Unfortunately, Lott’s counting methodology is flawed, his count missed half of the stories that mentioned the armed students, his version of what happened deliberately omits important facts and omits contradictory accounts from other eye witnesses and his version contains details that appear to have been invented by Lott.
Lott has no answer at all to almost all of this, so he just responds to part of the criticism about his counting methodology. He once again deliberately omits mentioning Ted Besen’s contradictory account that strongly suggests that the guns were not used to stop the attack. He also carefully avoids mentioning or linking to my posting so that his readers won’t find out what Besen said. And remember that Lott is well aware that Besen and other witnesses say that Odighizuwa had dropped his gun before the armed off-duty police officers arrived on the scene—he selectively quoted from Mathews’ article, he talked to Markus Funk who told him the same thing and now he is responding to my posting where I stressed the same fact.
It is hypocritical for Lott to accuse reporters of deliberately concealing facts while deliberately concealing facts himself. In a separate posting I redo my analysis using his set of articles and get the same results as before, but the most important thing to notice is the way Lott keeps avoiding mentioning that the “fact” of defensive gun use that he accuses the media of deliberately suppressing, actually isn’t a fact.
Here’s what I wrote about his counting methodology
I did my own search on Factiva of all the stories appearing in the week following the shootings. I found eight stories (twice as many as Lott found) that mentioned the students having a gun. Next, in his 208 stories, Lott has counted the same stories over and over again. Many papers printed the Associated Press story by Chris Kahn and Lott has counted it each time it appeared. He has also counted stories about completely different aspects of the matter—there is no reason for a story about one of the funerals to have mentioned a defender’s gun.
Lott responds with
The general claim is that there are nowhere near 208 unique stories and that in order to get that number I must have counted each time an AP story appeared as a separate story.
He pretends that the only criticism of his counting methodology was about counting the same stories multiple times and ignores the part about him counting stories on different aspects of the matter.
Lott counts this story on Today as one of the stories where the media suppressed the “fact” of defensive gun use, but Tracy Bridges, who later claimed to have used his gun to disarm Odighizuwa, was speaking live on TV. It wasn’t that a reporter chose not to report the defensive gun use, but that Bridges never mentioned it. Given that other witnesses insist that there was no defensive gun use, it seems most likely that his first account, told to Today was accurate and that when talking to reporters later that day, he embellished the story and invented the defensive gun use.