Thursday, September 22, 2011

Speech by Dr. John R. Lott, Jr.

Dr. John R. Lott, Jr., the internationally renowned author and activist for the Constitutional right to bear arms, spoke at the Commons Center this past Monday on the subject of gun control. Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) at Vanderbilt sponsored the presentation.

He opened his speech with a simple question: “Can you name one place that’s adopted a gun ban that has seen a drop in crime numbers?”

Lott provided the audience with graphs and statistics showing that gun control laws in cities such as Washington, D.C. and Chicago, IL, actually experienced increased overall crime rates. “It is the good, law-abiding citizens who obey the ban and turn in their guns, not the criminals,” he said.

Lott also showed that multiple victim public shootings in the United States and abroad could be prevented if citizens were allowed to carry weapons. “All these shootings in all these different countries are occurring in gun free zones,” he said.

He further blamed the media for neglecting to portray the positive effects of gun rights. When citizens stop a crime with guns, media outlets rarely ever mention the fact that a gun was used in the stopping of that crime, according to Lott.

Audience reactions to Lott’s speech were generally positive. “I really liked the good presentation of data and how he pointed out how muddled the issue is,” said first-year John Arnold.

“He finished off really well as he tied economic statistics into the scenario of carrying on campus. It was interesting when he started telling stores about multiple victim public shootings,” said Kenny Tan, President of YAL at Vanderbilt.

Lott’s presentation was particularly important for local Nashville resident Nikki Goeser. In 2009, a stalker murdered her husband right in front of her.

“My stalker did not have a permit (for a gun), and I followed the law and left my gun in the car. Dr. Lott’s research is very important to the entire public. It shows the importance of carrying for self-defense,” Goeser said.


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