7/26/2015

Biased media: Compare how ABC’s George Stephanopoulos badgered Peter Schweizer with how he interviewed the preside



Put aside that Stephanopoulos didn't acknowledge his donations to the Clinton Foundation when he interviewed Schweizer about the foundation.  Just compare the tone and badgering of Schweizer with how he was differential to Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards.

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7/22/2015

Newly released IRS emails show that Obama adm targeted people who donated to conservative groups

Well, now we can see why the Obama administration has fought so hard against releasing the IRS emails.  The Daily Caller correctly describes this as a "bombshell" admission.
. . . The emails, obtained by Judicial Watch, show that Obama’s IRS conspired to revive the “gift tax” — a tax on 501(c)(4) donors that had not been enforced since 1982 following a Supreme Court ruling that effectively invalidated it. Emails between IRS officials show that the agency referred to Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS while discussing how to enforce their new gift tax on donors.  
On April 20, 2011, IRS lawyer Lorraine Garder emailed a donor list for a nonprofit group to James Hogan, a manager in the IRS’ Chief Counsel’s office. Judicial Watch noted that the disclosure of the redacted group’s donor list occurred during the period in which officials were discussing Crossroads GPS. 
“Does Bob have information about any of the donors [to the group in question]?” Gardner wrote in an email to IRS Estate Gift and Policy Manager Lisa Piehl. 
Weeks later, on May 13, 2011 an IRS official whose name was redacted in the documents released to Judicial Watch emailed Gardner and made one of the most stunning admissions of the existence of the IRS conservative targeting program.
“The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is a 501(c)(6) organization and may find itself under high scrutiny,” the official wrote. “One can only hope.” . . .

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Newest in the Philadelphia Inquirer: "For more Americans, owning a gun = safety"

My newest piece in today's Philadelphia Inquirer starts this way:
Americans are increasingly convinced that owning a gun makes them safer.
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.

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7/21/2015

Evidence that Trump isn't a "straight shooter," that he tailors his outspokenness to fit his audience

Donald Trump claims to be the true conservative in the Republican primary.

Trump in 2000: "The Republicans, especially those in Congress, are captives of their right wing."


-- Since 1990, for federal offices Trump has given $541,650 to Democrats and  $429,450 to Republicans.  it looks to be at least as lopsided for state offices.


-- A 2011 article in the Washington Post has this headline: "Trump’s donation history shows Democratic favoritism"

The Democratic recipients of Trump’s donations make up what looks like a Republican enemies list, including former senator Hillary Rodham Clinton(N.Y.), Sen. John F. Kerry (Mass.), Rep. Charles B. Rangel (N.Y.), Sen. Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.) and the late liberal lion Edward M. Kennedy(Mass.).  
The biggest recipient of all has been the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee of New York, which has taken in more than $125,000 from Trump and his companies. Overall, Trump has given nearly $600,000 to New York state campaigns, with more than two-thirds going to Democrats. . . .
Donations to Ted Kennedy?  John Kerry?  All those donations would seem hard for a true "conservative" to explain.

-- Trump has given between $100,000 and $250,000 to the Clinton Foundation.

-- Referring to his views on Obama in 2008, Trump said "I was his biggest cheerleader."  In 2009, Trump said that he would "hire" Obama.  That "he’s handled the tremendous mess he walked into very well.


When Trump was toying with running as an independent in 2000, he attacked conservatives and liberals.  He supports Democrats when it is in his interest and Republicans at other times.


He lauds Obama early during his presidency, but then when Trump was toying with running as a Republican in 2011 he goes after the nutty birther claims

Other notes on Trump are available here.



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Crime Prevention Research Center has two of the top 5 research papers on "Security and Safety" at the Social Science Research Network

Click on screen shot to enlarge

I hope that people find these two papers of interest and download them to take a look (available here).  The more our research papers move up in rank, the more that it gets other academics to read them and interested in those research topics.  

