Copyright 2005 MSNBC
All Rights Reserved.

March 22, 2005 Tuesday

TRANSCRIPT: 032201cb.471
SECTION: NEWS; International
LENGTH: 7432 words


BYLINE: Kerry Sanders, Joe Scarborough

GUESTS: John Lott, John Mitchell, Charlie Crist, Rick Warren, Anne Graham Lotz, Peter Beinart, Jay Sekulow, Bo Dietl, Marc Klaas, Randall Terry

. . . .

SCARBOROUGH: Lots of rounds and lots of damage, that's the way FBI agents described the bloody scene at Red Lake High School in Minnesota today.

We now know a student, Jeff Weise, killed his grandparents, took his policeman's -- policeman grandfather's guns, and went on a rampage at his school, where he shot and killed a teacher and five students before killing himself.

With me now is John Mitchell. He's with the American Federation of Teachers. And we also have Dr. John Lott with the American Enterprise Institute.

John Lott, let me begin with you.

What can we do, short of arming these teachers all across America, to stop this type of tragic event from happening again?

DR. JOHN LOTT, AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE: Short of arming teachers? I mean, I think that is one thing we should begin to consider.

I think it's something that Minnesota allowed prior to 1995, when the FederalSafe School Zone Act was passed. You had states all around the country that allowed people to carry concealed handguns, that allowed teachers or custodians or principals to carry concealed handguns on them prior to that time.


SCARBOROUGH: So, you think having scores of guns in schools will actually make schools safer?

LOTT: I don't think you need to have scores of them. I think just the possibility that you can have it.

You see that, when states pass right-to-carry laws, there's about a 60 percent drop in multiple victim public shootings.


SCARBOROUGH: John Mitchell, you represent teachers. What do you think of this idea?

JOHN MITCHELL, AMERICAN FEDERATION OF TEACHERS: Well, we think that schools are safe places, and they should be safe enough that no school employee should that they need to bring a weapon to school.

We think that, really, what needs to happen -- and this may -- and these two elements may have been in place in Red Lake -- is that you have really got to have good security procedures. In some places, that may mean metal detectors andsecurity guards. But you also need to have a caring outreach to kids. You have got to get to know those kids in your school, and you hope that the community isworking with you on that, so that kids that are having problems, someone is reaching out to them.

So, it's really -- it's got to be a two-pronged approach on the security side. You know, I am sure that school, as many do schools today, went through lockdown procedures and drills. Teachers do that with kids all the time now. Andit's just -- it's terrific. I think it's really made our schools much safer thanthey used to be.

LOTT: But the attack occurred outside the school.

MITCHELL: And there were probably heroes involved in that school, teachers who saved lives.

SCARBOROUGH: John Lott, is that enough? Is that enough, John?

LOTT: Well, I mean, I don't think any of those things hurt.

But the problem becomes, when you have restrictions on this, it's going to bethe law-abiding citizens who generally obey them, and the ones who are intent ontrying to commit these types of crimes -- I mean, here, this person started these attacks outside the school. I mean, whether you have metal detectors inside the school or not, they are not going to be enough to stop something likethat from happening.

The question becomes, you know, what has worked in the past? You have concerns about teachers having permits for concealed handguns. We had lots of experience prior to 1995. There are a couple states that allow people to do thatnow. Where are any horror stories that you can have from this? I am not saying all the teachers should do this, but even the fact that a few might do this, a few who are unknown.

I mean, you have guards at the school. That's one thing that happened. But who did the student take out first? He took out the guard.


LOTT: And the fact is, if you have somebody who he doesn't know who is going to be able to protect themselves, that creates a deterrence there.


SCARBOROUGH: We are going to have to leave it there, John. Thank you so much. And we will see all of you tomorrow night in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.



Academic papers:

Social Science Research Network

Book Reviews:

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

List of my Op-eds

Posts by topic

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

Baghdad murder rate

Arming Pilots

Appalachian law school attack

Sources for Defensive Gun Uses

The Merced Pitchfork Killings

Fraudulent website pretending to be run by me

Ayres and Donohue

Stanford Law Review

General discussion of my 1997 and 2002 surveys as well as related surveys

Mother Jones article (description of book, downloadable data sets, and discussions of previous controversies)

Collection of some of my other op-eds


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

A debate that I had with George Mason University's Robert Ehrlich on guns

Lyonette Louis-Jacques's page on Firearms Regulation Worldwide

An interview concerning More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws

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

Alphecca -- weekly review on the media's coverage of guns


A Nation of Riflemen

Clayton Cramer's Blog

My hidden mathematical ability (a math professor with the same name)


My AEI Web Page

Craig Newmark

Eric Rasmusen

William Sjostrom

Dr. T's

Interview with National Review Online

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

International Crime Victimization Survey data from 2000

John Lott's CV