“The beauty of the Second Amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it.” Thomas Jefferson…right?

I’ve increasinlgy seen this gem pulled out by the righ-wing(nits) as of late. Fine words from the great Thomas Jefferson they claim…

Just one problem- according to the historians at Jeffersons Monticello he never said it (or anything like it)

And I’m assuming this is related to an email from one of the right-wing(nut) groups, as they almost always seem to mention “research” from the “esteemed” Dr. John Lott, an economist, A Fox “News” contributor, and his book “More guns, Less Crime, the Bias Against Guns” He (in)famously penned “research” in 1997 claiming concealed carry laws resulted in less crime. “Research” that was quickly derided by many experts in the field as deeply flawed on a number of levels. Indeed, in 2006 Lott filed suit against the authors of Freakanomics for daring to point out his “Research” had not been backed up by other researchers in the field.

And of course- in 2004 the National Academy of Science did an exhaustive review of the research on whether permissive gun laws such as concealed carry laws had a role in reducing crime, including Lotts research. And they unequivocally found that there was no evidence whatsoever to back the claims made by Lott.

Likewise Lott has been unable to produce the data of a supposed survey of several thousand americans he basis his “research” on. After a great deal of negative publicity for Lott, a  whopping two gun nuts- one a former detective and one a former NRA board member came forward claiming they had indeed participated in the supposed survey.

He has also faced claims of everything from junk science, to falsifying data, to unscientific methods, to having studies funded by the NRA and gun manufacturers.

Regardless, his “research” has failed the very basic test of science- it is not repeatable. His results do not match that of any legitimate researcher in the field.

Don’t believe everything you read. Hell, don’t believe everything you think. And I am simply tired of people who don’t bother to do even the most basic of fact checking on simple things because they want to believe. And of people promoting “experts” who are anything but simply because they support their view…


About drugsandotherthings

I am a criminal. Because I have used cannabis and psychedelics extensively. I have tried many other drugs, but never cared for the uppers, downers, or dissociatives. I love craft beer, and absinthe, but don't care much for alcohols effects- which quite frankly, are boring and dangerous. Science is my religion. I am in my 40's, and have travelled extensively. And often forced myself outside of my confort zone. I am employed, a respected member of my communtiy, an animal lover, an environmentalist, a political junkie, and the realities I have experienced continue to push me further to the left of the political spectrum.
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7 Responses to “The beauty of the Second Amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it.” Thomas Jefferson…right?

  1. List of X says:

    Probably somewhere deep at Breitbart.com or WND there is a guy who writes these Jefferson quotes.

  2. lwk2431 says:

    You wrote:

    “Regardless, his “research” has failed the very basic test of science- it is not repeatable. His results do not match that of any legitimate researcher in the field.”

    Dr. John Lott’s research was basically statistical in nature – examining crime statistics before and after “shall issue” concealed carry laws were enacted and it definitely show significant correlation between between law abiding citizens carrying concealed handguns and a drop in violent crime where a criminal now had to contemplate that his next victim on the street might be armed.

    The data – crime statistics – is generally available to anyone who wants to challenge his results. He may be an economist, but what is important is his ability to do mathematical analysis.


    Who Needs An Assault Rifle?

    • Umm- actually you are misrepresenting what the data says- which is, at best- nothing. In other words- virtually all the research on the matter- including the review of all the research by the National Academy of Sciences drew the same conclusion- there is essentially no evidence whatsoever that concealed carry laws have any impact on crime (and to a lesser extend, finding that strict gun control often has little effect on crime- with the major caveat that local regulation can do little when a couple hour drive can circumvent the law).

      There is also the glaring failure in Lott’s research, and one that is hard to deal with in the best research- of the numerous comingling factors. Such as the rise in social and economics occuring under Clinton at the time of the research. The drop in violent crime occuring in most of the nation at the time. The demise of the worst of the crack cocaine boom….

      I have never, in the past, been a gun control advocate. But the situation in america has gotten out of hand. And really- you think a carbine is a good home defense weapon? Poorly suited for close quarters-when a mossberg 590a1 or a semi auto handgun is far better suited.

      Sorry- but the evidence is quite clear. Most gun deaths, and shootings, are not premeditated or the result of robberys- they are arguements where easy access to a gun ends disastrously. Likewise the evidence is quite clear- a gun in the home is far, far more likely to inflict death or injury on a resident or friend then an intruder.

      This “fear” that americans seem to live in is, quite literally, killing us.

      • jlue says:

        Do you think fear is killing us or carelessness? If we were better educated on gun safety some lives could be saved, but disarming the American public is not the answer. Put yourself in place of the criminal and ask yourself a few questions. If you are going to a neighborhood to commit an armed robbery or burglary and you have foreknowledge that one neighborhood consist of mainly armed households and the other of unarmed, which do you choose? If you do not intend to follow the law, do you prefer an unarmed general populace or an armed populace?

        Now consider this: If, God forbid, our government should be overtaken by a tyrant such as Hitler or Castro, would you prefer the people be armed or unarmed? We now have a president who uses Drones to kill American citizens. What might be next? Do you want your own loved ones unarmed?

        Isn’t education a better solution than disarming all citizens?