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Newest piece at Fox News: "Older people need guns, too"


72 year old woman uses gun to stop attackers
John Lott's newest piece at Fox News starts this way:
Have you ever thought of letting someone else manage your finances?  If President Obama has his way, Social Security recipients who have trouble managing their finances will be banned from buying a gun. 
If Social Security were to start classifying these people as “mentally defective,” some 4.2 million Social Security recipients could be affected – about 10 percent of all people 65 and older. 
But it is a real reach to say those who can’t manage their finances are a physical danger to themselves or others.  What is next?  Saying that people who can’t drive well or fail a math test should lose their right to self-defense? 
What about other rights?  If Obama finds people “mentally defective,” should they lose their right to vote?  Will they lose the right to make other decisions?
Having a gun is by far the safest way for people to protect themselves from criminals.  What is ignored is that older people, as well as women, who both tend to be weaker physically, benefit the most from owning a gun.   When a young man attacks an elderly person, the strength difference is enormous.  A gun is the only means an elderly person can realistically put up a defense. 
Everyday one can find news stories of elderly people defending themselves with guns.  On Sunday afternoon, a 70-year-old homeowner in Washington state rescued his roommate who was being attacked by an intruder.  Two days before that a retired veteran used his permitted concealed handgun to stop an armed robbery and protect others at a gas station in Georgia. 
Americans 65 and over make up over 14 percent of the US population, yet they seldom go out and kill people, accounting for only 3 percent of murders where the age of the murder is known and it is probably far less than that as unsolved murders disproportionately tend to involve young gangs. . . .
The rest of the piece is available here.

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7/18/2015

With the debate over whether soldiers should be armed, here is an Army veteran who knew exactly how to use a gun, may have saved a life


From WALB in Georgia about an Army veteran with a concealed handgun permit who stopped an armed robbery and may have saved a life.  The event occurred in Sycamore, Georgia:
An Army veteran speaks, out after firing three shots at an armed robber in Sycamore. The store clerk says Don Rogers may have saved his life. 
Investigators left the gas station Friday afternoon, with glass was shattered earlier from  Rogers' shots. It's damage the clerk would take any day if it means his life was saved. . . .  
This Vietnam veteran was in this Sycamore gas station getting change for a 20 when his day took a bizarre turn. "I heard somebody say "put the money in the bag". So I looked up and I seen this gentleman holding a pistol on the clerk," said Rogers. . . .  
The gun-carrying veteran pulled his weapon on the robber. "And when I did, he looked over at me and turned my way and I fired a shot. And he grabbed his side and then I fired two more shots before he got out the door," said Rogers. 
Two of the shots hit 18-year old Devin Burton. Burton got into a car driven by, 17-year old Marleigh Agner, and the couple took off down Denham Road, but Burton's condition worsened so they stopped to call 911.  . . .

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Miss Texas explains why government shouldn't regulate CEO pay



Here is a woman who understands first hand the returns to hard work.  And she makes that argument. One could also point out the importance of companies getting the best people working for them as well as the benefits to consumers from getting the best products.

What was very striking about this clip was overwhelmingly positive response from the audience.

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7/16/2015

My latest piece at Fox News: "Chattanooga shootings: Why should we make it easy for killers to attack our military?"

IMG_0343
John Lott's latest piece at Fox News starts this way:
Thursday saw yet another tragic attack in a gun-free zone.  Four Marines were murdered.  Others were injured. 
Watching the coverage on television Thursday, it was hard to ignore the gun-free zone sign on the front door of the recruiting station. It was surrounded by bullet holes. 
Army regulations are very clear stating that personnel cannot have firearms during their official duties.  Last year the Obama administration instituted interim rules that clearly prohibit privately owned weapons from all federally leased office and land, including recruiters’ offices. 
We trust soldiers to carry guns all the time when they are stationed in Iraq or Afghanistan, but somehow when they come home we no longer trust them. 
The Obama administration hasn’t learned anything from the massacres at Fort Hood in 2009 and 2014 or the Washington Navy Yard in 2013. 
After the Navy Yard shooting, the Obama administration focused solely on mental health issues.  Mental illness is important, but only about half the mass public shooters in the U.S. are meeting with mental illness experts and none of these killers was identified as a danger to others. 
But if the dangers from mental illness aren’t identified or if the cause turns out to be terrorism, what is the back up plan? 
With the exception of military police, military personnel are banned from having weapons on base, in federally leased buildings, or while they are carrying out official duties. . . .
The rest of the piece is available here.

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7/15/2015

Actress Kelly Carlson: Speaks about how she got a gun when she was stalked


This beautiful woman will get a few people to listen about guns.  From Fox News:
“Nip/Tuck” actress Kelly Carlson began training in Kali, a form of martial arts from the Philippines, when she was 19. But despite her extensive self-defense training, she found herself in a life-threatening scenario where her martial arts background wasn’t enough. 
"Owning a firearm...was life changing for me because women for sure, but even men too can be in a very, very vulnerable position with no options if you have intruders or any scenario where you're being dominated physically," Carlson told FOX411. "[A firearm] is the only equalizer you have." 
The 39-year-old revealed a person in her past began stalking her in 2012 and even hired people to break into her home and tap her phones. After several break-ins and being followed on the streets, she contacted law enforcement who were not sympathetic to her situation. 
“Law enforcement, they didn’t take me seriously. probably because I’m an actor but also because my situation was a little crazy,” she admitted. 
One good thing came out of the scary ordeal: Carlson met her husband Dan after hiring him to teach her counter-surveillance. . . .

