After I posted this piece late last night, there were numerous comments and discussion points raised here on the blog, in email, and on Facebook. As I wrote on Facebook after the Charleston SC shootings, I wonder if churches, synagogues, schools, etc. should post signs like these:
Note to all crackers: more than a few members of our congregation have conceal-carry licenses. How do you rate your chances?
Here are some further thoughts:
Addendum: Even if John Lott receives no direct support from pro-gun lobbyists, I would be very surprised if he does not receive at least indirect support from them via those who do provide financial support for his work. But that wasn't the point I was trying to make with my previous post. The important point is that most of his work has stood up to near-rabid criticism.
Nearly 10 years ago, I lobbied long and hard for UWO to hire John Lott, but was unable to persuade my colleagues that he would be a valuable, interesting, stimulating colleague. He is a challenging person. I told him at the time, I knew that if he were hired by UWO, I would have to work harder than I had worked in a long time.
When I was President of the Canadian Law and Economics Association, I tried to persuade others that John Lott would be an interesting keynote speaker for one of our annual sessions. Again, I was unsuccessful. My vague recollection is that the general feeling was that he would be too controversial. My reaction was that if he's wrong, show it. Let's encourage more research in the area.
Keep in mind that I had been pro-gun-control most of my life. John Lott's work made me re-think my views on guns and gun control. And at the very least his work challenges the pollyanna-isms and nirvana fallacies of "Gee, wouldn't it be nice if the bad guys had no guns."