CPRC discussed extensively at Fox News: Proposed gun control measures lack empirical evidence they reduce crimes, experts say

A new Fox News article has extensive quotes from Dr. John Lott and also CPRC Academic Advisory Board member Joyce Lee Malcolm. Here are the parts of the very long piece that provide Lott’s reaction to the new gun control proposals.

Calls for gun control have echoed across the nation following a series of devastating mass shootings. Some experts, however, say there’s little to no evidence showing that tightening laws on guns will prevent violent crimes and similar shootings

“Not really,” Crime Prevention Research Center President John Lott told Fox News Digital when asked if there is empirical evidence showing gun control measures can prevent violent crimes. “There’s been a lot of studies done on things like assault weapons bans, background checks … Even for the assault weapons ban, even the Clinton administration – which signed it into law – paid for research on it. And even their studies couldn’t find any benefits in terms of reducing a type of violent crime or in terms of stopping things like mass public shootings.” . . .

Fox News Digital asked Lott what variable is contributing to the increase in mass shootings, noting that gun laws have become more restrictive in recent decades while mass shootings have increased. Lott said the increase in such high-profile shootings likely comes down to criminals wanting media attention and killers perhaps wanting to outdo each other with shocking attacks. 

“People have always committed suicide. But someplace along the line, people who wanted to commit suicide feel that they weren’t appreciated by society, realize that they could get a lot of attention by going and killing large numbers of people in public,” he said. “You read the diaries, you read the manifestos, you read the other things from these killers, and they crave media attention.”

Lott said perpetrators who want to commit violent and shocking crimes will set their sights on “soft targets” such as schools and grocery stores because they are less likely to face an armed individual who could thwart the attack.

“To me, it’s obvious. Look out there and you see about 96% of the mass public shootings occur in places where guns are banned. These people want to kill as many people as possible. And they know if they go to a place where victims aren’t able to go and defend themselves, they’re going to be more successful,” he said. 

He singled out the Buffalo grocery store shooter’s manifesto, which “talks explicitly about what his ideal target is. And he says he wants to avoid places where he knows people have concealed handguns.”

Lott said doing away with “gun-free zones” would be “the one thing that would work” on curbing such violent crimes.

“These gun-free zones actually serve as magnets for these killers to attack. Because they know they’re going to be more successful in terms of killing,” he said. . . . .

Emma Colton, “CPRC discussed extensively at Fox News: Proposed gun control measures lack empirical evidence they reduce crimes, experts say,” Fox News, June 16, 2022.

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