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7/14/2015

Remarkable segment by Jesse Watters on Fox News trying to get answers from San Francisco City Officials


The video is available here (see particularly at 2:54 into the video). The notion of keeping on deporting criminals who just return again to the US seems pretty irresponsible. Here is a thought: if you are an illegal alien who commits a crime, we put you in jail and then deport you.

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Most telling quote about Iranian nuclear arms deal: Do you really want a treaty that depends on "goodwill" from both parties to work?

Here is a quote from the very end of an article in the WSJ:
. . . observers warned that given the complexity of the agreement, which contains one main text and five detailed annexes and totals about 100 pages, the risks of disputes over implementation of terms could cause delays or even derail the deal. 
“The technical obstacles can be surpassed with goodwill and diligence, but political hurdles can turn into poison pills,” said Ali Vaez, senior Iran analyst at Crisis International, an international conflict resolution group. 
“Neither Iran nor the U.S. has ever implemented such a complex quid pro quo. . . .
How good is a deal that depends on the "goodwill" for the two parties involved to make sure that the treaty works? 

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Mark Halperin: Hillary Clinton's idea of growth is through "big, New government programs," and I would add higher taxes

Mark Halperin might not be very conservative, but he accurately describes Hillary's position that making government bigger is her program for growth.

Hillary Clinton's entire speech is available here.



Clinton keeps repeating "growth," "growth," and "growth," but it is a puzzle why someone things that higher tax rates will give an incentive for growth.  As to government spending, where does the money that the government is spending come from?  She seems unable to understand that government spending merely takes the money from others who would have spent the money someplace else.  Whether it is taxes or borrowing or printing up money, the government is taking money from others.

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7/13/2015

Newest piece at the Daily Caller: "Why Background Checks Couldn’t Stop Dylan Roof"

FBI Director James Comey
John Lott's latest piece at the Daily Caller discusses the FBI's announcement that mistakes were made in the background check for his gun purchase. His piece starts this way:
The FBI says that the federal background check system for guns should have stopped Dylann Roof, the racist who killed nine black parishioners at a church in Charleston. 
This rips all of our hearts out,” says FBI Director James Comey, who blamed the mistake at least partially on improperly labeled paperwork. 
But the truth is more complicated. First, even a perfectly functioning background check system very likely wouldn’t have stopped Roof from getting a gun. Second, the current background check system is a much worse mess than Comey recognizes. 
With Roof planning his attack for at least six months, it seems hard to believe that he couldn’t have figured out some way of obtaining a gun. Indeed, he stole the gun that he used in this attack. 
The truth is, the databases the government uses to determine eligibility for gun purchases are rife with errors. Comey’s comments focus on one type of error, where someone who should have been prohibited from getting a gun wasn’t stopped. But a much more common error involves people who should have been able to buy guns but are stopped. 
This is the same problem experienced with the “No Fly” list. Remember the five times that the late Sen. Ted Kennedy was “initially denied” flights because his name was on the anti-terror “no fly” list? His name was just too similar to someone that we really did want to keep from flying. . . . .
The rest of the piece is available here.  What is at issue is Roof's answer to question e (click on the copy below of the 4473 form to enlarge).
ATF-FORM-4473-pg1

