Google Groups no longer supports new Usenet posts or subscriptions. Historical content remains viewable.
Dismiss

John Lott-

36 views
Skip to first unread message

Stephen J. Fromm

unread,
Jan 14, 2003, 5:01:49 PM1/14/03
to

Tim Lambert

unread,
Jan 17, 2003, 1:23:45 AM1/17/03
to
On Tue, 14 Jan 2003 14:01:49 +0000, Stephen J. Fromm wrote:

I think he did.

Tim

David Lloyd-Jones

unread,
Jan 17, 2003, 8:52:30 AM1/17/03
to

I think it's pretty clear that he did -- and congratulations to you,
Tim, on your part in exposing the creep.

The interesting bit of by-play in all of this is the tendency of some
gun nuts to say Hey, Lott is just the victim of lefties trying to get
back at us for the Bellesiles affair.

Me, I'm one lefty that's covered: I sent Clayton Cramer a
congratulations and Bellesiles-should-be-boiled-in-oil note at the time
of *his* good work.

Cheers,

-dlj.


Grinch

unread,
Jan 17, 2003, 10:55:40 AM1/17/03
to
On Fri, 17 Jan 2003 13:52:30 GMT, David Lloyd-Jones <d...@rogers.com>
wrote:

>Tim Lambert wrote:
>> On Tue, 14 Jan 2003 14:01:49 +0000, Stephen J. Fromm wrote:
>>>Did John Lott commit academic fraud?
>>>http://markarkleiman.blogspot.com/2003_01_01_markarkleiman_archive.html#90181328

Blogs are nice and enjoyable and sometimes informative, but also
superficial and opinionated to the point of making the tabloids look
researched and judicious.

Anyhow, from which:

"Glenn makes the point that the claim in question -- that only 2% of
self-reported 'defensive gun uses' actually involve firing the weapon,
as opposed to merely brandishing it -- is quite peripheral to the
claim for which Lott is most famous: that laws permitting anyone
allowed to own a gun to get a permit to carry a concealed weapon
reduce the incidence of crime."

Quite correct.

"Fair enough. But what basis is there for believing that more
important claim?"

Oh, say, nine peer-reviewed articles in the Journal of Law and
Economics, to begin with...
http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JLE/journal/contents/v44nS2.html

If one wants to debate the merits of Lott's argument, debate them for
starters.

As to Lott's "peripheral" purported fraud, the results were readily
duplicated by Lott and others. Which is the essence of scientific work
-- putting out the results so others can duplicate them. Lott
certainly passes that test.

(Which makes harping on "fraud" here fit right into the familiar
usenet pattern of ignoring all substance to indulge in name calling).

>> I think he did.
>
>I think it's pretty clear that he did -- and congratulations to you,
>Tim, on your part in exposing the creep.
>
>The interesting bit of by-play in all of this is the tendency of some
>gun nuts to say Hey, Lott is just the victim of lefties trying to get
>back at us for the Bellesiles affair.

If others had been able to reproduce Bellesiles' data he'd still have
his job and his prize and the publisher wouldn't be killing his book.
He'd still be collecting honors.

Equating Lott to Bellesiles is assinine on its face.

susupply

unread,
Jan 17, 2003, 10:59:58 AM1/17/03
to

"Tim Lambert" <lam...@cse.unsw.edu.au> wrote in message
news:pan.2003.01.17....@cse.unsw.edu.au...

In the past you've told the group a few things you "thought" that didn't
hold up to scrutiny, and it looks like this doesn't either:

http://www.juliansanchez.com/2003_01_01_notesarch.html#90191241

<<--------------------quote--------------------------
I decided to do a little more digging on the question of Lott's survey.
University of Chicago professor William Landes was working on a paper with
Lott around the time of the crash: he confirms that Lott lost quite a bit of
data in July 1997, and emphasizes his general impression of Lott's
honesty -- though he also cannot recall any discussion of a lost survey.
There is something slightly more promising, however, from the former U of C
Press editor who worked on the first edition of More Guns, Less Crime.
Recall that Lott says he had intended to include a chapter on the survey in
the book, but opted not to do so when the data was lost. Here's what the
editor wrote me:

"I have a vague recollection of a chapter or a section or sections of a
chapter that had to be scrapped because of the computer crash, but I don't
at this stage remember the subject of it (or them). At the time, we were
talking about a variety of things John could do (e.g., including a chapter
on mass public shootings). As to my e-mail archives, there are a couple of
brief mentions in John's and my exchanges about the crash and loss of data,
though I have found nothing explicitly about the defensive use of handguns
in them (which doesn't mean anything in itself, since we were mostly talking
on the phone and there must have been all kinds of things that were lost in
the crash that we didn't discuss in the archived e-mails I still have)"

Still nothing explicit about the survey, but this does seem to confirm that
at least some chapter had to be scrapped as a result of the crash, whereas
the claim would have been falsified had no changes in the tentative plan of
the book been made as a result of the crash.
-------------------------endquote------------------------------->>

All this over a trivial part of "More Guns, Less Crime".

Stephen J. Fromm

unread,
Jan 17, 2003, 11:01:40 AM1/17/03
to
"Tim Lambert" <lam...@cse.unsw.edu.au> wrote in message news:<pan.2003.01.17....@cse.unsw.edu.au>...

My partisan disposition is to think he did, but I'm not willing to
come to that conclusion until I've looked more at the issues.

What do you know that makes you think such?

Best,

sjfromm

David Lloyd-Jones

unread,
Jan 17, 2003, 1:37:59 PM1/17/03
to
Grinch wrote:
>
> As to Lott's "peripheral" purported fraud, the results were readily
> duplicated by Lott and others. Which is the essence of scientific work
> -- putting out the results so others can duplicate them. Lott
> certainly passes that test.
>

I don't know what you mean by "peripheral" fraud, Grinch. Inventing a
survey that didn't take place seems rather more than peripheral, seems
to me, and in any event the staandard for academic work is Caesar's
wife. There ain't no periphery when it comes to getting, handling and
showing data. Anything to do with actual fact is central.

His claim, that in 98% of cases all people did was "brandish" the
weapon, has emphatically *not* been duplicated, contrary to what you
claim here -- assuming that that is what you mean by the peripheral
claim. Of the 12~18 genuine surveys floating around, none show any
percentage lower than 26%, I think it is, of weapons being fired.

In other words, not only was Lott's survey imaginary, but the numbers he
made up to go with it are wildly at variance with reality.

-dlj.

Stephen J. Fromm

unread,
Jan 17, 2003, 2:51:46 PM1/17/03
to
Grinch <oldn...@mindspring.com> wrote in message news:<uf7g2vss52hqta9vc...@4ax.com>...

> On Fri, 17 Jan 2003 13:52:30 GMT, David Lloyd-Jones <d...@rogers.com>
> wrote:
>
> >Tim Lambert wrote:
> >> On Tue, 14 Jan 2003 14:01:49 +0000, Stephen J. Fromm wrote:
> >>>Did John Lott commit academic fraud?
> >>>http://markarkleiman.blogspot.com/2003_01_01_markarkleiman_archive.html#90181328
>
> Blogs are nice and enjoyable and sometimes informative, but also
> superficial and opinionated to the point of making the tabloids look
> researched and judicious.

Nice ad hominem argument. Doesn't sound like you read MK's blog very
often.



> Anyhow, from which:
>
> "Glenn makes the point that the claim in question -- that only 2% of
> self-reported 'defensive gun uses' actually involve firing the weapon,
> as opposed to merely brandishing it -- is quite peripheral to the
> claim for which Lott is most famous: that laws permitting anyone
> allowed to own a gun to get a permit to carry a concealed weapon
> reduce the incidence of crime."
>
> Quite correct.
>
> "Fair enough. But what basis is there for believing that more
> important claim?"
>
> Oh, say, nine peer-reviewed articles in the Journal of Law and
> Economics, to begin with...
> http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JLE/journal/contents/v44nS2.html

Right. If a bunch of people peer review each other's publications,
then they *have* to be scientific.

Somehow I doubt you'd be so charitable when it come to journals in
education or environmental science. Just a hunch.



> If one wants to debate the merits of Lott's argument, debate them for
> starters.

I already did---I pointed out in an old post that independent folks
like Ehrlich (a physicist) found Lott's methodology to be sloppy, at
best.



> As to Lott's "peripheral" purported fraud, the results were readily
> duplicated by Lott and others. Which is the essence of scientific work
> -- putting out the results so others can duplicate them. Lott
> certainly passes that test.

No, many have questioned his methodology.



> (Which makes harping on "fraud" here fit right into the familiar
> usenet pattern of ignoring all substance to indulge in name calling).

There's no name calling whatsoever. If he did what people OFF usenet
are claiming he did, he'll never get another government
grant-deservedly so.



> >> I think he did.
> >
> >I think it's pretty clear that he did -- and congratulations to you,
> >Tim, on your part in exposing the creep.
> >
> >The interesting bit of by-play in all of this is the tendency of some
> >gun nuts to say Hey, Lott is just the victim of lefties trying to get
> >back at us for the Bellesiles affair.
>
> If others had been able to reproduce Bellesiles' data he'd still have
> his job and his prize and the publisher wouldn't be killing his book.
> He'd still be collecting honors.
>
> Equating Lott to Bellesiles is assinine on its face.

Really? If Lott fabricated a survey, it's just a petty crime?

Stephen J. Fromm

unread,
Jan 17, 2003, 2:55:49 PM1/17/03
to
"susupply" <susu...@mindspring.com> wrote in message news:<b098vj$ch5$1...@slb9.atl.mindspring.net>...

Maybe trivial. The so-called non-trivial part has been critiqued for
its sloppy methodology.

Clayton E. Cramer

unread,
Jan 17, 2003, 3:34:19 PM1/17/03
to
"Tim Lambert" <lam...@cse.unsw.edu.au> wrote in message news:<pan.2003.01.17....@cse.unsw.edu.au>...

This is no surprise, considering where Tim is on the gun control
issue.

