ABC's Shameful '20/20' Experiment-John Lott

This is a discussion on ABC's Shameful '20/20' Experiment-John Lott within the The Second Amendment & Gun Legislation Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; John Lott responds to 20/20 show.-good as always. JOHN LOTT: ABC’s Shameful ‘20/20′ Experiment FOX Forum FOXNews.com April 15th, 2009 5:08 PM Eastern JOHN LOTT: ...

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    VIP Member Array miklcolt45's Avatar
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    Thumbs up ABC's Shameful '20/20' Experiment-John Lott

    John Lott responds to 20/20 show.-good as always.

    JOHN LOTT: ABC’s Shameful ‘20/20′ Experiment FOX Forum FOXNews.com

    April 15th, 2009 5:08 PM Eastern
    JOHN LOTT: ABC’s Shameful ‘20/20′ Experiment

    By John R. Lott, Jr.

    Gun control advocates look desperate. Last Friday night, on April 10, ABC aired a heavily promoted, hour long “20/20″ special called “If I Only Had a Gun.” It is ABC’s equivalent of NBC’s infamous exploding gas tanks in General Motors pickups where NBC rigged the truck to explode. With legislation in Texas and Missouri advancing to eliminate gun-free zones at universities, perhaps this response isn’t surprising.

    The show started and ended by claiming that allowing potential victims to carry guns would not help keep them safe –- not even with hundreds of hours of practice firing guns.

    No mention was made of the actual multiple victim public shootings stopped by people with concealed handguns nor did they describe who actually carried out such shootings. Instead, ABC presented a rigged experiment where one student in a classroom had a gun. But sometimes even the best editors can’t hide everything the camera sees.

    The experiment was set up to make the student fail. It did not resemble a real-world shooting. The same scenario is shown three times, but in each case the student with the gun is seated in the same seat –- the center seat in the front row. The attacker is not only a top-notch shooter –- a firearms expert who teaches firearms tactics and strategy to police -– but also obviously knows precisely where the student with the gun is sitting.

    Each time the experiment is run, the attacker first fires two shots at the teacher in the front of the class and then turns his gun directly on the very student with the gun. The attacker wastes no time trying to gun down any of the unarmed students. Thus, very unrealistically, between the very first shot setting the armed student on notice and the shots at the armed student, there is at most 2 seconds. The armed student is allowed virtually no time to react and, unsurprisingly, fails under the same circumstances that would have led even experienced police officers to fare poorly.

    But in the real world, a typical shooter is not a top-notch firearms expert and has no clue about whether or not anyone might be armed and, if so, where they are seated. If you have 50 people –- a pretty typical college classroom –- and he is unknown to the attacker, the armed student is given a tremendous advantage. Actually, if the experiment run by “20/20″ seriously demonstrated anything, it highlighted the problem of relying on uniformed police or security guards for safety: the killer instantly knows whom to shoot first.

    Yet, in the ABC experiment, the purposefully disadvantaged students are not just identified and facing (within less than 2 seconds) an attacker whose gun is already drawn. They are also forced to wear unfamiliar gloves, a helmet, and a holster. This only adds to the difficulties the students face in handling their guns.

    Given this set-up the second student, Danielle, performed admirably well. She shot the firearms expert in his left leg near the groin. If real bullets had been used, that might well have disabled the attacker and cut short his shooting spree.

    Nevertheless, even terrible shooters can often be quite effective. Despite all of ABC’s references to the Columbine attack, the network never mention the armed guard at the school. He had an unusually poor target shooting record –- indeed it is reported that he couldn’t even hit a target. Yet, his bravery still saved many lives because his poorly aimed shots forced the two killers to engage in gunfire with him. This slowed down their killing spree and gave many students a chance to escape the building. The guard was only forced to retreat and leave the school himself because of the homemade grenades that the Columbine murderers had.

    The Columbine murderers strongly and actively opposed passage of Colorado’s right-to-carry law, particularly the part that would have allowed concealed handguns being legally carried on school campuses. What goes unnoticed is that the Columbine attack took place the very day that the state legislature scheduled final passage of the concealed handgun law.

    Time after time the attackers in these multiple victim public shootings consciously avoid areas where people might be able to defend themselves. In the attack on the Jewish community center in Los Angeles in which five people were wounded, the attacker had apparently “scouted three of the West Coast’s most prominent Jewish institutions—the Museum of Tolerance, the Skirball Cultural Center and the University of Judaism—but found security too tight.”

    In the real world, even having a gun and pointing it at an attacker has often convinced the attacker to stop shooting and surrender. Examples include high schools in Pearl, Mississippi and Edinboro, Pennsylvania, as well as the Appalachian Law School in Virginia. Street attacks in Memphis to Detroit ended this way, too, without any more shots fired.

