While John Lott was visiting Cheyenne, Wyoming last week, he was interviewed by Craig Blumenshine about gun-free zones. The interview of Wyoming Public Television was broadcast on Friday, February 27th, 2015 at 8 PM. The content of this interview came out very well.
From the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:
The end-of-year total is more than 14 percent higher than last year, according to the report released Monday. There were 161,536 active permit holders at the end of 2013. . . .
About 3.95 percent of adults in Minnesota have handgun permits, according to the Crime Prevention Research Center, a nonprofit organization that studies the connection between firearms and crime. That puts Minnesota in the bottom half of states in terms of the percentage of residents who have permits. About 12.3 percent of South Dakota adults have handgun permits, the highest rate in the nation. The group found that 4.8 percent of adults nationally have handgun permits.. . .
The increase in the number of handgun permits hasn’t necessarily translated into an uptick in gun crimes.
“They thought the streets were going to be running with blood, but statistically, it hasn’t shown itself as a problem in terms of an increase in the amount of gun crimes,” [Cmdr. Paul Sommer, a spokesman with the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office] said Monday.
The Crime Prevention Research Center found that states with a high percentage of gun ownership often had low violent-crime rates. Murder rates dropped 22 percent nationally from 2007 to 2013, while the adult population with weapons permits jumped 130 percent over the same period. . . .
CPRC Senior Research Fellow Charles Jessee had a comment accepted in the Annals of Internal Medicine that put straight the false claim that federal funding restrictions prevented research on firearms.
John Lott talked to George Noory during the news segment of the show about the new proposed rules. The interview was on Friday, February 27, 2015 from 1:07 to 1:09 AM.
John Lott talked to John Gambling on Friday about Obama’s new proposed rules. The interview was on Friday, February 27, 2015 from 11:20 to 11:30 AM.
Our research has been used in legislative debate over allowing permitted concealed handguns on college campuses. The state House bill that would allow concealed carry at the University of South Dakota was defeated by a 48 to 20 vote. The president of the University of South Dakota, James Abbott, made the typical claim: “Guns and students on campus don’t mix very well.” While the bill was defeated, the CPRC’s research was available to help show that the concerns were not based on facts.
From the South Dakota Argus Leader:
Mike Walsh, South Dakota’s president of the Fraternal Order of Police, said Rep. Jim Stalzer’s, R-Sioux Falls, comment that concealed weapons carriers are more law-abiding than law enforcement officers was “irresponsible” and “disturbing.”
Stalzer, reached by phone Wednesday, said he will not apologize for his comments. He said his argument was based a report from the Crime Prevention Research Center.
“My intention was not to slam police officers, but rather to compare the honesty and integrity of concealed and carry permit holder to police officers,” Stalzer said. “Unless the report is proven false, I don’t think I have anything to apologize for.” . . .
The Volante (Vermillion, SD) also notes that other research from the CPRC was used in the legislative debate:
. . . “If you haven’t been raised with an understanding of how to responsibly use a firearm, I understand why you have those fears,” Bankston said. “I conceal carry because I don’t want people to feel uneasy. But there comes a point where people’s irrational fear affects my right.”
About 12 percent of South Dakota residents have conceal and carry permits, reports the Crime Prevention Research Center. Students for Concealed Carry report that seven states have some form of law governing campus carry. . . .
There was other CPRC research that could have been used but wasn’t.
John Lott’s newest piece in the starts this way:
FBI Director James Comey’s recent speech on police and race was about as politically incorrect a speech as you will get these days from a high-ranking government official. Comey acknowledges “the existence of unconscious (racial) bias,” but he doesn’t think that racism is responsible for so many blacks being in jail.
Unlike President Obama, he doesn’t see a need to change the way police are trained. Comey recognizes that there are real problems, but he believes they arise from drugs, underperforming schools and unemployment.
Comey’s comments are at odds with what blacks are telling pollsters. Compared with other Americans, blacks were 29 percent more likely to primarily attribute the disproportionate imprisonment of blacks to racial discrimination. Blacks are much more likely to say that police treat blacks less fairly than whites. And blacks are also more likely to believe that the police are dishonest. . . .
There is actually strong evidence that blacks trust police at least as much as whites do. What people say and what they do are often very different. . . .
The rest of the piece is available here.
John Lott was the lead witness to testify before the Wyoming state Senate Education Committee about a bill to eliminate gun-free zones in government buildings and public school and universities.
From Wyoming Public Radio:
Only concealed permit holders would be allowed to have the concealed guns. John Lott of the Crime Prevention Research Center testified that permit holders have a strong safety record. He researched Wyoming permit holders from 2004 to 2008.
“During that period of time you had zero-point-06 percent of permit holders who had their permits revoked for any reasons.”
Lott says places where gun owners may be present are less likely to be subjected to a mass shooting. . . .
From the Casper Star Tribune:
Before the committee amended the bill, dozens of people spoke for and against HB114’s original version. Because of the number of people wanting to testify, Coe gave each 2 minutes to talk, except for an expert introduced by Jaggi, John Lott.
Lott, an author, said he’s performed academic research on crime and guns. Wyoming has a good history with concealed weapons permit holders, who tend to be law-abiding, he said.
There have been many cases in which permit-holders stop mass shootings, he said.
An additional news article from WyoFile is available here.
The text of Gutfeld’s monologue is available here. Greg’s discussion about our work is at 4:35 into the video.
