John Lott is an economist and author who is best known for his book More Guns: Less Crime. He has just published a book on the administration: At the Brink: Will Obama Push Us over the Edge?
He opens our Saturday session.
He was in Colorado, which faces gun-control legislation. He notes how the White House was strong-arming the legislature.
Lott exposes the canard that 40 percent of gun purchases occur without background checks. “The problem is, it’s simply not true,” Lott said.
It’s based on a survey of all transfers, not just sales. The vast majority were family inheritances and gifts. It’s not so impressive to say that a lot of parents give children guns as presents or inheritances.
Also, many sales are “kitchen table” sales, and buyers may not realized the dealers were in fact licensed.
Another claim: that a million or more people were prevented from buying guns. Not true. That’s denials, not really keeping people from getting guns. It turns out 94 percent were “false denials.” In 2010 — 13 guilty pleas or verdicts. That is, almost nothing.
And what about even the delay in granting permits? There’s a small number who really are in danger. The net result: More people are harmed than are protected.
The question: “Can you name one place where guns have been banned that has seen its murder rate fall?” Lott: “I can’t find it.”
He’s looked all over the world, and finds the murder rate goes up, “sometimes dramatically.”
Even island nations show increases in murder rates.
And you don’t have to conjure up hypothetical scenarios. Like two pilots shooting each other! But for decades all US commercial pilots had to carry a loaded handgun from 1920s to 1963, and could carry them until 1979. And no problems! And there even stories of pilots using guns to detain criminals.
Or kids in NYC until 1969 schools had rifle teams, and kids carried guns! There were thousands of kids carrying their rifles to school!
The District of Columbia: crime dropped when gun laws were eased.
Mass killers? They are suicidal. They want to kill more people.
Mass killings happen in areas where guns are banned. Take the Aurora killing. There were seven theaters in his area. The killer went to the one theater that posted signs banning concealed handguns. “You see this time after time.”