Article published Thursday, December 9, 2004, at New York Post.


Letters Responding to my op-ed in the Tuesday, December 7th New York Post

December 9, 2004 -- John Lott and Sonya Jones have a point ("What's Wrong With Players on Steroids?" Opinion, Dec. 7).

We, as a society, have no business banning steroids in the first place.

Society has an interest in regulating substances such as alcohol, which impair judgment and cause people to kill and maim others.

Society likewise should regulate substances like heroin and cocaine, which cause their users to commit crimes in order to finance their addictions.

But steroids do not do any of these things.

No crimes have ever been committed because somebody needed a steroid fix.

At worst, players like Jason Giambi harm themselves.

Professional sports are private enterprises. If the people in charge want to spend their time and money regulating steroid use, that's their business.

But use of steroids is not a public problem.

James Nollet
Billerica, Mass.

Lott and Jones take a ridiculous position with regard to baseball and steroids.

In effect, they suggest that athletic competition is nothing more than show business.

Yes, sports is entertaining, but that misses the point.

A large part of the draw of pure athletic competition is the notion that these athletes are truly different from you and me that they are able to do something, either because of their hard work or their born talents, that mere mortals cannot.

Jon Messersmith

If steroids are allowed, then they become all-but-required.

Without them, players wouldn't be able to compete against those who use them.

Therefore, we would not be leaving the choice with the individual, as Lott and Jones claim.

Mark Parsons Vero Beach, Fla.


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