12/11/2017

On the Justice & Drew radio show to discuss Congress passing concealed handgun reciprocity

Dr. John Lott talked to Justice & Drew on Minnesota's giant 50,000-watt KTLK about Congress' debate over concealed handgun reciprocity.  Audio available here.

(Wednesday, December 6, 2017, from 9:36 to 9:52 AM)

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12/10/2017

On the Gary Nolan Show to discuss the Concealed Handgun Reciprocity Bill before Congress

Dr. John Lott talked to Gary Nolan, which is carried on radio stations throughout Missouri, about the reciprocity bill that passed the House this past Wednesday.

(Friday, December 8, 2017, from 12:35 to 12:50 PM)
 

Media Bias Fact Check misinformed rating of the CPRC


If people think that this evaluation of the work done by the Crime Prevention Research Center is inaccurate, I hope that they will go to the Media Bias Fact Check and vote accordingly.  Thank you.

On Rebel TV to discuss Trump gun control policies and the debate over national reciprocity for concealed carry

Dr. John Lott talked to John Cardillo of The Rebel media about the pros and cons of gun bills pending before Congress that address flaws in the NICS background system and would grant national reciprocity for those licensed to carry firearms in a particular state.

11/27/2017

Do you want to see what the House and Senate tax plans will mean for your tax bill? Try this neat calculator

If you would like to see what the House and Senate tax plans will mean for your tax bill, try a neat easy to use Tax Plan Calculator.  Click here.

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11/26/2017

Please use this link when buy from Amazon on Cyber Monday to Support the Crime Prevention Research Center

Support us when you shop on Cyber Monday. Go to smile.amazon.com/ch/80-0917179 and Amazon donates to Crime Prevention Research Center.

Your help is greatly appreciated.  You can learn more about the CPRC here and also donate directly here.

Thank you very much!

11/04/2017

Seeking only publicity: New Bloomberg lawsuit to try an resuscitate their universal background check initiative

Three plaintiffs in Nevada are trying to resuscitate the universal background check initiative that barely passed last fall.  Yet, this lawsuit has virtually no chance of succeeding.  It is merely a lame publicity stunt by the Bloomberg people.  Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt explained the reason pretty simply:
And for these private transfers or sales, Nevada state law specifically requires that the background check must be performed by the FBI, not through Nevada’s Central Repository.  We understand that the choice to have the Act require that the check be run by the FBI and not through Nevada’s Central Repository was deliberate and specifically influenced by the intent of the Act’s proponents to avoid a state fiscal impact that could have made initiative less attractive to voters.
The initiative won by less than 0.8 percentage points, and it is quite probable if they had to campaign that this initiative would have had substantial costs, it very likely would have lost.  In addition, the state of Nevada has already asked the FBI twice during the Obama administration, not just the one time that is indicated.  Nevada has already offered to contact a third time, but the lawsuit wants the state to convince the FBI to spend money that the Bloomberg people who drafted this initiative purposely didn’t try to have spent by the state.  It is a stupid lawsuit that is just done to get the type of publicity.

Unfortunately, much of the news coverage is missing these points.

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11/03/2017

In The Hill: Background checks on Truck rentals? "The best way for New York to enhance public safety? More guns"

In a new op-ed in The Hill I discuss the debate over what will stop attacks with vehicles, such as the one this week in New York City.  With an attack that had been planned for over a year, the notion that you are going to be able to keep a killer like Sayfullo Saipov from renting a vehicle just isn't serious.  Here is the beginning of my piece.
On terrorism, we often are fighting the last war. And sometimes the supposed solutions have nothing to do with preventing future attacks. They just give the appearance that politicians are doing something. 
The terror attack on Tuesday in New York City left eight dead and eleven injured after a rental truck was used to plow down people on a bike path. We are just fortunate that the killer ran into a school bus and was unable to continue his plan to hit more pedestrians on the Brooklyn Bridge. 
The NYPD immediately pointed out that it had repeatedly instructed the 148 truck rental businesses in the area on how to identify suspicious customers. 
But the businesses faced an impossible task. Politically correct politicians want businesses to screen for dangerous people, but those same politicians would be the first to object to anything that remotely smacks of racial profiling. 
Take Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D-N.Y.) public address a few hours after the attack. He avoided mentioning anything that might usefully identify such an attacker, saying only that those who target New York oppose “freedom and democracy.” He refused to mention radical Islam. And he implicitly criticized President Trump for wanting to screen people from countries where we have trouble even confirming a person’s identity. 
This might be only the first successful mass killing with a vehicle in the US, but it is more common in other countries. Muslims only account for six percent of Europe’s population, but they are responsible for over 80 percent of vehicle attacks in Europe since 2000. Twenty-four percent of the people in the world are Muslims, but they carry out 78 percent of the world’s vehicular terror attacks. 
Telling truck or car rental companies to screen for suspicious people isn’t a serious counter-terror measure. Even an explicit criminal background check wouldn't have stopped the killer, Sayfullo Saipov, from renting a car. Are rental companies supposed to succeed where these checks would fail? 
In any case, why stop at just rental companies? Saipov already had a car. Even if he didn’t have a car or a truck, couldn’t he buy one? Saipov just needed enough money to put down the initial deposit. It’s not as though he was planning on being around to make the payments. This guy pretty clearly wanted to commit “suicide by cop.” Flashing his pellet gun at the police, he must have known that they’d have no choice but to shoot. 
What happens if someone like Saipov buys a truck from a private individual? Are we going to have so-called universal background checks on private transfers of vehicles between individuals? It’d be a lot of trouble and expense, and it wouldn't save lives.
Cuomo and Mayor Bill De Blasio’s solution to these attacks is “more police 
everywhere.” Police are extremely important, but they can’t guard every inch of New York City and be instantly present to stop an attack. There are just too many targets, not to mention too many crowded sidewalks and bike paths. 
Cuomo, De Blasio and many others even used the truck attack to push more gun control laws. Nicholas Kristof, a columnist at the New York Times, talked about an assault weapon ban. Cuomo and De Blasio lauded New York’s gun control laws. But with the killer planning the attack, politicians need to realize that stopping determined killers from getting weapons is an almost impossible task. 
The question is what do we do when we can’t stop killers from getting weapons. . . .
The rest of the piece is available here.