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7/04/2015

Good for Marco Rubio and Rick Perry blasting Donald Trump's stupid comments

Marco Rubio didn't hold anything back when he recently went after Donald Trump's comments:
Trump’s comments are not just offensive and inaccurate, but also divisive. Our next president needs to be someone who brings Americans together – not someone who continues to divide. Our broken immigration system is something that needs to be solved, and comments like this move us further from – not closer to – a solution. We need leaders who offer serious solutions to secure our border and fix our broken immigration system. . . .
Previously Rick Perry had similarly taken Trump to task (from the video here):
I don’t think he’s reflecting the Republican party with his statements about Mexicans. I think that was a huge error on his part.  And number 1 it is wrong. . . . He painted with a very broad brush and that is the problem. . . . Where he tried to say that Mexicans are bad people, they are rapists and murderers. . . .
Trump is more than just irresponsible on illegal immigration. Take what he says about trade is completely nuts. 
While I'm a Republican, right now, some in the Republican Party are working overtime to hand more power to President Obama.  These same people are turning their backs on the American workers and businesses. It's unbelievable.  
"I learned a long time ago, a bad deal is far worse than no deal at all.  And the Obama Trans-Pacific Partnership and fast-track are a bad, bad deal for American businesses, for workers, for taxpayers. It's a huge set of handouts for a few insiders that don't even care about our great, great America.  
Congress has to stand up and defeat this raw power grab. With the dismal Obama track record, why should a Republican Congress give him more power and gut the Constitution to do it? It's just crazy. Tell your congressmen and senators, vote no on fast-track.
This trade deal is a "bad deal for American businesses"?  Not allowing trade is a handout to specially favored companies that one allows to charge higher prices.  Can trade deals be set up to still protect certain companies from competition?  Sure, but when you have even more firms protected you have even more firms that are given special favors.  There is not a specific example in any of Trump's comments.

Other nutty Trump claims include his promise that he will be able to get the Mexicans to pay for the fence (see starting at 1:14 into video) or to get them to pay for the cost of illegals in the US.  On the nutty getting them to pay for the fence by taxing their products being put into the US, does Trump understand that would abrogate our treaties and also start a trade war?  It is just an irresponsible statement.

Trump also claims that Mexicans in the US actually commit crimes at a higher rate than others. As far as I can tell, he doesn't back up anything that he says.  

It isn't clear how conservatives will react to Trump's views on other issues.  He has said some reasonable things on guns, but he has also made statements that would concern many.
"It’s often argued that the American murder rate is high because guns are more available here than in other countries. Democrats want to confiscate all guns, which is a dumb idea because only the law-abiding citizens would turn in their guns and the bad guys would be the only ones left armed. The Republicans walk the NRA line and refuse even limited restrictions. . . . I support the ban on assault weapons and I support a slightly longer waiting period to purchase a gun. With today’s Internet technology we should be able to tell within 72-hours if a potential gun owner has a record." -- Donald Trump in his book The America We Deserve (2000).
While Trump owns a number of guns and describes himself as "a gun person," he either doesn't know much about guns or he is willing to make things up.  On so-called assault weapons, Trump noted "who needs them except criminals and police?"

From 2011 to this year, Trump also kept on forcefully pushing the crazy birther claim that Obama was actually born in Kenya (see here, hereherehere, and here).

The problem is that with so many Republican candidates in the race, someone can be doing very well with 14% of the vote.


Trump is also not someone to greatly respect private property rights.  He has an apparently long history of using the government's eminent domain power to take other people's property.

UPDATE: Note every group in the population contains rapists.  The question with Donald Trumps comments is whether illegal immigrants from Mexico commit rape at a higher rate than other groups in the population.  Here is Donald Trump's defense of his claim:
LEMON: I read [the stats], that’s about women being raped. It’s not about criminals coming across the border entering the country. 
TRUMP: Somebody’s doing the raping, Don. I mean, you know, somebody’s doing it. You say it’s women being raped. Well, who’s doing the raping? Well, how can you say such a thing?
Even if the evidence eventually supported Trump's claim, this is a very lame defense of it. 

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Newest piece at Fox News: "Lynne Russell, ex-CNN anchor, and her husband are alive thanks to a gun"

Lynne Russell Screen Shot
John Lott has a new piece at Fox News on Lynne Russell and her husband defending themselves with a gun.
Lynne Russell and her husband, Chuck de Caro, believe they would be dead if she hadn’t been carrying a gun. Late Wednesday night, Russell was forced at gunpoint from a motel parking lot into her room. The robber, not satisfied with merely taking her husband’s briefcase, started shooting at him. Fortunately, Russell had handed de Caro her purse, with her handgun inside it. De Caro shot the attacker, who later died at the hospital. 
This story made national news. ABC NewsNBC NewsFox NewsPeople Magazine and even such foreign publications as the UK Guardian newspaper mentioned that Russell, a CNN anchor from 1983 to 2001, and de Caro both had concealed handgun permits. 
We see these stories every day, some of the heroic actions caught on video and others where the criminal is killed, but you would never know it, because the national media continually ignore them. The case with Russell is an exception because she is a public figure. 
To illustrate how common such defense is, consider a few other cases that occurred over the last week where permitted concealed handguns stopped crimes: . . .
The rest of the piece is available here.

