California law enforcement, which was also filed on behalf of the Crime Prevention Research Center and the Peace Officers Research Association of California, takes a slightly different approach. The petitioners primarily take aim at the number of new “sensitive places” created by New York in response to the Bruen decision, arguing that both California and New York have defied the Supreme Court by expanding  “longstanding sensitive place definitions to encompass nearly their entire states, other than some streets and sidewalks.” . . .

Cam Edwards, “NY, CA Sheriffs Ask SCOTUS to Hear Post-Bruen Carry Case,” Bearing Arms, March 25, 2024.

I’m not a big fan of artificial intelligence to begin with, but I’m even more concerned after reading Dr. John Lott’s latest piece at RealClearPolitics. Lott decided to put the 20 AI chatbots that are publicly accessible to the test when it comes to talking about crime and gun control, and found that the vast majority of them exhibited a liberal bias on the issue. 

Lott queried the chatbots with a series of 16 questions ranging from “Do higher arrest and conviction rates and longer prison sentences deter crime” to “Do gun buybacks save lives”, and discovered that, while the chatbots gave a wide variety of answers, they almost always fell on the anti-2A side of the gun control debate. . . .

Cam Edwards, “Lott: AI Chatbots Have a Bias Towards Gun Control,” Bearing Arms, March 23, 2024.

Over at RealClearPolicy, John Lott has penned a piece that does just that. It starts with the claim that there are hundreds upon hundreds of mass shootings each year, citing examples from both President Joe Biden and CNN. . . .

This is important because we typically see an anti-assault weapon push in the wake of mass shootings. Biden is notorious for calling for such a ban even before we know what kind of weapon was used in such a killing.

It’s also important because people often cite California as a model for the rest of us to follow when, clearly, that’s not remotely the case. . . .

Tom Knighton, “It’s Time to Correct People on Mass Shootings,” Bearing Arms, January 15, 2024

Melissa Fine, “‘Hate of the Union’ Highlights,” Business & Politics Review, March 8, 2024

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