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Need some backup material... Lott study

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by bdutton, May 1, 2007.

  1. bdutton

    bdutton Member

    Aug 4, 2005
    Derry, NH
    I'm on another forum where the anti's posted a flurry of links that debunk the Lott (more guns less crime) study.

    Any reference material available to debunk the debunkers?
  2. Cheeseybacon

    Cheeseybacon Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Can you give us some examples of what are their sources for this supposed debunking? Lott uses some pretty credible, non-biased sources. If their sources for these debunkings are coming from highly-biased sources such as the Brady Campaign then you can't exactly take their argument seriously, and you should call them on their sources. I wouldn't attempt to argue my points using information obtained purely from pro-gun organizations like the NRA that are obviously biased, so neither should they.

    Check out www.gunfacts.info, there's a lot of good statistics on there, and while the site itself is obviously pro-gun, the sources of the studies and statistics that it cites are for the most part non-biased.
  3. DirksterG30

    DirksterG30 Active Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Lott now has a less than stellar reputation due to some questionable actions on his part. I don't know if his stats or conclusions are in question, but his reputation is. I'd suggest you look up the work of Gary Kleckhttp://www.guncite.com/gcwhoGK.html
  4. rev214

    rev214 New Member

    Nov 9, 2005
    "Land of Landfills",New Jersey
    Is The Bias Against Guns still worth a read?
  5. bdutton

    bdutton Member

    Aug 4, 2005
    Derry, NH
  6. kirkcdl

    kirkcdl Active Member

    Jan 4, 2004
  7. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Mentor

    May 10, 2005
    Kingsport Tennessee
    Lott is an economist who has written on gun issues, among other subjects.
    Kleck is a criminologist who has written primarily on gun issues.

    Lott does not mind goring the sacred oxes of those with strong apriori
    positions on gun issues. Kleck is more careful and nuanced in his approach.
  8. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Mentor

    May 10, 2005
    Kingsport Tennessee
    CONTRAST: John Lott and Gary Kleck

    John Lott is an economist who has written on the gun issue,
    among other subjects.

    Gary Kleck is a criminologist who has focused on the gun issue.

    In his op-ed columns and web postings, John Lott is seen as a
    champion of right-conservative causes. Academia is generally
    left-wing but tries to hide its biases under a neutral academic
    cloak. John Lott is a prickly personality who has rubbed others
    the wrong way, and has gleefully gored some sacred oxen.

    In contrast to Lott, Gary Kleck has been more nuanced and careful
    in his writings and public statements.

    Lott has been accused of fraud for publishing findings based on
    elaborate econometric calculations using huge multi-variable
    data sets. His findings contradict fervently held a priori
    assumptions about gun control that some of the true believers
    refuse to test empirically. To them, Lott has to be wrong because
    his published results are contrary to their long-cherished beliefs
    that gun control must lower crime and self-defense right-to-carry
    (R-T-C) must lead to rivers of blood from Wild West shootouts.

    But gun politics is not the only issue touched by Lott's research:
    you do not hear accusations against Lott of ethical misconduct or
    fraud in the other subjects on which he has published. That is
    very odd behavior if he were, as accused, a "blatant liar" or a
    "charlatan." A pathological liar tends to lie on multiple subjects.


    In 1986, R-T-C laws among the US states stood:
    1 - unrestricted;
    8 - shall-issue permit;
    26 - discretionary permit; and
    15 - no right-to-carry.

    In 1996, R-T-C laws among the US states stood:
    1 - unrestricted (VT);
    30 - shall-issue permit (+22);
    12 - discretionary permit (-14); and
    7 - no right-to-carry (-8).

    In 1997, John R. Lott, Jr. and David B. Mustard, published
    "Crime, Deterrence, and Right-to-Carry Concealed Handguns,"
    (26 J. LEGAL STUD. 1). Using county-level crime data for 1977-1992,
    L-M tied significant drops in crime to passage of state "shall-issue"
    handgun carry laws. The data set is huge, the mathematical model
    is elaborate and weighted for demographic variables believed to
    affect crime rates. The controversy was immediate and heated.
    Unlike many economists, Lott made his dataset and coding
    available to any who requested them, which actually helped fuel
    the controversy.

    While L-M 1997 is often cited to bolster the R-T-C argument,
    the national trend toward R-T-C was already well under way long
    before Lott published on the subject. From 1987, first Florida
    then 21 other states went "shall-issue" R-T-C. Every time
    a state proposed R-T-C, the anti-gunners predicted Wild West
    shoot-outs with rivers of blood overflowing the gutters; but,
    that_just_did_not_happen: the violent crime rate in R-T-C
    states in 1996 was lower than it was in 1986.

    Then in 1998, Lott published a book length version of L-M 1997.

    Lott found that the only gun law that reduced crime was
    "shall-issue" R-T-C. Lott found that the other gun laws
    did not reduce crime.

    Lott (1998) thus presaged the findings of the CDC (2003)
    and NAS (2004) that there are no statistically significant,
    measurable benefits from the various gun control measures.

