John Lott Jr. dispels mass shooting myths

By Neal McNamara | June 16, 2014

John Lott Jr. takes on Alan Dershowitz on gun control 

After weeks where it seemed like a new mass shooting happened daily, from UC Santa Barbara to Las Vegas to Seattle Pacific University, David Boze spoke to president of the Crime Prevention Research Center John Lott Jr. about a surprising trend in shootings – they’re not going up.

Some people are saying mass shootings “are an epidemic – is this correct?” Boze asked.

“Up through last year, the rates are fairly flat. The data from the FBI shows there hasn’t been a huge increase” in shootings, Lott told Boze.

LISTEN: DAVID BOZE INTERVIEWS GUN CRIME EXPERT JOHN LOTT JR.

Lott is the author of celebrated works on gun crime, including “More Guns, Less Crime,” and “The Bias Against Guns.”

One chilling commonality between mass shootings – from Sandy Hook to Seattle Pacific University – Lott found: that every single shooter has taken the time to carefully plan their attack, and they’re attacking places that are generally unguarded by police or anyone with access to a gun.

“Obviously, these guys know where they can go and attack where they’re not going to be stopped,” Lott said.

Frighteningly, the shooter in Santa Barbara had written about wanting to attack the annual “Deltopia” party, which occurs along Del Playa Drive near the University of California Santa Barbara campus and attracts thousands of students. But the shooter decided not to attack Deltopia because he determined there would be too many police there, wrote in a diary.

“It’s not just U.S. killers, either,” Lott told Boze. “The Canadian killer last week, he had a Facebook page where he was putting up notes about gun-free zones. One was a comic that depicted a defenseless victim pleading with a man with a gun, with the caption, ‘Wait there’s a gun ban, we passed a law.’”

Boze refuses to use the names of any mass shooters on his show so that he does not further promote the killers’ crimes. Boze asked John Lott Jr. if the media should adopt that policy, or if the fame shooters gain is just the cost of a free press.

“They want to commit suicide, but in a way that people will know they were here,” Lott said. “How do you take away that? Well, you stop them quickly.”

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