No guns allowed sign gun-free gun free zone
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It isn’t surprising that people will miss cases or occasionally misidentify them, though the sheer number of missing cases involving defensive gun uses is startling. The FBI was unwilling to change its figures when I pointed out my findings when I was at the Department of Justice or earlier. 

My organization, the Crime Prevention Research Center, has continued this work and spent only a few thousand dollars (compared to millions spent by the FBI) and found an additional 138 cases, plus five more that were misclassified. 

Instead of 14 of 302 active shooting attacks being stopped, we found that 157 out of 440 were stopped. That’s a rate of 35.7 percent. We found a rate of 41.3 percent for 2022 cases, and that goes up still further to 63.5 percent when gun-free zones are excluded. 

A recent piece in The Hill by gun control advocate Devin Hughes (who incorrectly calls me a “former researcher”) claims that a recent study I co-authored “made a startling statistical admission . . .  no longer finding that more guns resulted in less crime.” In fact, traditional fixed-effects estimates show statistically significant results. And with new difference-in-difference estimates there is a clear, statistically significant downward trend after right-to-carry laws are adopted, and looking at results only for individual years where there are fewer observations in any particular year would reach that conclusion.  

Most empirical studies that I’ve reviewed support my original findings. The ones that don’t overwhelmingly take the mistaken approach of looking only at later years. They implicitly assume that the states that adopted concealed handgun laws most recently are issuing more concealed handgun permits. In fact, the earlier-adopting states are still issuing more permits than the recent adopters. 

A recent survey by Arthur Berg, Gary Mauser and I shows that most researchers who have published peer-reviewed empirical research on gun control believe that eliminating gun-free zones and allowing people to carry concealed handguns would reduce both mass public shootings and murder.  

— ​​John R. Lott, Jr. in Good Guys With Guns Save Lives. Don’t Believe the Hype.

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51 COMMENTS

  1. four armed kids robbed my buddies tavern at greenview and fry last night, including 11 patrons.
    needs a door buzzer.

  2. After last night’s “Red v Blue” debate between DeSantis and Newsom, I’m pretty certain CA won’t be removing any GFZ signs any time soon. Newsom gleefully doubled down on the stupid.

    • There should have been lawsuits holding those responsible for luring gullible parents, patrons, etc. into a false sense of security with those insane criminal coddling Gun Free Zone Signs…Instead the gun was blamed, sued and lynched…

      • I’ve only heard that Newsom said neither of us will be the nominee. You have to admit that’s a good line, considering the circumstances. People don’t really vote on policy anyway. Some might vote on what they believe the policy is. When you press most people, they don’t even understand the issues. Elections are mostly a popularity contest. That means the more charismatic candidate typically wins. Newsom beats DeSantis in this category.

        • ‘That means the more charismatic candidate typically wins.’

          The parties picking candidates favor policies over charisma meaning the general election is often between two uncharismatic individuals. However the more charismatic candidate won every election since the advent of television (see Nixon vs JFK). That is up until 2020 when the basement mummy’s miraculous come from behind victory in the middle of the night with all the windows covered and the partisan observers kicked out broke the streak.

  3. As a thought experiment, suppose the whole of the territory (US) was a gun-free zone (GFZ). Then, ALL the mass shootings would be in a GFZ.

    Next, suppose half the territory was a GFZ. We would expect at least half of mass shootings to be in GFZ. Probably more than half because – presumably – criminals/crazies would gravitate to GFZs.

    Next, suppose that only a very small part of the territory is a GFZ and that these are pretty well secured with metal detectors, etc. We should reasonably expect the proportion of mass shootings to shift to the guns-PERMITTED-zones. (Seems ironic, doesn’t it?)

    We really don’t care so much WHERE the mass shootings occur. We ought to care MORE about how many (or few) victims get shot. If that number could be brought down, there would be a tangible benefit.

    If peaceable people could carry guns nearly everywhere, they could stop mass shooters, and there would be fewer victims of mass shooters. That is likely to have the desired effect.

