Statements from Jeff Koch and James Knowles regarding the data and do file postings on my website. There are also a link to the statement on the web site alerting people who wanted to download the data about the changes that had occurred as well as questions regarding the accuracy of the person making the claim.

Jeff Koch's statement

Dr. Lott:

In response to your request, here is my explanation of how it came to be that I misconfigured the server to distribute the wrong version of the "Tables 1 - 5.doc" file.

On August 20, at 5:23 p.m., I sent you an e-mail telling you that I had added, at your request, a link, "Statement regarding the data". This was located just above the link "Confirming Figures and Tables 1 - 5.doc". However, I was away from my "home" computer when I made this revision, and so rather than using my normal web-editing tool, I just used the little editor that is built into my browser, and made the change manually.

On August 31, at 5:30 a.m., you forwarded an e-mail to me, saying that some fellow named Mooney could not download the "Tables 1 -5" file. Apparently, in the process of editing the page to add the link, "Statement regarding the data", I broke the link to "Confirming Figures and Tables 1 - 5.doc"

I was unavailable to fix the broken link right away, so on August 31 you added a link pointing to your site and offered the "Tables 1-5.doc" file there.

It appears that I fixed the link to the "Tables 1-5.doc" file on September 1, 12:03 p.m. However, apparently when I did this, I clicked on an old copy of the file that you had corrected last spring. I still had it floating around on my computer, and didn't pay attention to what I was doing, and so clicked on the wrong file name.

Apparently, you noticed my error almost immediately; because you sent me an e-mail at 7:20 a.m. on September 2, with a new copy of the file, asking that I please correct it. It looks like I uploaded the corrected file on September 2 at 9:47 a.m.

So it appears that I was distributing the old, uncorrected file, for less than 24 hours.

Jeff Koch

Statement from James Knowles. James was my RA up through May of 2003.

April 5, 2004

John Lott
American Enterprise Institute
1150 Seventeenth Street NW
Washington, DC 20036

Dear John:

I recall the sequence of events clearly from April of 2003 regarding files uploaded to Jeff Koch for posting on your website. We were working to make available regressions and data used for updating the work shown in More Guns Less Crime (data up through 2000) so that anyone interested could conduct the regressions exactly as they had been done by you and arrive at the same numbers in the tables printed. Originally, I uploaded a version of the “do” files leaving the “absorb” and “cluster” commands in the file. You expressed concern that the Tables on the website and the “do” files were not in agreement in their use of the term clustering. I remedied the problem by deleting those terms and ran the updated file with the data set. As the numbers were then in agreement, I uploaded the correct file on Jeff’s site. My understanding was that Jeff would replace with the correct version so that the results for any reviewing your methods would match.

I also personally corrected the STATA data set used by Plassmann and Whitley that was at once the approximately 180 empty cells were discovered. John immediately asked me to correct the data and repost it as soon as the missing cells were discovered. The errors were in the new data that had been added on past the data that John had originally used up until 1996. They were in the period from 1997 to 2000.


James Knowles

in any case, a separate page had also been put next to the downloadable data to alert people that the data set had changed. Thus even for the short time that there was the wrong file up, this web link served as a warning to people that there had been changes to the data so even during the day or so that there was a problem there was still the statement. While the statement has changed somewhat over time (primarily just getting longer), those who tried to download the data set used in the Plassmann and Whitley paper "Confirming More Guns, Less Crime" would have seen the following:

Confirming More Guns, Less Crime

Statement regarding the data

Results for the Figures using Clustering

It is my recollection that there was another similar warning page that had been up prior to this "statement" that made a similar announcement.

Finally, serious questions have been raised by others about the accuracy of the person making this claim.

Home (description of book, downloadable data sets, and discussions of previous controversies)

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For a list of book reviews on The Bias Against Guns, click here.

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Posts by topic

Reesearch finding a drop in violent crime rates from Right-to-carry laws

Appalachian law school attack

Baghdad murder rate

Arming Pilots

Fraudulent website pretending to be run by me

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Vin Suprynowicz quote


Craig Newmark

Eric Rasmusen

William Sjostrom

Dr. T's

Interview with National Review Online

Lyonette Louis-Jacques's page on Firearms Regulation Worldwide

The End of Myth: An Interview with Dr. John Lott

Cold Comfort, Economist John Lott discusses the benefits of guns--and the hazards of pointing them out.

An interview with John R. Lott, Jr. author of More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws

Some data not found at

Updated Media Analysis of Appalachian Law School Attack

Since the first news search was done additional news stories have been added to Nexis:

There are thus now 218 unique stories, and a total of 294 stories counting duplicates (the stories in yellow were duplicates): Excel file for general overview and specific stories. Explicit mentions of defensive gun use increase from 2 to 3 now.

Journal of Legal Studies paper on spoiled ballots during the 2000 Presidential Election

Data set from USA Today, STATA 7.0 data set

"Do" File for some of the basic regressions from the paper