Gun Control Myths: How politicians, the media, and botched "studies" have twisted the facts on gun control Paperback – July 3, 2020
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From the forward by Andrew Pollack to the exposé of the lies on mass murders to the unethical practices of some in academia, John Lott presents a volume that is not only easy to read but filled with facts that can allow anyone to challenge misinformed and biased statements!
This book will certainly roil the anti-gun community because it exposes the soft underbelly of their arguments with incontrovertible fact. Once you read this volume you will also come to grips with the very real fact that gun control is a killer of innocent citizens and that any responsible legislator should reconsider their support for these violations of citizens’ rights!
We have seen how Americans have responded to the turmoil in America by choosing to exercise their Second Amendment rights in an unprecedented level! While at the same time, we have seen how some politicians have overtly sought to eliminate, restrict, and, in some cases, confiscate the property and rights of law-abiding citizens. Examining these issues in the light of the facts in this book will add new meaning to everyone who reads Gun Control Myths.
We owe John Lott a debt of gratitude for putting this information together during this challenging time in our society but it is a must read for every Second Amendment advocate!
President, Firearms Owners Against Crime (Pennsylvania)
John sometimes uses relatively simple but logical criticisms of others’ claims about gun violence, such as distinguishing between justifiable homicides and murders, or gun ownership versus gun possession. At other times, he uses more sophisticated techniques and arguments such as noting the statistical problems with simple cross-sectional or time-series analysis. For example, if it is true that Australia had a declining firearms homicide and suicide rate prior to its gun buyback program, then simply comparing before and after rates and attributing any difference to the buyback program is illogical. Not content with just criticizing, John also works to correct the errors in the claims and studies he reviews. In Chapter 6, for instance, John details the results of his intensive data collection on mass public shootings to show that the United States’ relative standing in that ranking is not as bad as media stories and some politicians would have us believe. He includes an appendix with documentation of mass shootings cases that were not included in other studies and therefore affected the findings. His Chapter 8 on the differences in beliefs between economists, criminologists, and public health researchers is very intriguing. While I am not surprised by the findings (given the different training that these researchers get), I had not seen any previous study on the issue. This is another example of John bringing his creativity and willingness to collect unique data to the discussion. Chapter 4, “The Heroes that the News Media Doesn’t Cover” is another example of John’s predilection for data-collection. While these stories of people using guns in self-defense or to stop a crime are anecdotes, the totality nonetheless impresses. Even more instructive is how many of these stories are either neglected by the media or reported selectively.
This book should be read by anyone concerned about gun violence and, most importantly, by anyone who writes about gun violence. The book might not change many opinions, as positions in the gun violence and control argument are set pretty hard…but perhaps even those with the firmest-held beliefs will be forced to reflect and think carefully about some of John’s data, analysis and conclusions. They should, if they are truly interested in the truth.
There are some things I would quibble with in this book, and some areas where I would want more data or analysis. But John Lott has always made me think more carefully about my positions, and this book is no exception to that rule. I hope that many will read the book and engage in the argument.
An important illustration of the point involves Lott’s Chapter 4. It lists a series of cases where a concealed-gun permit holder helped to thwart a crime. Lott describes about two dozen such cases. All, I thought, were interesting and important enough to be described on a national newscast. Yet, I had heard of only one or two of them. Here’s one that’s fairly representative of Lott’s list:
“A shooting at a back-to-school event was quickly stopped by a concealed handgun permit holder. Approximately 200 people, mostly children, were present at the event. ‘Based on the information that we’ve gathered, this person stepped in and saved a lot of people’s lives,’ Titusville [Florida] Police Sgt. William Amos told reporters. The Sergeant also told another paper: ‘He’s a hero. This park was filled with families and children, and, at that time, it was an active shooter situation for him and he was trained enough to deal with it—and he did.’”
Lott opines with an understatement: “The entire gun control debate would likely be dramatically different if the national media would cover some of the heroic actions of permit holders.”