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10/30/2017

Democrat Ralph Northam has no problem with shocking ad showing Gillespie supporter running down minority kids


The video is available here to watch.

There is too much division in America these days, and politicians have in many cases worked to exacerbate those divisions. But this Dem campaign ad in the Virginia Gubernatorial election is particularly disappointing. Unfortunately, when questioned about it, the Democrat Gubernatorial candidate's campaign had no problems with this add. From the Washington Post:
. . . A Northam campaign spokeswoman expressed no misgivings about the Latino Victory Fund ad. 
“Independent groups are denouncing Ed Gillespie because he has run the most divisive, fear mongering campaign in modern history,” said Ofirah Yheskel. “It is not shocking that communities of color are scared of what his Trump-like policy positions mean for them.” . . .

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10/29/2017

Senator Chuck Schumer's views on corporate tax cuts, what a difference a year makes

From The Hill newspaper in April 2016:
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday said he is interested in working with other lawmakers to see if an agreement on international tax reform can be reached as soon as this year. 
“I’m game to do it because I think it’s really important for American competitiveness,” he said at a Senate Finance Committee hearing on business tax reform. . . .
Now he says: 
The cut in the corporate rate would hardly help the everyday American worker. This is trickle-down. Our Republican colleagues don’t really talk about trickle-down, because they know most of America doesn’t believe in it. Our corporations are flush with cash already. They’re flush with cash. Giving them more cash? 

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Daily Caller: The "definitive timeline" for Fusion GPS investigations into Trump

The Daily Caller has a very useful timeline available here.
Oct. 2015: It was reported late Friday that the Washington Free Beacon, a conservative website funded by GOP mega-donor Paul Singer, hired Fusion GPS to investigate Trump. Free Beacon’s editor said Friday that the research was standard opposition research and that it was not tied to the dossier work that would follow several months later. It is not clear what, if anything, Singer knew about Free Beacon’s hiring of Fusion. The hedge fund manager was Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s biggest backer.
Feb. 20, 2016: Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush drops from the Republican primary.
March: Fusion GPS approached Perkins Coie, the law firm for the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee. Perkins Coie general counsel revealed this week that Fusion offered to continue Trump opposition research it had started while working for a Republican candidate.
March 15: Florida Sen. Marco Rubio drops from the Republican primary after losing to Trump in his home state.
April: Perkins Coie, using money from the Clinton campaign and DNC, hires Fusion GPS. Marc Elias, a Perkins Coie partner and general counsel for both the campaign and DNC, would serve as the bagman.
That month, Federal Election Commission records show that the Clinton campaign paid Perkins Coie a total of $150,000 for legal services. The DNC paid the firm around $107,000. It is unclear how much of that went to Fusion GPS. Both the campaign and DNC would pay Perkins Coie hundreds of thousands more dollars throughout the campaign.
May: Free Beacon ends its contract with Fusion.
May 3-4: Texas Sen. Ted Cruz drops out of the Republican primary on May 3. Ohio Gov. John Kasich drops out of the next day, leaving Trump as the only GOP candidate.
June: Fusion GPS hires former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele and his London-based firm, Orbis Business Intelligence, to investigate Trump’s ties to Russia. Steele discloses this in court filings earlier this year as part of a lawsuit he faces over the dossier. Steele said he worked for Fusion GPS from June through November. . . .
Read the rest of the timeline here.  It is very well worth reading.

