CPRC in the News: The Chicago Sun-Times, The Hill, The Washington Times, The Washington Examiner, The Buffalo News, and more

Unfortunately, The Hill and other media outlets ignored the response that Dr. John Lott texted back to the governor’s attack.

In a tweet on Tuesday, the NRA cited recent research from the nonprofit Crime Prevention Research Center, which found that “Since 1950, 94% of mass public shootings occurred in gun-free zones.”

Pritzker replied: “And 100% of mass public shootings happen with guns. As Governor, on behalf of the people of Highland Park — leave us the hell alone.” . . .

TheHill.com, “Illinois governor tells NRA to ‘leave us the hell alone’,” The Hill, July 7, 2022.

The National Rifle Association sent out a tweet on Tuesday, about recent research from the nonprofit Crime Prevention Research Center that said since 1950, 94% of mass public shootings occurred in gun-free zones. That research group was founded by John R. Lott, Jr., a gunowners’ rights advocate hired by the Justice Department during the Trump administration. 

Pritzker responded with his own statistic.

“And 100% of mass public shootings happen with guns,” the Democrat tweeted back to the NRA. “As Governor, on behalf of the people of Highland Park — leave us the hell alone.”

Tina Standees, “After Highland Park massacre, Illinois Democrats vow sweeping aim at guns: ‘Everything has to be on the table’,” Chicago Sun-Times, July 7, 2022. Fox 32 Chicago, WBBM Radio Chicago.

Similarly, writing on realclearpolitics.com last week, gun-rights researcher John Lott Jr. noted that in Florida and Texas, permit holders are convicted of firearms-related violations at 1/12 the rate of police officers. Even more telling: He said that in the 19 states that keep comprehensive data, the average revocation rate of pistol permits is one-tenth of 1%.

No wonder Hochul does not want to see the stats. This law is not data-driven; it’s poll tested and politics-driven. . . .

Rod Watson, “Instead of stopping crime, NY gun law will create new criminals,” The Buffalo News, July 6, 2022.

Hochul claims she doesn’t need those data points because she doesn’t have them. In fact, according to a report by Crime Prevention Research Center President John Lott, concealed carry permit holders have a lower crime rate than police officers. As McCloy noted to Hochul, criminals and mass shooters aren’t going to go out and get a concealed carry permit before committing armed robbery or shooting up a grocery store. . . .

Zachary Faria, “Kathy Hochul says she doesn’t need proof that gun control keeps anyone safe,” Washington Examiner, June 30, 2022.

A few years ago, I lent the book “More Guns, Less Crime” by Dr. John Lott to a very liberal anti-gun minister and asked him if he would just read it. He agreed. About six months later I asked him if he had read it yet. He said he ‘didn’t have time’. I pressed him on it and he finally admitted he didn’t want to read it. And I know it was because it would destroy his anti-gun beliefs and he couldn’t deal with that.

This is not a book of fiction. No, it’s literally a reference book of all firearms use taken from the official records of every county in every state in the USA. It is not easy reading, but it is nothing but facts. Dr. Lott is universally recognized as the foremost expert in that field. Many groups and institutions have tried to debunk his work and they have failed. . . .

Lee Christianson Baldwin, “Guns don’t kill people,” Baldwin Bulletin (Baldwin, Wisconsin), July 13, 2022.

The first pessimistic study, Lott and Moody 2019, is by John Lott, a prominent academic opponent of gun control. That doesn’t necessarily render his findings suspect, but it does make it less surprising that he and his coauthor find no effect of red flag laws on homicides, suicides, or mass shootings. They use a variety of methods, including a simulation exercise which allows them to more precisely estimate if the significant negative effect on firearm suicides is due to chance—they find that it is.

Then there’s Harris 2021, a University of Montana master’s thesis that nonetheless offers the most comprehensive look at the effect of red flag laws. Harris uses monthly data through 2019, meaning it includes some red flag laws not in Dalafave 2020. Harris initially finds that red flag laws reduce homicides and suicides, but then shows that both measures were trending downwards in red flag states prior to the implementation of their laws. This “pre-trend” gives the illusion of an effect. This, Harris suggests, might be because mass shootings instigate both red flag laws and other changes that in turn effect gun violence.  . . .

Charles Fain Lehman, “Can we make Red Flag Laws work?” The Dispatch, June 14, 2022.

John R. Lott Jr., president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, said he is unaware of national data about how frequently firearms are returned to their owners but noted that about one-third of protection orders are overturned once a hearing is held.

“The rate should actually be much higher because few people who go through the hearing process actually have legal counsel,” Mr. Lott said. “The taking of the guns is also usually just temporary, but there is no real national data on how long those takings last.”

He said red flag laws run afoul of due process.

He noted that mentally ill people can be involuntarily committed to hospitals and have their guns confiscated — sometimes for life — under state laws.

“People who truly pose a clear danger to themselves or others should be confined to a mental health facility or be required to seek treatment. Laws used to confiscate guns are typically enforced when dealing with suicidal people,” Mr. Lott said. “However, if someone is suicidal, there are many other ways they may choose to kill themselves. Simply taking away a gun isn’t the answer.” . . .

Alex Swoyer, “Red flag laws target behavior, experts say existing laws for mentally ill make them unnecessary,” Washington Times, June 13, 2022.

My SCAAP-extrapolated crime figures actually are lower than those calculated by John Lott. Using Arizona Department of Corrections data spanning 1985–2017, Lott calculates that illegal immigrants in Arizona aged 18-35, for example, are 250 percent more likely to commit crimes than young U.S. citizens. Further, such illegal immigrants commit more serious crimes — such as murder, robbery, and sexual assault.

Peter Kirsanow, “Illegal Immigrants and Crime,” National Review, February 8, 2022.

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