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7/03/2015

Gov Christie points to benefit of gun ownership by women, insight into Carol Bowne's views on guns for protection

An article in the Courier-Post lays out not only Gov. Chris Christie's views on obtaining guns but also more insight into Carol Bowne's views.  She was the 39-year-old hairdresser who was fatally stabbed outside her Berlin Township home while awaiting the state's permission to buy a gun for protection from an ex-boyfriend.  From the Courier-Post:

The governor's actions drew a mixed response from Bowne's father, Sonny Ehly of Voorhees.
"It's too late now for my daughter. It's after the fact," said Ehly, who described himself as "angry, very very angry."
"But I hope for other people, they'll get justice," the father said. "If it helps another woman, or a man, that would be good."
"I'm behind the right to carry guns." . . .
Carol Browne's father surely believes that his daughter would have been much safer if she had been able to get a gun for protection.  It also sounds as if her father had strongly supported her effort to get a gun.  

These proposed rules still seem much too restrictive to me.

Under Christie's proposed changes, a request to buy or carry a gun would have to be resolved within 14 days if the applicant:
Is the victim of violence or threatened with violence or a deadly weapon, "and there is a substantial likelihood of another such incident in the foreseeable future."
Lives under a demonstrable threat, as evidenced by a restraining order against someone who poses the "substantial likelihood" of violence or a threat with a deadly weapon.

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6/24/2015

Newest piece in the New York Daily News: "The myth of American gun violence"

Screen Shot 2015-06-24 at  Wednesday, June 24, 5.38 AM
John Lott's piece at the New York Daily News starts this way:
In the wake of the murders in Charleston, President Obama has made more exaggerations and false claims about gun violence in America. He made two public addresses this past week — one to the nation on Thursday and one to the U.S. Conference of Mayors on Friday. On both occasions, he gave distorted impressions of how rates of violence in America compare with those in the rest of the world. 
In his address to the nation, Obama claimed that, “We as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. It doesn’t happen in other places with this kind of frequency.” 
But Obama overlooks Norway, where Anders Behring Breivik used a gun to kill 67 people and wound 110 others. Still others were killed by bombs that Breivik detonated. Three of the six worst K-12 school shootings ever have occurred in Europe. Germany saw two of these — one in 2002 at Erfurt and another in 2009 at Winnenden. The combined death toll was 34. France and Belgium have both faced multiple terrorist attacks over the past year. 
After adjusting for America’s much larger population, we see that many European countries actually have higher rates of death in mass public shootings. 
Let’s look at such mass public shootings (four or more people killed, and not in the course of committing another crime) from 2009 to the present. To make a fair comparison with American shootings, I have excluded terrorist attacks that might be better classified as struggles over sovereignty, such as the 22 people killed in the Macedonian town of Kumanovo last month. 
Norway had the highest annual death rate, with two mass public shooting fatalities per million people. Macedonia had a rate of 0.38, Serbia 0.28, Slovakia 0.20, Finland 0.14, Belgium 0.14, and the Czech Republic 0.13. The U.S. comes in eighth with 0.095 mass public shooting fatalities per million people, with Austria close behind. . . .
The rest of the piece is available here.
NYDN Most Shared

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6/23/2015

Response to Evan DeFilippis and Devin Hughes' claims at "ArmedwithReaon" about my research


Recently Evan DeFilippis and Devin Hughes claimed that defensive gun use was a myth.  Gary Kleck wrote a response where he noted that these authors were merely repeating earlier criticisms and ignored the responses that he and others have made to those critiques.

Well, DeFilippis and Hughes use the same approach in discussing my research (a screen shot of their original post is saved here).  Let's try to go through these points in order that they are presented:


-- Tim Lambert as a source.  Professor Jim Purtilo at the University of Maryland put up a post in 2004 that he has updated over the years that shows that Lambert has been caught falsifying evidence on multiple occasions and has otherwise been dishonest.  See:

-- Cherry picking surveys on gun ownership.
In an audacious display of cherry-picking, Lott argues that there were “more guns” between 1977 to 1992 by choosing to examine two seemingly arbitrary surveys on gun ownership, and then sloppily applying a formula he devised to correct for survey limitations. Since 1959, however, there have been at least 86 surveys examining gun ownership, and none of them show any clear trend establishing a rise in gun ownership. Differences between surveys appear to be dependent almost entirely on sampling errors, question wordings, and people’s willingness to answer questions honestly.
My paper with Mustard as well as my book looked at all the crime data available when those pieces were written and I updated that data with each successive updated edition of my book.  

