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.
“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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