Longtime Second Amendment advocate and researcher Dr. John Lott, who until very recently headed up the non-profit Crime Prevention Research Center, now has a new gig with the Department of Justice. Politico reports that Lott was hired as a senior analyst in the DOJ’s Office of Justice Programs, which serves as the “federal government’s leading source of funding and research to strengthen the justice system, support law enforcement, and enhance victim services,” according to the office’s website.
Andrew Pollack, whose daughter Meadow was among those murdered in the shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida in 2018, has been named the new president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, and the organization’s executive director Nikki Goeser told Politico that the group will continue with its mission of providing academic-quality research on the relationship between laws regulating the ownership or use of guns, crime, and public safety.
“Since Dr. Lott left the CPRC on October 12th, much about the CPRC will remain unchanged,” Goeser told POLITICO by email.
“Research projects that we have been conducting are continuing: on the percent of gun ownership across different countries as well as our regular reports on things such as the number of concealed handgun permits, keeping track of what would have been mass public shootings that were stopped by concealed handgun permit holders will continue, keeping track of states that allow people to carry handguns at state capitols will continue, and similarly for state rules on letting teachers carry guns,” she added.
According to Politico, a DOJ spokesperson wouldn’t say whether Lott’s position is a civil service job or a political appointment, but I hope for Lott’s case that his hiring came with civil service job protections, because gun control activists are assuredly going to do everything in their power to go after the author of More Guns, Less Crime and other works that debunk many of the lies told by anti-gun groups, academics, and politicians.
Of course, if Joe Biden truly wants to try to “unify” the country, keeping Lott on would be a step in the right direction. Lott’s research has not only focused on the failures of gun control laws in reducing crime, but has also highlighted what actually works. His expertise and experience with the issue could help to direct federal funds towards truly worthwhile initiatives that can reduce violence, as opposed to simply throwing money at schemes like “gun buybacks.”
Pollack, meanwhile, has a national presence thanks to his advocacy for school security in the wake of the Parkland murders. His book Why Meadow Died: The People and Policies That Created The Parkland Shooter and Endanger America’s Students is a searing indictment of dysfunctional criminal justice and public education systems that even drew praise from March For Our Lives co-founder Cameron Kasky, who called the Pollack “the bold, striking colossus of Parkland politics.”
With Pollack serving as the new president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, the organization should be able to raise its profile even further. I think Andrew Pollack’s a great pick for the position, and hopefully Lott’s new role at the Department of Justice won’t be undone in the months ahead.