Lott: Anti-Gun Activists Weaponizing Capitol Riot

Dr. John Lott is apparently back at the Crime Prevention Research Center after a brief stint as a senior analyst in the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs. The longtime Second Amendment researcher and academic has a new op/ed at Newsweek today, arguing that anti-gun activists should not be allowed to weaponize the riot at the U.S. Capitol to advance their own agenda.

Specifically, Lott notes that gun control groups like Everytown for Gun Safety are demanding bans on open carrying of firearms as a result of the riot, even though guns weren’t prevalent among those arrested for their part in the riot. As Lott says, the gun control movement is hoping to use fear, not facts, to advance their agenda.

Without such a ban, “the president and the gun lobby [will] hold our democracy hostage by threatening voters and elected officials with deadly force,” argued John Feinblatt, president of Michael Bloomberg‘s Everytown for Gun Safety. Similarly, the Giffords gun control organization’s top state legislative priority is to ban guns in as many state capitols as it can.

But gun control activists have been gradually losing this battle over eliminating gun-free zones. More state capitols currently allow carrying guns than ever before.

Twenty-three states now allow people to carry guns within their state capitols, and Montana should become the 24th state within the next couple of weeks. At least four additional states officially ban guns on state capitol grounds, but they don’t check legislators—and some carry.

Despite carrying being allowed for decades (or possibly even longer) in many of these statehouses, no one has ever been injured or killed. There have been no reported problems with civilians being able to carry on statehouse grounds.

That last sentence from Lott isn’t exactly true. There have been problems reported, but only from lawmakers who say they don’t like the practice. As far as any actual wrongdoing on the part of legal gun owners, no, there’s no evidence for that.

But gun control activists don’t need evidence. In fact, they don’t want it in this case, since the facts completely undercut their agenda. Instead, they’re advancing the notion that 74-million Americans are dangerous individuals because they voted for Donald Trump, and the only way to ensure our safety against the deplorable hordes is to impose restrictions on our Constitutional rights.

Aug 03, 2021 4:30 PM ET