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10/27/2017

Fitbit, pacemakers, key fob may snitch on you to the police

In this case, normal home technology caught a criminal in his likes.  From the Chicago Tribune:
The firefighter found Richard Dabate on the floor of his kitchen, where he had made a desperate 911 call minutes earlier, court records show. Bleeding and lashed to a chair with zip ties, the man moaned a chilling warning: "They're still in the house." 
Smoke hung in the air, and a trail of blood led to a darkened basement, as Connecticut State Police swarmed the large home in the Hartford suburbs two days before Christmas in 2015. 
Richard, 41, told authorities a masked intruder with a "Vin Diesel" voice killed his wife, Connie, in front of him and tortured him. Police combed the home and town of Ellington but found no suspect. 
With no witnesses other than Richard Dabate, detectives turned to the vast array of data and sensors that increasingly surround us. An important bit of evidence came from an unlikely source: the Fitbit tracking Connie's movements. 
Others from the home's smart alarm systems, Facebook, cellphones, email and a key fob allowed police to re-create a nearly minute-by-minute account of the morning that they said revealed Richard's story was an elaborately staged fiction. 
Undone by his data, Richard was charged with his wife's murder. He has pleaded not guilty. . . .
The rest of the article is available here

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10/23/2017

Meet FormerBu. Actually former FBI director James Comey

From Fox News:
Former FBI Director James Comey’s 'secret' Twitter account has finally been revealed after months of rumors linking him to cryptic tweets from the @FormerBu account. 
The account created a stir earlier this year when Gizmodo reported that it likely belonged to Comey. At the time the account used the handle @projectexile7. The account’s name has remained Reinhold Niebuhr. . . .

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10/22/2017

Post at the Crime Prevention Research Center: from defensive gun uses to recent media to what is happening in Washington

Democrats have become more consistently liberal over time than Republicans have become consistently conservative


So who has become more dogmatic over time?  Democrats or Republicans?  If you believe a recent PEW poll, it is Democrats.

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Acknowledging the media bias on guns from former CEO of National Public Radio


The former CEO of National Public Radio Ken Stern has a piece at the New York Post on the media's bias on guns.  This discussion could have been taken from my book The Bias Against Guns.  From the NY Post:
. . . Over the course of this past year, I have tried to consume media as they do and understand it as a partisan player. It is not so hard to do. Take guns. Gun control and gun rights is one of our most divisive issues, and there are legitimate points on both sides. But media is obsessed with the gun-control side and gives only scant, mostly negative, recognition to the gun-rights sides. 
Take for instance the issue of the legitimate defensive gun use (DGUs), which is often dismissed by the media as myth. But DGUs happen all the time — 200 times a day, according to the Department of Justice, or 5,000 times a day according to an overly exuberant Florida State University study. But whichever study you choose to believe, DGUs happen frequently and give credence to my hunting friends who see their guns as the last line of defense for themselves and their families. 
At one point during my research, I discovered a video of a would-be robber entering a Houston smoke shop, his purpose conveyed by the pistol that he leveled at the store clerk. But the robber was not the only armed person in the store. The security cameras show Raleigh, the store clerk, walking out from behind the counter, calmly raising his own gun and firing an accurate stream of bullets at the hapless robber. The wounded robber stumbles out, falls over the curb and eventually ends up under arrest. 
It is not just the defensive gun use that makes the video remarkable — it is Raleigh himself who evidences such a nonchalance that he never bothers to put down the cigarette that he is smoking. At the end, Raleigh, having protected his store, enthuses “Castle Doctrine, baby” — citing a law that allows a person to use force to defend a legally occupied place. 
It is an amazing story, though far from unique, but you simply won’t find many like it in mainstream media (I found it on Reddit). 
It’s not that media is suppressing stories intentionally. It’s that these stories don’t reflect their interests and beliefs. . . . 

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Interesting information on crimes committed by NFL players


The data set is available here.

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10/08/2017

Rep. Rangel on why we don't need reciprocity for concealed handgun permits

Steve Wynn says that Las Vegas gunman seemed like 'a rational man'


From Fox News:
A week after a gunman used the 32nd floor of a Las Vegas hotel as a hunting perch to kill 58 people in what is the deadliest shooting rampage in modern U.S. history, casino magnate Steve Wynn says the gunman was known to staff, seemed like “a rational man,” and that beefing up security, re-training staff and implementing strict “do not disturb” rules are key to keeping visitors safe. 
Wynn, the billionaire CEO of Wynn Resorts, in an exclusive interview with “Fox News Sunday,” said he reassessed his casino’s security in 2015, when he developed a high-level counterterrorism program. 
“I got every consultant and adviser I can think of to come through from Ray Kelly to the people from Seal Team 6.  It took us from Thanksgiving until May to develop and institute and recruit a program of counterterrorism and it will be two years this May,” Wynn told "Fox News Sunday" anchor Chris Wallace. 
“Basically we had to recruit and expand security by tens of millions of dollars to cover every entrance, to retrain the entire workforce -- from housekeeping and room service -- and people are in the tower and observing people.  We had to cover every exit and every aspect of the building to see if we could identify and preempt any kind of terroristic or violent action. It is never perfect, of course, but what you can do, to use local vernacular: you can change the odds,” Wynn said. . . .

