John Lott Blog

Chant in St. Louis after acquittal of policeman Jason Stokley: “hey ho, hey ho, these racist cops have got to go”

There is no evidence that Jason Stokley, the police officer who shot the black man in 2011, is racist.  But the perception is that blacks are being shot by white officers and the only explanation for it is racism by police.
Sunday’s crowd began peacefully protesting in the afternoon as demonstrators gathered in front of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department headquarters in downtown St. Louis at about 3 p.m. They chanted “hey ho, hey ho, these racist cops have got to go” and “black lives matter,” while also staging a die-in, in which participants lie down on the ground as if dead to protest police violence. . . .Yet, the evidence suggests that there is not systematic shooting of blacks by white officers.  For the research, see this paper available here.

Do white police officers unfairly target black suspects?

Using a unique new data set on police-involved homicides, we apply several discrimination tests to determine if white police officers discriminate against black suspects. We find that the probability of an unarmed black suspect being killed by a white police officer is significantly greater than the probability of a black suspect being killed by a black police officer. We also find that while black officers are generally more likely than white officers to kill unarmed black suspects at a higher rate than they kill unarmed white ones, the differences in these gaps for black and white officers are not statistically significant. These findings are inconsistent with taste-based discrimination on the part of white police officers. 

Read more here:

Bloomberg's Everytown announces initially spending of $1 million on Virginia state races this year

In 2015, Bloomberg spent $2 million just on two state Senate races to flip the control of the Virginia state Senate.  This $1 million only includes money directly from Everytown and not the side donations that Bloomberg makes directly to Democrats.  From the Washington Post:
Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund, the campaign arm of one of the nation’s biggest gun control groups, announced Thursday that it would spend at least $1 million in Virginia as part of an “initial investment” to elect Democrats in November. The fund is donating $450,000 directly to gubernatorial contender Ralph Northam, and spending $250,000 on mailers on his behalf. It’s also giving $300,000 to Attorney General Mark Herring for his re-election bid, as he faces attack advertising from the National Rifle Association.  “We are making this initial investment because Ralph Northam and Mark Herring have been forceful champions for gun violence prevention in Virginia, while their opponents subscribe to a dangerous ‘guns everywhere’ agenda,” Brynne Craig, a senior strategist for Everytown, said in a statement. . . .

Major League Baseball is fining the Boston Red Sox for misusing Apple Watches to steal pitcher's signals

While this isn't technology being used to violate the law, it is being used for a violation of rules.  From CNBC:
The investigation follows a report that the Red Sox used an Apple Watch to steal signals from the Yankees. A Red Sox trainer was caught looking at his watch and then relaying a message to players. While decoding another teams' signs isn't against the rules, using technology to do so is forbidden. MLB Commissioner Robert Manfred, Jr. said in a statement that he had investigated the complaint from the Yankees and that an undisclosed fine would be levied. The Yankees will also pay a smaller fine after the investigation determined that the team had separately violated a rule involving the use of the dugout phone in a prior season. . . .

In the Chicago Tribune: "Apply background checks for gun purchases to voting"