At this point, there is no proof that Dr. Lott fabricated the 1997
survey. There is also no proof that the 1997 survey took place.

The sequence of events that others have brought together is certainly
a little strange, and certainly should cause some headscratching about
this question.

On the other hand, the 2002 survey (which is documented) gives
approximately the same numbers as the 1997 survey. This is evidence
that the 1997 survey could well have taken place. (Not DID but
COULD.)

I really hope that Dr. Lott manages to locate the students that did
the survey in 1997, so that we can clear this matter up. Otherwise,
this is going to be a dark cloud hanging over his head (and his work)
forever.

Keep in mind that this was one sentence out of his book. Until some
clear evidence of fraud is established, I don't think this is a valid
reason to discount the rest of his work--which while some economists
try very hard to discredit it, seems to be in the realm of which
economists do you believe.
I know just enough about statistics to know that in evaluating Lott's
work I am having to take quite a bit on faith in the people who do
know enough about statistics.

David Lloyd-Jones

unread,
Jan 17, 2003, 4:02:10 PM1/17/03
to
Clayton E. Cramer wrote:
>
> I really hope that Dr. Lott manages to locate the students that did
> the survey in 1997, so that we can clear this matter up. Otherwise,
> this is going to be a dark cloud hanging over his head (and his work)
> forever.

Clayton,

I shure hope he finds them, too. Unfortunately they may be too busy to
phone in. Didn't that whole bunch get hired by O.J. to help him find the
real killer?

> Keep in mind that this was one sentence out of his book.

And a good solid part of his talk radio and TV schtick, and his magazine
articles, over a couple of years of his moving head career.

-dlj.

Grinch

unread,
Jan 17, 2003, 5:02:25 PM1/17/03
to
On Fri, 17 Jan 2003 18:37:59 GMT, David Lloyd-Jones <d...@rogers.com>
wrote:

>Grinch wrote:


>>
>> As to Lott's "peripheral" purported fraud, the results were readily
>> duplicated by Lott and others. Which is the essence of scientific work
>> -- putting out the results so others can duplicate them. Lott
>> certainly passes that test.
>
>I don't know what you mean by "peripheral" fraud,

"Peripheral" means, as per the dictionary, "Of minor relevance or
importance". That is, the issue is of little importance to Lott's
analysis -- the discussion of which, pro and con, would remain
unchanged without it.

(And it was the cited critic of Lott who used the word, you will
note.)

But you are correct this far: since the issue is "quite peripheral" --
i.e., of quite minor relevance -- then even if one assumes the very
worst that is charged about it is true (as you are happy to do) it is
hard to see how it could be any kind of "fraud", which by the essence
of the word indicates something substantive and meaningful.

"We have a heinous deceit here that doesn't matter! A fraud that is
irrelevant to substance!!"

BTW, as to the merits of the real argument I don't know or have a
position, or particularly care. I have no dog in that fight. But in my
old age I am getting really cranky and annoyed by people who rush into
name calling "liar! thief! resign you scum!" supported only by an
underdose of facts and perspective, and an overdose of
self-rightouesness. Too long reading usenet and the NY Times editorial
pages, perhaps.

>Grinch. Inventing a
>survey that didn't take place seems rather more than peripheral,

You also deleted the word "purported" -- as in "put forth as true on
inconclusive grounds" -- in your rush to name calling.

That is, you are happy to assume guilt while conveniently ignoring
the witnesses who say they recall Lott losing a survey at the time,
and the replication of the data, and so on.

>to me, and in any event the staandard for academic work is Caesar's
>wife. There ain't no periphery when it comes to getting, handling and
>showing data. Anything to do with actual fact is central.

Which is why scientific method calls for making data public, so others
can examine and seek to replicate it -- exactly as Lott did.

Beyond that it's "Caesar's wife" my ass. Scientists are just as much
lying, selfish, manipulators as any other group of people. At least.
But that doesn't reduce the value of their published, reproducible
analysis one bit more than the value of Shakespeare's plays will be
reduced when we find out he was a molester of children and sheep. If
the advance of science depended on scientists having the character of
Caesar's wife we'd all still be living in mud puddles.

To follow the logic of that blog entry....
"Here's something dubious about a little bit of Lott -- though it
is 'quite peripheral' to his main published findings and argument
'fair enough' ... I am going to assume it is fraud ... therefore, I
have no reason to give any respect to his main published findings and
argument and can dismiss them, because they come from a committer of
fraud."
... is beneath stupid. It's just name calling.

Or put it this way: the blogger can refuse to take Lott's main
findings and argument seriously because he doesn't like him -- but he
can't avoid taking seriously the people who take them seriously,
unless he wants to believe that the likes of the contributors, editors
and referees of the JofL&E have all become gun nuts. Which would just
be name calling about a peer-reviewed journal.

Lott's book has been out five years and been examined up down and
sideways -- and for all the argument about it nobody has detected a
whit of "fraud" as to its substance.

Which makes the comparison to Bellesiles assinine.

>His claim, that in 98% of cases all people did was "brandish" the
>weapon, has emphatically *not* been duplicated, contrary to what you
>claim here -- assuming that that is what you mean by the peripheral
>claim. Of the 12~18 genuine surveys floating around, none show any
>percentage lower than 26%, I think it is, of weapons being fired.

That is not my understanding. ;-)

But even if it were so it would be barely relevant to any substantive
issue.

>In other words, not only was Lott's survey imaginary, but the numbers he
>made up to go with it are wildly at variance with reality.

Let's put it this way.

If all of Bellesiles' missing data was equally peripheral to his main
findings and argument, so they continued to stand on their own as
before, and the barely relevant missing data was reproduced with equal
speed and quality as in Lott's case, then *without doubt* Bellesiles
would still have his job and his prize, his book would be going into
extra editions, and he'd still be collecting accolades.

Nobody would be accusing Bellesiles of "fraud" or of anything more
than sloppiness on a tangential point -- and nobody would be
dismissing the major substance of his work on the basis of his not
showing the character of Caesar's wife on a peripheral, tangential
point.

And I'd speculate that that "nobody" would include you.

> -dlj.
>
>

David Lloyd-Jones

unread,
Jan 17, 2003, 5:26:25 PM1/17/03
to
Grinch wrote:
>
> Which is why scientific method calls for making data public, so others
> can examine and seek to replicate it -- exactly as Lott did.

Sure. "Here's the data: 2%. It comes from my survey."

> Lott's book has been out five years and been examined up down and
> sideways -- and for all the argument about it nobody has detected a
> whit of "fraud" as to its substance.

Nobody but a few gun nuts has ever taken Lott's book seriously because
the actual experiment has been carried out on a large scale for a
century: Canada vs. The United States side by side.

> Which makes the comparison to Bellesiles assinine.

As you saw in my earlier post, I think Bellesiles should be boiled in
oil, and said so at the time it came up on the blogs in a note to Cramer
congratulating him on his excellent work.

The comparison is not at all asinine: they are two guys who were so sure
of their conclusions that they didn't think mere facts were needed. The
prototype of these guys was Sir Cyril Burt who just *knew* that
intelligence was normally distributed, and it was so obvious that it
wasn't worth the trouble of testing. So he just pencilled in the
invented data on his charts and published it that way. Lott, like
Bellesiles, is cut from the same cloth.

-dlj.


David Lloyd-Jones

unread,
Jan 17, 2003, 5:55:56 PM1/17/03
to
Grinch wrote:
>
> That is, you are happy to assume guilt while conveniently ignoring
> the witnesses who say they recall Lott losing a survey at the time,
> and the replication of the data, and so on.
>

Grinch,

There were no such witnesses. There were witnesses who recall, somewhat
vaguely, that well after the event Lott went around demonstratively
saying something or other about his computer having earlier crashed.

Nobody saw the dog eating his homework. Some people think he may, later,
have claimed that there had been a dog in the neighborhood.

Not only did the computer crash, but also he can't recall the names of
the students who did thousands of phone calls to get to 2,000++ people;
he can't find the work sheets; he doesn't recall the study design. Oh,
yeah, and he has no expense records for all these deductible long
distance calls...

>>His claim, that in 98% of cases all people did was "brandish" the
>>weapon, has emphatically *not* been duplicated, contrary to what you
>>claim here -- assuming that that is what you mean by the peripheral
>>claim. Of the 12~18 genuine surveys floating around, none show any
>>percentage lower than 26%, I think it is, of weapons being fired.

>That is not my understanding. ;-)

Your understanding is wrong. A survey of 1,000 people, of whom at most
130 or so have ever pulled out a gun, is not enough to say anything at
all about 2%, i.e. 2.6 people, out of that sample of a sample. (One of
the criticisms of the earlier fantasurvey was that even if it had
existed it would not have been able to prove what he had claimed it showed.)

So there you have it: Lousy research supporting research that has
vanished with an implausible thoroughness. Quack.

-dlj.


susupply

unread,
Jan 17, 2003, 6:53:14 PM1/17/03
to

"Stephen J. Fromm" <stephe...@verizon.net> wrote in message
news:b4cc5e7c.0301...@posting.google.com...

> "susupply" <susu...@mindspring.com> wrote in message
news:<b098vj$ch5$1...@slb9.atl.mindspring.net>...

> > All this over a trivial part of "More Guns, Less Crime".


>
> Maybe trivial. The so-called non-trivial part has been critiqued for
> its sloppy methodology.

So what, you yourself on this forum have been criticized for being sloppy in
your assessment of Lott's work. Remember:

From: Christopher Auld (au...@acs.ucalgary.ca)
Subject: Re: Did the Nobel Peace Prize come with a money back guarantee?
View: Complete Thread (19 articles)
Original Format
Newsgroups: sci.econ
Date: 2002-11-01 11:00:11 PST


Stephen J. Fromm <stephe...@verizon.net> wrote:

>But if you read what Ehrlich is saying, it puts Lott in an extremely
>bad light. Ehrlich alleges that "Lott neglects to tell the reader
>that all his plots are not the actual FBI data (downloadable here),
>but merely his fits to the data" and "Lott doesn't deny that he
>misleads the reader by neglecting to mention that his plots are fits
>to the data, because he can't. His graphs are in fact labelled "number
>of violent crimes" per 100,000 population and I find no statement in
>his book that the graphs are fits, rather than actual data.

