John Lott talked to George Noory about the case from 1:08 to 1:11 AM on Tuesday, July 28, 2015.
John Lott’s latest piece at Fox News starts this way:
In an interview with the BBC, he complained that we are “the one advanced nation on Earth in which we do not have sufficient common sense gun safety laws.”
For a president who is moving to take away guns from millions of veterans and the elderlysimply because they rely on others to handle their finances, some say Obama has already gone too far.
Obama offers no explanation for why the worst mass shooting during his presidency occurred in Europe, not in the US. Nor did he explain why many European countries have a higher frequency of attacks and a higher death rate from mass public shootings.
Not once during his interview with the BBC does he explain how his gun control proposals would have stopped any of the attacks he has spoken so passionately about.
The expanded background checks Obama has advocated wouldn’t have stopped a single one of the attacks that occurred during his presidency. . . .
The rest of the piece is continued here.
John Lott’s piece at Laura Ingraham’s new site LifeZette starts this way:
President Obama wants to take away people’s guns. Last week, he lamented to the BBC that his biggest frustration as president was not getting major gun control passed during his presidency.
How much does he dislike Americans having guns? He obviously doesn’t even trust soldiers with them, even on a limited basis. Despite repeated attacks against our military, both on and off bases, no one expects Obama to let our military carry guns.
But with only 18 months left in office and a Republican-controlled Congress, Obama is unlikely to be able to push through a new gun control law. Still, his legacy on gun ownership will be long-lasting. He has appointed about half the federal judges in the country and implemented many new regulations.
Obama’s regulations have already targeted military veterans and Social Security retirees. For both groups, he wants individuals who rely on others to handle their finances to be classified as “mentally defective,” and thus unable to own a gun.
If Social Security were to start classifying these people as “mentally defective,” some 4.2 million Social Security recipients could be affected — which equals about 10 percent of all people 65 and older. . . .
The rest of the piece is available here.
Thomas McCary (Hamilton County sheriff’s office)
Fox 19 in Cincinnati, Ohio originally reported this story from Winton Hills, Ohio. Fox News has this:
[Thomas] McCary [62-years-old] was arguing with a woman around 8 p.m. Sunday night and, when the woman’s brother, Patrick Ewing, approached, McCary pulled out a .38-caliber handgun and fired three shots at him, Cincinnati police said.
Ewing didn’t get hit, but he did get his own gun and returned fire, wounding McCary in the leg. Ewing had a permit to carry a concealed weapon.
Injured, McCary went into his house to get a second gun and, holding a weapon in each hand, he fired three shots in the direction of the woman, Jeaneta Walker, her 1-year-old son and a third man.
Ewing fired at McCary again to try to distract him as the victims fled indoors. McCary squeezed off a few more rounds, hitting no one, before withdrawing into his apartment, Cincinnati.com reported. . . .
Fortunately, because of Patrick Ewing’s quick actions, no one was seriously injured.
Click on screen shots to enlarge.
Christopher Ingraham at the Washington Post has another article on guns. Unfortunately, Ingraham explicitly ignores the FBI’s definition on mass shootings. The cases he ends up with involve very few murders and are heavily biased to include gang and other criminal activity. Curbing gang violence is important, and it could be done pretty simply: stop enforcing the laws or legalize drugs. Absent legalization or demand disappearing, drug gangs will still fight to control turf. Whether drugs should legalized is another topic. The point here is simply to blame drug gang fights on gun laws is wrong. Just as drug gangs can get a hold of illegal guns, they can get a hold of the weapons that they use to protect that valuable property. The key is that the causes and solutions to drug gang violence are dramatically different than for the vast majority of mass public shootings, where attacks are designed to kill or wound as many people as possible. Padding the numbers by lumping the two together doesn’t make much sense.
After 2012, mass killings were defined by statute by the federal government as “three or more killed in a single incident.” The definition used to be four or more killed. Ingraham’s examples surely invoke not just “mass shootings,” but “mass public shootings,” as he notes: “From Columbine to Charleston, here’s a look at some of the most notable U.S. mass shootings” or “Nine dead in shooting at black church in Charleston. Four marines, one sailor killed in attacks on Chattanooga military facilities. Gunman opens fire on Louisiana movie theater.” Thus while Ingraham’s discussion largely focuses on traditional mass public shootings, he never honestly tells readers that these “mass public shooting” cases are a very, very tiny selection of the cases that he points to.
The source that Ingraham points to hides this simple fact. Virtually none of the links that he points to mention anything about gangs being involved in the crime. An analysis that focuses on non-gang fights and shows how little shootings with multiple murders over many years is available here.
There are a couple of other crucial parts to the FBI definition that Ingraham ignores. The FBI excludes “shootings that resulted from gang or drug violence” or are part of some other crime. The FBI also defines “public” places as “includ[ing] commercial areas (divided into malls, businesses open to pedestrian traffic, and businesses closed to pedestrian traffic), educational environments (divided into schools [pre-kindergarten through 12th grade] and IHEs), open spaces, government proper- ties (divided into military and other government properties), residences, houses of worship, and health care facilities.” (Comments on that particular FBI report, which itself has many errors, is available here.)
So what Ingraham is left with is a lot of shootings where people aren’t killed, criminal gangs are involved, and cases take place out of public view. But what if we focus on the cases that people are most concerned about, in the way the government defines them?
Going through the list of cases that Ingraham thinks should be counted, we found 17 public shootings where 2 or more people were killed, but 12 of those are gang or part of some other criminal act. Of the five non-gang cases that don’t involve some other criminal act, there were 21 deaths and 15 people wounded.
