Gun Ownership on Trial: John Lott’s Incredible Defense

Gun ownership was on trial at FreedomFest 2019, an annual festival where smart and open-minded people get together to exchange ideas and debate hot-button topics. 

Economist John Lott Jr. was charged with defending the 2A.  Who better, right?

Lott, if you don’t know, runs the Crime Prevention Research Center and is the author of the seminal book, “More Guns, Less Crime.”

In highlights from the mock trial embedded above, you can watch Lott destroy the anti-gun opposition.  (One poor girl got shellacked pretty good. She had no idea that the stat she cited during the proceedings was completely bogus. Lott set her straight.)

If you don’t have time to watch the entire 20-minute video there are a few main takeaways:

  • Gun control harms vulnerable people the most, including poor blacks, women and the elderly.  
  • When countries ban guns, murder rates always go up
  • Mass public shootings almost always occur in places where citizens cannot lawfully carry firearms 
  • Per capita, Finland, France, and Belgium have more deaths from mass public shootings than the U.S. 

Another interesting part of Lott’s presentation was police response times for imminent threats in major U.S. cities: 

For anyone who vehemently opposes gun ownership, those numbers (16 mins in Detroit – WOW!) should be eye-opening!

In fact, that data is probably the simplest and most direct way to get a non-gun owner to contemplate his or her first firearm purchase.

As we in the 2A community often say, “When seconds count, the police are minutes away.”

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About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 23 comments… add one }
  • Walter Buller September 1, 2019, 11:04 am

    Just an addendum: My friends older brother made his living stealing and re-selling heavy equipment. He was arrested numerous times, convicted, and was therefore a felon many times over, thus unable to lawfully purchase, own, or carry a firearm. When his girlfriend angrily left him, she promised him that her friends in a motorcycle gang were going to visit him and “beat the hell” out of him. So, he put the word out on the street that he needed a couple of handguns. The very next day he had a nice Browning 9mm semi auto, loaded, and a Ruger Security Six revolver in .357 Magnum, also loaded. I held both pieces in my own hands. Doubtless they were both hot as firecrackers. He paid $50 apiece for them, no waiting period, no background check, no I.D., no paperwork, no nothing. If I, as a law-abiding citizen, had purchased those pieces, I would have been subjected to all the bureaucratic nonsense that he was free of, plus I would have had to spend over $1000. You could multiply this example by tens of thousands every day all over America and the rest of the world, thus providing mute testimony to the utter insanity and counterproductive nature of so called anti-gun laws. How true it is that when guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.

  • Walter Buller September 1, 2019, 10:48 am

    My girlfriend, who has been my wife now for 73 years, was not raped one night before we married because the drunk would-be rapist who broke down her front door late one night was met by a hail of bullets from her Beretta .25 semi-automatic. It took the Baton Rouge police 12 minutes to get there. All of Mr. Lott’s arguments are valid. However, in my mind, there are irrelevant. The ONLY relevant point is the FACT that we have a God-given right and responsibility to protect ourselves against a violent attack. PERIOD! End of argument. I look forward to the day when some type of non-lethal weapon that is as effective as firearms is finally developed, but until then, our firearms rights must be protected at all costs.

  • Andrew August 30, 2019, 7:59 pm

    I have read John Lott’s books and Mr. Lott and has last witness failed to mention JAPAN which has no gun rights. JAPAN has never had a mass shooting for guns don’t exist in the general population. Canada is also very similar in scope and doesn’t have mass shootings. They were disappointing with this position that “you can’t name a country that didn’t have a decrease in Murder after a gun ban”. Well Japan and Canada.

    • Andrew N August 31, 2019, 9:26 am

      You’re right, Japan doesn’t have mass shootings. What they DO have is mass attacks using arson, stabbing via knives, bombings, and even Sarin Gas attacks. Thanks for helping point out that people bent on destruction will succeed one way or another. Canada, by the way, has joined the club in shootings, so they no longer fit your model. They also tend to use motor vehicles for mass attacks in Canada.

      • Mark H September 6, 2019, 2:49 pm

        ..of those countries mentioned, INCLUDING the rest of the world, NO other country has a Constitution AND Bill of Rights! THAT, is the bottom line.

  • Des Perado August 30, 2019, 3:42 pm

    “It’s the deed, not the device.”
    You, warbler, may not care how you’re murdered, but I wish to optimize the manner by which I preserve the lives and wellbeing of me and mine.