This accusation is incorrect. For the most part (but not
always), Lott does plot estimates from econometric models,
but it should not be at all unclear that that is what he
is doing. It is very obvious from the text which graphs
refer to actual data and which graphs refer to model
estimates: Lott displays the regression estimates, then
refers the graphs to show them in a more easily digestible
manner than tables of numbers.

Since his book is aimed a lay audience, possibly he could
have been clearer by referring to which sets of estimates
are displayed in each graph, but nonetheless `he could have
been clearer' is not tantamount to `this is academic fraud.'
Other authors have pointed out some caveats to Lott's work
which mitigate or possibly reverse Lott's conclusions (e.g.
Mark Duggan), but the charge that Lott is deliberately
misleading readers in the manner suggested above is unfounded.

--
Chris Auld
Department of Economics
University of Calgary
au...@ucalgary.ca

susupply

unread,
Jan 17, 2003, 6:55:40 PM1/17/03
to

"Stephen J. Fromm" <stephe...@verizon.net> wrote in message
news:b4cc5e7c.03011...@posting.google.com...

> Grinch <oldn...@mindspring.com> wrote in message
news:<uf7g2vss52hqta9vc...@4ax.com>...

> > Oh, say, nine peer-reviewed articles in the Journal of Law and


> > Economics, to begin with...
> > http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JLE/journal/contents/v44nS2.html
>
> Right. If a bunch of people peer review each other's publications,
> then they *have* to be scientific.

susupply

unread,
Jan 17, 2003, 6:59:09 PM1/17/03
to

"David Lloyd-Jones" <d...@rogers.com> wrote in message
news:3E286EBB...@rogers.com...

> Clayton,
>
> I shure hope he finds them, too. Unfortunately they may be too busy to
> phone in. Didn't that whole bunch get hired by O.J. to help him find the
> real killer?

John Lott has never hidden from his critics. Usually he just eats their
lunches, as he did Ehrlich's in the Reason debate at:

http://reason.com/hod/debate1.1.shtml


David Lloyd-Jones

unread,
Jan 17, 2003, 7:36:04 PM1/17/03
to

Patrick,

I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder, because I don't see Robert
Ehlich getting taken here. What strikes me is Lott trying to bluster his
way a bunch of statistical blunders that he himself doesn't understand.

The way he got caught on the study was that he invented a number -- 2%
-- that was wildly at variance with the numbers found by a doaen or so
people who actually had done studies. One of his problems is that he
seems to think that since he doesn't understand statistics -- twice in
the blog reports he is quoted asking people why it mattered whether he
reported numbers of guns pulled per family or by individual -- since he
doesn't understand statistics, therefore nobody else will understand
when he makes something up.

Now the ugly little fact is that a lot of people do understand sampling
and reporting of statistics, and they spotted the guy for what he is, a
phoney, and apparently a not very bright one.

-dlj.

Mary Rosh

unread,
Jan 17, 2003, 8:00:26 PM1/17/03
to
stephe...@verizon.net (Stephen J. Fromm) wrote in message news:<b4cc5e7c.0301...@posting.google.com>...
> sjfromm<p>

It doesn't appear as if you all are reporting both sides of this
debate. The following was sent to me from Marie Gryphon who has most
of this up on her web site at:
http://www.mariegryphon.com/archives/003393.html#003393<p>


