We need honest debate and
rigorous research on 'gun control'


By DRGO. December 17, 2020

[Ed: The manufactured “controversy” over John Lott’s recent move to the federal Department of Justice as a research advisor is easily understood as anti-gun academics fearing that his advice will reduce federal funding of their typically poorly designed and interpreted studies. They needn’t worry–Michael Bloomberg has their backs, viz. Northwell Health’s 2nd annual “Gun Violence Prevention Forum” on December 10. Pollack just became president of the Crime Prevention Research Center upon Lott’s (temporary?) departure, and puts the matter fairly, though too gently. Republished here unedited recognizing The Hill's copyright.]

The Hill recently published an opinion by Griffin Dix allegedly exposing a “time bomb under President-elect Biden’s doormat.” The time-bomb wasn’t a bogus dossier, FBI agents lying in order to spy on Biden’s campaign, or a special counsel to investigate Hunter Biden. It was, rather, the appointment of renowned but controversial researcher John R. Lott Jr. as a senior advisor for research and statistics at the Office of Justice Programs at the Department of Justice.

Lott has had a long career as a researcher at some of America’s most respected universities: from Yale to UCLA to Wharton to the University of Chicago and until recently, he was the president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, which I now lead. But he is best known for his controversial thesis on a hot button issue, encapsulated well in his University of Chicago Press book: “More Guns, Less Crime.”

Dix wrote that the news of Lott’s appointment made his “blood run cold” because Lott’s thesis had been “found to be false” by Stanford Law Professor John Donohue and his colleagues. But whether or not he realized it, Dix’s citation actually showcases the need for much more credible and robust research into the effect of gun control policies.

Dix noted that Donahue and his colleagues concluded that Lott’s thesis was “without credible statistical support,” and that — contrary to Lott — right-to-carry gun laws were actually associated with higher rates of murder, rape, aggravated assault, robbery, etc.

If that were the final word, we could leave it at that. But it’s not. ....

"Academics have found evidence that right-to-carry laws deter violent crime, including rapes and murders, lower burglary rates, and that restrictive concealed carry laws may increase the murder rate."


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