    Lott claimed only "shall-issue" R-T-C laws have a measurable
    benefit. NAS claimed that the benefit of R-T-C is statistically
    "fragile" or "not robust" since the reduction in crime attributable
    to R-T-C can be magnified or minimized by using different parts of
    the dataset or changing the weight assigned to other variables
    believed to affect the crime rate.


    The problem with citing Lott is you tend to get distracted by
    the controversies raised by his critics.


    Lott was immediately attacked by anti-gunners over his fellowship
    from the Olin Foundation. Since the Olin family at one time owned
    the Winchester ammunition company, Handgun Control Inc. claimed
    Lott's research was bought and controlled by the gun industry.
    This claim brought a sharp rebuke from the Olin Foundation and U
    of Chicago. In granting the fellowship, Olin Foundation did not
    query Lott's area of study, and there is no connection between the
    Olin Foundation and Winchester. The Ayres-Donohue critique of Lott's
    hypothesis was John M. Olin Working Paper 248! The NAS considered
    the Olin connection to be a bogus argument.


    Lott's wife reserved an AOL email account in a screen name built
    from the first two letters of their sons' first names: Ma Ry Ro Sh.
    The entire Lott family has used the maryrosh email account
    for various purposes (for example, video game or book reviews).

    During the controversy over Lott's positions on gun control, Lott
    began defending himself on line by posting under the MaRyRoSh
    account as "Mary Rosh" who presented "herself" as a former student
    of John Lott from Wharton College. The "Mary Rosh" masquerade was
    exposed by Julian Sanchez. Lott admitted that in hindsight it was
    a bad idea but failed to see any serious harm. This episode turned
    many people against Lott and his critics claim it calls his overall
    credibility into question.


    Lott is supposed to have anonymously accused Steven Levitt (of the
    NAS panel to review gun control) of being "rabidly anti-gun" then
    to have quoted the publication that repeated the accusation to
    confirm his assessment of Levitt's bias.

    Recall the Kates and Mauser comment above:
    "... the review panel ... was almost entirely composed of scholars
    who, to the extent their views were publicly known before their
    appointments, favored gun control."

    Admittedly Kates and Mauser, while saying the panel was almost
    entirely anti-gun, did not accuse them of rabies; but, the NAS panel
    (including Levitt) could hardly be called rabidly pro-gun; which
    actually makes their findings all the more remarkable: like Lott
    they found no proof that anti-gun policies had a measurable benefit.
    The NAS claimed that Lott's claim of measurable benefit from R-T-C
    was "not robust," but also admitted the dire warnings of dramatic
    bloodshed from R-T-C proved false. The NAS report chided some critics
    of Lott for arguing from a priori assumptions rather than from
    empirical research.


    One sentence in MoGuLeCr 1998 came to override the entire book in
    some circles:

    Here is my timeline built on this issue:

  9. Justin

    Justin Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 29, 2002
    Tim Lambert does a drive-by post in 5...4...3..
  10. marinr

    marinr New Member

    May 18, 2006
    Um, I am not Tim Lambert. ;)

    Thanks, Carl for that excellent summary. I have heard for a while about problems with Lott, but this is the first time I've seen a brief explanation from the beginning.
  11. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Mentor

    May 10, 2005
    Kingsport Tennessee
    two criticisms examined

    Some of the criticism of Lott just does not stand up to close

    Lott's data shows a correlation between a large population of
    black female 40 years and over to high crime rates. Lott himself
    did not claim causation or that PBF40+ perpetrated crime. A large
    population of PBF40+ is correlated to the presence of large urban
    racially segregated ghettos; the presence of large ghettos implies
    the presence of multiple factors which are either causes or
    correlations of high crime. The fact that Lott's data shows a
    correlation does not mean that Lott claimed a causation, but that
    is how Hemenway chose to misconstrue Lott's results.

    The NAS review of the literature on gun control pointed out that
    in their analysis of crime data John Lott and David Mustard treated
    Connecticutt (CT) as Right-To-Carry (RTC) from 1977; NAS noted
    that one the critics of Lott's MoGuLeCr thesis (Vernick) treated CT
    as not RTC at all.

    There are four classes of state handgun carry laws: unrestricted
    (VT and AK), shall-issue permit, discretionary permit, and no carry
    (IL and WI).

    Today, CT issues more handgun carry licenses per 100,000 population
    than Texas, which everyone acknowledges as a RTC state. I did
    a quick search of materials at hand and found a CT application
    for concealed carry license dated 1979. The 1979 CT forms and
    requirements are roughly similar but less stringent than Tennessee
    Handgun Carry Permit application: for example, CT required you to
    read a page about CT self defense law, Tennessee requires you to
    take a four-hour class on self-defense law and pass a written exam.
    Tennessee is not only classed as a RTC state but its HCP law
    is classed as "shall-issue."

    I think Lott had CT right and Vernick had CT wrong.
  12. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Mentor

    May 10, 2005
    Kingsport Tennessee
    CT 1979 concealed weapons forms


    Attached Files:

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