In a message dated 1/17/03 11:19:34 AM, mgry...@cato.org writes:
<p>
<< -----Original Message-----
From: John Lott Sent: Thursday, January 16, 2003 1:49 PM
To: Jim Henley; jul...@juliansanchez.com; Marie Gryphon
Subject: I don't know if you all got this previously
<p>
You can republish what is below if you desire. It was sent out a
couple of days ago, though I can't remember if I sent this to you.
<p>
Here is a response to some of what has been going on over the web. I
have already sent much of this information to people who have already
contacted me in person. If Eugene would like to post this on his web
site, I must ask that all the e-mail addresses and telephone numbers
be removed. If you all don't trust the leg work done by Dan Polsby on
this issue since Christmas, you can nominate someone else to go and do
it, but I don't think that it is appropriate for everyone from Lambert
on to go and harass these people.
<p>
Regnery (the publisher of my new book due the middle or end of March)
wants me not to release the results from the poll last year. They
want me to keep quite about the book until it comes out. As has been
reported previously, the survey was done with similar questions in a
very similar way to what was done earlier and the results were
essentially the same. I will check with the publisher about releasing
this data early, but it is still two months before the book is due to
be published. In the interim, I am sure that I could arrange it so
that interested parties could question the person who keep the survey
results as they came in to confirm that we only got one person who
said that they had actually fired a gun and that the rest were
brandishings.
<p>
Here are some of the things that I have done to try to establish a
record of events. 1) My wife contacted the bank that we had in
Chicago and tried to get copies of bank statements and checks from the
period of time. Unfortunately, the bank does not keep copies of
statements or checks longer than five years. (If you would like to
verify, we talked to Yvonne Macias in the book keeping department at
University National Bank.) Lindgren does not accurately report my
conversation with him about how I paid people (in that I said that I
possibly paid by check), but this information makes that point
irrelevant. 2) I asked Sam Peltzman last year about whether the
Alumni Association has the e-mail of past students. Sam, who seems to
know virtually everything that is going on at the University, told me
that they have the e-mail addresses for at most 10 percent of the
former students. 3) I had a former alumni and several time co-author,
John Whitley, placed in an ad in the Alumni magazine in the December
issue to track down the students. I don't know if the ad has appeared
but thus far I have gotten no response.
<p>
I have given out massive amounts of data to people on the guns and
other issues, and I will be happy to do so on the new survey. Data
has been given to critics as well as people who have been unwilling to
share their own data on other projects. I have given out county,
state, and city level crime data to academics at dozens of
universities, with data sets ranging from 36MB to over 300MB. I have
given out data on multiple victim public shootings as well as safe
storage laws. These different data have often been given out before
the research is published and sometimes even before it has been
accepted for publications. We are not talking about recent events or
conversations and there is a question about what is a reasonable time
period for people to keep records. There is also a question as to why
people have waited so long to ask for this additional information when
people have known about the lost data for years.
<p>
As to the claims about "apparently changing positions," I disagree. I
have told people directly (including Otis Duncan) from the beginning
that the data were lost. Op-ed pieces and other public statements
where I mention these numbers briefly usually do not lend themselves
to discussions of the sources of numbers. The fact that David Mustard
does not remember exactly when we discussed the survey 6+ years ago
does not surprise me given how long ago this was.
<p>
Unfortunately, there are many problems with Lindgren's write up. He
gives essentially uncritical acceptance of Otis Duncan's discussion of
events in 1999. Yet, while Lindgren writes that "Otis Dudley Duncan
raised questions about the 98% figure . . . after exchanges between
Lott and Duncan," Duncan's write-up in the Criminologist news letter
failed to mention any such possible discussions. In fact his
newsletter piece leaves the opposite impression as he endlessly
speculates about what I may have meant about certain statements. My
response in the Criminologist also discussed other incorrect claims by
Duncan.
<p>
As to the attribution of sources, look at the complete context of the
quote Lindgren mentions:
<p>
Polls by the Los Angeles Times, Gallup and Peter Hart Research
Associates show that there are at least 760,000, and possibly as many
as 3.6 million, defensive uses of guns per year. In 98 percent of the
cases, such polls show, people simply brandish the weapon to stop an
attack. -- August 6, 1998, Chicago Tribune and August 14, 1998,
Washington Times
<p>
References by Lindgren to things like the Linnet Myers piece in the
Chicago Tribune to provide evidence that I didn't do a survey or that
I have changed my statements over time are simply bizarre. Attached
below is an edited down version of the letter that was published by me
in the Tribune. Myers used her article to refloat claims such as my
Olin Funding, inaccurately reported exactly what the concealed handgun
research covered, and claimed that "others haven't confirmed (my)
findings." I no longer have the original letter to the editor, but as
I recall this is just a partial listing of her inaccurate statements.
The Tribune was not willing to run a longer letter, though the letter
that they ran was quite long.
<p>
As to so-called technical problems, I am have always acknowledged that
these are small samples, especially when one breaks down the
composition of those who use guns defensively. Even the largest of
the surveys have few observations in this category. The attached
e-mail that I sent to Glenn Reynolds goes into this more in depth.
<p>
"No direct evidence of survey" – discussing Lindgren's point-by-point
discussion of our conversation
<p>
1) "No funding for the project" I regularly have paid for
research myself. Sometimes large amounts of money have been spent,
but it is not uncommon for me to spend several thousand dollars. On
the paper on multiple victim public shootings, I know that one payment
that I made to Kevin, a research assistant to Landes and Posner, was
$750. I paid for the special issue of the JLE in 1999 on sentencing
myself, and the special issue and part of the conference cost me
around $30,000. I have not applied for funds from outside sources
over the years.
<p>
2) "No financial employee records" This is not unrelated to the
first point. Incidentally, I told Jim that there were "two" Chicago
students. Those students had also gotten others that they knew from
other campuses from places such as I think the University of Illinois
at Chicago circle (but I am not sure that I remember this accurately).
What I told him was that I remembered that one of the two University
of Chicago students was a senior.
<p>
3) "calling was done by the undergraduates from their own phones."
most of this next statement is correct except the point about the
"possible" use of checks. But as noted earlier this point is
irrelevant in terms of evidence.
<p>
4) "does not remember names" I have had 12 interns and RAs just since
I arrived at AEI. This excludes people whose only work was on the
survey. I am horrible at names and I couldn't even give you the names
for all of these folks let alone people who did something six years
ago. All my names and addresses for everything were on my computer
when the hard disk crashed.
<p>
5) "no discussions with any samplers"
<p>
I had lunch Tom Smith during the fall of 1996. However, while I asked
him many questions about surveys, I did not tell him what I was
planning on doing because Tom works very closely with gun control
organizations.
<p>
6) weighting the sample
<p>
I did not weight the sample by household size but used the state level
age, race, and sex data that I had used in the rest of my book. There
where 36 categories by state. Lindgren hypotheses why you can get
such small weights for some people and I think that this fine of a
breakdown easily explains it. I don't remember who answered what
after all these years, but suppose someone who fired a gun was a
elderly black in Utah or Vermont.
<p>
7) "commercially available CD-ROM with names on it. He does not
remember where he got it from."
<p>
It is true that I don't have the original CD-ROM. I have a telephone
number CD from the end of 1997, but it is not the one that we used. I
only picked up the other one on the off chance that I was going to
have the time and resources to redo the lost data. The CD did have
the features that the earlier one had and was not very useable. I was
so rapped up in trying to replace my lost data on so many other
projects that I had no thought of going back to what I regarded as a
minor project. I had revise and resubmits at the JPE and other
journals that had much greater importance and the data for the book
had to be replaced.
<p>
8) "Lott does not remember how he drew his sample from the CD-ROM"
<p>
Not true. I told Jim that one of the students had a program to
randomly sample the telephone numbers by state. My guess is that it
was part of the CD, but on that point I can't be sure.
<p>
9) "doesn't remember the wording of the questions."
<p>
It is also not quite correct to say that "doesn't remember the wording
of the questions." I told Jim that I don't remember the "exact
wording" of the questions, but I gave him the general outline of the
questions.
<p>
10) more on weighting
<p>
See point 6 above.
<p>
11) "A chapter he had not yet written"
<p>
This is not correct. What I had done is write up the section, but I
only had a computer file of it. When the hard disk crashed, I only
had a hard copy of the book and I had to spend considerable time
scanning in the book and correcting the new file. I was unable to
replace the lost polling section that I had recently added. I didn't
think that it was worthwhile relying solely on memory for different
things and I had too much else to do to concern myself with something
that wasn't central to the book.
<p>
12) "did not retain any of the tally sheets"
<p>
I have looked through some things but I haven't found anything. As
Lindgren correctly notes, I have moved three times in the last six
years.
<p>
13) Sheets versus entry of data into computers
<p>
Lindgren has the "impression" that the students entered the data on
sheets. I do not directly recall this part of our conversation, but I
would have said that both were done.
<p>
I sent Lindgren two e-mails on December 26th. Just so no one accuses
me of adding new things in now, one of my e-mails to Lindgren noted:
"I did not take the time to correct or respond to all the issues
raised, but I wanted to mention a few points." Recent e-mails to
Lindgren have also already responded to some of these points beyond
the e-mail that he apparently posted.
<p>
I have not participated in the firearms discussion group nor in the
apparent online newsgroup discussions, but what I have done is respond
to e-mails. (The one exception are those from Lambert whose e-mail
address was placed on my blocked list.) If you all have questions, I
will be happy to discuss them, but I am not going be involved in these
online groups. My response to Glenn below goes through some of the
history of what I heard on this and when I heard it. The bottom line
is that you all should not assume that everyone participates in these
discussions.
<p>
Appendi
<p>
xChicago Tribune June 20, 1999 Sunday, CHICAGOLAND FINAL EDITION
<p>
SECTION: MAGAZINE; Pg. 4; ZONE: C; LETTERS TO THE EDITOR.
<p>
LENGTH: 684 words
<p>
HEADLINE: GUNS AND CRIME
<p>
BODY: The article accompanying "Anne, Get Your Gun" (May 2),
discussing my book "More Guns, Less Crime" (University of Chicago
Press, 1998), made several inaccurate claims. Despite the claims in
the article, my research looked at much more than just the "impact of
laws that allow guns to be carried outdoors." My book analyzed FBI
crime statistics for all 3,054 American counties from 1977 to 1994 as
well as extensive cross-county information on accidental gun deaths
and suicides. This is by far the largest study ever conducted on
crime, accidental gun deaths or suicide. I examined not only
concealed-handgun laws, but also other gun-control laws such as state
waiting periods, the length of waiting periods, the Brady law,
criminal background checks, penalties for using guns in commission of
crime and the impact of increasing gun ownership. The only gun laws
that produced benefits were those allowing concealed handguns. The
evidence also strongly indicates that increased gun ownership on net
saves lives. More disappointing were inaccurate references to the
funding of my research. The claims previously floated by gun-control
groups like Handgun Control were found by the Tribune's own Steve
Chapman to be false (Aug. 15, 1996). Chapman pointed out that not only
was the Olin Foundation "independent" of the ties the Sunday Magazine
article discussed, but also that the "foundation didn't (1) choose
Lott as a fellow, (2) give him money or (3) approve his topic." The
article's claim that "others haven't confirmed (my) findings" is
bizarre. To date, I have made the data available to academics at 37
universities, from Harvard to Berkeley. Everyone who has tried has
been able to replicate my findings, and only three have written pieces
critical of my general approach. Although the vast majority of
researchers concur that concealed weapons deter crime, not even those
three critics have argued that more guns cost lives or increase crime.
-- John R. Lott Jr., University of Chicago Editor's note: Reporter
Linnet Myers responds: Various researchers have praised John Lott's
thorough research, although some disagree with his results, which
indicate that crime drops when laws allow citizens to carry concealed
guns. Whether his findings have been "confirmed" may depend on exactly
what that means. Three professors interviewed at separate
universities said Lott's data and computations were mathematically
correct. But because each professor's analysis differed, one didn't
find significant drops in crime while another found more dramatic
decreases than Lott did. The third said Lott's results have been
"confirmed in the sense that they've been replicated." Yet the
findings remain hotly debated. Some researchers, as well as many
gun-control advocates, flat-out reject them. Others say only time will
tell. In the midst of this controversy, my statement that Lott's
results haven't been "confirmed" was one of caution. And the article
did not suggest that he hasn't studied anything beyond those laws.
Most researchers interviewed did agree on one point: Despite the fears
of gun-control groups, there is currently little evidence that the
laws have caused any rise in crime. Lastly, though I don't think the
reference to Lott's funding was "inaccurate," it may have been
unclear. The original version of my article quoted a researcher who
said that while Lott's fellowship had a link to an ammunition company,
"Lott's findings weren't swayed by the somewhat remote connection."
The researcher said that though gun-control advocates have focused on
it, the funding foundation "isn't reputed to be an arm of the gun
industry any more than the Rockefeller Foundation is a tool of the oil
companies." Because of limited space, however, the story was cut and
that quote never made it into print. I apologize to Mr. Lott for that
trim.
<p>
Most of an e-mail that I sent recently to Glenn Reynolds (cutting
some personal comments at the end)
<p>
Dear Glenn:
<p>
First, I have responded to people. I responded to the e-mail from you
that had been forwarded via Clayton Cramer last year (you did not send
it directly to me for some reason). I have responded extensively to
Polsby when he wrote me after Christmas and I responded again to
Lindgren (twice) when he e-mailed me on December 24th. During the
last week, I have also corresponded with Dave Kopel. The data on the
original survey was lost and I will go into it later. First, here is
a similar survey that I did as well as some comments on it. This
survey is NOT for public dissemination as it is for a book that I have
that will shortly becoming out. My publisher would be very upset if
the results of the survey or the survey itself were released.
<p>
Survey questions:
<p>
Hello, my name is _______, and I am a student at ________ working on a
very brief survey on crime. The survey should take about one minute.
Could I please ask you a few questions?
<p>
1) During the last year, were you ever felt threatened with physical
violence or harmed by another person or were you present when someone
else faced such a situation?
<p>
(Threats do not have to be spoken threats. Includes physically
menacing. Attacks include an assault, robbery or rape.)
<p>
a) Yes b) No c) Uncertain d) Declined to answer
<p>
(Just ask people "YES" or "NO." If they answer "NO" or "Decline to
answer," go directly to demographic questions. The vast majority of
people will answer "NO." If people say "Uncertain," continue on as if
they answered "YES." 90 plus percent will probably "NO." )
<p>
2) How many times did these threats of violence or crimes occur?
_____
<p>
3) Which of the following best describe how you responded to the
threat(s) or crime(s)? Pick one from the following list that best
described your behavior or the person who you were with for each case
faced.
<p>
a) behaved passively b) used your fists c) ran away d) screamed or
called for help e) used a gun f) used a knife g) used mace h) used a
baseball bat or club
<p>
i) other
<p>
(Rotate these answers (a) through (h), place a number for 0 to
whatever for each option. Stop going through list if they volunteer
answer(s) that account for the number of threats that they faced.)
<p>
4) This is only done if answer "e" (a gun) to question 3
<p>
If a gun was used, did you
<p>
a) brandish it b) fire a warning shot c) fire at the attacker d)
injure the attacker e) kill the attacker
<p>
(Again, place a number for 0 to whatever for each option. Rotate
answers.)
<p>
5) Were you harmed by the attack(s)?
<p>
a) Yes b) No c) Refused to answer
<p>
(We obviously have the area code, write down sex from the voice if
possible.)
<p>
I have two demographic questions for the survey.
<p>
What is your race? black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Other.
<p>
What is your age by decade? 20s, 30s, 40s, so on.
<p>
Question for surveyor: Is there any reason for you to believe that
the person was not being honest with you?
<p>
a) Didn't believe respondent at all b) Had some concerns c) Had no
serious concerns
<p>