Dr. John Lott has another op-ed in the Chicago Tribune based on part of the testimony that he will be giving on Tuesday morning to President's Commission on Voter Integrity in New Hampshire.  The piece in the Tribune starts this way:
Republicans worry about vote fraud. Democrats claim that Republicans are just imagining things. But in testimony Tuesday before the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, I will suggest a simple solution that could make both parties happy: Apply the background check system for gun purchases to voting.
Democrats have long lauded background checks on gun purchases as simple, accurate and in complete harmony with the Second Amendment right to own guns. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has bragged that the checks “make our communities and neighborhoods safer without in any way abridging rights or threatening a legitimate part of the American heritage.” If Democrats really believe that the National Instant Criminal Background Check System doesn’t interfere “in any way” with people’s constitutional rights to own a gun, doesn't it follow that the same system would not constitute an infringement on people’s right to vote? This would give Republicans a system for stopping vote fraud and Democrats a system that they have already vigorously endorsed. The NICS system doesn't just determine if potential gun buyers have criminal histories. It also checks whether a person is in this country illegally, has a nonimmigrant visa or has renounced his citizenship. Such people are not allowed to vote. The system doesn’t currently flag people who are on immigrant visas but who could be added to the system.
In 34 states, felons are not able to vote immediately upon release. The background-check system would detect these too. Of course, Democrats and Republicans will continue to argue over whether illegal voting is a major problem. Since Democrats believe that the NICS doesn’t in any way interfere with or suppress gun ownership, how could it suppress legal voter registration? Thus, Democrats shouldn't have anything to worry about. If there doesn't turn out to be any vote fraud, Democrats can say that they were proved right. But it is likely that Democrats will take issue with the NICS once it is applied to something other than gun purchases. NICS requires government-issued photo IDs, and Democrats have vehemently opposed voter ID laws. Moreover, the fees that gun buyers have to pay on private transfers can be quite substantial, ranging from $55 in Oregon to $175 in Washington, D.C., and would be compared to poll taxes. Because of the Constitution’s 24th Amendment, the courts have struck down poll taxes as unconstitutional. . . .The rest of the piece is available here.
The Kansas City Star already has an editorial attacking the idea.
The right people? You know, the eligible people, says John Lott, the president of the Pennsylvania-based Crime Prevention Research Center, whose plan would use the federal background check system for gun purchases on voters. That includes checks on whether a person is a U.S. citizen or has a felony conviction. Lott, who is a long-time opponent of gun control, argues that if background checks don’t limit the rights of gun owners, then they wouldn’t disenfranchise voters, either, would they? . . . while the commission is in no danger of uncovering any such evidence, putting voters through a background check does sound like an efficient way to suppress the vote. . . .The question is why will this background check suppress voters if it has no effect on discouraging people from being able to use guns for self-defense.

In the Kansas City Star: "Look at facts in the campus firearm debate"

I have an op-ed in the Kansas City Star on the debate of permitted concealed handguns on college campuses.  The piece starts this way:
As college classes start up in Kansas this fall, it’s a good time to take stock of the rise in the number of schools where people can carry guns for protection. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 11 states now mandate that concealed handgun permit holders be allowed to carry on public college campuses. There are 12 states if we count Michigan, which only allows permit holders to carry if they do so openly. Twenty-three other states leave the decision up to individual colleges. Gun control advocates in Kansas predict disaster, just as they have in each new state that adopted campus carry. Unable to point to any actual catastrophes, opponents do their best to imagine what might go wrong. But at school after school, no problems have occurred. Over the decades, not a single permit holder who was allowed to carry on university property has committed a crime with his gun. No permit holder has ever gotten angry over a grade and started shooting. As far as we know, no permit holder has ever used his gun to threaten anyone on campus. There have only been six accidental discharges, all of which involved minor injuries. In no case did someone other than the permit holder get a hold of the gun.Of course, the media loves giving national attention to professors who do silly things, such as resigning from their jobs in protest or wearing protective body armor to teach classes.Professor Kevin Willmott is worried that the University of Kansas will become a “war zone” now that it has started allowing campus carry. He has promised to wear body armor throughout the entire school year as “a constant reminder to all of us that our students could have a gun, and in an emergency, this could make a bad situation even worse.” Texas community colleges have also just started with campus carry, and San Antonio College Professor Charles K. Smith is also wearing body armor, claiming that the policy “increases the chances of something [bad] happening.” In May, associate history professor Jacob Dorman resigned from the University of Kansas. He accepted another tenured position at a public university in a non-campus-carry state. In his resignation letter, Dorman predicted that Kansas would be “driving off faculty members.” Dorman also claims that “arming students has done nothing to quell active shooter situations because students do not have the training to effectively combat shooters.” My research has found numerous instances of concealed handgun permit holders with no more training stopping dozens public shootings. Willmott and Dorman are only two out of 2,600 faculty members at the University of Kansas. Likewise, just two of 20,322 have left the University of Texas System on account of campus carry. One of those, a visiting retired professor, would likely have left anyway. And the body-armor-wearing Charles Smith is just one out of over 43,000 faculty in the Texas community college system. Kansas professors have had several years’ notice that the policy would take effect — plenty of time to look for other jobs. It is a wonder how these professors ever go off-campus. After all, there are over 1.15 million concealed handgun permit holders in Texas. Kansans don’t even need permits to carry. Professors can’t go to restaurants, movie theaters, or grocery stores without being around legally-carried concealed handguns. . . .The rest of the piece is available here.

