CPRC in the News: Fox News, Yahoo! News, Breitbart, Sinclair Broadcasting, and More

“It is unconscionable that anyone would bring deadly weapons where our city’s children gather to play,” said Mayor Kenney. “We will not tolerate the endangerment of children and families while they are in the care of our treasured community spaces, and we must do everything we can to protect the public, as well as the dedicated staff that make these facilities run.”

Gun control advocacy groups such as Everytown for Gun Safety have celebrated such laws as among the recent “massive wins” for gun control this year. 

President and founder of the Crime Prevention Research Center John Lott, however, argued that creating gun-free zones in cities will leave law-abiding citizens more vulnerable and predicts the courts will strike down the executive order. 

“There have been no problems in Philadelphia with concealed handgun permit holders that justifies the mayor’s gun-free zones. In banning guns, the people who will obey the ban are the law-abiding permit holders,” Lott told Fox News Digital 

“The ban actually serves as a magnet for criminals as they know their victims will be defenseless in those areas. But it is even worse because law-abiding people will now be defenseless going to or from those gun-free zones. Concealed handgun permits have been soaring in Philadelphia because crime is out of control and the city can’t protect people.” . . .

Emma Colton, “At least 12 armed citizens have thwarted crimes in just the last 60 days,” Fox News, October 5, 2022.

A new report from the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC) argues that the FBI’s data contains “massive errors” when tracking active shooting incidents, undercounting how often armed citizens have thwarted active-shooting situations over the last eight years.

“Although collecting such data is fraught with challenges, some see a pattern of distortion in the FBI numbers because the errors almost exclusively go one way, minimizing the life-saving actions of armed citizens,” the report, which was provided to Fox News Digital this week by Crime Prevention Research Center founder and president John Lott, states.

Data released by the nonprofit shows that 34.4% of active shootings were thwarted by armed citizens between 2014 and 2021. However, FBI data show only 4.4% of active shootings were thwarted by armed citizens during that time period.

All in, 360 active shooter incidents were identified by CPRC between 2014 and 2021, with 124 stopped by armed citizens. The FBI identified 252 active shooter incidents during the same time period, with only 11 thwarted by armed citizens. . . .

Emma Colton, “FBI undercounts number of times armed citizens have thwarted active shooting incidents: report,” Yahoo News!, October 4, 2022.

A study from the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC) released Monday shows the FBI undercounts the number of times an armed citizen stops an active shooting. . . .

They noted a few establishment media responses to the attack: “Rare in US for an active shooter to be stopped by bystander” (Associated Press); “Rampage in Indiana a rare instance of armed civilian ending mass shooting” (Washington Post); and “After Indiana mall shooting, one hero but no lasting solution to gun violence” (New York Times). . . .

CPRC notes, “The FBI reported that armed citizens thwarted 4.4 percent of active shooter incidents, while the CPRC found 34.4 percent. ” . . .

AWR Hawkins, “Study: FBI Undercounts Times Armed Citizens Stop Active Shootings,” Breitbart, October 4, 2022.

 A research-focused nonprofit, the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC), claims it conducted an analysis that found the FBI has been undercounting the number of legally armed citizens who courageously thwart mass shooting attempts across the country.

According to the nonprofit’s analysis, the FBI reported that armed citizens only stopped 11 out of a total 252 active shooting incidents identified across a period of seven years, starting in 2014. However, the CPRC identified a total of 360 active shooter incidents during that same time period, tallying 124 that were stopped by armed citizens. 

CPRC claims the FBI undercounts the overall incidents of mass shootings because it excludes active shooter incidents that occur in the process of another crime, such as a robbery or fighting over turf.

The group added that there were an additional 24 cases where an armed citizen thwarted what they say could have been counted as mass shooting attempts, but the suspect did not fire their gun, so CPRC did not include those numbers.

“The FBI reported that armed citizens thwarted 4.4% of active shooter incidents, while the CPRC found 34.4%,” the group claimed in a report on their analysis. 

“Two factors explain this discrepancy – one, misclassified shootings; and two, overlooked incidents,” the report continued. “As for the second factor — overlooked cases — the FBI, more significantly, missed 25 incidents identified by CPRC where what would likely have been a mass public shooting was thwarted by armed civilians. There were another 83 active shooting incidents that they missed.”

Critics have argued CPRC is an unreliable advocacy group that parades as a nonpartisan research group and “misrepresents data.”

The group is headed by John Lott, a former advisor for research and statistics for the U.S. Department of Justice, according to his LinkedInpage. Lott has also authored numerous books, including one titled “Gun Control Myths: How politicians, the media, and botched “studies” have twisted the facts on gun control,” and another titled “The War on Guns: Arming Yourself Against Gun Control Lies.”

CPRC states on the front page of its website that the group is “dedicated to conducting academic quality research on the relationship between laws regulating the ownership or use of guns, crime, and public safety.”

Alec Schemmel, “Gun rights group argues FBI undercounting armed citizens who stop mass shootings,” NBC 25 News (Central Michigan), October 5, 2022. KATV (Little Rock, AR), October 5, 2022, WSET (Lynchburg, Virginia), October 5, 2022, WPDE (Conway, SC), October 5, 2022.

