John Lott, a former University of Chicago professor now with the American Enterprise Institute, became nationally known in the 1990s for research he says shows that allowing concealed weapons reduces crime.
He has published two versions of his book, " More Guns, Less Crime, " and recently authored a book titled "The Bias Against Guns. "
"There just haven't been bad experiences," he said in an interview.
He cites Texas, where the state Department of Public Safety reported that in 2001, only half of 1 percent of crimes against people -- murder, assault, robbery and others -- were committed by people who had permits to carry guns.
"It's just very hard to find cases where permit holders do anything wrong, particularly anything wrong with a gun," Lott said.
Among his most vocal academic critics is John Donohue, a Stanford University law professor whose published critiques of Lott's works cite errors in handling crime data.
"It's abundantly clear that there is no support for his thesis," Donohue said. "It borders on fraud for anyone to try to make the case that there is a drop in crime."
He said Lott's earlier work failed to account for the peak and subsequent decline in violent crime related to the advent of crack cocaine in the 1980s and said later updates had coding errors.
My Notes: See Plassmann and Whitley's paper (p. 1361) for a discussion of the claim that “Lott's earlier work failed to account” for cocaine. For example, my previous research used county level data for the US that was available on cocaine prices. Several other tests were also employed that should directly deal with the regional claims made by Ayres and Donohue. The language used by Donohue is very disappointing, but it has become extremely typical of the type of statements that he makes and this particular statement is probably relatively mild. I suppose that he feels that these statements will draw more attention to his claims. One has to wonder what other academics think about this. That is especially true when claims that he and Ayres have continually made about me not accounting for things like the impact of cocaine are so easy for researchers to check. Minor correction. I was a Law and Economics Fellow at the University of Chicago Law School and a visiting assistant professor for a year in the business school.
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.