For the past 20 years, Dr. John Lott, Jr. has been the go-to person from the educated elite class who the GOP has used to fight gun legislation. On Sept. 18, Americans were again subjected to this man as he testified at the Joint Economic Committee Hearing on Gun Violence in America. Lott has written multiple books with oh-so-scholarly titles such as “Obama's War on Jobs and Growth and What We Can Do Now to Regain Our Future,” and “At the Brink: Will Obama Push Us Over the Edge?” Most of his books, however, are about guns: “Straight Shooting,” “The Bias Against Guns,” and simply, “War on Guns.”
What Lott is best known for, though, is a 1990s book entitled “More Guns, Less Crime,” which is also pretty much the synopsis of the whole thing. He claimed that states with ”shall issue” concealed carry laws have low crime rates, based on his statistical analysis of crime data. When Steven Levitt, the best-selling co-author of the slightly more popular book “Freakonomics” complained that other scholars could not replicate his findings, Lott responded by suing him.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has never been impressed when he is invited to spew rightwing talking points, and in a 1996 letter to the Wall Street Journal editors, he offered one pretty good reason not to be a fan of Lott:
The Associated Press reports that Prof. Lott's fellowship at the University of Chicago is funded by the Olin Foundation, which is “associated with the Olin Corporation,” one of the nation's largest gun manufacturers. Maybe that's a coincidence, too. But it's also a fact.