Second, his opposition to self-defense with a firearm, such as the aforementioned bogeyman the “high-powered weapon,” not only doesn’t tell us what constitutes a “high-powered weapon,” but indicates that Jacobs is not familiar with the fact that the unconstitutional gun-grabbing and purchase-blocking statutes already on the books have not stopped mass shooters. It also indicates that he is unaware of the fact that crunched data (you’ll find many citations and studies in John Lott’s excellent book, “More Guns, Less Crime”), and even U.S. government stats, repeatedly show a strong correlation between increased gun ownership and lower incidences of violent crime. . . . .

Gardner Goldsmith, “RINO NY Congressman Pushes Federal License Mandate For ‘Assault Rifle’ Owners,” MRC TV, October 4, 2022.

One reason Morales gives for this is to expose county clerks to the fact that many Latin American and European countries require photo IDs to vote, showing it’s “natural” and “common sense.”

A 2019 research paper from the right-leaning Crime Prevention Research Center found that an ID is mandatory to vote in every European country except the United Kingdom.

And the Carter Center (founded by former president Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn) reported that “nearly every Latin American country surveyed utilized a single national ID card for voter identification, with only minor variations,” in 2013. . . .

Staff, “Morales tries to make campaign messages heard over ongoing controversies,” The Indiana Citizen September 28, 2022..

Later today Dr. John Lott of the Crime Prevention Research Center will be joining me on Cam & Co to talk about his new research showing that armed citizens stop mass shootings far more frequently than official FBI statistics would indicate. That’s not the only fascinating bit of data that Lott and his team have uncovered recently when it comes to Second Amendment issues, however. In a new piece at RealClearPolitics, Lott highlights the findings of a recent survey conducted on behalf of the CPRC that examined support for red flag laws and found that the more folks know about how Extreme Risk Protection Orders work in practice, the less likely they are to want them on the books. . . .

I’m so glad that Lott decided to not only poll general support for “red flag” laws, but to follow up and actually explain how these laws work. I’m firmly of the belief that one of the reasons some gun control laws poll as well as they do with the general public is that most folks (especially those who don’t own a gun themselves) have no clue about how these laws are implemented. Support for universal background checks routinely reaches 80% or more in polls, but do you think that would be the case if survey respondents were also asked questions like “Do you believe transferring a firearm to a friend without conducting a background check should result in prison time”? I doubt it. Just look at what happened a few years ago when both Maine and Nevada had voter referendums on universal background checks. Neither received anywhere close to 80% support, with the Nevada measure squeaking by with about 51% of the vote and the Maine referendum going down to defeat 48-52. Once voters started getting information on how these laws would work in practice, all of a sudden they became far less popular.

But Lott says ignorance is just part of the problem; misinformation is another factor that artificially drives up support for gun control. . . .

Cam Edwards, “Support for gun control drops as voters learn the devil in the details.” Bearing Arms, October 5, 2022

Similarly, Crime Prevention Research Center scholar John Lott analyzed international election laws in Public Choice, and found most countries outside the U.S. imposed safeguards for mail-in ballots after experiences in voter fraud in their countries in past elections.

Maya Noronha, “Americans Want Free And Fair Elections, But Biden And His Allies Irresponsibly “Mail” It In,” Independent Women’s Forum, September 26, 2022.

A recent study by the Crime Prevention Research Center underscored how easily public opinion polling can be used to distort, rather than illuminate, peoples’ true feelings on gun control. Policy-makers should take note.

Sound policy requires a thoughtful and sophisticated understanding of facts and evidence, not just the shifting whims of public perception.  Emotionalism, on the other hand, is the way anti-gun extremists would like to run our government.  Gun ban advocates constantly point to survey results they help manufacture – usually in the wake of some highly-charged incident, before all the facts are known – as justification for imposing draconian restrictions on our Second Amendment rights.

There are numerous reasons why over-reliance on opinion polling is a deeply flawed approach to good governance.

First, and foremost, the United States was not founded as a direct democracy, where the electorate votes on virtually every public policy issue.  We are, thankfully, a Constitutional Republic.  At the federal level, we elect people to represent us, and they deliberate policy issues and vote to implement them or reject them.  Should they consider public opinion polls when determining how they vote?  Of course they should consider them; but that should never be the beginning and the end of the analysis.

The problem with relying on public opinion polls is that, with complex or controversial issues, how the poll is conducted has a tremendous bearing on both how accurate it is in determining how people feel, and what the results of the poll actually mean.

Recent research out of the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC), founded by Dr. John R. Lott, Jr., highlights the problem of relying on simplistic public opinion polls when considering complex policy proposals.

Lott, well known for his detailed, groundbreaking research on firearms and gun control laws, took a look at public opinion on one of the anti-gun movement’s favorite legislative proposals of the moment: “red flag” laws.  His results illustrate how dramatically opinions can shift when the same issue is presented in different ways.

Using the polling company McLaughlin & Associates, the CPRC surveyed 1,000 general election voters, asking whether they supported “red flag” laws if, the question explained, “their primary purpose is to allow judges to take away a person’s gun based on a single complaint when there is concern about that individual committing suicide.”  The responses indicated 58% support, and 30% opposition.

That “explanation” of how “red flag” laws work is, of course, a vast oversimplification, as the laws are far more complex.  Anti-gun organizations and the lawmakers who support their goals count on opinion polls avoiding details when it comes to questions about “gun control,” and would have preferred the survey stopped with just that oversimplification.

But Lott understands all this, and his survey followed up the initial question with the kind of detail the gun-ban movement hates. . . .

Staff, “Manipulated Public Opinion Polling Should Not Drive Public Policy on Guns,” NRA-ILA, October 3, 2022.

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