      • Yes- I do think it is fear. And ignorance, And anger. The vast majority of gun violence has nothing to do with crime and everything to do with arguements that get out of hand. Arguements, where the ready access to a gun results in tragedy.

        And sorry- but the evidence does not support your claims. The evidence is that concealed carry laws and other loose gun laws have absolutely no meaningful effect on crime. To be fair- the onverse is almost as true- strict gun control has minimal effect on violent crime. But there is a major caveat to that one- namely that strict gun control tends to be a local issue. To a lesser extent a state issue. But in a society where one can drive a few hours to avoid the laws. Where gun shows, pawn shops, and “private sales” are exempted from even rudimentary background checks. Where a handful of gun shops in a few states supply the vast majority of guns used in crime by selling hundreds and thousands of guns to straw men who then resell them with no checks…the laws aren’t worth the paper they’re written on.

        Care to show me one single case where a dictator was stymied by a population with guns? Where they did not rise to power without the support of a substantial portion of the population- and more importantly- the military and police forces? This isn’t hollywood. This is america. A theoretical tyrant is not going to be stopped by a few people with guns. If such an unlikely event occured- it would take dissension in the military. State governors being in opposition- and molbilizing their national guard and/or opening their armories to the public (remember the wise words of the founding fathers? “A well regulated militia…”- yes, you know, the part most of the NRA types seem to delete from the 2nd amendment?)

        And ok- drones. Completely off topic but ok- yes- worrying. And oddly enough- stories broken by the evil left wing media. Who have also had the most cogent discussions of the matter. So yes, it is something we need to deal with as a nation in an intelligent manner. But it is also a sign of the 21st century. A couple of cases involving american born individuals who for all intents and purposes, albeit not officially, have renounced their american citizenship. Individuals who for all intents and purposes were involved in treason- and of fomenting violence and warfare against america, her people, and her intersts. Individuals who had taken refuge in hostile nations. Individuals who were highly unlikely to ever be brought to justice under existing laws and treaties. So yes- a thorny issue. And one we as a nation MUST deal with.

        And finally, yes- I do want my loved ones unarmed. Because the evidence is that those arms are far more likely to kill them then to protect them. I had owned guns all my life. Had a concealed carry permit most of my adult life. And 5+ years ago I made the decision to give up all my guns. I have never needed them for protection. Statistically speaking I never will. And statistically speaking- I was for more likely to see heartbreak and tragedy then justification.

      • jlue says:

        I do not disagree with everything that you say, but I do disagree with one thing. If you think that guns are dangerous and you should not be armed I respect you and and your right to make that decision. I know that some gun owners are very irresponsible. I do not think, however, that you or anyone else should have the right to disarm the American people just because that is what you believe. I know that education should be a part of gun ownership. That would end much of the ‘fear’ and the accidents that occur as would ending the propaganda war. Class warfare, political warfare, and irrational political arguing really needs to be replaced with rational and reasonable dialogue.

  3. lwk2431 says:

    You wrote:

    “…you think a carbine is a good home defense weapon? Poorly suited for close quarters-when a mossberg 590a1 or a semi auto handgun is far better suited.”

    Why do SWAT teams and Marines engaged in CQB (close quarter combat) chose the M16 in Carbine form (usually a version of the M4)? Ask my son in the Marines – if you are doing CQB and don’t have an M4, you trade with a guy that does who is not going in at that time. You collapse the buttstock and make it as short as possible. Again, when you see SWAT teams going into a house is the principal weapon you see a lot of them carrying not an AR-15? (and often a Colt “Law Enforcement” version like mine).

    Did you read?

    Who Needs An Assault Rifle?

    In every respect the AR-15in carbine form with a collapsible buttstock firing frangible ammo at 3000 fps is arguably the best firearm for home defense. Depending on the shell loaded a shotgun can overpenetrate, and most hollowpoints will also penetrate the flimsy plasterboard walls of modern houses and apartments. But that 45 grain .223 frangible round at 3,000 feet will disintegrate on plasterboard, but also have trememdous stopping power at close range.

    Handguns take practice to learn to use, and even then, under stress it is easy to miss even at very close ranges. The AR-15 carbine with a much longer sight radius and braced against the shoulder with low recoil and high accuracy is much better and more forgiving of errors at close range, the kind of errors my wife might make defending herself when I am away.

    And wrote:

    “Likewise the evidence is quite clear- a gun in the home is far, far more likely to inflict death or injury on a resident or friend then an intruder.”

    Now there is a real case of a New England Journal of Medicine article by Dr. Kellerman that was thoroughly debunked. Maybe if you are an ex-convict living with a drug dealer his numbers might apply.

    Dr. Gary Kleck, an award winning criminologist at Florida State University in a famous study showed that firearms are used over two _million_ times in self defense every year in the United States.


    “But the situation in america has gotten out of hand.”

    Actually crime and homicide rates have been on a steady decline since the 1990s.


    “… the National Academy of Sciences drew the same conclusion- there is essentially no evidence whatsoever that concealed carry laws have any impact on crime.”

    Even if true, then that research also shows that large scale concealed carry has no negative effect either, right?

    Here is another statistic for you. A study showed that people with concealed carry licenses were convicted of a firearms offense at a rate of 0.002 perent per year. That is the same rate as for police.


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