    So, it seems the lesson is clear. The hoplophobes can have all the GFZs they want if they are willing to pay the price to secure them with metal detectors, etc. That’s fine. We will comply. And not complain (much).

    Then, where the hoplophobes don’t bother to secure the venue, we will be relatively safer because those who do carry will stop mass shooters sooner.

    • “ The hoplophobes can have all the GFZs they want if they are willing to pay the price to secure them with metal detectors, etc. That’s fine. We will comply. And not complain (much).”

      NOT.

      “Never give up, never surrender.” -Quincy Taggert

    • Do you really believe that these gun control nuts don’t know that “Gun Free Zones” are great places for mass shooters to accomplish their goal of a large body count? They know that. Their real purpose isn’t to stop mass shootings. They want to disarm the United States. That’s their real goal and these mass shootings are helping them to accomplish their goal. All of our freedoms hinge on the 2nd Amendment. Once our freedom is gone, freedom will disappear in the rest of the world. This isn’t about Liberals vs Conservatives. This is about evil vs good. I believe that we are living in the “End Days,” so I don’t think there is anything can do to stop it. All we can do is pray that we are spared from the abomination that’s coming.

  4. I propose we establish free-gun zones. Just like .gov gives free money, free transportation, and free cellular phones to immigrant-invaders, .gov should give free firearms and ammo to anyone in a free gun zone.

    Like with every other .gov plan, we’ll work the kinks out later, after we’ve spent a few tens of billions of dollars.

  5. It would be best if every law abiding American could EDC a machine pistol and a sword. A society armed to the teeth is a far more polite and safer society. Because you are forced through self preservation to hold your tongue. And not say anything Insultingly stupid.

    • And you can kill criminals immediately when you catch them in the act. Like the James Younger gang. When they tried to rob a bank. It was the civilian population who opened fire on them immediately. Killing most of the bank robbers and stopping the robbery.

      Bring back swift and immediate Justice. By cutting out the middleman. Who are the resting officers and the Justice system. Civilians with guns can deal out the Justice quite rationally and quickly.

      • Chris;
        Your first and second comments, used in combination, would reduce criminal activity enormously. Swift response (not possible by the unarmed) along with swift application of consequences would work. The assumption that the death penalty is not a deterrent is beyond ignorant! Some assailants would not deterred for sure. They’ve decided that “20 minutes of fame” is worth it. In those cases – cast the die – get out the rope – and never mention their names for all eternity. The “20 minutes of fame” is neutralized!

        • “Swift response (not possible by the unarmed) along with swift application of consequences would work”

          For a deterrent to be effective, three things must be present: belief that the deterrent is capable; the deterrent is certain; the deterrent swift.

          Crime deterrence has been declining since WW2.

          Note: I oppose the death penalty, a position I came to only after reading John Grisham’s non-fiction book, “The Innocent Man”. The book reads like a gripping crime thriller novel.

          Not only was the accused truly tried unjustly, when Grisham did the research proving the accused innocent, the anger among the judicial and LEO communities (for being proven in error) was astonishing; they wanted the injustice to covered up. The penalty for conviction would have been death. Not to even consider the hundreds of cases where the person convicted was exonerated years later.

    • “A society armed to the teeth is a far more polite and safer society.”

      Heinlein’s assumption may have been useful in his time frame, but for the last two or three decades we have seen the proliferation of criminals who don’t really care if they are killed or injured by an armed intended victim.

        • “All the more reason to be armed. If they care nothing for their own life they will end yours over nothing.”

          Of course. But, the matter at hand is Heinlein’s meme that being armed results in a more polite society overall.

          The basis of Heinlein’s trope was that the chance of being killed for being impolite would serve as an efficient deterrent. Heinlein projected rational thinking onto people of all strata of society; things have changed.

      • Sam;
        You are entirely correct. During Heinlein’s time frame (for the most part), Thinking was assumed to be rational. If you were insane enough to be a danger to others, you were not allowed to be among the general populous. We had institutions to house and care for these people and isolate them from the ones the would be a danger to. The touchy/feely people deemed this too cruel. Therefore – the people who were once locked up are are roaming freely. On MEDS. (sometimes). The lockup might seem cruel, however, how cruel is it when one of these persons who should still be locked in an “Asylum”instead of getting mind altering drugs from these “Mental Institutes” kills several others?