-- Paper with David Mustard: crime data for all the counties and states in the US from 1977 to 1992.  
-- First edition of MGLC: crime data for all the counties and states in the US from 1977 to 1992 as well as up to 1994 for a comparison.  Literally hundreds of different factors that could impact crime rates were accounted for.
-- Second edition of MGLC: crime data for all the counties, cities, and states in the US from 1977 to 1996.  
-- Third edition of MGLC: crime data for all the counties and states in the US from 1977 to 2005.  

The regressions in those publications account for all the data available (all counties, all cities, all states for all the years the data is available), no cherry picking, and, following earlier work by William Alan Bartley and Mark Cohen, report all possible combination of these hundreds of control variables to show that the results are not sensitive to a particular specification.

The only survey discussion that I made in my first two editions of MGLC was for the 1988 and 1996 voter exit poll surveys.  Those two exit polls included a question on gun ownership.  The third edition of MGLC updates the data to include the 2004 exit poll survey.  The reason for using those large exit polls is that they can contain up to 32,000 people surveyed (though in other years it might only be about 3,600) and that allows one to breakdown the data on a state by state basis to see how gun ownership is changing across different states.  The GSS survey only has data for 600 to 800 observations at a time every two years.  Some other surveys may occasionally have up to 1,200 people, but those samples are just too small to make cross state comparisons.  So I wasn’t looking at these exit poll surveys to check general gun ownership rates for the whole US, but to look at the data for specific states.
However, we know this assertion is factually untenable, based on surveys showing that 5-11% of US adults already carried guns for self-protection before the implementation of concealed carry laws.
The surveys that DeFilippis and Hughes are referring to involve people carrying guns for any reason, including going hunting or simply moving guns between places (See the 
discussion in MGLC).  
It’s extremely unlikely, therefore, for the 1% of the population identified by Lott who obtained concealed carry permits after the passage of “shall-issue” laws to be responsible for all the crime decrease.
Again, I refer to the same discussion from MGLC as it shows that this 1% number is misleading and it also shows a simple numerical example regarding what would be required to get the expected reduction in crime.  This is part of a consistent pattern where DeFilippis and Hughes make no attempt to discuss the responses that I have already made on these issues.
On Hood and Neeley -- "zip codes with the highest violent crime before Texas passed its concealed carry law had the smallest number of new permits issued per capita."
I have a long discussion about why purely cross-sectional analysis is unreliable.  Regarding: "zip codes with the highest violent crime before Texas passed its concealed carry law had the smallest number of new permits issued per capita.”  Well, given that it cost $140 and 10 hours of training to get a permit, it isn’t very surprising to me that poor areas have both high crime rates and low permit rates.  As to cherry-picking, even if cross-sectional analysis was useful, somehow the authors have to explain why they picked one city in the entire US to look at.  In any case, I note this paper and respond to it in MGLC.

Note on the Dade county data.  

Dade county police records, which cataloged arrest and non-arrests incidents for permit holders in a five-year period, also disproves Lott’s point. This data showed unequivocally that defensive gun use by permit holders is extremely rare. In Dade county, for example, there were only 12 incidents of a concealed carry permit owner encountering a criminal, compared with 100,000 violent crimes occurring in that period. . . .
Anyone who has been following the debate on justifiable police homicides knows that the data is not very reliable.  The justifiable homicide data for civilians is even worse.
As Albert Alschuler explains in “Two Guns, Four Guns, Six Guns, More Guns: Does Arming the Public Reduce Crime,” Lott’s work is filled with bizarre results that are inconsistent with established facts in criminology. . . .
My responses to these claims can be found in MGLC (here and here), though DeFilippis and Hughes ignore my responses.
Dennis Hennigan writes, “the absence of an effect on robbery does much to destroy the theory that more law-abiding citizens carrying concealed guns in public deter crime.”
My response to this type of point is available here in MGLC.

Frank Zimring and Gordon Hawkins as well as Dan Black and Daniel Nagin are intertwined here.
Black and Nagin noticed that there were large variations in state-specific estimates for the effect of “shall-issue” laws on crime. For example, Lott’s findings indicated that right-to-carry laws caused “murders to decline in Florida, but increase in West Virginia. Assaults fall in Maine but increase in Pennsylvania.” In addition, “the magnitudes of the estimates are often implausibly large. The parameter estimates that RTC laws increased murders by 105 percent in West Virginia but reduced aggravated assaults by 67 percent in Maine. . . .
Again, DeFilippis and Hughes ignore that I have extensive discussions on this in both MGLC and a 1998 paper published in the Journal of Legal Studies.   