Nine of the 17 cases involve 3 or more people killed. Just 3 of those 9 where non-gang cases that don’t involve some other criminal act, those cases had a total of 17 deaths and 3 woundings. If you want to graphically see how many of these cases involve gangs or other crimes, click on screen shot below to enlarge and view the cases.
These claims are meant to imply mass shootings are more frequent this year, but if you compare apples to apples (non-gang attacks where multiple people are killed), 2015 is not turning out an unusual year. If Ingraham wants to claim that gang shootings are increasing, he should provide evidence of that.
Of course, all this ignores question of whether gun control regulations, such as gun-free zones, primarily disarm law-abiding citizens and make them sitting ducks for criminals. The simple notion from Ingraham in the past has been to impose strict gun regulations, but what what this post and others ignore is that these regulations can make crime easier.
I thank Roger Lott for taking the time to go through these cases.
UPDATE: Christopher Ingraham at the Washington Post has this response on Monday, July 27th:
This has caused the Tracker to come in for some criticism from some quarters. It counts “a lot of shootings where people aren’t killed, criminal gangs are involved, and cases take place out of public view,” according to a recent blog post by John Lott, an independent researcher and Fox News columnist who is generally opposed to stricter gun regulations. He’d prefer to “focus on the cases that people are most concerned about, in the way the government defines them.”
But there’s an implicit assumption here that only some types of gun violence really deserve such attention or policy focus — that we should only closely look at it when gunshots ring out in say, suburban schools and movie theaters, rather than on urban streets.
Lott argues that gang members killing each other over turf are motivated by different reasons than disturbed individuals who decide to shoot up theaters. But the outcomes — people dead, people wounded — are the same. And if we want to understand the full extent of gratuitous gun violence in this country, it makes sense to consider the full range of examples of gun violence. It’s worth pointing out that the Lafayette theater shooting doesn’t even meet the federal definition of a mass killing, which requires three or more victims to die at the hand of a gunman. . . .
At least there is no argument about the obvious, that the cases in Ingraham’s sample overwhelmingly involve gangs (as he notes, their definition “allows [their data] to incorporate more of the garden variety gun violence that happens due to gang and other criminal activity, particularly in urban areas”). The problem here isn’t just that “gang members killing each other over turf are motivated by different reasons than disturbed individuals who decide to shoot up theaters,” but that 1) it is particularly difficult to stop drug gang members from getting weapons and 2) that Ingraham’s piece invoked the “mass public shooting” examples that get people’s attention and never gave his readers an idea that the vast majority of his cases were not remotely similar to those cases. They weren’t similar because most of his cases didn’t involve anyone getting killed and he never let readers know how many of his cases involve drug gangs.
John Lott talked to Laura Ingraham about the dangers of gun-free zones for the military and other places (Friday, July 24, 2015 from 10:07 to 10:16 AM).
Click on Screen shot to enlarge it.
Just as the CPRC’s research on crime has been having an impact and widely downloaded. Now our research is having an impact in another area (“Security and Safety”). As people download our research and they move up in rank, the more that it gets other academics to read them and interested in those research topics (all the Security and Safety papers are available here).
The movie theater shooting in Lafayette, Louisiana occurred in yet another place that banned permitted concealed handguns. The shooting occurred at the Grand Theater. It’s “conduct policy” openly bans the carrying of guns, just like where the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting occurred. While The Grand Theatre company owns three theaters in the area, none of the other local movie theaters that are owned by other companies
initially appear to have a similar policy (Lafitte Cinema 4, Crowley Cinema IV, The Queen Cinema (confirmed with telephone calls)).
UPDATE: Many are pointing to the failure of the background checks for this killer. With these killers planning their attacks far in advance, anywhere from 6 months (Charleston and Aurora attacks) to over 2 years (Newtown and Santa Barbara), it is hardly clear why one would expect background checks to be something to depend on. So here is the ultimate question: what is the backup plan if background checks fail? Getting rid of gun-free zones is one serious option.
This piece by John Lott has been carried in some newspapers across the US: the Charlotte Observer (NC), Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI), Athens Banner-Herald (GA), Fayetteville Observer (AR), Lima News (Lima, Ohio), Bradenton Herald (FL), Grand Island Independent (NE), Great Falls Tribune (MT), The Sentinel (Hanford, CA). The piece in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer (11th weekday digital circulation and the 14th largest Sunday circulation) starts this way:
A new Rasmussen poll found that an overwhelming margin of Americans (68 to 22 percent) “feel safer in a neighborhood where guns are allowed.” And a series of polls by Gallup, Pew Research Center, and ABC News/Washington Post show similar results.
But it isn’t just what people say. They are clearly putting increased stock in self-defense. Since 2007, the number of concealed handgun permits has soared from 4.6 million to 12.8 million. A new study by the Crime Prevention Research Center finds that a record 1.7 million permits have been issued in just the past year. This is a 15.4 percent increase.
While 5.2 percent of adults nationwide have a permit, in Pennsylvania it is almost 11 percent, ranking it fourth in the country. More than 1 million Pennsylvanians have permits.
In five states, more than 10 percent of adults now have concealed-carry permits. In some counties around the United States, including some in Pennsylvania, more than one in five adults is licensed to carry. In much of the country, someone among theatergoers or restaurant customers is likely to be legally carrying a permitted concealed handgun.
But even these numbers don’t do full justice to the change that has taken place. . . .
The rest of the piece is available here.