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At National Review: "The Gun-Ban Fetish: Banning guns invariably leads to an increase in the murder rate"

I have a new op-ed at National Review responding to Bret Stephen column in the New York Times that calls for repealing the Second Amendment.  His piece starts this way:
Is support for gun ownership and the Second Amendment a “fetish”? Bret Stephens, a New York Times columnist, sure thinks so. 
Stephens acknowledges the “feckless” gun-control laws that keep being trotted out before we even know the facts of each case. (Indeed, as with universal background checks on private gun transfers, we keep finding out that they would not have stopped any of these attacks.) So his solution is to “repeal the Second Amendment,” because gun ownership doesn’t “need a blanket Constitutional protection.” 
He says he doesn’t want to ban guns, but according to the Supreme Court, the only protection that is so far given by the Second Amendment is that the government can’t completely ban all guns, or all handguns. So whatever Stephens’s intentions may be, cities such as Washington and Chicago would again try to ban guns. And California’s handgun-safety regulations, which currently allow only a dozen models to be sold, will continue on their path to banning handguns completely. 
Here’s one problem with this argument: A ban on guns, even in cities like Washington and Chicago, will make things much worse. While gun bans (either a ban on all guns or on all handguns) have been imposed in many places, every time guns have been banned, murder rates have gone up. 
One would think that one time, just out of simple randomness, murder rates would have gone down or at least stayed the same. Yet in every single case for which we have crime data both before and after the ban, murder rates have gone up, often by huge amounts.
Americans, including Stephens, should be familiar with the disasters that befell Washington and Chicago after their gun bans. After Washington’s ban, the city ranked No. 1 or 2 in murder rate among the 50 largest cities for half of the next 30 years, and in the top four for two-thirds of that time. Before the ban, Washington had never been near that high. Chicago’s murder rate relative to other cities also soared after its ban. 
Gun-control advocates will tell you that Washington and Chicago weren’t fair tests. They will point out that criminals could still get guns in Virginia or Maryland, or in Illinois or Indiana. That is true, but while it might explain why murder rates didn’t fall as promised, it doesn’t explain why murder and violent crime rates went up. After all, criminals could get these same guns before the ban. If it was so obvious to these advocates that the Washington and Chicago experiments were going to be failures, they should have let others in on this secret. 
But even island nations have fared no better. One would think that these would be the ideal experiments. After the U.K. banned handguns in January 1997, their homicide rate rose by 50 percent over the next eight years. It came back down to around its earlier levels only after a 14 percent increase in the number of police. Even more dramatic increases in homicide rates occurred in Jamaica and the Republic of Ireland after their gun bans, with sixfold or sevenfold increases. 
Many will blame drug gangs for the increased violence in all these countries, and that is certainly correct, but the point is that gun bans didn’t stop these gangs from getting guns, any more than we have succeeded in stopping them from getting drugs. Why have murder rates so consistently gone up after bans? While the bans may reduce the supply of guns to criminals to some degree, they most particularly disarm law-abiding citizens, thus making it easier for criminals to commit crimes. 
Stephens cites a 2013 study in the American Journal of Public Health as evidence that states with more guns have higher homicide rates. The study he cites is filled with the kind of embarrassing errors that we keep finding in public-health research. Even basic controls that account for differences in crime rates across states are left out. 
The study claims: “States with higher rates of gun ownership had disproportionately large numbers of deaths from firearm-related homicides.” But it doesn’t actually look at “gun ownership.” The authors just assume that states with a higher percentage of suicides committed with firearms have more guns. But there are some real problems with that assumption. Whether people use firearm or other methods to commit suicides has a lot to do with factors such as gender, age, and race. For example, there has been a big increase in gun ownership among women, but there has been little increase in guns used in suicides by women. 
Stephens also raises the specter of mass public shootings. But this problem is hardly unique to the U.S. Indeed, despite much stricter gun-control laws around the world, the U.S. is a relatively safe oasis in terms of such attacks compared to the European Union and the rest of the world. If gun bans work, why do we see so many machine-gun attacks in Europe? We have also not had as many bombings and vehicle attacks as the rest of the world. . . .
The rest of the piece is available here.

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