Natalie Wolchover and her inaccurate "news story" for LiveScience.com

Ms. Natalie Wolchover contacted me late in the afternoon on Monday, July 23 for her piece for LiveScience.com entitled: "Could Concealed Handguns Have Prevented the Colo. Shooting?"  Her piece was largely an evaluation of my research, but apparently didn't think that it was necessary to send more than an email less than a couple hours before she posted her piece.  After the Aurora, Colorado attack on Friday, July 20th, that following Monday was fairly busy.  She also didn't interview anyone else who had also shown that right-to-carry laws had reduced violent crime rates.  The third edition of my book More Guns, Less Crime (University of Chicago Press, 2010) provided an extensive discussion of this research.  A recent paper by myself in the University of Maryland Law Review also provided a list of the research in this debate.  One of my studies on multiple victim public shootings with Bill Landes is available here.

For a piece that focuses so heavily on criticizing my research, one would think that she would give me more time to respond, and I had responded to her on the evening of July 23rd.  But Ms. Wolchover obviously had no intention of waiting for a response from me.  Her 660 word piece was obviously not written and then go through editing between when she emailed me and when the piece appeared.  Her claim that "Lott did not respond to requests for comment" was thus false on multiple counts.  First, she is dishonest about "requests."  She sent only one email.  Second, as noted, despite the piece being about my work, she had no intention of giving me the time to respond.

Wolchover claims: "Although Lott's work still gets cited by the National Rifle Association and others as evidence in favor of greater gun freedom, the research "was found to be substantially flawed . . . ." Yet, she  ignores all the academic research noted above that also favorably cites my research.

Her other false claims are dealt with in my book More Guns, Less Crime.

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Blogger John A. Visser said...

While I easily found the article on Yahoo as the result of a Google search, the article is not found at Livescience.com. I wrote to Livescience.com requesting a retraction.

I looked at other gun related articles at Livescience and found they are characterized by sweeping assertions and vague references that are impossible to check. I consider the sites reporting pseudo-science forwarding an agenda.

8/19/2012 8:05 AM  

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