Brady/HCI's personal destruction campaign against John Lott knows no bounds

The irony is almost beyond words.

After exhaustive but failed attempts to convince campus officials that director Michael Moore's "Bowling for Columbine" film - which is under investigation for rules violations in association with his Academy Award entry - did not belong on campus television, the Second Amendment Club at Ohio University decided to promote an event on campus to ensure that the truth had it's say as well.

The group invited economist John Lott to speak on campus, and Lott accepted. Ohioans For Concealed Carry agreed to sponsor the event, which will occur on Monday, September 22 at 6:00 p.m.

Apparently there are a few people with free time on their hands at The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence (formerly Handguns Control, Inc.) these days, because soon after the Club and OFCC began publicizing the event, Club President Curt Winzenreid received a most ironic email from Brady/HCI communications director Peter Hamm, entitled "concerns about your planned speaker Monday".

In the letter, Hamm engages in baseless personal, ad hominem attacks on Lott's character, and then uses Stanford professor John J. Donohue III to try and call Lott's research into question. OFCC supporters may remember how Donohue was caught telling a lie in a Columbus Dispatch letter to the editor a few months ago.

As we read Hamm's attack letter, a few questions kept popping up:

• If Brady/HCI is so concerned about questions on academic study methodologies, why are they using John Donohue (a proven liar, who can't find a link between CCW and crime reduction, but claims to have found a crime decrease linked to abortion on demand) to prop up their case?

• If Brady/HCI is so concerned about character flaws, why aren't they joining the investigation into Michael Moore's suspected Academy Awards rule-breaking? Why aren't they holding him to task for the many falsehoods presented in his film?

• Is the only thing Brady/HCI communications director has to do these days is follow John Lott around, trying to sabotage a book promo tour?

Click on the "Read More..." link below to read the Brady/HCI attack letter. Keep these questions in mind as you read.

-----Original Message-----
From: Peter Hamm [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Wednesday, September 17, 2003 2:41 PM
To: Curt Winzenreid
Subject: concerns about your planned speaker Monday.

Greetings - thanks for taking a moment to read this. You have a speaker
scheduled for Monday that I think you should know more about.

The NRA has long used John Lott's work, "More Guns, Less Crime" to push
for enactment of concealed handgun laws (CCW) that force police to let almost anyone carry a concealed handgun in public. But as more scholarly researchers examine Lott's work, serious questions about Lott's findings, and even his personal credibility, are emerging.

Exhaustive New Study Directly Refutes Lott's "Research"

Professor John Donohue of Stanford has recently completed an exhaustive
new study that examined crime data across the country - updating the
research that John Lott claimed showed concealed handgun laws reduce
crime. Professor Donohue's study, published by the Brookings Institute,
directly refutes Lott's findings and demonstrates that the concealed
handgun laws (CCW) pushed by Lott and the NRA most likely caused more
crime rather than the reduction in crime claimed by Lott. While John Lott's study covered only a short period of time, during which urban crime was already rising, Professor Donohue studied the longer impact of CCW laws. Professor Donohue joins a long list of respected scholars who
have debunked Lott's study as flawed and misleading.

Lott Co-Author Admits To Gaping Flaws in Study

Professor David Mustard, the co-author of Lott's study, has conceded that there were serious flaws in their study - flaws that seriously undermine the conclusions. Mustard was deposed under oath in the Ohio concealed handgun case Klein v. Leis. Mustard admitted that: 1) the
study "omitted variables" which could explain that changes in the crime
rate are due to reasons other than changes in CCW laws, and 2) the study did not account for many of the major factors that Mustard believes affect crime including crack cocaine, wealth, drugs and alcohol use, and police practices such as community policing. These serious flaws
completely undermine Lott's findings.

Lott Claims Computer Ate His Controversial CCW Survey

In his published research analysis, John Lott has claimed that a 1997 survey he conducted found that concealed handguns deterred crime without being fired an astoundingly high 98% of the time. That claim allowed Lott to explain away the fact that extremely few self-defense uses of
handguns are ever reported. But when scholars began questioning his
survey results, Lott began a series of evasions that culminated in the claim that his computer had crashed and he had "lost" all the data. The University of Chicago, where Lott claims he conducted the study, has no record of it being conducted so Lott began claiming that he funded it
himself (and kept no records) and that he used students to make the survey calls (though no students have been identified who participated). Indeed, no records of the survey exist at all. Lott is now facing
serious questions about whether he fabricated the entire survey - raising serious questions about his ethics and credibility.

Lott Caught Posing as a Student to Praise Himself and His Work

Lott has recently confessed that to counter growing skepticism from
researchers examining his data, he repeatedly posed as a fictitious
former student of himself named "Mary Rosh" to praise and defend himself
in online forums and debates with researchers. Lott has been doing this
since 1999 but was caught when an internet sleuth was curious about "Mary's" extreme defense of Lott and traced the "Mary Rosh" identity back to John Lott's own computer. What else has Lott been fabricating?

