Restoration PAC | First Right podcast, episode 63 | John Lott Jr.
Doug talks to John Lott Jr., founder and president of the Crime Prevention Research Center.
Doug Truax: Welcome to the First Right podcast. Your weekly conservative news show brought to you by Restoration PAC. I'm Doug Truax, founder, and CEO of Restoration PAC. Today. We're blessed to have a first-time guest on John Lott Jr. Best known for his book. More guns, less crime. He's the guy that's used hard data over the years to really knock down liberal narratives. And he's still doing it because the liberals like Joe Biden are still attacking guns. So it's really great to have John to talk about this and this in this time that we're in. me to the show, John!
John Lott Jr.: Thanks for having me on.
Doug Truax: So you've got this incredible background on the gun issue, and this is just one of those narratives that, you know, in as conservatives it's, it becomes our opinion at this point, it's almost fact that the liberals take facts and just throw them out the window in support of their narratives. And it feels like the gun issue was the first one that went down this path. Is that kinda how you see it or what's, what's your history on, on how you view their take on guns?
John Lott Jr.: Well, I mean, for decades, if you look at surveys, the one issue that's most divided liberals and conservatives has, has been gun control. I think if anything, that's just become exasperated. Even further recently, there were polls that came out at the end of last year that showed that while support for gun control was falling overall. And following among, I mean, it was already low for Republicans, but falling among independents, it was actually still rising for Democrats. You'd have something like 94% of Democrats want to have stricter gun control. And also he would notice just how extreme a lot of the claims were go. So you'd have 40% of Democrats would support a complete ban on the private ownership of handguns. Obviously it'd be talking about something around 80% or so that would support a ban on so-called assault weapons. Of course, Biden would include any type of semi-automatic gun as an assault semi automatic gun as a weapon.
And some of his recent statements and 85% of handguns sold in the United States are semi-automatic guns. So, you know, it's, you look at something like surveys on, on gun registry. You have like a two to one support among Democrats for a national gun registry, two to one opposition to it among Republicans. But what's interesting is, is that the Republicans oppose the national registry because they think it would lead to eventual confiscation of all guns and by similar percentages, the reason why the Democrats supported national registry is because they believe it will eventually lead to confiscation of all guns. So, you know, it's, you know, the question is to some extent, why is there such a dichotomy there? I think there are a couple of reasons for it, but the most basic one is just who do you trust to make decisions? So I suppose kind of the analogy I could make is two views on healthcare.
When that is, you know, Democrats don't trust individuals to go and determine what's going to be covered by their health care. You know, with Obamacare, the only decisions you had was the size of the deductible that you were allowed. Basically Republicans support a much broader array of choices for individuals to make. And, and the point is is that if you don't even believe people can properly choose what health insurance that they're going to get, are you going to rust them with web? And I think that's kind of the ultimate decision on whether you trust individuals to make decisions or not.
Doug Truax: I was wondering too about all these labels they put on there, what's up with this ghost gun thing that Biden was talking about. I mean like this for most people, like, is this some new category that we've got to deal with now?
John Lott Jr.: Well, I mean, ghost guns are privately built guns. People in north America have had privately built guns since before there was a country. The type of people who normally do that are kind of engineer types, who like to take around with different things with Biden left out in his discussion was that, you know, it's already, there are already many laws that deal with ghost guns. One of the laws is that if you make a gun and transferred or sell it to somebody else, it's a felony punishable by five years in prison. So, you know, the types of criminals that might have guns, and it's extremely rare, aren't the type who go and are building their own gun. They'd go and obtain it from somebody else. But, you know, I think there are a couple of points to make here. One is by once when he talks about violent crime, his entire focus is on guns. And you know, the problem is, is that over 92% of violent crime has absolutely nothing to do with, if you want to go and reduce gun violence, it's the same way you reduce this huge percentage of violent crime, which has been increasing. And that as you make it riskier for criminals to go on committed crimes, you increase arrest rates, conviction, rates, prison, sentence, legs, and that's not been the approach that Biden has taken.
Doug Truax: And so now you've got this spilling out into the swanky neighborhoods. You know what, what's the, what's your take on what's going on in, in those situations?
John Lott Jr.: Well, we just look through some numbers for Los Angeles county where over 37 months from January, 2019 to January, 2022, we looked at where the crimes were occurring by zip code in Los Angeles county. We linked it with the census data to get information on like immediate housing prices and the different zip codes or racial breakdowns or income. And it's really startling to see how the share of crimes has changed over just those 37 months. You see big increases in crime and in areas where you have high housing prices, like over $2 million for the median price. At the same time, the sheriff primes biomed crimes in four areas has, has fallen, you know, and property crimes like car theft and shoplifting has increased dramatically in the predominantly white, heavily heavy high-income areas have fallen. And the other, I think part of what's going on is you've had big changes in how California and Los Angeles approach CRI they made it so that it's not as risky for criminals to go and commit crime.
And that I think explains why violent crime has been going up, but my own guests and more work needs to be done on this is that that drop and risk as pretty much occurred all over the place. But it used to be a lot riskier for criminals to go and commit crime in, you know, high income wealthy areas. And, and, and if it falls dramatically, it's fallen dramatically, even more in, in these, in those areas where it was particularly risky. So now criminals are, are moving out of the areas, which are kind of their home turf and to other areas.
