Just One Question Asked by Dr. Lott

Quote of the Day

Can you name me one place in the world, any place in the world, that has either banned all guns or all handguns and seen murder or homicide rates go down? Or even stayed the same? Because I can’t find it.

Every single place in the world that has done that, we’ve seen increases.

And you’d think just out of randomness, once or twice a ban on all guns or all handguns would see just out of randomness see a decrease.


John R. Lott. Jr.
Crime Prevention Research Center
March 11, 2024
Debate on the Second Amendment at the University of Wisconsin, John Lott v Sanford Levinson
Was the Second Amendment a Mistake or a Success?”

Compare Dr. Lott’s words to my Just One Question.

I expected Dr. Lott to wipe the floor with Sandy Levinson. He didn’t. It wasn’t really a debate. At one point Levinson said (paraphrasing):

I do not think the government should ban guns.

If we accept John’s evidence, then I, as a liberal, would support the government subsidizing the purchase of guns to get them in the hands of those in need who don’t have the financial means to purchase quality guns.

Levinson assertions as to the 2nd Amendment being a mistake or out of date were of the nature of it should be state and/or city power to regulate guns as they see fit for their particular circumstances. And there are other parts of the constitution which give the gun owners adequate protection. And the 2nd Amendment is about overthrowing a tyrannical government and nothing to do with self protection against violent individuals.

I thought he made arguments that could be debated and respected by reasonable people. Dr. Lott made some excellent points that severely undermined Levison’s argument, but Levinson did not spend any time as a dust mop on the floor.

See also Debate, John Lott and Sanford Levison: Was the Second Amendment a Mistake? (jpfo.org)


7 thoughts on “Just One Question Asked by Dr. Lott

  1. It is interesting that Levinson does not recognize the great loss of liberty and freedom that has occurred in the last 20 years alone. The path this nation is on now, if not soon altered, will bring an unequivocal evidence that the 2nd Amendment is indeed needed for its original intention. I only hope that should that time come that there will be people on par with our founders that have the facility to relaunch our ship of state as originally intended.

    BTW, I think there is a typo in Dr. Lott’s statement “Because I can(‘t?) find it” as quoted in the post.

    • I think there is a typo in Dr. Lott’s statement “Because I can(‘t?) find it” as quoted in the post.


  2. What isn’t in debate is the fact that human nature requires humans to be armed.
    No substitute works. One can say; We don’t need guns because it’s peaceful here and now. But that is always a transit proposition. Nothing ever stays the same, geopolitically.
    Except pretty much what no one wants to talk about. Human nature. And how it interworks with power dictates the necessity of arms always under the control of the common man.
    Tyrants going to tyrant. It’s their nature. It’s inescapable. They find a way to power. Then they abuse and murder those below them.
    Gun control has no argument as long as humans can exercise power over one another. Which always has been, and always will be on the earth.
    Like the little Chinese lady that escaped communism said at a gun control debate.
    (Me paraphrasing.)
    “I have watched the horrors of what the communist government has done to a disarmed people.
    Can you guarantee that government will not become tyrannical?
    Then your argument is over, and I will keep my guns.”
    Anyone that wants to disarm you wants the ability to control you. Or is too ignorant to have a conversation with.
    There is no in between.
    Besides, no honest politician has anything to worry about, right?

  3. “[O]ther parts of the constitution which give the gun owners adequate protection.”
    What other parts might they be?
    We can see even with a specifically enumerated right, using the plain language “shall not be infringed”, that restrictive laws directed against the non-criminal population universally result in such uncontrolled violence against the non-criminal majority as to prove the need for the specific language.

    • I don’t remember for certain, watch the video. But I think it boiled down to it should be left up to the states and cities. And, IIRC, other parts of the constitution which are ignored even more than the 2nd Amendment.

    • WW, the “other” parts of the Constitution, IF obeyed, that would be adequate are first of all Article 1 Section 1 (“…herein granted…”), also Article 1 Section 8, and then for extra redundancy there’s the 10th Amendment, and also the 9th.
      Madison once pointed out that the Bill of Rights is redundant because it merely prohibits the Federal government from doing what Article 1 never permitted it in the first place. But as we know, ever since the ink on the Constitution dried, politicians have trampled all over it. Having the same right protected 5 times is not even close to good enough, it seems. Neil Smith has suggested that this is so because the Constitution contains no means for the people to enforce it against politicians.

  4. “But I think it boiled down to it should be left up to the states and cities.”

    That entire concept is a faulty premise.

    The Constitution serves as a foundational platform for everything built upon it, such as statutes, borders, economics, standards of social interaction, elections (aka “board of director choices”), etc., much like large stones are placed below grade or concrete is poured to perform as a foundational platform for a house. It is possible, and often done, that a house is constructed with cantilevered sections not directly supported by the foundation; these sections are necessarily small, and usually few in number, as gravity is an uncompromising force and assisted by leverage, can easily cause severe deterioration, or even collapse, of the structure; thrust lines, and the forces they transfer, are often ignored, and ignorance about concentration of point vs area loads can accelerate the deteriorative process.

    The same is true of societies constructed with a Constitution as foundational document; extending societal activity beyond the foundation can be performed, but like cantilevered second, third and multiple additional building floors, by only a little bit and even then, not too often. Extend cantilevers too far, or have too many of them, and the comfortable shelter of walls and roof may cease to exist, often quite suddenly, and whomever survives the building’s collapse will wonder what happened.

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