        • “The lockup might seem cruel, however, how cruel is it when one of these persons who should still be locked in an “Asylum”instead of getting mind altering drugs from these “Mental Institutes” kills several others?”

          I think the accepted answer is that the circumstance is simply the price of the privilege of living in the US.

  6. As I have said for many decades, Gun free zones equals Target rich environments.

    To quote and old song from the Sixty’s, “When will we ever learn.”

    • Closer to his home of being a researcher, Lott should be the chair of any CDC study on “epidemic gun violence”. Let the truth shine…

  7. Gun Free Zones are part of the Anti Gun strategy for civilian disarmament.
    They understood that the creation of them would lead to mass casualty events in them which they could then use to keep pushing for more laws and eventually destroy the 2A.
    Repeal them, allow law abiding people to carry and watch the mass shooter events go away.

    • Well, TommyGNR, I’m glad at least some one on this site see’s what’s really going on. Too many people think that this all just a joke or a right-wing conspiracy.

  8. gun free zones, defined:

    gun (gŭn) free (frē) zone (zōn)

    * Trap in which people prey congregate and are falsely promised safety by a make believe force field of a ‘No Guns’ prohibition.

    * A place where people prey are disarmed and not permitted self-defense with firearms.

    * Hunting grounds for predator criminals where defenseless people prey is guaranteed by law.

    * Place where existing laws against violent crimes do not work to prevent violent crimes the laws are touted to be able to prevent.

    * Places designed to attract violent mentally ill predators and killers.

    * Places where police forces cease to operate to protect before the fact of a violent crime as they are touted to be able to do by politicians.

    * Places politicians and anti-gun groups/people lie to the public about by touting them as being for ‘safety’ thus giving people a ‘false sense of safety’ so they can be defenseless prey guaranteed by law to be available to mentally ill killers and other predator criminals.

  9. From Lott’s article:
    “There’s a good reason that air marshals don’t wear uniforms on planes. By being inconspicuous, they prevent attackers from having a tactical advantage.”

    Yesterday, listened to a former Air Marshal on the radio. Her claim was/is that all, all, the AirMarshals not part of management are deployed along our southern border as admin assistants to ICE; there are no AirMarshals on airplanes any more.

    • The plan has been to flood the country with illegals for decades now. We finally reached the point where they said screw it, we’re really going to go for it in case we don’t get another chance for awhile. Alejandro Mayorkas proposed that we grant amnesty for the “12 million” illegal immigrants here. 12 million. It was a lie when they were saying 12 million were here a decade ago.

      Yale conducted a study over five years ago that estimated the number to be over 22 million, and as high as 29 million. It’s well over 30 million now, and rising every day. What’s the population of your town? What’s the budget? Do you enjoy your federal tax dollars being spent on this?

      They have to lie about everything. If they were honest, no one would ever support them. The other lie they’ve told over the past few decades is that this would make us richer because we can import poor people to clean our toilets, toil on our farms, and apparently do the work we’re to good to do for ourselves. If that were true, then wouldn’t every single community be begging to import more illegals to their towns? Ask New York, Chicago, or even Martha’s Vineyard how true that is. It’s all a lie.

      the annual cost just to care for and house the known gotaways and illegal aliens who have been released into the country under Mayorkas’ leadership could cost as much as an astounding $451 billion.
      https://homeland.house.gov/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/Phase4Report.pdf

      • Saw imagery yesterday of a BNSF train load of aspirants headed north through Mexico.

        BNSF Railroad = Berkshire Hathaway = Warren Buffet. Bringing in new taxpayer-funded customers/democrat voters by the trainload, he is.

        Then there’s Geico, beneficiary of mandatory insurance laws…

        • When they said it would make us richer, they were sneakily only referring to themselves, the elites. “For the little guy” Democrats cheered and begged for more.

        • IIRC – FL passed mandatory medical malpractice laws. “When every doctor is in the pool, rates will come down.” Rates tripled.

