Letter to the Editor from John Lott: ''The Crash That Killed My Data''
After the firing of (former) Emory professor Michael Bellesiles for having falsified research in his anti-gun book, "Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture", after Columbia University retracted their awarding of the Bancroft Prize to him for the book, and after having his book pulled from publication, the anti-gunner's needed to try and hit the good guys back.
They thought they had their man in Dr. John Lott, when the Washington Post printed a report last month that he had posted comments about his book to a website under a pseudonym. The attackers further tried to make hay of the fact that Lott had lost much of the research he used in writing his first book in a hard drive crash. What they could not and did not do, however, is disprove the facts concerning his research. And faulty research was the very heart of the Bellesiles scandal.
While Dr. Lott is far from the only researcher that has come to the conclusion that more guns in the hands of law-abiding Americans equals less crime, he is perhaps the most well known. No matter how well known, it is important that ALL researcher's works be weighed on merit alone.
Not only has Lott responded to this personal attack, but many others have come to his defense as well. Yet until now, the Post refused to print any response. Finally, they have.