Article published Wednesday, September 8, 2015, at USA Today.

Gun Checks (Letter to the Editor)

By John R. Lott, Jr.

Despite the article claiming “Renewed calls for gun control laws spur sales,” August’s record gun checks appear unrelated to recent demands for legislation. While August’s almost 1.75 million record background checks were 12.9% higher than last year’s record for the same month, this July, before the most recent push for more laws, showed an even greater percentage increase (14.2%) in year-to-year checks.

Gun sales vary a lot over the course of the year, and August sales have always been higher than July’s. More likely, people know that calls for new gun laws aren’t going anywhere for a simple reason: The so-called expanded background checks would have done nothing to stop the Roanoke, Va., journalist shooting or any other tragedies that gun control advocates are using to push for the new laws.

John R. Lott Jr., president, Crime Prevention Research Center; Swarthmore, Pa.

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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