          Worked so well, they passed mandatory auto insurance. “When every driver is in the pool, rates will come down.” Not hardly.

          Then come Obamacare. “When everybody is in the pool, rates will come down.”

          Not.

          Knew a person in the earliest 70s that said “the mafia” was buying up all the insurance companies. She predicted that the time would come when everyone would have to buy health insurance, young or old, sick or not.

        • Joe Biden and whoever is really running our present government are doing everything they can to destroy this country and the open border is just part of their plan.

    • I haven’t noticed an Air Marshal on a flight in a few years. You can usually tell who they are if you are paying attention. I fly around 150 segments a year, and the other Feds always stand out like a sore thumb.

  10. Gun free zones sound nice on paper. Problem is how does it get enforced. For some reason those with evil or criminal intent never seem to care about such laws/restrictions. At which time the sentiment is useless. Easy meat for a predator.
    The majority of us out here who would choose to carry legally have no desire to ever have to fire a shot in anger or in fear. However, just as many people have other tools for emergencies, firearms are a part of the emergency tool kit. A first aid kit is of little use if it’s sitting on the shelf back at the house. A spare tire is of little use sitting in the garage. A fire extinguisher is of no use sitting on the store shelf. A firearm is of little use if it’s unloaded and locked away in the trunk of your car or in the safe. As always, yes, call the professionals when need arises. But you should always be prepared and able to act in any situation until those professionals can arrive.
    Run away, hide, improvise a weapon if you must/choose to do so. I’m too old to run and too worn down to fight. And refuse to be a compliant victim. So, regardless of signage, I will carry my concealed weapon and deal with any consequences should they arise. If the worst happens I will at least know I did what I could to protect myself, my lover ones and any other potential victims. And not have to live with the knowledge I wouldn’t or couldn’t do the minimum to help when I could have.

    • oldmaninAL, you really don’t get it, do you? “Gun Free Zones” are part of their plan. The Plan isn’t to stop mass shootings. The plan is to increase mass shootings in order to disarm this country. Common sense will prove that’s what’s going on. Use your common sense, man.

  11. A “Gun Free Zone” is a TARGET RICH ENVIRONMENT! Most “mass shootings” occur in “Gun Free Zones”.

    • Really C̶a̶p̶t̶a̶i̶n̶ ̶O̶b̶v̶i̶o̶u̶s̶ Walter?

      😂

      dacian would tell us most mass shootings happen in his home planet capital city Capitalvania.

      • .40, I’m still trying to find out where this Capitalvania is?
        And yeah, really, most “mass shootings” occur in “gun free zones.” You did not know that?

  12. Researcher John Lott falsely claims that two-thirds of peer-reviewed literature shows concealed carry laws reduce crime.
    Lott’s false claim relies on obsolete work and studies in which right-to-carry (RTC) laws are not the variables of interest.
    Most studies with a national scope published since 2005 find that RTC laws increase crime, particularly aggravated assaults. In short, more guns in public means more crime.

    https://www.gvpedia.org/gun-myths/more-guns-mean-less-crime/

  13. @Seentoomuch
    “Joe Biden and whoever is really running our present government are doing everything they can to destroy this country and the open border is just part of their plan.”

    True, dat.

  14. We have reached a point in this country where the so-called educated of our society are really the indoctrinated. They are the naive useful tools being used by our enemies to destroy this country.

  15. I had to read thru the comments to be sure that my ‘epiphany’ regarding GFZs hadn’t dawned on anyone else 😉 several folks sorta hinted around it but here is the real deal: GFZs stop shootings, mass (multiple victims) or limited (‘only’ a few victims) and ‘gun crimes’ in general just as well as speed limit signs stop speeders.

    • “here is the real deal: GFZs stop shootings, […] just as well as speed limit signs stop speeders”

      GFZs *attract* mass (aka spree shooters). Do speed limit signs attract speeders?

  16. Gun Free zones? OK, but think who will respect the law. The law abiding citizen or the crook? What I would advise is a intensive training for those who are allowed to carry.

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