<p>
Write up by James Knowles of the discussion of the survey:
<p>
We had a small army of interns and AEI staff making phone calls. The
callers for any given night varied according to who was
available/willing to make phone calls. I was here every night
supervising from my office at AEI. The survey was conducted over eight
nights. Calls were made between 7pm and 9pm local time. Here are the
list of callers and their email addresses, I can try to track down
phone numbers if need be.
<p>
Susan Follett- Carl Westine- Andrei Zlate- Radek Muron- Arnaud
Bonraison- Craig Morehead- Melissa Robe- Salma Sallam- Jill
Mitchell- Matt Trager- and Myself-
<p>
. . .
<p>
We used a phonebook program from a company called infoUSA the program
was called Select Phone Pro version 2.4. The program has a random
function. First, we calculated how many numbers should be drawn from
each state, we decided that we would pull 4,000 numbers (based on how
much the PhonePro program gives us for free). Then we took the
populations of each state from the Census and assigned the quantity of
numbers that we indended to get from the program. Then, in PhonePro,
we picked a state, then sorted the state's list by area code, then
randomly generated a number (using excel's analysis pack) as a
starting point, then the Phone Pro program would export a number every
so often from the list until it reached the desired number of listings
exported from the state. This may be something that is easier
explained in a conversation . . ..
<p>
___________________
<p>
End discussion on survey. James' E-MAIL address is: jkno...@aei.org.
<p>

<p>
If you have questions or doubts about my discussion of what happened,
you might want to ask me about what happened. If you want to talk
during the day on Monday, you can call me up at (610) 543-2409.
<p>
1) I have lots of people who can say that I lost my hard disk in July
of 1997: for example, David Mustard, Geoff Huck (the editor who
handled my book at the University of Chicago Press), John Whitley,
William Landes. If you want to you can feel free to contact
especially David and John. Russell Roberts is someone that I bounced
the survey questions off of and he can possibly talk to you about it,
though he hasn't kept e-mails from 1997.
<p>
2) I lost ALL the data for my paper with David in the JLS and for my
book. David and I reconstructed the county and state level data from
our paper and I got the rest together that was in my book. I have
consistently provided the county, state, and city level data as well
as the multiple victim shooting data and the safe storage data to
people when they have asked. That constitutes almost all the numbers
mentioned in the book. Months were spent redoing this data so that it
could be given out to people. (Just a note, the critics to whom we
had given out the data up to that point were unwilling to return the
data to us so we had to put the JLS data together all over again.) If
I had the other data, I would have been happy to give it to who ever
wanted it.
<p>
The survey data could not be replaced by going to things like the UCR
or the census data. It could only be replaced by doing another
survey. I ended up only briefly mentioning the survey in the past and
worked on replacing all the other data that I lost for not just the
book but for all the other projects that I was working on. I spent a
good portion of the next two years trying to replace data for other
projects that I had been working on. I had important papers for the
Journal of Political Economy and other journal for which replacing the
data was my first priority after replacing the data for the JLS and
the book. Thinking about the survey was well down on my list. Its
importance was not particularly high given that I had only one
sentence on the issue in my book and have never written the survey
into a research paper because the data was lost.
<p>
3) This is something that was done six years ago. During the
intervening time I have moved three times. Usually I pay students in
cash. When I am at universities I don't apply for grants and the
money is mine so there is no record of universities paying for the
students. My records of the students names and contact information
were lost. You can get an idea of how much total time was involved
from the survey discussed above. An ad was taken out in the fall in
the University of Chicago Alumni magazine to try to contact the two
University of Chicago students who organized some other people from
different places to work on it. I have gone through well over 12 RAs
and interns independent of those used on the survey since I got to AEI
and I can't say that I remember most of their names (I am really
horrible at names).
<p>
4) Issues about the significance difference in results. Given the
very small sample sizes, the differences in results are not
statistically significant and are really trivial. About one percent
of people in a survey note that they have used a gun defensively.
Whether one is talking about 2 percent or 20 percent simply
brandishing a gun, you are talking about the different of 2 percent of
1 percent or 20 percent of 1 percent. Depending upon who answers the
questions and what weighted group they are in, you are literally
talking about the answers of a few people out of 1,000 that is the
difference between these two results.
<p>
5) If you have doubts about anything in specific, you should ask me
about it. Last year I worked extremely hard. I was the only
affirmative numbers expert for the Senator Mitch McConnell's side in
the campaign finance case. Once that was done, I had to deal with
something that Ian Ayres and John Donohue wrote attacking my work and
finishing things for my book. Only in the last couple of weeks have I
gotten a breath on things, but I have responded when people e-mailed
me. I am not a member of the firearms discussion groups and I have
not been following them. I read your site once in a while just to
keep up with the news (and because of that I have sent you some money
from time to time e.g., just on Saturday), but otherwise I have been
too busy to follow a lot of things. (When I recently accidentally
sent you an e-mail it was at the end of one of many all nighters.)
<p>
So as to state things clearly, the bottom line is that I have
provided data on county, state, and city level crime data when I have
been asked as well as the data on the multiple victim public shootings
and the data on safe storage laws, even before the papers have been
published. We are talking about one number in one sentence in the
book, a claim that I have also used in some op-eds and in some talks.
I know of no one who has given out his data as quickly and
consistently before even papers are published as I have and over the
years. Finally, let me note the most important bottom line: the
survey that was done last fall produced very similar results. The
earlier results were replicated. This survey was done more recently
and I will release the data when the book is released in March. To
keep the publisher happy, I will not release it before hand unless you
can give me a very good reason.
<p>
[cut] There are errors in Lindgren's write up (at least the one that
he sent me) and if you have specific questions about it, I will
respond. But instead of claiming that I haven't responded to people
you should talk to people like Dan Polsby who raised claims voiced to
him by others that I had fabricated this second survey. He spent a
good deal of time verifying that the survey did indeed take place.
Polsby can be reached at XXX. I am sure that he would be happy to
talk to you.
<p>
Best.
<p>
John
<p>

David Lloyd-Jones

unread,
Jan 17, 2003, 10:02:51 PM1/17/03
to
Mary Rosh wrote:
>
> It doesn't appear as if you all are reporting both sides of this
> debate. The following was sent to me from Marie Gryphon who has most
> of this up on her web site at:
> http://www.mariegryphon.com/archives/003393.html#003393<p>
>

Mary,

Aren't you embarassed by how often on Marie Gryphon's site the guy, when
asked for evidence for something, points to the fact that he had said it
before as being that evidence?

-dlj.

Mary Rosh

unread,
Jan 17, 2003, 10:18:09 PM1/17/03
to
cla...@claytoncramer.com (Clayton E. Cramer) wrote in message news:<6a4c48bf.03011...@posting.google.com>...


The Lindgren piece mentions that David Mustard remembers talking to
Lott about a survey in 1997.

"Mustard recalls hearing about the 1997 study, though when Lott told
him about it is a little unclear from MustardT email to me: John told
me that he had conducted a survey in 1997. I did not participate in
the survey--it was after our concealed carry paper had been published
(Jan 1997) and was after I was on the job market and while I was
finishing my dissertation and then moving to Georgia (Aug 1997)."

One of the bloggers (http://www.juliansanchez.com/2003_01_01_notesarch.html#90191241)


notes that an editor at the University of Chicago Press says:

I have a vague recollection of a chapter or a section or sections of a
chapter that had to be scrapped because of the computer crash, but I
don't at this stage remember the subject of it (or them). At the time,
we were talking about a variety of things John could do (e.g.,
including a chapter on mass public shootings). As to my e-mail
archives, there are a couple of brief mentions in John's and my
exchanges about the crash and loss of data, though I have found
nothing explicitly about the defensive use of handguns in them (which
doesn't mean anything in itself, since we were mostly talking on the
phone and there must have been all kinds of things that were lost in
the crash that we didn't discuss in the archived e-mails I still have)


Lott's piece that I put up earlier also notes that his critics have
known about the lost data for years. Why wait so many years to deal
with this? Memories fade. In any case, I think that Cramer is wrong
to say that there is no evidence.

Malcolm Kirkpatrick

unread,
Jan 18, 2003, 2:28:19 AM1/18/03
to
David Lloyd-Jones wrote:...
> susupply wrote:...
> > "David Lloyd-Jones" wrote:...
>
MK. Discusson deleted (sarcasm),,,

>
> > John Lott has never hidden from his critics. Usually he just eats their
> > lunches, as he did Ehrlich's in the Reason debate at:
> >
> > http://reason.com/hod/debate1.1.shtml
>
> Patrick,
>
> I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder, because I don't see Robert
> Ehlich getting taken here. What strikes me is Lott trying to bluster his
> way a bunch of statistical blunders that he himself doesn't understand.
>
> The way he got caught on the study was that he invented a number -- 2%
> -- that was wildly at variance with the numbers found by a dozen or so
> people who actually had done studies. One of his problems is that he
> seems to think that since he doesn't understand statistics -- twice in
> the blog reports he is quoted asking people why it mattered whether he
> reported numbers of guns pulled per family or by individual -- since he
> doesn't understand statistics, therefore nobody else will understand
> when he makes something up.
>
MK. "Seems to think..."? Suppose that the question is
--not--rhetorical. What difference do you suppose it will make whether
you count non-discharge use by household or by individual? Sounds to
me that Lott here attempts to educate the listener.
>
If you are reporting the frequency with which a firearm is "used" to
discourage a criminal, but not discharged, the question "how many
people live in the house of the gun owner?" is as relevant as "what
color was that house?" Even if the question somehow involved people
related to the gun owner, it is a reasonable question to ask: how much
would counting those others matter? I have not read Lott's book,so if
I misunderstand the issue, correct me here.

>
> Now the ugly little fact is that a lot of people do understand sampling
> and reporting of statistics, and they spotted the guy for what he is, a
> phoney, and apparently a not very bright one.
>
MK. "Understand statistics" and "understand sampling" are matters of
degree. One does not need a PhD in math to use basic statistics to
answer questions such as "What is the impact of concealed carry laws
on violent crime?"
>
MK. 2+2 = 4. I do not have a PhD in math. Is my equation --therefore--
incorrect?
>

David Lloyd-Jones

unread,
Jan 18, 2003, 3:34:38 AM1/18/03
to
Malcolm Kirkpatrick wrote:
>
> MK. 2+2 = 4. I do not have a PhD in math. Is my equation --therefore--
> incorrect?
>

First, your addition is correct. Second, its correctness has no
connection with whether you have a PhD or not.