At about 3:00 into the video, Juan William claims that “half of killings are done by families,” it is completely wrong. In the latest year the data is available, 2013, if you add up murders involving Husband, Wife, Mother, Father, Son, Daughter, Brother, or Sister, you get a total of 1,419. That same year there were 12,253 murders. So rather than 50%, we are talking about 11.5%. If you include “other relatives,” including up to cousins twice removed, you can get the percent up to 13.6%.
Juan’s claim has been something that gun control advocates have pushed to make people afraid of those that they know having guns. What people should really be worried about is relatives who have violent criminal records. 90% of adult murderers have an adult violent criminal record.
UPDATE: Mike Miller at Independent Journal Review has this on Greg’s segment where they also mention the CPRC:
. . . Is Gutfeld right about the research? In October, 2014, the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC) released a report showing that 92% of mass public shootings from January 2009 to July 2014 took place in “gun-free zones.”
Gutfeld said that “gun-free” is music to ears of the bad guys, who intentionally target the unarmed. Consider the following:
James Holmes, the Aurora, Colorado, theater shooter who was charged with 24 counts of first-degree murder, not only planned his attack months in advance, there were seven theaters within 20 minutes drive-time from of his apartment. He chose the only theater posting signs banning concealed weapons. . . .
On Tuesday’s The Five, a Fox news opinion chat show, the subject was guns, the occasion for discussion being safety in the wake of the much-talked-about Mall of America terrorist threat. Former RedEye host (his last show was early Saturday morning) and The Five creator Greg Gutfeld decried, to his four other arguing co-hosts, the very idea of “gun-free zones.” The problem with designating an area “free of guns” means only that peaceful people will abide by the designation. This leaves bad guys with a target. Gutfeld advanced the “more guns, less crime” argument that economist John Lott has more famously made. Gun-free zones are stupid; we’d all be better off if more of us carried guns around, especially if we carried them discreetly, concealed. . . .
John Lott’s newest piece at the Chicago Tribune starts this way:
Over the weekend Somali terrorists threatened to attack the Mall of America in Minnesota. They called for a massacre similar to the 2013 Westgate shopping mall attack in Nairobi, Kenya, that killed and injured scores of people. With the large Somali population in the Twin Cities area, the threat is hard to ignore.
On Sunday, when asked a couple of times if Americans should still go to the mall, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson would only say: “I’m not telling people to not go to the mall.”
Unfortunately, Americans have learned little from terrorist attacks like this. Mall of America officials think that by posting signs banning permitted concealed handguns that they are making the mall safer. They seem to believe that terrorists will obey these signs.
Right after the Kenya attack, Ronald Noble, the secretary-general of Interpol, which is a world version of the FBI and headquartered in Lyon, France, noted two means of protecting people from mass shootings. “One is to say we want an armed citizenry; you can see the reason for that. Another is to say the enclaves (should be) so secure that in order to get into the soft target, you’re going to have to pass through extraordinary security.”
But Noble warned that his experience taught him that it was virtually impossible to stop killers from getting weapons and that “you can’t have armed police forces everywhere.”
“It makes citizens question their views on gun control,” he noted. “You have to ask yourself, ‘Is an armed citizenry more necessary now than it was in the past, with an evolving threat of terrorism?'” . . .
The rest of the piece is available here (sign-in required, but no fee is required).
UPDATE: Minnesota Rep. Tony Cornish (R-Good Thunder), a former sheriff’s deputy who chairs the House Public Safety Committee, spoke out about the Mall of America being a gun-free zone. From KMSPT TV in the twin cities:
. . . Cornish says when Minnesota’s carry law was being discussed at the Capitol a decade ago, mall officials indicated during testimony that they understood people would be allowed to carry firearms in the mall’s common areas, like the rotunda.
“They know they are not supposed to [ban guns] and it’s a bad idea in general,” Cornish tells Fox 9.
Asked to expand on why he thinks banning guns in the mall’s common areas isn’t smart, Cornish says, “A terrorist pays no attention to signs.”
“A terrorist is going to come in and cause mass casualties and couldn’t care less if you have a petty misdemeanor violation of a sign,” he continues. “It creates a kill zone of unarmed sheep for terrorists.”
Reached for comment, Mall of America spokesperson Sarah Schmidt refused to comment on mall’s gun policy. . . .
UPDATE 2: Erin Hill had a letter in the Chicago Tribune on February 26th referencing Media Matters and questioning whether John Lott’s research can be replicated.
Erin Hill’s Voice of the People column repeats claims by Media Matters that my research on concealed handgun laws has been discredited and cannot be replicated (“Gun Control and John R Lott Jr,” 2/26). Yet, Hill does not directly address any of the points I made in my February 25th column regarding multiple victim public shootings.Instead, Hill cites one unpublished paper to warn against right-to-carry laws. But, with several dozen published peer-reviewed studies, some perspective is useful regarding this national data: over two-thirds of the academic research by economists and criminologists find concealed carry reduces violent crime. None of the remaining papers have found bad effects regarding murders, rapes, robberies, accidental deaths or suicides.Regarding Hill’s request that I provide references showing that my research has been replicated, dozens of refereed journal papers have done so, including five in the Journal of Law and Economics (three), Journal of Legal Studies (1), and Economic Inquiry (1). I have provided my data to a couple hundred academics worldwide.For seven years, Media Matters published attacks on me but did not allow my responses in the comments section of their website (my responses were collected here).