On Friday, 27 February, 2015, John Lott gave testimony at the Wyoming legislature, which is considering eliminating many gun free zones. Dr. Lott’s testimony was so impressive, that Wyoming Public Television invited him on Capitol Outlook Week. The video has been posted on YouTube. Everyone who is interested in public mass shootings and concealed carry should see this video. Dr. Lott spend considerable time explaining how people who are carrying concealed complicate the plans of mass shooters.
John Lott covers the intense planning done by these shooters, and how many documented that they were clearly considering whether or not their target was a gun free zone. He states that six months is a short time for the people who plan out these attacks.
He covers some of the motivations for the mass shooters. The Newtown shooter, for example, graphed out the amount of news coverage that resulted compared to the amount of people killed. He hoped to top the number killed in the Norwegian mass shooting by Anders Behring Breivik. Breivik killed 69 people in his mass shooting, and 8 more in a bombing two hours previous to the shooting.
What the shooters want is publicity. They have decided to commit suicide, but they want to go out with a bang, and they want the world to know of them and their death. In order to gain the attention that the media is so ready to give to them, they attempt to kill as many people as possible.
Dr. Lott does not mention that this is a subset of the “copycat effect” which is well known academically. Clayton Cramer actually won a prize for writing about this effect. His essay was about the ethics of the media covering these events. It is not credible that the media does not know of it. But, cynically, they opt for ratings over saving lives.
Dr. Lott talks about the experience of Ronald Nobel, the head of Interpol, and how he came to believe that mass shooters, particularly terrorists, cannot be stopped with gun free zones. From abcnews.go.com:
“Societies have to think about how they’re going to approach the problem,” Noble said. “One is to say we want an armed citizenry; you can see the reason for that. Another is to say the enclaves are so secure that in order to get into the soft target you’re going to have to pass through extraordinary security.”
I was impressed with Dr. Lott’s understanding of the issue and his mastery of the facts. The interviewer notes, at one point, that in the testimony in the legislature, Dr. Lott seemed to be the only one who was testifying without emotion.
While the video runs to a little less than 12 minutes, if you are interested in the issues involved with mass shootings, it is 12 minutes well spent.
©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included. Link to Gun Watch