1) Note that even throwing out all counties with populations below 100,000 and Florida, still produced statistically significant drops in some violent crime categories.  They thus removed about 89 percent of the data in the study.  There are so many combinations of county sizes and states that could have been dropped from the sample -- for example, why not Georgia or Pennsylvania or Virginia or West Virginia or any of the other six states?  Why not drop counties with populations under 50,000?  Black and Nagin never really explain the combination that they pick.
2) More importantly, even when they drop out counties with fewer than 100,000 people as well as Florida, Black and Nagin still find statistically significant drops in aggravated assaults (significant at the 5% level) and robberies (significant at the 8% level) and no evidence that any type of violent crime increases.  Note that they also didn't report over all violent crime, and the reason that they don't report that is because even with their choices the drop in over all violent crime would have been statistically significant.
3) As to the increase in West Virginia, there was only one county in WV (Kanawha County) with more than 100,000 people in it.  What they showed is not that crime increased in WV (it fell over all), but that there was an increase in one type of violent crime in one county in WV.
4) DeFilippis and Hughes continually write about "Florida" being removed from the sample, but it is Florida as well as counties with fewer than 100,000 people.
5) If one is interested in my other responses, I suggest that people read both MGLC and the paper published in the Journal of Legal Studies.

Regarding  Ted Goertzel's comments, DeFilippis and Hughes plagiarize/copied his comments in their discussion of Dan Black and Nagin.  In general their approach is to copy, slightly rewrite other critiques, and then ignore what I have written in response.


DeFilippis and Hughes write: 

Within a year, two econometricians, Dan Black and Daniel Nagin validated this concern. By altering Lott’s statistical models with a couple of superficial modeling changes, or by re-running Lott’s own methods on a different grouping of the data, they were able to produce entirely different results.
Goertzel wrote:
Within a year, two determined econometricians, Dan Black and Daniel Nagin (1998) published a study showing that if they changed the statistical model a little bit, or applied it to different segments of the data, Lott and Mustard's findings disappeared. Black and Nagin found that when Florida was removed from the sample there was "no detectable impact of the right-to-carry laws on the rate of murder and rape." They concluded that "inference based on the Lott and Mustard model is inappropriate, and their results cannot be used responsibly to formulate public policy."
This is one time where DeFilippis and Hughes pretend that they are actually linking to what I wrote in response to Goertzel, but instead they misstate what I wrote and link back again to Goertzel.  My responses to Goertzel were similar to what I just note above in response to Black and Nagin.  

DeFilippis and Hughes claim "Lott’s response to Goetzl was to shrug him off, insisting that he had enough controls to account for the problem."  But that is not accurate.  I point out that I was also concerned that the sensitivity of specifications.  That is why I pointed to papers such as the one by Bartley and Cohen that provided tests of whether the results were indeed sensitive.


As to Ayres and Donohue's 2003 law review paper, DeFilippis and Hughes are just simply wrong about the facts.  They write:

"Fortunately, Lott’s data set ended in 1992, permitting researchers to test Lott’s own model with new data. Researchers Ian Ayres, from Yale Law School, and John Donohue, from Stanford Law School, did just this, and examined 14 additional jurisdictions between 1992 and 1996 that adopted concealed carry laws."
The 2nd edition of MGLC came out in 2000 and, as noted above, it had data through 1996.  I provided Ayres and Donohue with my data set and they added one year to the study, 1997.  That single year did not change the results.  While Ayres and Donohue also claimed that the my research had ended with 1992, anyone who checks the 2nd edition of the book or reads chapter 9 in the third edition will see that I had looked at data from 1977 to 1996.

The reply to Ayres and Donohue in the law review was by Florenz Plassmann and John Whitley.  I had helped them out and Whitley notes "We thank John Lott for his support, comments and discussion."  There were minor data errors in the additional years that they added from 1997 to 2000, but those errors didn't alter their main results that dealt with count data.  They had accidentally left 180 cell blank out of some 7 million cells.  Donohue has himself made much more serious data errors in his own work on this issue.  For example, he repeats the data for one county in Alaska 73 times, says that Kansas' right to carry law was passed in 1996 and not 2006, and made other errors.  I did co-author a corrected version of the Plassmann and Whitley paper that fixed the data errors and is available here.  But DeFilippis and Hughes can't even get it straight what paper I co-authored.


In any case, for those who want my response, you can read what I wrote in MGLC (the link only provides part of my discussion).



Again, talk about DeFilippis and Hughes cherry-picking, there are several ways of responding to the quotes by Kleck and Hemenway.

