‘More Guns, Less Crime’ lecture takes aim at President’s stats
Regardless of individual political stances, an audience of more than 200 people turned out for the lecture, “More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws” by Fox News Contributor John Lott.
The Clinton School of Public Service hosted Lott’s lecture, which outlined key points of his book, on Saturday, March 9 at noon in Sturgis Hall. This lecture occurs on the tails of recent Arkansas legislation, passed by both the House of Representatives and the Senate, which allows universities to decide for themselves whether or not to allow concealed weapons on their campuses.
Lott’s lecture argues against gun control restrictions in America.
“All of these laws [dealing with universal background checks] that we talk about have both costs and benefits. Often we hear about the benefits. I mean, everybody wants to keep criminals from getting guns,” said Lott. “I don’t think any of you would disagree with that. But these laws also have some costs too, and I think we need to talk about those a little.”
The speaker critiqued President Barack Obama’s January 2013 claim that, “it’s hard to enforce that law [concerning universal background checks] when as many as 40 percent of all gun purchases are conducted without a background check. That’s not safe. That’s not smart.”
Lott also mentioned Vice President Joe Biden’s issuing essentially the “same statement” as the president: “The consensus is that about 40 percent of the people who buy guns today do so outside the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).”
“Well, unfortunately,” Lott said, “these statements are not quite right.” He attempted to summarize his critique by citing a small study performed during the Clinton administration which revealed, he said, that 36 percent of gun transfers did not go through background checks systems.
“So what the president basically did, is he took the 36, rounded up to 40 percent…but that’s minor. The big thing was changing the terms ‘transfers’ to ‘sales’,” maintained Lott. “Because there a huge difference when talking about transfers between individuals and sales. In fact, the vast majority of transfers are within family gifts or inheritances.”