Kevin Drum links to Chris Mooney’s article. In his comments, Jane Galt writes:

I agree that Lott has ruined his credibility, but I believe JadeGold has it backwards; Bellesiles work has been cited in several court decisions related to gun control and the second amendment, while I’m aware of no laws that have been made pursuant to Lott’s work, which, after all, was only published five years ago—too soon, generally speaking, to have a major legislative effect.

Concealed carry laws have been passed in five states since Lott’s work was published and his work has been widely cited in the arguments over these laws. The most recent case was Missouri, where the Second Amendment Coalition of Missouri (SACMO) mailed a copy of The Bias Against Guns to each State Senator before the vote to override the governer’s veto of the law. Here is SACMO’s account of what happened next:

Forgive me if I seem to be crowing about this next part, but heck, I am. When I walked into Senator Jim Matthewson’s office on Tuesday afternoon to visit him, I inadvertently interrupted him while he was reading the John Lott book, The Bias Against Guns that we had sent him! Holly Cow! But there is more. SACMO is headquartered in the big swing vote’s district, Senator Mike Gibbons. We have been helping him understand the issue in several ways over quit some time. Now get this!

On the floor of the Missouri Senate, while giving a fiery defense of right to carry, HE REFERRED TO A PASSAGE FROM THE BOOK! WOW! And better yet, several Senators nodded their heads in understanding. I about jumped off the balcony. Now I knew that we had done well, but, my God, I think we knocked that one out of the park. Thank you to all of you that sent money to SACMO to help make that possible.

The margin of victory in the override was one single vote, so Lott’s work seems to have been instrumental in getting legislation passed in at least one state.


  1. #1 ThinkTank
    October 14, 2003

    Read Silver v. Lockyer by the 9th Circuit, specifically Stephen Reinhardts opinion. He confirms a few, the few I know about, of Bellesiles opinions. And I would hope someone from a Con Law class might look over Silver v. Lockyer, its a long and detailed look at the 2nd Amendment as well as the history of firearms in America. Probably one of the best written/argued cases ever given by a judge.

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