On Thursday, the Arizona Daily Star published “Media determined to misrepresent Trump’s remarks” (no link), and the Arizona Daily Sun published News media’s interpretation of Trump’s remark is ridiculous by John Lott, the president of the Crime Prevention Research Center and the author of “The War on Guns,” attempting to defend Donald Trump’s statement:
“Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish, the Second Amendment. By the way, and if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is. I don’t know.”
What these newspapers failed to tell you is anything about the disreputable author.
Think Progress reports, The NRA’s Favorite Gun “Academic” Is A Fraud:
John Lott is, if not the most influential, certainly the most prolific “academic” in the gun debate. He has authored weekly columns in local newspapers on the horrors of gun free zones, published widely-distributed books on the ostensible benefits of right-to-carry laws, and his newest book The War on Guns has received rave reviews by prominent conservatives, like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Newt Gingrich.
Before Lott’s flurry of activity, it was difficult to find anybody arguing that widespread gun ownership made societies safer — even the NRA was reticent to make such a bold claim, defending gun ownership with reference to the constitution, not criminology.
But Lott’s recent successes belie a far more shadowy past. A little over a decade ago, he was disgraced and his career was in tatters. Not only was Lott’s assertion that more guns leads to more safety formally repudiated by a National Research Council panel, but he had also been caught pushing studies with severe statistical errors on numerous occasions. An investigation uncovered that he had almost certainly fabricated an entire survey on defensive gun use. And a blogger revealed that Mary Rosh, an online commentator claiming to be a former student of Lott’s who would frequently post about how amazing he was, was in fact John Lott himself. He was all but excommunicated from academia.
Just like our own sock puppet John Huppenthal aka Thucky!
Despite his ethical failings, Lott rose from the ashes in the wake of the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School to once more become a prominent voice in the gun debate.
Perhaps unaware of Lott’s previous transgressions, or believing he had turned a new page by founding the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC), many in the media who were desperate for an authoritative, pro-gun academic voice seized on Lott’s credentials and provided him with a new platform. In the past few years, Lott and his organization have been cited by dozens of media outlets as an authority on gun violence statistics, including the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, LA Times, Politifact, CBS, CNN, Fox News, and many others.
Including the Arizona Daily Star and Arizona Daily Sun.
However, the media’s newfound faith in John Lott is deeply misguided. Rather than turn a new page, Lott has instead returned to his old playbook and used his platform to deceive the public. Our own multi-year investigation into Lott and his organization has uncovered a startling array of new ethical violations, ranging from the profoundly bizarre to the outright fraudulent.
Here are just five of the most troubling incidents.
Continue reading The NRA’s Favorite Gun “Academic” Is A Fraud for all of the details.
I know that there is hardly anyone still working at the newspaper, and all too frequently the editors rely on submission pieces from right-wing think tanks and front groups for filler on their editorial page (the Arizona Daily Star rarely even publishes an editorial opinion by the editors any longer). But a simple Google search would have revealed much about John Lott. Show some initiative and effort will ya?