Lott Uses Fictitious Name to Push His Book On

John Lott has gone so far as to post a fake glowing review of his book, "More Guns Less Crime," on, using his phony "Mary Rosh" identity. (Lott now claims he let his young son use his computer to post the review). The fake review praises both Lott himself and his book. has now pulled the Mary Rosh review, but this is part of what
it said:

"SAVE YOUR LIFE, READ THIS BOOK -- GREAT BUY!!!! If you want to learn
about what can stop crime ... this is the book to get. It was very interesting reading and Lott writes very well. He explains things in an understandable commonsense way. I have loaned out my copy a dozen times
and while it may have taken some effort to get people started on the book, once they read it no one was disappointed. If you want an emotional book, this is not the book for you. If you want a ... book
that will explain the facts in a straightforward and clear way, this is
the book to get. This is by far the largest most comprehensive study on
crime, let alone on gun control."

Mary Rosh

For a full review of "Mary Rosh" statements praising and defending John Lott against his many academic critics, see the following link - remember Mary Rosh is John Lott.

Experts Challenge Lott's Research

Numerous experts have published peer-reviewed articles exposing flaws in
Lott's research. Professors at John Hopkins School of Public Health, Harvard School of Public Health, University of Chicago, Georgetown, Emory, Carnegie-Mellon University, Northwestern, Stanford and Yale have written articles challenging Lott's research and conclusions.

"We and others find numerous errors in Lott and Mustard's study which bias their findings, and little support for their conclusions that RTC [Right To Carry] laws reduce violent crime."
(Daniel Webster, Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research)

"One would have expected that, given the problems with Lott's model, it would have gone back to the drawing board. ... [Lott] deserves failing marks for pressing policy makers to use his results despite the
substantial questions that have been raised about his research. Lott's results do not provide credible evidence one way or the other."
(David Hemenway, Harvard School of Public Health in the New England Journal of Medicine)

"If somebody had to say which way is the evidence stronger, I'd say that it's probably stronger that the [CCW] laws are increasing crime, rather than decreasing crime" said Professor John Donohue of Stanford who
described Lott's work as "deeply flawed" and "misguided." (Professor John Donohue, Stanford, in the Los Angeles Times)

"Shall issue laws have resulted, if anything, in an increase in adult homicide rates."
(Professor Jens Ludwig, Georgetown University)

Even gun advocate Gary Kleck found Lott's concealed carry findings implausible, and said "More likely, the declines in crime coinciding with relaxation of carry laws were largely attributable to other factors
not controlled in the Lott and Mustard analysis"

Lott's Other Wacky Ideas:

Arm Teachers to Stop School Shootings

In response to a wave of school shootings in the late 1990's, Lott proposed arming teachers - thereby putting loaded guns into many classrooms.. While we have great respect for the nation's teachers, the
inevitable consequence of Lott's proposal would be terrifying instances of lost or stolen guns circulating in our schools. Imagine a new "prank" in school, "lets steal the teacher's gun."

Adding Minorities and Women to Police Causes Crime to Increase

Lott claims that violent crime goes up when police departments increase diversity by adding women and African American men to the police force. Lott claims violent crime increases by seven percent for every one
percent increase in African American police officers. Ironically, Lott believes crime goes down by seven percent if untrained private citizens, mostly white men, walk around with hidden handguns due to weak CCW laws.
("Subject to Debate," Police Executive Research Forum, May 1998)

Wealthy Criminals Deserve Preferential Legal Treatment

Lott has written that wealthy people should be able to "buy justice" and that enriching criminals can be good for the economy. "Preventing wealthy people from influencing the opinion of the court in their favor will lead to expected punishments that are too large for the wealthy..."
writes Lott..."allowing wealthy people to do what on first glance may seem like 'subverting' the legal system can be efficient." Furthermore, Lott writes, "[The] nation's wealth [increases] if a crime is not
deterred when the benefit to the criminal of a particular crime is greater than the total social cost of that crime."
("Should the Wealthy Be Able to Buy Justice?" Journal of Political
Economy, December 1987.)

Peter Hamm
Communications Director
The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
United with the Million Mom March

Related Stories:
Letter to the Editor: Statistics show concealed carry won’t reduce crime (Donohue caught in lie)

Letter to the editor: Stanford University professor skews gun-crime data

Brookings Institution tries to revive poorly researched CCW/Crime study(our original coverage, investigation "Who Is John J. Donohue III?)

For more on the manipulations John J. Donohue III is capable of, click here to read a statement from Florenz Plassmann and John Whitley, published on June 9, 2003, entitled "Stanford Law Review Debate ".

Click here to visit Lott's official website, in which he painstakenly responds to these baseless attacks with, yet again, more truth.

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