  • Anthony Peetz August 30, 2019, 3:12 pm

    1 hour, 27 minutes… the time it took Pennsylvania state police to respond after 911 dispatched the info. 4 men, robbing a home in rural Pennsylvania, nearest trooper barracks are 37 miles away. What could a perp do with 1.5 hrs of free time in your home? Rape your wife and daughter, beat and torture you, kill the dog, use the toilet and make a sandwich. But who needs a gun, the police will surely solve the crime after the fact, no worries

  • E August 30, 2019, 12:07 pm

    It took the first sheriff 14-15 minutes to arrive at our home after 3 guys tried to break and enter it. I had already been on the phone with a sheriff before the 3 guys tried to force their way into my home. And I live in a very peaceful Leave-It-to-Beaver neighborhood (according to one website). The shotgun was what deterred the criminals. My partially disabled mother never heard the knocks on the door and by the time she found out what was happening, her fingers were shaking so bad that she couldn’t even dial a phone. That alone taught me that I am the primary and sometimes only first responder. You can’t let government do everything for you because you may eventually get seriously hurt or killed.

  • Jay August 30, 2019, 12:01 pm

    I am a gun owner and pro-2nd A. I have great appreciation for Lott and his work. But, the article above cites some stats that undoubtedly be questioned and I would like the answer to that question so, please…
    In the police response times, the years quoted vary a good bit ranging from 2012-2016 and nothing newer. The first and most obvious reason would be “cherry picking.” Neither, does it seem likely that those are the last years that those statistics were available. Since we are sure to be called on that, is there a clear and and simple answer we can use?

    • GomeznSA August 30, 2019, 3:23 pm

      Jay – I won’t “disagree” that those stats may (or may not) have been cherry picked. What I will do is point out that even when the coppers are on scene or arrive within (literally) seconds – shootings can frequently have severe consequences. Witnesses the newspaper office shooting in Annapolis a while back, more recently Gilroy and Dayton. And those are just off the top of my head.
      The point being made by the article author and Prof. Lott is that the person on scene is ALWAYS the immediate first responder, whether they are armed and prepared – or not.

  • Robert Hamilton August 30, 2019, 3:17 am

    Studies? What studies warbler?
    Back up your statement. Lott can and does…

  • warbler August 27, 2019, 3:56 pm

    this article spreads dangerous misinformation. many studies have shown that stronger gun laws mean fewer gun deaths.

    • Connor August 28, 2019, 10:32 am

      Over 31 states now have permitless carry laws. Each and every one of those states have witnessed lower violent crimes after passing those laws. More people die each year from knife attacks.

    • Jonathan Speegle August 29, 2019, 10:40 pm

      And we all see how you are citing those independent, unbiased studies. Thus, you have engaged with what adults know as an opinion. Perhaps a slathering of feelings would make your opinion more valid.

    • Robert Hamilton August 30, 2019, 3:17 am

      Studies? What studies warbler?
      Back up your statement. Lott can and does…

    • Tj August 30, 2019, 4:39 am

      Just troll away from here because you are an idiot. Speaking from the LEO point of view we cant protect anyone with certainty in a life saving fashion unless we are right there when it happens.
      Whatever information from the dark side of your lefty friends you get is the same old talking points that the socialist democrats use. go back to sleep now…….


    • Concerned August 30, 2019, 5:39 am

      Without facts to back it up…so I could say anything, like anyone else, that anytime a bad guy is shot or defended against in anyway, that every anti-gun person would rather see the victim die than live? This is your logic. So bring evidence. Bring proof. Rely on facts. Fantasy is not fact.

    • Donald Shropshire August 30, 2019, 5:44 am

      Please cite these studies, I would like to research them.

    • Figgus August 30, 2019, 6:34 am

      Fewer gun deaths, but more deaths overall. Please stop spreading dangerous misinformation.

    • TexDad August 30, 2019, 9:28 am

      You must be listening to Piers Morgan. He is notorious for banging the “gun murder rate” drum. How does it help if gun murder goes down and murder as a whole goes up?

      Consider this situation: 20-something 180-pound violent aggressor and 60-something 130-pound victim. Each has any choice of weapon or lack thereof except no guns.

      How do you like the victim’s chances? What about with guns?

      Gun control doesn’t burden the violent aggressors of the world, it gives them the upper hand.

    • D.J. August 30, 2019, 1:08 pm

      You are making a generalized statement .

      To disprove a generalized , all one needs is one exception .

      Is there any need for me to provide one ?
      Does your own conscience not provide you with one , were you
      to be genuine , that is ?!

  • Will Drider August 27, 2019, 1:10 am

    Thank you Mr. Lott for the fine work you do. Fight the good fight. Your integrity and honesty serve you well. I’m sure that if you found statistics that were not as favorable to the Pro gun side, you would present them as well. Fair, unbiased truth. Well done Sir. I hope you have an associate in training, I think 2A Rights will continue to be attacked into the next Century, as long as firearms are relevant to the defense of man.

    • Bruce Brodnax September 12, 2019, 7:16 pm

      It may help to remember that when Mr. Lott began his journey into firearms statistics research, he did so from the standpoint of justifying his anti-gun political stance. Luckily for everyone, he was morally scrupulous and when he saw that the statistics just did not support his premise, he had an epiphany and was converted to an advocate for the support of the 2nd Amendment. Intellectual honesty, what a concept! 🙂

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