John Lott Discusses Gun Industry Lawsuits
(Posted from http://www.NRAWinningTeam.com/)
This synopsis should not be considered a substitute for the audio interview;
The following is the NRAWinningTeam.com synopsis of an interview conducted
by NRA-Live's Ginny Simone
with University of Chicago Independent Researcher John Lott.
The entire RealAudioŽ interview is available as
" John Lott: Suits Targeting Gun Makers Are Off The Mark" in the
"Archive News" section of NRA's new. fully Multi-Media-based web site...
it is provided only for discussion purposes.
John Lott's book
The Clinton administration is at it again: skewing numbers to build
it's case against the gun industry, reinforcing it's charge that guns
used in crimes
are more likely to be bought, than stolen.
But the administration's facts and figures don't add up, according to John Lott,
one of this country's
leading experts on the gun issue.
Lott's latest Wall Street Journal editorial makes his case for why gun suits
targeting gun makers, are off the mark, a side of the story he says the media
refuses to report. Instead, it just buys the administration's line,
and prints it's press release.
John Lott is a visiting Professor at the University of Chicago and author of:
More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws
JOHN LOTT QUOTES
- "...A new study the BATF released ... they're piling in on these suits
in the sense they are trying to justify them..."
- "...I've been very disappointed by the uncritical coverage the news
media has given to the Clinton administration study. It's very weak..."
- "...They're trying to focus on the notion of 'straw purchases'... and the study
doesn't really measure that. What the study does is... if a gun has been purchased
within 3 years of it's use in a crime, then we're going to define that
as a 'straw purchase'..."
- "...Even [the BATF admits] that just because it was purchased legally,
and then 3 years later it was used in a crime, they admit that doesn't prove
that was a 'straw purchase'...".
- "...The press pretty much just uncritically repeats ... that this 'proves'
that in most of the cases, criminals are getting their guns from legal
purchases... and it's really disappointing..."
- "...One can know why [the administration is] making this type of claim, and that is
to taint the jury pool..."
- "...We have about 240 million guns in the United States. In 1996,
we had about 450,000 crimes that were committed with guns. If the average
criminal who uses a gun in the commission of a crime uses a gun just twice,
which, there's no doubt is an under-estimate
... [then] less than one-tenth of one-percent of guns are used in a crime in
any given year..."
- "...If you look at sales using the government numbers in this report,
you get similarly small estimates of even guns that are sold recently..."
- "...If you take gun sales for the 3 years preceding 1996, you find
that about one-half of one-precent of guns that were sold could have
been used in the commission of a crime, using the maximum estimate that
the government makes..."
- "...99.5% of the guns that were sold in a 3 year period were not
used in the commission of crime..."
- "...I don't think that message is getting out, and I think it's
purposefully not getting out..."
- "...What is the implied action that they want the gun makers to
take? ... They're saying the gun companies should reduce their gun sales
by that fraction of one-percent..."
- "...There are all sorts of anti-trust problems with this. They are
essentially trying to sue [the gun makers] because
they're saying these companies aren't violating the anti-trust laws! I
mean, you just can't go form an agreement across manufacturers of
a product to reduce your sales by a certain amount... "
- "...Even if you were to do that, you face the fact that
prices will rise, and that's going to encourage new entry, and how
are you going to stop the entry that's there?..."
- "...It's an amazing Catch-22 with this logic you have here..."
- "...Look at the complaint by the city of Chicago... they would have
brought a suit whether the retailers had sold ... a gun, or not sold ... a gun..."
- "...You're forcing people into a no-win situation, where the laws are
conflicting and you're going to sue them in any case. It's an amazing
nightmare. If sombody had told me about this 10 years ago, I wouldn't
have believed it would happen..."
- "...Let's say everything is true from the administration and Mayor Daley
and what-have-you. People use guns defensively about 5 times more frequently
each year than crimes are committed with guns. They want gun makers to simply
reduce the sales that they have by some percent. It's not obvious to me
why that's only going to come out of the purchases from criminals... it's
going to be reducing sales that are going to good people as well as bad people..."
- "...If it's a proportional reduction, you're actually going to increase
crime because people use guns to defend themselves at much, much higher rates
than crimes are committed with guns..."
- "...It's baffling to me why reporters don't investigate more, why
so many news articles turn out to be simply reprinting a press release that
the administration puts out..."
- "...I think that the NRA's basically the only organization that can do
something on this..."
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