Gun Expert Decides To Make Stuff Up. Reporter Decides To Shut Him Down.

Adam Mordecai Curated by

John Lott is a scholar at the University of Maryland. He has a history of dishonesty (see below video) despite his impressive resume. He uses logical fallacies and arbitrary data points to justify eliminating most gun laws.  His theory is that all the killers from Oregon, to Columbine, to Aurora, to Newtown specifically chose their targets based on what local gun laws are so that no one else would have a gun to shoot back. Ergo, eliminate all carry laws and bans, thereby making sociopathic murderers think twice, knowing everyone could be armed.

Thankfully, Soledad wasn't having it. And the result is very satisfying.

At 1:20, Soledad has already had enough and challenges him.  At 2:23, Soledad says no again. At 3:36, she's so baffled, she just ignores his really invalid points and goes back to actually trying to make him do basic math. At 4:58, she continues to pummel him with reason. And at 7:15, Soledad shuts that whole thing down. FYI: When John Lott says at 5:45 that an AR-15 is basically just a prettied up hunting rifle, he's doing what we call in the biz "not being honest at all." Before I wrote this piece, I called my redneck, backwoods-Kentucky, gun-loving, hunting fan of a brother-in-law (his words, not mine) to make sure I had the facts right. According to him, an AR-15 is the civilian M-16, a weapon for killing, whereas most hunting rifles hold three or four bullets in a clip and are slower to fire. Because deer hunting requires a little more nuance and skill. We may try some target practice when I go there for Christmas.

Additionally, he argues in more than one interview that the Columbine killers chose the school as a target because it was a gun free zone, thereby allowing them to kill without getting shot at. However, one of the killers, Eric Harris said during the attack, "Let's go kill some cops" which invalidates his entire thesis, what with police being armed and whatnot.

You should also know that John Lott used to create fake internet commenters to defend himself back in the day. So that's fun. And should be reason enough for you to share this.

Lastly, you should also go to Soledad's Facebook page and let her know you appreciate her doing her job so well.

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ORIGINAL: By Soledad O'Brien. Found on ThinkProgress.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this post included what I mistakenly concluded from his interview, that John Lott wants to eliminate ALL gun laws. He tweeted at me that he never actually says that in the clipTechnically, that seems to be correct, though it is often implied. I apologize for the error. I have adjusted it, and asked him to let me know what his actual stance is, since he doesn't actually deny believing that in the above clip, when Soledad asks him about it. If and when he let's me know what his official stance is, I'll repost it here, verbatim. 

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