Antifa not only admits to using violence, they say that it is necessary

The communists who make up Antifa don't see any irony in using violence to combat authoritarianism.  Amazingly, Antifa claims that the police are "no better" than the Nazi. From The Hill:
Antifa activists justify their use of violence as self-defense against “the inherent danger of fascists organizing,” according to Mark Bray, a Dartmouth historian and author of a recent book on the movement. “The argument is that it needs to be stopped immediately, because if you let it grow, that poses a danger to society,” Bray said. Dubbed the “alt-left” by President Trump, antifa has increasingly been making their presence known after his victory in the 2016 election was openly embraced by white supremacists. On Sunday, antifa protesters hurled glass bottles and bricks at police officers monitoring a far-right march in Portland, Ore. . . . "Getting state involved in this is no better than letting the Nazis go free,” he said, pointing to the Virginia State Police response to the violence at the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, which many protesters and counterprotesters criticized as too slow. Activists, including Isaacson, claim that police departments and the military have been infiltrated by Nazis and “have them kind of on their side. . . .UPDATE: "MSNBC’s Nicole Wallace defended Antifa on Thursday afternoon, and referred to them as 'good people' on 'the side of angels.'” For those who don't remember, Wallace was Sarah Palin's handler during the 2008 presidential campaign, and Wallace sabotaged Palin's appearances. 

Talk on Bloomberg and background checks on private transfers

 Dr. John Lott gave a talk on the Crime Prevention Research Center's new research on Bloomberg's push for background checks on the private transfer of guns.  A video of the talk is available here.  If you can't make out the slides in this talk, they are from Lott's book "The War on Guns" and can be seen there.

 (Sunday, August 27th, 2017 at the Carry Guard Expo in Milwaukee, Wisconsin)

Talk on the CPRC's new research on Mass Public Shootings and Gun-free zones

Dr. John Lott gave a talk on the Crime Prevention Research Center's research on Mass Public Shootings and Gun-free zones.  The video is available here.  Unfortunately, the first few minutes of the beginning of the talk is missing. The first reference is to a quote from former President Obama that if guns stop mass public shootings, the US shouldn't have any mass shootings. Beyond Lott's response to that point in the video, a list of mass public shootings that were stopped by concealed handgun permit holders.  The slides in the talk are based on information in his book "The War on Guns."

(Saturday, August 26th, 2017 at the Carry Guard Expo in Milwaukee, Wisconsin)

At Fox News: "Concussions occur in soccer and other sports, too -- but yeah, let's go after all-American football"

With all the commotion over Ed Cunningham's resignation from ESPN this last week, the media is solely focused on concussions in football.  While this involves legal violence, not crime, the piece still illustrates how media does a very poor job of informing people about what is happening.  The piece starts this way:
Did you know who Ed Cunningham is? Probably not. Cunningham, a college football analyst for ESPN, was unknown to all but hardcore football fans. But by tying himself closely to a politically correct cause – in this case, resigning his position Wednesday, in a protest over concussions in football – he is guaranteed fawning media coverage.  The New York Times is leading the Cunningham canonization. With the new college football season for most teams starting this weekend, the resignation seems timed for maximum attention.  But the politically correct movement seems much more focused on opposing what is uniquely American than where players actually face the greatest risks of concussion. In college, women's soccer has a higher rate of concussions than men's football or soccer: 6.3 per 10,000 times women participate in soccer practice or a game versus 4.9 for men's soccer and 6.1 for men's football. Men's wrestling and hockey have even higher rates at 12.4 and 8.4 respectively. But concussions aren't the only problem. In total injuries, both men's and women's soccer exceed those of men's football. Total injuries for men's soccer are 11.14 per 10,000 practices or games and 9.7 for women's soccer. For football, the number is 9.5. College sports are about twice as likely as high school sports to result in concussions. At the high school level, the numbers for soccer aren't quite as bad as for football. High school football is the riskiest. But girls' and boys' soccer are still the second and third most dangerous sports for concussions, followed closely by girls' basketball. There is also data showing that, while football causes a higher number of concussions, girls and boys' high school soccer is responsible for more of the serious concussions. We can tell that from the recovery time. Concussions from soccer are about twice as likely as football to require 22 or more days of recovery. . . .The rest of the piece is available here.

