Lott vs. Gun Control Advocates: A $1,000 Bet on Brazil’s Crime Stats

(Photo: Rumble/CPRC)

John Lott, a researcher specializing in firearms and the director of the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC), has publicly offered a $1,000 bet regarding the future crime rates in Brazil.

This bet was initiated after the election of the country’s new leftist President, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, widely known as “Lula.” Lula’s narrow victory over the former president, Jair Bolsonaro, in last year’s closely contested election sparked this wager.

During Bolsonaro’s tenure, he significantly relaxed Brazil’s restrictions on personal firearm ownership, which led to an estimated six-fold surge in the number of firearms owned by citizens.

Intriguingly, during Bolsonaro’s administration, there was a 19% overall drop in homicide rates in the country. This statistic challenges the prevailing notion held by many anti-2A activists that an increase in firearm ownership inevitably leads to a rise in homicides.

Lott’s bet openly disputes claims made by Dan Webster, a professor at Johns Hopkins University, in a Washington Post article published last December. Webster stated that “every 1 percent increase in firearm ownership is associated with a 0.6 percent increase in overall homicide rates,” despite the contrary evidence from Bolsonaro’s time in office.

On January 1st, as his first official act, Lula enacted an executive order banning the sale of guns and ammunition, limiting individuals to owning a maximum of three guns. Additionally, Lula prohibited concealed carry and is working towards revoking gun ownership licenses issued during Bolsonaro’s presidency.

SEE ALSO: Tucker: Brazil’s Answer to Crime — Loosen Gun Restrictions

“How could somebody with a straight face go and tell the Washington Post this is what he believes the relationship is,” Lott told Fox News Digital. “Nobody calls him on it. It was kind of what I finally saw his statement in the Washington Post, that’s what kind of got me to go and offer people the bets.”

According to Lott, he has approached 12 gun control proponents with his wager and even suggested converting the bet into a charity fundraiser. However, thus far, none of them have accepted his challenge.

“These academics have no problem confidently making predictions for the press or legislative committees about the future effects of gun-control laws. But they aren’t willing to put their money where their mouths are in a way that would make people remember their bad predictions. Maybe that’s because they already know the crime-fighting benefits of private gun ownership,” Lott wrote in an op-ed for the Federalist.

It would appear that gun control researchers are comfortable making dire predictions when there isn’t any skin in the game. As it stands, Lott’s challenge appears to be unanswered.

In the meantime, both firearm proponents and gun control advocates will be closely monitoring the outcomes of Lula’s policies for data that backs their respective viewpoints.

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About the author: Brian Jones Strong 2A proponent, Army Veteran. I earned my writing chops as a military journalist, continuing on to complete my BA at UMD in Communication, before working on political campaigns, and working with firearm regulations. When I’m not bending someone’s ear about the encroachment on our individual rights, I can usually be found at the range, or in my shop pretending to be a hobbyist blacksmith.

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  • Rouge1 June 4, 2023, 2:11 pm

    The bet is the more gun restrictions the higher the homicide rate. Or more guns less crime.

  • Tyler Kent June 2, 2023, 10:07 am

    So, um, what was the bet?

  • paul I'll call you what I want/1st Amendment May 30, 2023, 12:43 pm

    COM’ON you know they will twist something into a positive stat! When you get people hiding in their houses and the only info they get is what they see on the idiot box…………….they will believe it…..

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