Third, I have mercifully spared you the ignominy of having the rest of
your stupid post repeated.

-dlj.


Tim Lambert

unread,
Jan 18, 2003, 6:17:58 AM1/18/03
to
> From: Christopher Auld (au...@acs.ucalgary.ca)
> Subject: Re: Did the Nobel Peace Prize come with a money back guarantee?
> Date: 2002-11-01 11:00:11 PST
> Stephen J. Fromm <stephe...@verizon.net> wrote:
>
>>But if you read what Ehrlich is saying, it puts Lott in an extremely
>>bad light. Ehrlich alleges that "Lott neglects to tell the reader
>>that all his plots are not the actual FBI data (downloadable here),
>>but merely his fits to the data" and "Lott doesn't deny that he
>>misleads the reader by neglecting to mention that his plots are fits
>>to the data, because he can't. His graphs are in fact labelled "number
>>of violent crimes" per 100,000 population and I find no statement in
>>his book that the graphs are fits, rather than actual data.
>
> This accusation is incorrect.

You are mistaken. The graphs are labelled as Ehrlich says,
and if you can find where Lott informs his readers that the
graphs are fits, rather than data, please share it with us.
Furthermore, if you look at Appendix 1, where Lott explains
multiple regression, you will see one example graph of
regression results. That graph shows a fit (a straight line)
AND the data (as dots). Compare that with the graphs in
the body of the book, which show a fit (two parabolic arcs)
and the same fit again (dots lying on the arcs).

> For the most part (but not
> always), Lott does plot estimates from econometric models,
> but it should not be at all unclear that that is what he
> is doing. It is very obvious from the text which graphs
> refer to actual data and which graphs refer to model
> estimates: Lott displays the regression estimates, then
> refers the graphs to show them in a more easily digestible
> manner than tables of numbers.

It is very obvious to you, but you are probably one of
the few people that it is obvious to. For example,
I had a discussion with James Donald where it took multiple
posts before I was able to persuade him that Lott's graphs were
fits. See:
http://groups.google.com/groups?selm=tnwuwgtvem.fsf%40oolong.orchestra.cse.unsw.EDU.AU

> Since his book is aimed a lay audience, possibly he could
> have been clearer by referring to which sets of estimates
> are displayed in each graph, but nonetheless `he could have
> been clearer' is not tantamount to `this is academic fraud.'
> Other authors have pointed out some caveats to Lott's work
> which mitigate or possibly reverse Lott's conclusions (e.g.
> Mark Duggan), but the charge that Lott is deliberately
> misleading readers in the manner suggested above is unfounded.

I don't think Lott is being deliberately misleading with the
graphs. In fact he has misled himself:

"To illustrate that the results are not merely due to the
'normal' ups and downs for crime, we can look again at the
diagrams in chapter 4 showing crime patterns before and
after the adoption of the non-discretionary laws. The
declines not only begin right when the concealed handgun
laws pass, but the crime rates end up well below their
levels prior to the law." -- page 131 MGLC

It is no surprise that there is a peak when the laws were
passed--this is one of the few places where it is possible
for the fitted curves to peak. Even if the crime rate started
to decline before the laws passed, Lott's diagram could still
show a peak coinciding with the law.

I ran some experiments by fitting a similar pair of quadratic
curves to a sequence of random numbers. Almost always the
curves seemed to show that something had happened at the
junction of the two curves, even though nothing had.

Lott has confused the fitted curves with the actual data.

Tim

susupply

unread,
Jan 18, 2003, 1:09:21 PM1/18/03
to

"Tim Lambert" <lam...@cse.unsw.edu.au>

spectacularly reversing course,

wrote in message news:pan.2003.01.18....@cse.unsw.edu.au...

> I don't think Lott is being deliberately misleading with the
> graphs. In fact he has misled himself:

Which is, even if true, not at all the same thing as "committing academic
fraud". As Chris Auld correctly pointed out.


Mary Rosh

unread,
Jan 18, 2003, 3:18:04 PM1/18/03
to
David Lloyd-Jones <d...@rogers.com> wrote in message news:<3E28C344...@rogers.com>...

I don't at all understand what you are saying. I thought that it
seemed like a very complete answer. One of the blog sites also
mentioned that he has given out the data to a second survey that he
did last year and that this survey also got similar results. So what
is the issue here? We have two surveys, both get similar results, but
one is six years ago and the banks don't even keep records that long
ago. So he had a computer hard disk crash that everyone seems to
agree happened. Do you deny that a hard disk crash occurred? THat
crash was six years ago. Give me a break. There is some evidence
that the survey data was lost with the hard disk (Mustard and on a
closely related point Huck).

I am curious how long do you or Lambert keep your cancelled checks?
How many years back do you keep your e-mails? Suppose that someone
did yard work for you six years ago, could you prove that they did it?
Do you have cancelled checks from then? If it was a company that did
it for just one summer, do you remember its name?

Mary Rosh

unread,
Jan 18, 2003, 3:51:22 PM1/18/03
to
"Tim Lambert" <lam...@cse.unsw.edu.au> wrote in message news:<pan.2003.01.18....@cse.unsw.edu.au>...

> > From: Christopher Auld (au...@acs.ucalgary.ca)
> > Subject: Re: Did the Nobel Peace Prize come with a money back guarantee?
> > Date: 2002-11-01 11:00:11 PST
> > Stephen J. Fromm <stephe...@verizon.net> wrote:
> >
> >>But if you read what Ehrlich is saying, it puts Lott in an extremely
> >>bad light. Ehrlich alleges that "Lott neglects to tell the reader
> >>that all his plots are not the actual FBI data (downloadable here),
> >>but merely his fits to the data" and "Lott doesn't deny that he
> >>misleads the reader by neglecting to mention that his plots are fits
> >>to the data, because he can't. His graphs are in fact labelled "number
> >>of violent crimes" per 100,000 population and I find no statement in
> >>his book that the graphs are fits, rather than actual data.
> >
> > This accusation is incorrect.
>
> You are mistaken. The graphs are labelled as Ehrlich says,
> and if you can find where Lott informs his readers that the
> graphs are fits, rather than data, please share it with us.
> Furthermore, if you look at Appendix 1, where Lott explains
> multiple regression, you will see one example graph of
> regression results. That graph shows a fit (a straight line)
> AND the data (as dots). Compare that with the graphs in
> the body of the book, which show a fit (two parabolic arcs)
> and the same fit again (dots lying on the arcs).

I don't have Lott's book in front of me, but I have Lott's paper with
Mustard in the Journal of Legal Studies which uses the same types of
graphs and it is very clear. Look at pages 34 and 35 for a discussion
of how they replaced the simple dummy variable with nonlinear time
trends both before and after the law.

Give it a break Tim, you are again making incorrect statements. Lott
is fitting regressions lines before and after the law and seeing
whether there is a change in patterns. He tests for whether there is
a significant cnanges and finds that the effect is indeed
statistically significant. Tim you might not understand this, but
even with straight lines there are a lot of combinations of results
which would not be consistent with right-to-carry laws reducing crime.
When you look at nonlinear estimates as Lott does crime might rise,
first fall then rise, rise then fall, stay flat, etc. and you have
those combinations in both the before and after periods. Many of
these patterns would not be consistent with the shall issue laws
producing a benefit.

Clayton E. Cramer

unread,
Jan 18, 2003, 11:21:04 PM1/18/03
to
mary...@aol.com (Mary Rosh) wrote in message news:<23fa92fe.03011...@posting.google.com>...

> cla...@claytoncramer.com (Clayton E. Cramer) wrote in message news:<6a4c48bf.03011...@posting.google.com>...
> Lott's piece that I put up earlier also notes that his critics have
> known about the lost data for years. Why wait so many years to deal
> with this? Memories fade. In any case, I think that Cramer is wrong
> to say that there is no evidence.

I agree. The evidence is somewhat weak and circumstantial, rather like
the evidence that suggests that he didn't do the 1997 survey. At this
stage, I would be inclined to say that the evidence on both sides is so
weak that there is no point in arguing that this is evidence of fraud.

Christopher Auld

unread,
Jan 19, 2003, 4:42:01 PM1/19/03
to
Tim Lambert <lam...@cse.unsw.edu.au> wrote:
>> From: Christopher Auld (au...@acs.ucalgary.ca)

>> This accusation is incorrect.

>You are mistaken. The graphs are labelled as Ehrlich says,

The accusation was that Lott deliberately misleads
the reader. The accusation is incorrect because
in context it is obvious what Lott is graphing, so
there is no intent to deceive.


>It is very obvious to you, but you are probably one of
>the few people that it is obvious to.

Anyone familiar with multivariate statistical inference
would have no difficulty interpreting Lott's results.
Anyone who lacks that familiarity should probably not
be arguing about Lott's quantitative methods or results
in any case.


>I don't think Lott is being deliberately misleading with the
>graphs. In fact he has misled himself:

I don't think so, and I don't think your quote proves
your point. Most of the results in the book were
previously published in prestigious journals, and Lott
is a capable econometrician. I don't have the book
handy, but if I recall correctly the key results were
based on dummies for years before and after the
introduction of laws. I don't think your comments on
the statistics are correct, but perhaps you could
present in more detail what you think the problem is,

None of this has anything to do with the recent
allegations that Lott simply fabricated data.

Mary Rosh

unread,
Jan 19, 2003, 5:46:49 PM1/19/03
to
cla...@claytoncramer.com (Clayton E. Cramer) wrote in message news:<6a4c48bf.03011...@posting.google.com>...
> mary...@aol.com (Mary Rosh) wrote in message news:<23fa92fe.03011...@posting.google.com>...
> > cla...@claytoncramer.com (Clayton E. Cramer) wrote in message news:<6a4c48bf.03011...@posting.google.com>...
> > Lott's piece that I put up earlier also notes that his critics have
> > known about the lost data for years. Why wait so many years to deal
> > with this? Memories fade. In any case, I think that Cramer is wrong
> > to say that there is no evidence.
>
> I agree. The evidence is somewhat weak and circumstantial, rather like
> the evidence that suggests that he didn't do the 1997 survey. At this
> stage, I would be inclined to say that the evidence on both sides is so
> weak that there is no point in arguing that this is evidence of fraud.