With all the attacks on Trump, how much have Democrats given to charity?

Donald Trump is giving one million dollars to help people after Hurricane Harvey.  He and his family have also been extremely generous over time to others.
Gores' Charitable Giving Raises Some Eyebrows
Biden gave average of $369 to charity a yearBush, Clinton, and Gore Release Charitable-Giving Records96 Percent Of Hillary’s Charitable Donations In 2015 Went To Clinton Foundation -- The Clintons then get everything from travel to meals to support staff provided to them from their foundation.

At Fox News: "Police and military equipment - overturning Obama ban protects Americans and law enforcement"

I have a new piece up at Fox News on the Trump administration's decision to overturn Obama's ban on used military equipment being given to police.  The piece starts this way:
Police have a tough and dangerous job.  Armored military vehicles and military-grade body armor aren’t just useful for soldiers, they make it possible for police to protect Americans. During his address Monday to the annual meeting of the Fraternal Order of Police, the nation's largest police union with 330,000 members, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that President Trump is overturning Obama’s ban on supplying surplus military equipment to police. It is an issue that the Fraternal Order of Police and other police organizations cared about deeply during the campaign last year.  Indeed, they based their endorsement of Trump during the election on his promise to overturn this ban. Obama first ordered a review of the Clinton-era program after heavily armored police confronted rioters in August 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. Obama worried that the armored vehicles and heavily-armored police only exacerbated tensions and led to more violence, but Obama never seemed to understand that with rocks, bottles, and tent poles being thrown at the police -- and even bullets being fired at them -- the police couldn’t have stood between the protestors and those who they were protecting without this gear.  And that without the police, the violence would have been much worse. If there are any doubts what would have happened without such protection, just remember how much worse the riots were when Governor Nixon (D-Missouri) temporarily kept the police and national guard out of Ferguson.  As one newspaper wrote: “A show of force by police and the U.S. National Guard in Ferguson, Missouri, prevented a second night of widespread rioting by early on Wednesday.”  Nixon might have been well motivated by the fear that police would only antagonize the rioters, but his decision meant that the demonstrators ran wild, destroying businesses and harming people. With businesses destroyed and leaving the area, it is the loss of jobs and higher prices that leave long-term scars on minority communities such as Ferguson. The vast majority of the military surplus equipment provided the police is purely defensive.  Still, even the more extreme sounding weapons, such as flashbang grenades and sniper rifles, have important uses.  Some police departments face well-armed and vicious drug gangs.  Flashbang grenades may be the safest option to immobilize criminals before police enter a room.  Sniper rifles might be necessary to save innocent lives when hostage situations exist. . . .The rest of the piece is available here.

Democrats guerilla tactics to harass Republican congressmen at home and at town hall meetings

So much for civil discourse.  My son Maxim has a new news article at Fox News:
The left has upped the stakes in its guerilla operations against Republicans, as deep-pocketed groups fund protesters to show up to the offices and even houses of congressmen to protest their lack of "town hall" meetings. Earlier this month, protesters targeted the home of Rep. Jason Lewis, a newly elected Republican in Minnesota's 2nd District. The protests on his doorstep grew big enough that one of his neighbors called the police. "Fortunately my family wasn't home at the time,” Lewis told Fox News. “I ran for Congress, but my family didn't run ... so to bring them into it I think is not in keeping with the best of American tradition." Protesters also have shown up at the homes of other Republican lawmakers in swing districts such as Rep. John Faso, R-N.Y., and Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif. Some 200 protesters showed up at Issa's home to blast him for not holding town hall meetings, leading his spokesman to say: “Dragging the congressman’s wife and family into this goes beyond the pale.” Local chapters of a left-wing group called “Indivisible” helped organize and lead those two protests. . . . .

