Dr. John Lott is the founder and president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, an organization dedicated to providing accurate research and statistically-quantified commentary about gun use, gun ownership, and the use of guns by concealed carry citizens and the police, to stop crime, violence, and murders. Overall, it's all about gun rights!
In The Mind Of A Gun Rights Researcher John Lott
Dr. Lott holds a Ph.D. in economics from UCLA and is a frequent commentator on Fox News and other cable news outlets, where he is a vocal supporter of safe and legal gun ownership, concealed carry, and use. His eight books include More Guns, Less Crime and The Bias Against Guns. His Board of Directors include Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke and our favorite Michigan rocker, hunter, and gun owner, Ted Nugent.
Dr. Lott was kind enough to provide answers to my three questions (which have been edited for length). I asked him about the Congress passing the national CCW reciprocity bill (which he thinks President Trump will sign if it gets to his desk). I asked him about how or if CCW holders should help protect police officers who are being threatened or outgunned in our streets. And finally, he addressed my concerns – that many of us have – of terrorism coming to our shores and how we can help stop mass attackers who target our schools, workplaces, and public gatherings.
Will the Congress enact a national CCW permit reciprocity law this year? Is it safe to assume President Trump will sign it? How will this improve CCW carry in this country? Any hidden obstacles or challenges in this bill?
“Yes, everything that President Trump has done so far confirms that he would keep his promise and sign such a bill if it gets to his desk. And the bill will easily pass the House, where it currently has 200 co-sponsors. But the Senate is a different story, as Democrats have already promised a filibuster. With all 52 Republicans supporting the bill and six Democrats having voted for the bill when it previously came up in 2013, there should be 58 votes, two short of the 60 required to end a filibuster. There are also seven other Democratic Senators from states that already recognize permits from at least 48 other states. Thus they already essentially have complete reciprocity in their states, and they realize that there have been no problems associated with it.”
“There is extreme pressure being put on Democrats to oppose the bill, and Senator Mark Warner (D-Virginia) has already announced that he has changed his position and will now oppose it. Unless voters put at least as much pressure on their Senators, it is unlikely that Democrats will let the reciprocity bill even get a vote in the Senate.”
How should CCW holders help police in a life-threatening incident, if at all? We’ve seen situations where CCW holders actually saved officers’ lives, using deadly force. As both the number of gun owners increases and with CCW permit holders now at over 15 million, how does law enforcement want us to support them in mass shooter attacks, acts of terrorism, or events where it appears an officer is outgunned or in danger of being killed?
“Permit holders regularly save the lives of police officers. Recent cases include: Indiana on February 20, 2017; Arizona on January 12. 2017; Florida on November 15, 2016; Pennsylvania on February 10, 2016; and Texas on January 16, 2016. Police officers overwhelmingly support the private ownership of guns more than possibly any other group. When police are on their own, and no one else is there to protect them, it makes sense for permit holders to help protect the police. Police understand how incredibly law-abiding permit holders are.”
What does the growing concern of both mass attackers/active shooters and also Islamic terrorism coming here mean to CCW holders? How can we help the federal, state, and local governments protect our country from these emerging threats?
“Mass killers keep targeting gun-free zones, places where general citizens aren’t able to defend themselves. More than 98 percent of the mass public shootings since 1950 have occurred where citizens haven’t been able to defend themselves.”
“Police are very important, but they virtually always arrive after the attack has occurred and they have an extremely difficult job stopping terrorists — having a uniform is often akin to wearing a neon sign saying ‘shoot me first.’ The presence of concealed handgun permit holders actually make the job of the police easier, as the killers have to worry that they will reveal their location if they start shooting the police officer who is on guard.”
“Just look at the explicit statements made by recent shooters. This spring, a young ISIS sympathizer planned a shooting at one of the largest churches in Detroit. An FBI wiretap recorded him explaining why he had targeted the church: ‘It’s easy, and a lot of people go there. Plus people are not allowed to carry guns in church. Plus it would make the news.’ Fortunately, that ISIS sympathizer ended up being only a would-be shooter. But, during the last couple of years, shooters have made similar statements after attacking a church in Charleston, S.C., a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., and a sorority house in Santa Barbara. It ought to be common sense — even the most ardent gun-control advocates would never put “Gun-Free Zone” signs on their homes. The question is why put up these signs elsewhere.”
For more information about John Lott and his organization, go to the Crime Prevention Research Center at www.crimeresearch.org
If you believe in John’s work, and his efforts to support responsible gun owners, gun ownership, and concealed carry, please make a donation at his site.
Guns & Gadgets gives us an update on the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017:
Contact your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative at (202) 224-3121 and ask them to co-sponsor and support S.446 — the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 — in the Senate, and H.R.38 — the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017– in the House.
Are you in favor of the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017? Please let us know in the comments section below!
Steve Albrecht can be reached at www.drstevealbrecht.com or on Twiter @DrSteveAlbrecht