So what is wrong with Mustard's comments. Why isn't he viewed as
sufficiently credible? Lindgren doesn't seem to put much weight on
them (I guess because he gives a range of time during 1997 between
January and August when he says that he learned about the survey),
but, give me a break, is he supposed to remember down to the exact
date? At least he has the move to Georgia to help pin down the time
when he learned about it. Mustard confirms not only that a survey was
done but that the data was lost in the hard disk crash and that he
knew this by August of 1997. Doesn't this August date fit in well
with Lott's claim about losing the hard disk in July? Julian's web
site's quote from Geoff Huck also provides consistent evidence. Are
these two guys lying? Apparently no one contests that he lost the
hard disk. What is the evidence on the other side?

Lott's comments apparently claim that he has given out lots of other
data. Do you have any evidence that any of these other statements are
not true?

Robert Vienneau

unread,
Jan 20, 2003, 3:41:34 AM1/20/03
to
In article <b0f639$5v...@acs4.acs.ucalgary.ca>, au...@acs.ucalgary.ca
(Christopher Auld) wrote:

> Patrick Sullivan writes:

> > > Tim Lambert <lam...@cse.unsw.edu.au> wrote:

> > >I don't think Lott is being deliberately misleading with the
> > >graphs. In fact he has misled himself:

> > Which is, even if true, not at all the same thing as "committing
> > academic
> > fraud". As Chris Auld correctly pointed out.

> None of this has anything to do with the recent

> allegations that Lott simply fabricated data.

I thank Chris Auld for his honest expression of his disagreement
with Patrick Sullivan.

--
Try http://csf.colorado.edu/pkt/pktauthors/Vienneau.Robert/Bukharin.html
To solve Linear Programs: .../LPSolver.html
r c A game: .../Keynes.html
v s a Whether strength of body or of mind, or wisdom, or
i m p virtue, are found in proportion to the power or wealth
e a e of a man is a question fit perhaps to be discussed by
n e . slaves in the hearing of their masters, but highly
@ r c m unbecoming to reasonable and free men in search of
d o the truth. -- Rousseau

Tim Lambert

unread,
Jan 20, 2003, 8:54:16 AM1/20/03
to Mary Rosh
On Sun, 19 Jan 2003 14:46:49 +0000, Mary Rosh wrote:

> So what is wrong with Mustard's comments. Why isn't he viewed as
> sufficiently credible? Lindgren doesn't seem to put much weight on
> them (I guess because he gives a range of time during 1997 between
> January and August when he says that he learned about the survey),
> but, give me a break, is he supposed to remember down to the exact
> date?

You seem to have misunderstood. Those are the dates when he
thought the survey was, not when Lott told him about it.

> At least he has the move to Georgia to help pin down the time
> when he learned about it. Mustard confirms not only that a survey was
> done but that the data was lost in the hard disk crash and that he
> knew this by August of 1997.

No, he is just reporting what Lott told him. He has no direct
knowledge of the survey.

> Doesn't this August date fit in well
> with Lott's claim about losing the hard disk in July? Julian's web
> site's quote from Geoff Huck also provides consistent evidence. Are
> these two guys lying? Apparently no one contests that he lost the
> hard disk. What is the evidence on the other side?

If a student proves he has a dog, it does not prove his claim that
the dog ate his homework.



> Lott's comments apparently claim that he has given out lots of other
> data. Do you have any evidence that any of these other statements are
> not true?

You should read section 4 of Lindgren's report:
http://www.cse.unsw.edu.au/~lambert/guns/lindgren.html#section4

Tim

Tim Lambert

unread,
Jan 20, 2003, 9:26:28 AM1/20/03
to
On Sun, 19 Jan 2003 14:42:01 +0000, Christopher Auld wrote:

> Tim Lambert <lam...@cse.unsw.edu.au> wrote:
>>> From: Christopher Auld (au...@acs.ucalgary.ca)
>
>>> This accusation is incorrect.
>
>>You are mistaken. The graphs are labelled as Ehrlich says,
>
> The accusation was that Lott deliberately misleads
> the reader.

No the accusation was that Lott misleads the reader. The
"deliberately" part was your addition.

> The accusation is incorrect because
> in context it is obvious what Lott is graphing, so
> there is no intent to deceive.

I have already demonstrated how people were misled, so
your assertion that it is "obvious" has been proven false.



>>It is very obvious to you, but you are probably one of
>>the few people that it is obvious to.
>
> Anyone familiar with multivariate statistical inference
> would have no difficulty interpreting Lott's results.
> Anyone who lacks that familiarity should probably not
> be arguing about Lott's quantitative methods or results
> in any case.

The intended audience of Lott's book was not people
"familiar with multivariate statistical inference".
The graphs are misleading to almost all of his readers.



>>I don't think Lott is being deliberately misleading with the
>>graphs. In fact he has misled himself:
>
> I don't think so, and I don't think your quote proves
> your point.

You will need to explain why. Here it is again:


"To illustrate that the results are not merely due to the
'normal' ups and downs for crime, we can look again at the
diagrams in chapter 4 showing crime patterns before and
after the adoption of the non-discretionary laws. The
declines not only begin right when the concealed handgun
laws pass, but the crime rates end up well below their
levels prior to the law." -- page 131 MGLC

It is no surprise that there is a peak when the laws were
passed--this is one of the few places where it is possible
for the fitted curves to peak. Even if the crime rate started
to decline before the laws passed, Lott's diagram could still
show a peak coinciding with the law.

I ran some experiments by fitting a similar pair of quadratic
curves to a sequence of random numbers. Almost always the
curves seemed to show that something had happened at the
junction of the two curves, even though nothing had.

Lott has confused the fitted curves with the actual data.

> Most of the results in the book were


> previously published in prestigious journals,

The claim about the timing did not appear in a journal.


Christopher Auld

unread,
Jan 20, 2003, 12:07:02 PM1/20/03
to
Tim Lambert <lam...@cse.unsw.edu.au> wrote:
>Christopher Auld wrote:

>> The accusation was that Lott deliberately misleads
>> the reader.

>No the accusation was that Lott misleads the reader. The
>"deliberately" part was your addition.

I don't even know how to begin to make sense of this. Could
a statistically illiterate person be confused by a discussion
of regression results? Sure. Does Lott present his results
in a confusing or non-standard manner? No. Upon looking at
the book again, I don't even know how one could conceivably
confuse the graphs for real data. The data, for example, is
at the county level. What data would the single curves
presented on the graphs represent?


>> The accusation is incorrect because
>> in context it is obvious what Lott is graphing, so
>> there is no intent to deceive.
>
>I have already demonstrated how people were misled, so
>your assertion that it is "obvious" has been proven false.

I find your quarrelsome tone irritating. I have said, and
will say again, that someone unfamiliar with statistics may
be confused by Lott's presentation. But that is true of
all writing drawing on mathetmatical statistics, and -- again --
I do not think Lott's presentation is confusing, intentionally
or otherwise.


>The intended audience of Lott's book was not people
>"familiar with multivariate statistical inference".
>The graphs are misleading to almost all of his readers.

You will have to provide some justification for this remark.
Notice that pointing to a usenet idealogue who couldn't
understand the book does not constitute such a justification.


>> I don't think so, and I don't think your quote proves
>> your point.

Tim then repeats verbatim his previous comments, after snipping
my request he provide more detail on what he thinks the problem
is.


>I ran some experiments by fitting a similar pair of quadratic
>curves to a sequence of random numbers. Almost always the
>curves seemed to show that something had happened at the
>junction of the two curves, even though nothing had.
>
>Lott has confused the fitted curves with the actual data.

Lott's models are perfectly standard, as is his interpretation.
Ignoring quadratic terms, the models in chapter 4 take the form

y = Xb + ad + b(dt) + noise,

where d is a dummy indicating a policy change and t is a
time trend. If one generates a "sequence of random numbers"
with the property that nothing happens in response to the
policy, one will not "almost always [find] the curves show
that something happened at the junction." One will in fact
find, with reasonably large samples, that the coefficient on
the interaction term is statistically insignificant at a
rate equal to the size of the test, conventionally 5%. What
is more, most of Lott's models are less restrictive, treating
the impact of a policy change in a semiparametric manner by
using sets of dummies capturing time to/since the policy
change. Again, this is all very standard and uncontroversial.

Mary Rosh

unread,
Jan 20, 2003, 4:21:05 PM1/20/03
to
"Tim Lambert" <lam...@cse.unsw.edu.au> wrote in message news:<pan.2003.01.20....@cse.unsw.edu.au>...

> On Sun, 19 Jan 2003 14:46:49 +0000, Mary Rosh wrote:
>
> > So what is wrong with Mustard's comments. Why isn't he viewed as
> > sufficiently credible? Lindgren doesn't seem to put much weight on
> > them (I guess because he gives a range of time during 1997 between
> > January and August when he says that he learned about the survey),
> > but, give me a break, is he supposed to remember down to the exact
> > date?
>
> You seem to have misunderstood. Those are the dates when he
> thought the survey was, not when Lott told him about it.

Mustard's statements seem clear to me.

>
> > At least he has the move to Georgia to help pin down the time
> > when he learned about it. Mustard confirms not only that a survey was
> > done but that the data was lost in the hard disk crash and that he
> > knew this by August of 1997.
>
> No, he is just reporting what Lott told him. He has no direct
> knowledge of the survey.

I read the Mustard quote. If you have other information from
Professor Mustard directly, let us know about it. Have you contacted
Professor Mustard? What additional clarification can you add?