At The Hill: The media couldn't be more blatant in distorting Trump's words on Charlottesville

I have a new piece at The Hill about how the media is completely distorting what Trump has said about Charlottesville.  The piece starts this way:
Has the media ever so deliberately and consistently misinterpreted what a president said? It certainly seems as if the media finally found its proof that President Trump is a racist. ABC News’ coverage was all too typical: Trump quickly blamed both sides for the conflict, adding that there were "very fine people" among both the protesters — which included white supremacists and white nationalists — and the counter protesters. "I think there is blame on both sides. You look at both sides. I think there is blame on both sides," Trump said today. "You had some very bad people in that group. You also had some very fine people on both sides," he added. With wall-to-wall news coverage repeating this misreading of Trump’s statement, it’s not too surprising that politicians from both parties quickly condemned the “very fine people” comment. NBC’s headline read: “Democratic, Republican Lawmakers Decry Trump’s Latest Charlottesville Remarks.” Ohio Gov. John Kasich attacked Trump: “This is terrible. The President of the United States needs to condemn these kinds of hate groups. The president has to totally condemn this." Does anyone even listen to comments anymore before commenting on them?
When it comes to the president, do politicians just take reporters at their word?
But Trump never said that the white supremacists and neo-Nazis were “very fine people.” He said that there two different types of people protesting the taking down of the Robert E. Lee statue – the racists (“some very bad people in that group”), and people who thought that for the sake of history it was important not to take down the statue. Here is Trump’s own explanation from his press conferenceTrump: “And you had people, and I'm not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally. But you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists. “OK? And the press has treated them absolutely unfairly.” . . . Reporter: “You were saying the press has treated white nationalists unfairly? (inaudible) understand what you're saying.” Trump: “No, no. There were people in that rally, and I looked the night before. If you look, they were people protesting very quietly the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee. I'm sure in that group there were some bad ones. The following day, it looked like they had some rough, bad people – neo-Nazis, white nationalists, whatever you want to call them. “But you had a lot of people in that group that were there to innocently protest and very legally protest, because you know – I don't know if you know, they had a permit. The other group didn't have a permit.” President Trump made it very clear that his comment did not pertain to “neo-Nazis and the white nationalists.” When a reporter misinterpreted his very clear statement, Trump again made it clear that the bad people were the “neo-Nazis, white nationalists.” . . .The rest of the piece is available here.

On The Morning Show with Brian and Leland to discuss Kevin Hassett's nomination to the Council of Economic Advisers

I was on The Morning Show with Brian and Leland in Brownsville, Texas and central Texas to discuss Kevin Hassett's nomination to chair President Trump's Council of Economic Advisers.  Unfortunately, the beginning part of this interview is missing where we talked briefly about the role of the Council of Economic Advisers in everything from taxes to regulations to even crime.
(Tuesday, August 15, 2017, from 8:06 to 8:16 AM)
Audio available here.

In the Washington Times: Confirming Kevin Hassett to chair the Council of Economic Advisers is prudent and necessary

Kevin Hassett's confirmation to chair the Council of Economic Advisers is important not just taxes but also for a whole range of other issues, including crime.  The Council of Economic Advisers touches on every issue that economists have done research on.  From the beginning of my piece in the Washington Times:
Even if the Senate votes for confirmation on the very day that it returns from recess, a record 112 days will have passed since President Trump nominated Kevin Hassett to chair the Council of Economic Advisers. Since 1980, the average time to confirm other Council chairmen is 25 days. For incoming administrations, the average confirmation period is 13 days. The longest was 25 days. A world-recognized expert on taxation, Mr. Hassett has been stuck on the sidelines despite the administration’s big goals this year on tax reform. Mr. Hassett is the one person who can help make the different parts of a tax bill fit together and can explain it to the media. White House chief economic adviser Gary Cohn has reportedly told associates that time is running out for tax reform. He worries that if tax reform doesn’t get done by the end of the year, it likely won’t happen at all. Missing key players such as Mr. Hassett doesn’t help. And Democrats are threatening to delay Mr. Hassett’s vote much longer. The delay reflects only Democrats’ unwillingness to confirm any Trump nominees. Mr. Hassett is not a controversial pick. . . .The rest of the piece is available here.