Doug Truax: So let's go back to this other issue too. So if this is such a issue for them, that this crime is going up and they're coming, why would they come out against guns even more now with crime, such an issue? It just seems so counterintuitive. We've got an election coming up, or maybe it's just a dumb thing that they're doing, but what's your take on why the Democrats would go down that path to,
John Lott Jr.: Well, I think they, they don't want to blame their policies. So they have to blame some guns, an easy scapegoat, or they think it is. But you know, the irony is at the same time, they've made it very difficult for law enforcement to go and do its job. They want to make it difficult for private citizens to be able to go and protect themselves. And I think, you know, people, the reason why people have been buying a lot more guns. So for the last couple of years is because they've seen violent crime go up, they've seen violent crime go up in their neighborhoods and they are worried that people aren't acting to protect. And so they've realized that ultimately protecting themselves and their family depends on their own app. And so look, the types of rules that Biden wants to put forward, really aren't going to do anything to help solve crime, take something like the so-called ghost guns privately made gun regulations that he wants to have.
He wants to have serial numbers on essentially all the different parts of, you know, before it was the firing mechanism and the mechanism that took a magazine that had to have serial numbers on them. But now, basically everything you could break a gun down into is going to have a serial number on it. And I think that's partly the point. They want to have the zero tolerance policy for any paperwork, mistakes, no matter how trivial, you know, they'll look at your paperwork over the last 15 years, whatever. And if they find something they're going to click out of business, just one mistake. Well, you know, having to keep track of what are all the different serial numbers for all the different parts of a gun. If you move a barrel from one gun to another, you're going to have to redo all the paperwork. They just want to try to make it more difficult for them to be in business.
Just be one more mistake that might be possible for them to make, but serial numbers on crimes don't really work. I mean, maybe in the TV cop shows who something that does, but in the real world, you know, in theory, if a criminal leaves a gun at a crime scene and it has a serial number on it, and the criminal obtained the gun legally through some, you know, licensed dealer, then you could go and trace it back to the criminal and find out who committed the crime. There's big problems with that. One crime guns are very rarely left. The few times that crime guns have been left at the scene, the criminal is usually killed or seriously wounded. So you got them anyway. And the couple of times where they're not killed or seriously wounded the gun, isn't traceable back to the person who committed the crime because they didn't legally buy the gun through a licensed dealer.
They got it through some black market or they got it from a drug dealer someplace. And so, you know, the reason why you see it on like TV shows like law and order and what have you. And then they usually bring in things like gun registry, which is even a step further is, you know, they got a half hour to solve crime. And so they go and bring it in and just say, well, you know, this solves a crime, but you look at even registration and licensing. There are plenty of places in the United States or a number of many way that have had registration licensing. And yet time after time, therefore could admit that they can't identify a single crime that they been able to solve. As a result of registration licensing, Y said, registration licensing since 1960, it's an island state. You would think it would be an ideal place to be able to go and use that type of system. But yet they can't point to cases that they've been able to solve. So,
Doug Truax: And just the, the government overreach all the time. And to your point, they're going to try to find any reason they possibly can to get you to do whatever they want you to do. So last question for you in this, in this day and age, where we have so much government intrusion, what's your, what's your best advice you can give to, you know, patriotic Americans out there who want to protect their second amendment rights? What would you tell?
John Lott Jr.: Well, I think they need to be well-informed about the issue so that they can go and push back on a lot of the claims because the media is constantly giving this information on this type of stuff. Not only in terms of what they cover. So, you know, for example, my guess is very few people hear about mass public shootings that are stopped from people that are legally have guns with, you know, the, the media rarely covers defensive gun uses just in general. We went through media coverage last year on it, and you may find the top five newspapers in the United States may cover thousands, literally thousands, many thousands of gun crimes. At the same time, the top five largest newspapers have carried a total of 10 defensive gun uses combined between the five papers. You know, I don't blame people who may think that they're, well-informed watch CNN and MSNBC and ABC, NBC, CBS, and read, you know, major newspapers who come away with the view that, well, you know, there are lots of gun crimes, you know, essentially zero defensive gun uses, you know, what's the harm for getting rid of guns.
Let's just go and ban, you know, a few people would know that people use guns defensively about five times more frequent to stop crime. Then guns are used in the commission of crime. But you know, it's understandable to some extent if your editor, but a newspaper or something, and you have two stories that come across your desk, one case, a simple person, like a victim's been killed. And another case let's say a woman's brandished a gun. It wouldn't be a run runaway, no shots are fired, no dead body on the ground, no crime actually committed. You're the editor. Which one would you pick? Most people I would, I'm sure most people would pick the first story. Now we may hear about it from a newsworthiness standpoint, what's going to get people's attention. But if you care about it from a policy perspective, in terms of what's going to save the most lives, you know, you're going to care about both stories. And so, you know, that's just one out of many, many examples I can give you with regard to the media bias, but that's the reason why we have our website at crimeresearch.org, where we put together, you know, academic studies and other things so that people have an idea of the balance out there.
Doug Truax: Yeah, that's a good, I would encourage all of our viewers to go check out that website, great book, great points you make on all this. And I think we all just need to, like you said, at the end here, just stay super informed on this and make sure we know where they're going with it so that we can do everything we can to, to prevent them from going that way, especially in this day and age. Well, John, thanks so much for coming on. Hope to have you back and really appreciate all that you've done over the years.
John Lott Jr.: Thank you very much for sharing.
Doug Truax: All right. That's our show for today. Thanks so much for tuning in and for supporting conservative media owner. Forget that by working together and staying diligently, conservatives can bring our country back to true greatness until next week. Let's all keep praying that God will continue to bless America
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