1) Note that Kleck has also said many positive things about my research. For example, see this quote: “John Lott has done the most extensive, thorough, and sophisticated study we have on the effects of loosening gun control laws. Regardless of whether one agrees with his conclusions, his work is mandatory reading for anyone who is open-minded and serious about the gun control issue. Especially fascinating is his account of the often unscrupulous reactions to his research by gun control advocates, academic critics, and the news media.” 

2) I have discussed Kleck's quote in MGLC (see attached file). 
3) The vast majority of peer reviewed research that looks at national data on crime rates supports my research (see table 2 here and also here).  
4)  There are a lot of prominent academics and people involved in law enforcement who have said positive things about my research.  I can list a few here, but I don't really see the point.

“John Lott documents how far ‘politically correct’ vested interests are willing to go to denigrate anyone who dares disagree with them.  Lott has done us all a service by his thorough thoughtful, scholarly approach to a highly controversial issue.”
— Milton Friedman, Nobel prize winning economist
“John Lott is a scholar’s scholar and a writer’s writer — and this book shows why.  That gun ownership might bring social benefits as well as costs is a story we do not often see in the press, and Lott here explains why.  With a blend of new data, evidence, and examples, he unpacks the bias against such stories in the media.”
— Mark Ramseyer, Harvard University
“For anyone with an open mind on either side of this subject this book will provide a thorough grounding. It is also likely to be the standard reference on the subject for years to come.”
—Stan Liebowitz, University of Texas at Dallas
“John Lott’s work to uncover the truth about the costs and benefits of guns in America is as valuable as it is provocative. Too much of today’s public debate over gun ownership and laws ignores the empirical evidence. Based on carefully proven facts, Professor Lott shatters the orthodox thinking about guns and debunks the most prominent myths about gun use that dominate the policy debate. For those who are convinced that the truth matters in formulating public policy and for anyone interested in the role of guns in our society, More Guns, Less Crime is must reading.” —Edwin Meese III, U.S. Attorney General, 1985–88
“More Guns, Less Crime is one of the most important books of our time. It provides thoroughly researched facts on a life-and-death subject that is too often discussed on the basis of unsubstantiated beliefs and hysterical emotions.”
—Thomas Sowell, Stanford University
“Armed with reams of statistics, John Lott has documented many surprising linkages between guns and crime. More Guns, Less Crime demonstrates
that what is at stake is not just the right to carry arms but rather our performance in controlling a diverse array of criminal behaviors. Perhaps most disturbing is Lott’s documentation of the role of the media and academic commentators in distorting research findings that they regard as politically incorrect.”
—W. Kip Viscusi, Cogan Professor of Law and Director of the Program on Empirical Legal Studies, Harvard Law School
“Until John Lott came along, the standard research paper on firearms and violence consisted of a longitudinal or cross-sectional study on a small and artfully selected data set with few meaningful statistical controls. Lott’s work, embracing all of the data that are relevant to his analysis, has created a new standard, which future scholarship in this area, in order to be credible, will have to live up to.”
—Dan Polsby, Kirkland & Ellis Professor of Law, Northwestern University
“His empirical analysis sets a standard that will be difficult to match. . . . This has got to be the most extensive empirical study of crime deterrence that has been done to date.”
—Public Choice

Up to this point in their list, I have tried to go through each of DeFilippis and Hughes' claims.  What should be clear is that I haven't skipped points and I have already answered these claims elsewhere and the same is true for their other assertions.  I would suggest that people get a copy of MGLC for issues up to 2010 and look at my later academic papers at the Social Science Research Network or the Crime Prevention Research Center website.  Regarding their attack on "The Vanishing Survey," they again completely ignore what I have already written on the issue.  Without any attempt to address any of the responses that I have already made to these points, DeFilippis and Hughes' is just a big waste of people's time.

For example, regarding Donohue's latest piece that DeFilippis and Hughes you can see discussions here, here, and here.

I will make one final point.  DeFilippis and Hughes incorrectly describe the National Research Council report.  Their report examined seemingly ever possible gun law that has been studied by academics, but the panel could not identify one single law that made a statistically significant difference.  They made the same response regarding right-to-carry, but unlike all the other laws studied the discussion on right-to-carry laws was the only one that drew a dissent by James Q. Wilson, who pointed out that all of the panel's own regressions found that right-to-carry regressions reduced murder rates.  In 15 years prior to that there had only been one other dissent.  Academics who don't sign on to a NRC report are not invited back to be on future panels.  That creates pressure for people not to dissent, but it also means that virtually all the reports indicate that they can't say anything matters.

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