New in the Chicago Tribune: How Democrats keep guns in the hands of the rich

Dr. John Lott has a new piece in the Chicago Tribune today (it will be in the print edition tomorrow).  The piece starts this way:
When it comes to voting rights, any obstacles outrage liberals; even free government-issued IDs are viewed as disenfranchising poor and disproportionately black people. But when it comes to the right to own a gun for self-defense, liberals don't hesitate to pile on fees, ID requirements, expensive training and onerous background checks. That's too bad, because many law-abiding citizens in crime-ridden neighborhoods really do need a gun for self-defense. Since poor, urban blacks are the most likely victims of violent crime, there is little doubt that they stand to benefit the most from owning guns. Research, including my own, has demonstrated this. A new report from the Crime Prevention Research Center shows that the average fee for a concealed handgun permit is $67, but it is much higher in the most Democratic states. Each 10-percentage-point increase in a state's presidential vote for Hillary Clinton was associated with an additional $30 in the concealed handgun permit fee. In California, where Clinton won by about 30 points, fees can be as high as $385 for just two years. In New York City, where she won by 60 points, a three-year permit costs $430. In addition to prohibitive fees, some blue states — California, Illinois — require four times as many training hours as the national average, adding hundreds of dollars to the cost of obtaining a concealed-carry license. In California counties, the mandated cost of training can run from $250 to more than $1,000. Compare heavily Democratic Illinois, where the cost of permit and training runs over $450, with neighboring Republican Indiana where the total cost for everything is $50.In some states, the poor need not apply even if they are willing to pay these costs. In the Democratic-leaning states of California, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island, as well as the District of Columbia, people have to demonstrate need for a permit to a local public official. Los Angeles County illustrates how this discretion results in only a select few wealthy and powerful individuals getting permits. If Los Angeles County authorized permits at the same rate as the rest of the country, it would have around 600,000 permit holders. Instead, only 226 permits have been issued within a population of about 7.9 million adults, and many of them have gone to politically connected individuals, including judges. Indeed, former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca earned a reputation for awarding permits to people who gave him campaign donations or generous gifts. While women make up 36 percent of permit holders nationally, they only got 7 percent of the permits in Los Angeles County. Although almost half the county's population is Hispanic, only 6.5 percent of permits were given to Hispanics. Few were given to blacks.
In New York City, permits seem to go only to a politically approved segment of the rich and powerful. This includes union heads and people such as Donald Trump, Laurence Rockefeller, Howard Stern and Robert De Niro. Those who aren't politically approved — Fox News' John Stossel, for instance — don't get permits no matter how much evidence they provide about death threats they've received. Are influential individuals really the only ones who have legitimate concerns for their safety? Democrats continue to fight for higher fees. In Connecticut, . . .The rest of the piece is available here.

Obama’s Attorney General Used Fake Identity To Hide Her Involvement In Development of Clinton Investigation E-Mails talking points

From the Daily Caller:
Like her predecessor, Eric Holder, former Attorney General Loretta Lynch used an email alias to conduct government business, The Daily Caller has confirmed. Several of Lynch’s emails were included in 413 pages of DOJ documents provided to the conservative groups Judicial Watch and the American Center for Law and Justice. Both groups had filed lawsuits for records regarding Lynch’s controversial meeting with President Bill Clinton at the Phoenix airport last June 27. Using the pseudonym “Elizabeth Carlisle,” Lynch corresponded with DOJ press officials to hammer out talking points in response to media requests about the meeting. The tarmac encounter drew criticism from conservatives because Lynch was overseeing the federal investigation into whether Hillary Clinton mishandled classified information on her private email system. The meeting was revealed not by Lynch, Clinton or the Justice Department, but by a reporter in Phoenix working based on a tip. Lynch, using the Elizabeth Carlisle account, which was hosted on the Justice Department’s system, was also involved in those discussions. . . .