    Even if the cases don’t get much attention, gun permit holders stop these multiple victim attacks on a regular basis. Ironically, just this past Saturday, the day after ABC’s broadcast, a permit holder in Columbia, Texas stopped a mass robbery by fatally shooting the criminal. Some Web sites have started collecting these and other defensive gun use cases (e.g., see here, here, and here).

    ABC’S “20/20″ exaggerates “the danger of accidentally hitting a friend” when confronting an attacker. The show cites as an example is a man who mistook his wife for an intruder. Obviously that case is a tragedy, but those cases are exceedingly rare. But why didn’t they present a single multiple victim attack as an example? Simple, because it has not happened.

    ABC pushes the notion that gun show regulations, rather than arming potential victims, can stop these attacks. But very few criminals get their guns from gun shows: a U.S. Justice Department survey of 18,000 state prison inmates showed that less than one percent (0.7%) of prisoners had obtained their gun from a gun show. Even adding flea markets and gun shows together raises the number to just 1.7 percent. There is not a single academic study showing that regulating private individuals selling their own guns — the so-called “gun show loophole” — reduces any type of violent crime. What the regulations have accomplished is cutting the number of gun shows by 25 percent.

    The show ends with this claim:

    “If you are wondering where are all the studies about the effectiveness of guns used by ordinary Americans for self-defense, well keep searching, we could not find one reliable study and the ones we found were contradictory.”

    Yet, “contradictory” is an overstatement. There have been 26 peer-reviewed studies published by criminologists and economists in academic journals and university presses. Most of these studies find large drops in crime. Some find no change, but not a single one shows an increase in crime.

    You would think that if gun control worked as well as ABC implies, there wouldn’t be these multiple victim public shootings in those European countries with gun laws much stricter than those being publicly discussed in the United States or by ABC. Yet, multiple victim public shootings are quite common in Europe. In just the last few days, there have been a shooting at a college in Greece and in a crowded café in Rotterdam. Of course, the worst K-12 public school shootings are in Europe.

    Given the hundreds of millions of dollars that have been spent annually in the United States for police officers on campus and other programs, one would hope that this relatively inexpensive alternative, where people are willing to bear the costs themselves to protect others, would be taken more seriously.

    ABC never mentions a simple fact: all multiple victim public shootings with more than 3 people killed have occurred where permitted concealed handguns are prohibited. Rather than studying what actually happens during these shootings, ABC conjured up rigged experiments aimed at convincing Americans that guns are ineffective. Unfortunately, ABC’s advice, rather than making victims safe, makes things safer for attackers.

    John Lott is a senior research scientist at the University of Maryland and the author of More Guns, Less Crime (University of Chicago Press, second edition, 2000) and The Bias Against Guns (Regnery, 2003). Much of the discussion here is based on both books.
    Thank God for people like John Lott, who try to stem the tide of absurdity and inanity.

    Add: If you go to the website, there are links to a number of other sites with great information.
    Last edited by miklcolt45; April 16th, 2009 at 09:14 AM. Reason: add info
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Thank God for people like John Lott, who try to stem the tide of absurdity and inanity.
    Against the absurdity and insanity, he can do wonders. It's against stupidity that we're having a tough time. That so many millions of the unthinking wad will believe the pap they were spoon-fed ... that's the field we have to plow, here. At least with companies, it's relatively simple to thwart their intentions once you know their motivations. It's hard to know what makes "stupid" go 'round. Short of being victimized and criminalized (or even made dead), some simply won't get it until it strikes them directly.

    Lott is a wonder, no arguments here. Fairly rational and well researched, he presents what is.
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    VIP Member Array edr9x23super's Avatar
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    Mr. Lott sees the same things I saw in the 2020 documentary last week; it is easy to set those kids up to fail when they are outfitted with equipment that was never intended for concealed carry; if I were running the test, I would:

    1) make sure that after the scenario was gone over, I would have the "student" changes clothes so the instructor BG would not be able to pick the student out;

    2) have the students change places moments before the BG comes in.

    3) make sure the clothing and gear worn truly reflect what is being carried out in the real world today.

    I am still eagerly awaiting FOX news to come out with such a story to counter the BS that ABC puts out......
    "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined". - Patrick Henry

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    VIP Member Array grady's Avatar
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    Very well said by John Lott. I think I'll purchase a couple of his books to show my support.

    Quote Originally Posted by edr9x23super View Post
    Mr. Lott sees the same things I saw in the 2020 documentary last week; it is easy to set those kids up to fail when they are outfitted with equipment that was never intended for concealed carry; if I were running the test, I would:

    1) make sure that after the scenario was gone over, I would have the "student" changes clothes so the instructor BG would not be able to pick the student out;

    2) have the students change places moments before the BG comes in.

    3) make sure the clothing and gear worn truly reflect what is being carried out in the real world today.

    I am still eagerly awaiting FOX news to come out with such a story to counter the BS that ABC puts out......
    Agreed. It would also be useful to provide a classroom where no one had a gun, and document the outcome.