>
> > Doesn't this August date fit in well
> > with Lott's claim about losing the hard disk in July? Julian's web
> > site's quote from Geoff Huck also provides consistent evidence. Are
> > these two guys lying? Apparently no one contests that he lost the
> > hard disk. What is the evidence on the other side?
>
> If a student proves he has a dog, it does not prove his claim that
> the dog ate his homework.

Huck is saying that it thinks that part of the book was lost because
it was only available on the hard disk (consistent with Lott) and that
the hard disk crashed around the time that Lott said that it did.
What evidence do you have that the data wasn't on the hard disk? Are
you just asserting that you have additional information that the data
was not on the hard disk? If you do, please let us all know about it.

>
> > Lott's comments apparently claim that he has given out lots of other
> > data. Do you have any evidence that any of these other statements are
> > not true?
>
> You should read section 4 of Lindgren's report:

You are going to have egg all over your face on this one Lambert. You
are already starting to look desparate. Six years is a really long
time to ask people for records for, and yet different people have
confirmed different parts of Lott's discussion. But I will tell you
what. If you get Professor Mustard to agree with your interpretation
of what he said, I will agree with you. For some reason, I bet that
you are not even going to try asking him. You are a professor
(right?), so just ask him one professor to another about whether your
interpretation is correct.

Mary Rosh

unread,
Jan 20, 2003, 4:22:53 PM1/20/03
to
"Tim Lambert" <lam...@cse.unsw.edu.au> wrote in message news:<pan.2003.01.20....@cse.unsw.edu.au>...

> On Sun, 19 Jan 2003 14:46:49 +0000, Mary Rosh wrote:
>


By the way TIm, what about the fact that Lott's 2002 survey apparently
produces the same results? Do you think that survey was fabricated?
Was it just dumb luck that Lott guessed correctly what the results
would be?

susupply

unread,
Jan 21, 2003, 1:03:10 PM1/21/03
to

"Tim Lambert" <lam...@cse.unsw.edu.au> wrote in message
news:pan.2003.01.20....@cse.unsw.edu.au...

> You should read section 4 of Lindgren's report:
> http://www.cse.unsw.edu.au/~lambert/guns/lindgren.html#section4

Here's more from Lindgren, and he's accepting more evidence that the survey
was in fact conducted:

http://www.juliansanchez.com/2003_01_01_notesarch.html#90211591


Clayton E. Cramer

unread,
Jan 21, 2003, 5:22:57 PM1/21/03
to
David Lloyd-Jones <d...@rogers.com> wrote in message news:<3E28827B...@rogers.com>...

> Grinch wrote:
> >
> > Which is why scientific method calls for making data public, so others
> > can examine and seek to replicate it -- exactly as Lott did.
>
> Sure. "Here's the data: 2%. It comes from my survey."
>
> > Lott's book has been out five years and been examined up down and
> > sideways -- and for all the argument about it nobody has detected a
> > whit of "fraud" as to its substance.
>
> Nobody but a few gun nuts has ever taken Lott's book seriously because
> the actual experiment has been carried out on a large scale for a
> century: Canada vs. The United States side by side.

Do you seriously suggest that the only differences between the two
countries over a century are concealed weapon permit availability?
Remember that until 1961, there was NO American state that had non-
discretionary issuance of concealed weapon permits. Nearly all of
this took place in the 1980s and 1990s.

When you compare states and provinces across that boundary line, you
find a lot of interesting differences, and a lot of interesting
similarities. Prairie provinces are often comparable in murder rates
to their American neighbors. New York State, of course, is terribly,
terribly violent--but then again, it's a restrictive state not just about
concealed weapon permits, but even about permission to have a handgun
in your own home.

Seattle and Vancouver are an interesting comparison, because murder
rates for whites are about the same; Seattle is very slightly lower
(6.2/100,000 instead of 6.4 in Vancouver). The big difference is
that Seattle has a much larger black and Hispanic population, and
this is most of the difference. Since there is no difference in
handgun ownership laws or carry permit issuance based on race in
Seattle, or I presume, in Vancouver, this suggests that the difference
isn't the laws, but the subcultures that are associated with black
and Hispanic populations in the U.S.



> The comparison is not at all asinine: they are two guys who were so sure
> of their conclusions that they didn't think mere facts were needed. The
> prototype of these guys was Sir Cyril Burt who just *knew* that
> intelligence was normally distributed, and it was so obvious that it
> wasn't worth the trouble of testing. So he just pencilled in the
> invented data on his charts and published it that way. Lott, like
> Bellesiles, is cut from the same cloth.
>
> -dlj.

It is now established that the 1997 survey did take place; at least
one person who was surveyed has come forward. Professor Lindgren,
my fellow inquisitor of Bellesiles, has interviewed the survey
subject (a lawyer, and an assistant district attorney a few years
back), and concluded that he is a credible witness.

David Lloyd-Jones

unread,
Jan 21, 2003, 10:48:43 PM1/21/03
to
Clayton E. Cramer asks me:

> Do you seriously suggest that the only differences between the two
> countries over a century are concealed weapon permit availability?

Uh, no, Cramer, I don't seriously suggest that this is the only
difference between the two countries over a century. (and I have no clue
what you think is plural in your sentence above.)

Have you considered the possibility that this is an astonishingly stupid
question to ask? And that you incomprehensible grammar is caused by a
flush of high emotion caused by the montion of guns?

> Remember that until 1961, there was NO American state that had non-
> discretionary issuance of concealed weapon permits. Nearly all of
> this took place in the 1980s and 1990s.

So? Even if you take Lott seriously, there's very little difference
before and after in any of his many counties. The differences between
Canada and the US in both crime and in gun violence are striking -- at
the 98% level of confidence. Lott's claim, by contrast, is that he has
carried out two surveys which are accurate within 1,300% 50% of the time
or 3,000% all of the time within the universe of the twelve, thirteen,
or fifteen surveys on the topic. Gimme a break.

> When you compare states and provinces across that boundary line, you
> find a lot of interesting differences, and a lot of interesting
> similarities. Prairie provinces are often comparable in murder rates
> to their American neighbors. New York State, of course, is terribly,
> terribly violent--but then again, it's a restrictive state not just about
> concealed weapon permits, but even about permission to have a handgun
> in your own home.

The three Prairie Provinces are very different from each other in
culture and in ethnic makeup. I would expect there to be not much
difference between Alberta and the Dakotas simply because the settlers
are the same people -- refugees from Bleeding Kansas in the 1840's.
Saskatchewan and Minnesota, in the same vein are in some ways similar.
Manitoba is a very complicated scene from any point of view.

I reject entirely your facile suggestion -- you didn't dare say it, you
just suggested it -- that New York is violent because it has laws
against guns in the home. From Canada's point of view the most violent
part of New York is all those Al Quaeda guys in the Buffalo suburbs --
and I doubt that they've been there long enough to read the law in English.

> Seattle and Vancouver are an interesting comparison, because murder
> rates for whites are about the same; Seattle is very slightly lower
> (6.2/100,000 instead of 6.4 in Vancouver). The big difference is
> that Seattle has a much larger black and Hispanic population, and
> this is most of the difference. Since there is no difference in
> handgun ownership laws or carry permit issuance based on race in
> Seattle, or I presume, in Vancouver, this suggests that the difference
> isn't the laws, but the subcultures that are associated with black
> and Hispanic populations in the U.S.

I think this is quite plausible. Here in Toronto we have a lively
Jamaican immigrant group. Jamaicans as a group are culturally
identifiable -- like Polish Jews or Lebanese: they are natural
succeeders. (In the States think Colin Powell -- and notice that
Jamaican-American incomes are something like, last time I checked, 9%
higher than those of American white Protestants. "But we have to work at
two jobs to do it," a Jamaican-Canadian friend of mine said.)

But in Toronto this highly motivated, probably above-average in
literacy, and generally successful, group also harbour a hugely
disproportionate amount of gun violence.

Seems to me one useful step is to take away their guns.

>>The comparison is not at all asinine: they are two guys who were so sure
>>of their conclusions that they didn't think mere facts were needed. The
>>prototype of these guys was Sir Cyril Burt who just *knew* that
>>intelligence was normally distributed, and it was so obvious that it
>>wasn't worth the trouble of testing. So he just pencilled in the
>>invented data on his charts and published it that way. Lott, like
>>Bellesiles, is cut from the same cloth.
>>

> It is now established that the 1997 survey did take place; at least
> one person who was surveyed has come forward. Professor Lindgren,
> my fellow inquisitor of Bellesiles, has interviewed the survey
> subject (a lawyer, and an assistant district attorney a few years
> back), and concluded that he is a credible witness.

It is established that one person has phoned in and said they took a
survey some time ago, and it might have been Lott's.

I think far more people have phoned in in support of OJ.

To my mind the thing that Lott needs to explain is this: how come both,
giggle, surveys are so different in their findings from the dozen plus
surveys taken by people who were actually able to keep track of their
tally sheets, their questions, their students?

There's presumably a relatively real objective reality out there, where
people pull guns on burglars, in bar fights, on people who try to rob
them, and so forth. Everybody who surveys these people and asks how
often they actually shoot the gun gets fairly scary numbers, in the 26%
to 67% range (is it?).

Lott, twice by his claim, gets a wildly different view of reality. 2%.

How come?

How, with so very very few people (not the supposed 2,000 and the 1,000,
but the small percentage of these who said they had drawn guns) did he
get such mutually similar results, while everybody else's results are so
different? It's like firing a rifle from a merry-go-round and hitting
the number "2" on two successive tries. And while the numbers everybody
else hits are nowhere near two.

Not credible. Even if "2%" were the real number, on his sample sizes you
would expect to get 1 one time and 4 the other, or something like that.
To get "2" both times defies belief.

Clayton, you are a guy with high standards. Why do you attach your own
credibility to a flako like Lott?

Best wishes,

-dlj.

Message has been deleted

Clayton E. Cramer

unread,
Jan 22, 2003, 10:57:09 AM1/22/03