Article published Wednesday, July 13, 2016, at Los Angeles Times.

Yes, gun-free zones are targets — and research proves it

By John R. Lott, Jr.

To the editor: Evan DeFilippis’ and Devin Hughes’ op-ed article defending gun control and criticizing my research is filled with flaws. (“5 arguments against gun control — and why they are all wrong,” Opinion, July 8)

The authors say that a good guy with a gun can’t stop mass public shootings, but they miss dozens of cases where police and prosecutors say concealed-carry permit holders saved multiple lives. These cases aren’t included in any FBI data. My research in the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences’ newsletter ACJS Today (in March 2015) also showed the FBI missed 20 mass public shootings.

They claim that I have misrepresented places as gun-free zones. Yes, an armed, identifiable off-duty officer was guarding the nightclub in Orlando, Fla., when the shooting took place last month, but my point is that such guards are the first people to be shot at. The benefit of civilian concealed carry is that killers don’t know who might stop them.

DeFilippis and Hughes ignore explicit statements by mass public shooters on why they pick gun-free zones: because it makes victims easier targets.

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

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

Appalachian law school attack

Baghdad murder rate

Arming Pilots

Fraudulent website pretending to be run by me

The Merced Pitchfork Killings and Vin Suprynowicz's quote

Ayres and Donohue

Stanford Law Review

Mother Jones article


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