    It would also be interesting to have a scenario where several students and/or the teacher had guns.

    It would be more accurate, according to the real-life examples, for the shooter to not be as skilled as the one in ABC's story. But even if he was skilled, the outcomes would be different than the ones ABC showed.

    It wouldn't be hard to discredit ABC's story. I wish someone would take up the challenge and do an hour-long expose on how ABC's "study" was flawed.

    I remember CBS's story where they rigged the results of the exploding gas tanks. They were exposed, and rightfully so. I'd like to see the same thing with ABC.

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    Distinguished Member Array lacrosse50's Avatar
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    I missed the broadcast, but it certainly sounds biased. I've also never run across Mr Lott, but he's got some very well thought out and reasoned arguments. Definitely going to have to do some more reading. Thanks for the post!
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    Distinguished Member Array TerriLi's Avatar
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    Almost all of the 20/20 "facts" were cherry picked, almost never happen incidents. The Experiments were shooting gallaries setting up the "Concealed Carrier" a person thats never CC a day in their life in a lose lose situation.
    Honestly if this is the "News" then I seriously think American is in trouble. When the honary 4th branch of goverment is active against the 2A then we all have much to fear.
    I know not what this "overkill" means.

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    Amen brother....

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    Agreed on al of the above; I am going to send a letter to Fox news volunteering my services to help in such a "test" to see if they will do one to try and refute the 2020 test.....
    "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined". - Patrick Henry

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    Quote Originally Posted by edr9x23super View Post
    Mr. Lott sees the same things I saw in the 2020 documentary last week; it is easy to set those kids up to fail when they are outfitted with equipment that was never intended for concealed carry; if I were running the test, I would:

    1) make sure that after the scenario was gone over, I would have the "student" changes clothes so the instructor BG would not be able to pick the student out;

    2) have the students change places moments before the BG comes in.

    3) make sure the clothing and gear worn truly reflect what is being carried out in the real world today.

    I am still eagerly awaiting FOX news to come out with such a story to counter the BS that ABC puts out......
    ...and, change the classroom to be used at the last minute. Then it's a more realistic situation for the shooter.
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    Mr. John Lott- say it again brother! When I saw this documentary, I was more upset at the way this was presented than at people who simply don't believe in guns for self-defense. This was as biased as they come, and the experiment found conclusions that they had already come up with and simply played it out in staged scenario. ABC should be embarrassed to have done this type of journalism, and Diane Sawyer should be reprimanded for not being a journalist and simply reporting facts. Sad thing is, some sheeple will gobble this up with ignorance.
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    VIP Member Array Patti's Avatar
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    Contact the producers of 20/20 and let them know your thoughts.

    Send them an e-mail:

    Network Programming Feedback - ABC News

    Or, you can also reach them at:

    ABCNews
    7 WEST 66th Street
    New York, NY 10023

    Also, tell them that you will start boycotting their sponsors.
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    Member Array alan93's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patti View Post
    Contact the producers of 20/20 and let them know your thoughts.

    Send them an e-mail:

    Network Programming Feedback - ABC News

    Or, you can also reach them at:

    ABCNews
    7 WEST 66th Street
    New York, NY 10023

    Also, tell them that you will start boycotting their sponsors.
    Thanks, I hate looking that stuff up lol.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I watched your special "If I Only Had A Gun" and wanted to say how utterly digusted I was to find out you staged the entire class room shooting scene. Your demonstrated bias against gun owners is nothing more than a deceptive and cowardly attempt to subvert the 2nd Ammendment of the Constitution under the guise of a "news show" is appalling and reprehensible.
    I will no longer view ABC News as a credible news source and will look else where when I want to get REAL news without faked editorials.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Dang, they only give you 500 chars. I wanted to go on for three pages

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    When looking for the video on ABCNews' website, I also found the video entitled "When Older Kids Find Guns." ABC News

    It'll make your stomach churn.

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    I still don't get it, what do the anti-gunners have to gain by misleading/propagating this stuff? I'm a moderate liberal by definitions but I just can't understand ABC on this...the question I always like to ask is: "Who is making money off this?" I guess sensationalism/controversy is always a money maker so that could be the source of it, but still.

    That being said, I think Gun Control is an excellent idea; learning how to use it, being educated on the laws, being responsible on how and when you carry it. Perhaps we don't need Gun Control we need People Control. That might be a long time waiting, but, look at the influx of new gun owners. Put the facts out there, us liberals will come around if you give us enough time. (The hippies though, are a lost cause)

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    Quote Originally Posted by TerriLi View Post
    Almost all of the 20/20 "facts" were cherry picked, almost never happen incidents. The Experiments were shooting gallaries setting up the "Concealed Carrier" a person thats never CC a day in their life in a lose lose situation.
    Honestly if this is the "News" then I seriously think American is in trouble. When the honary 4th branch of goverment is active against the 2A then we all have much to fear.
    I saw the show and totally agree.
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