Monday, January 24, 2011

Recent debate on CSPAN's Washington Journal

Video of my discussion with Paul Helmke today on CSPAN's Washington Journal.

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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Letter published in today's New York Times

With all the recent articles and editorials calling for gun control, the New York Times ran letters responding to their pieces today. Of the five letters, four supported more gun control and mine took the other side (that is 503 words versus 162). Mine was the fourth in the list.

To the Editor:

Nicholas D. Kristof attacked my research in his Jan. 13 column. While conceding that “concealed weapons didn’t lead to the bloodbath that liberals had forecast,” Mr. Kristof asserted that “many studies have now debunked” my finding that more guns lead to less crime.

In fact, the overwhelming majority of studies support my results. Among peer-reviewed studies in academic journals by criminologists and economists, 18 studies examining national data find that right-to-carry laws reduce violent crime, 10 indicate no discernible effect and none find a bad effect from the law. Among non-refereed studies, three find drops in crime and two say either no effect or possibly small increases in crime.

Mr. Kristof cites a public health professor’s suggestions for one-gun-a-month sales limits, gun safes and further background checks, but I know of no academic criminologists or economists who have found that these laws reduce any type of violent crime. No gun ban has reduced murder rates.

John R. Lott Jr.
Alexandria, Va., Jan. 17, 2011

The writer is the author of “More Guns, Less Crime.”

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Friday, January 21, 2011

Newest Fox News piece: Most Americans Don't Want the Health Care Law That Was Passed and Efforts to Repeal It Must Continue

My newest piece starts this way:

Americans are unhappy with ObamaCare. The House’s 245-189 vote to repeal ObamaCare on Wednesday was never really in doubt. In fact, The latest Rasmussen survey shows that 55 percent of Americans want ObamaCare repealed, the same number that showed up in polls when people voted in early November. Seventy five percent of Americans want the law changed.

The repeal measure now goes to the Senate. But despite holding a majority in the Senate, Democrats are refusing to hold a vote and publicly support the law. The public opposition shouldn't come as a surprise as the health care law signed by President Obama bears little resemblance to the one he promised during the 2008 campaign. The law broke multiple different promises on taxes and costs twice as much as what Obama said that it would cost during the campaign. ObamaCare was sold to Americans as an essential law to reduce health care costs.

"Then there's the problem of rising costs. . . . Everyone in this room knows what will happen if we do nothing," President Obama warned . . . .

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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Newest Fox News piece: The Arizona Shootings, Gun Violence Research and the Facts vs. The New York Times

My newest Fox News piece starts this way:

You know you’re doing something right when two New York Times columnists, Gail Collins and Nicholas Kristof, attack your research on the same day. Kristof followed up on criticism leveled earlier in the week by others writing for The Times. I must have said something substantial enough to warrant this attention. Let us check the facts.

Gail Collins worries that law-abiding citizens carrying concealed handguns can't be trusted:

"One can only hope that Saturday's horrible attack in Tucson encourages more citizens to carry concealed handguns," wrote John Lott, Jr. . . . on Wednesday. As a model, he pointed to Joseph Zamudio, . . . Lott's theory was that Zamudio was able to lend a hand "because his legally carried 9 mm semiautomatice offered him protection." He neglected to mention that while Zamudio never fired at the gunman, he almost drew on an innocent man by mistake.

No, it was not my mere speculation. Zamudio himself told Fox News' “Fox & Friends” that he though that carrying a gun made him willing to run towards the shots while almost everyone else was running for cover. . . .

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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Newest Fox News piece: Obama Officials Play Chicken Little With the Debt Ceiling

My newest piece starts this way:

Two years into the Obama administration and the overused tactic of claiming crises to push legislation is becoming tiresome.

Remember, immediately after President Obama came into office, we were warned that if the massive Stimulus program wasn't passed immediately, unemployment would go up above 8.1 percent. And the health care takeover had to be passed by August 2009 or public and private health care costs would spiral out of control.

Of course, it is now obvious that neither the stimulus program nor Obamacare had any prospect of accomplishing their stated goals. And then there was the start treaty with Russia which absolutely had to be passed quickly last month or real damage would be done to US-Russian relations. Yet, in what was widely seen as a slap against President Obama, the Russians didn't see any urgency in passing the treaty, and indeed they still haven't passed it.

Now the Obama administration is warning of disaster if Congress doesn't quickly pass an increase in the debt limit. . . .

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