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Jewish World Review March 8, 2001 / 13 Adar, 5761

Ann Coulter

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Consumer Reports

More facts, fewer liberals -- WHILE having dinner recently with John Lott, author of "More Guns, Less Crime," (PAPERBACK) one of life's enduring debates came up: Are liberals evil or just stupid? I was surprised to discover that Lott vigorously disputed those of us staking out the evil position.

Lott couldn't even be fairly described as calling liberals stupid. They just believe "different facts," as he put it. Facts other than his number-crunching study analyzing 18 years of crime data from every county in the nation, for example. That study famously demonstrated that concealed-carry laws reduce certain types of crime. Lott's results contradicted the prevailing liberal ethos on guns, and liberals are hopping mad about it.

Consequently, it was kind of a shock to see the hard-nosed economist getting all gooey-eyed and "We Are the World" sappy when discussing the people who have declared World War III on him. He adamantly refuses to believe that anyone would knowingly support a policy that costs lives.

This is where economics and politics clash. As Franklin D. Roosevelt's pal "Uncle Joe" Stalin summarized the politician's view: "A single death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic."

Pumping fresh data into the evil-or-stupid debate, the week after our dinner a liberal weekly published an article on Lott. It was not immediately clear what prompted Newsweek to write about him. There was no new law, study or sensational crime in the news. (The school shooting in California came days after the article was published.)

There was, however, a nice new Republican president. One of the liberal arguments against Lott's study is that no one should hire him. Not universities and -- just in case a Republican administration might be interested in hiring an economist who is not intimidated by liberal censors -- not the Bush administration either.

Consequently, Newsweek ran a timely piece on Lott, stating in a neutral, nonjudgmental way that he is "vicious," as if it were a bullet point on his resume. This is another important liberal argument against Lott's research -- the man is "vicious."

The article also revealed insights only a telepath or psychiatrist could claim to know, such as Lott's purported "need to attack." It was reminiscent of the FACT magazine article published during the 1964 presidential campaign that quoted numerous psychiatrists saying Barry Goldwater was -- in their professional opinion -- nuts.

Commendably, the Newsweek article did not repeat some of the old lies about Lott, such as that he was funded by the gun industry. It did, however, make up some new lies, such as that his research on the Florida election was funded by Republicans.

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Among the many liberal ripostes to John Lott -- he was funded by gun-nuts or Republicans, he is "vicious," he should not be able to make a living -- this argument does not appear: He is wrong. Newsweek quoted a Stanford University law professor, John Donohue, who has "spent years reviewing Lott's data" saying only: "What a lot of people worry about is that if it really is the case that the results aren't good, then he's really peddling a false message."

Wait a second. But if Lott's results are good, then it's gun control advocates who are peddling a false message. One position or the other is going to cause more people to die. So which is it? Gee, if only we had someone who had "spent years reviewing Lott's data." How about Donohue? Why didn't it occur to the Newsweek reporter to ask Donohue why he was unable to cough up an attack on Lott's research?

It's not as if Donohue is shy about leaping into the political fray. He has raised objections to law professor Paul Cassell's research on the Miranda warnings. (Leading Cassell to remark, "I chased my opponents from empirical assertions to untestable arguments.")

Last year Donohue co-authored the winsome study purporting to link legalized abortion to reductions in crime. ("Given that homicide rates of black youths are roughly nine times higher than those of white youths, racial differences in the fertility effects of abortion are likely to translate into greater homicide reductions.") He once ran for the Connecticut state senate -- as a Democrat, one need hardly add.

But the worst Donohue can say about Lott's study, which he's spent "years" studying, is that "people" worry that if it's wrong, that would be very bad. If Lott is wrong, why can't Donohue say so, rather than tossing out irrelevant and painfully obvious epistemological points?

"People" probably worried that if reports of Stalin's systematic starvation of 10 million Ukrainians weren't true, then those who said so were peddling a false message. (None more so than The New York Times, which whiled away the years of the Ukrainian famine denying it.)

That's not believing different facts; it's squirting octopus fluid on the facts that exist.

JWR contributor Ann Coulter is the author of High Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Case Against Bill Clinton. You may visit the Ann Coulter Fan Club by clicking here.


03/01/01: Mary Jo White-wash
02/22/01: How to talk to a liberal
02/15/01: Bill Clinton does the Harlem shuffle
02/08/01: Eight more Clarence Thomases
02/01/01: This just in: Price controls cause shortages
01/25/01: People United for Swindles and Hucksterism
01/18/01: Ashcroft and the blowhard discuss desegregation
01/04/01: Liberal pimps for Clintonism
01/02/01: Kwanzaa: Holiday from the FBI
12/28/00: If Americans support abortion, let's vote
12/26/00: Gore, him and her
12/21/00: Channeling Jackie O
12/14/00: My Court is bigger than your Court
12/11/00: HANG IN THERE, AL!
12/07/00: National Lampoon's Florida Supreme Court Vacation
12/04/00: It's past time for GOPers to quit being good at losing
11/30/00: Things only a Dem will say with a straight face
11/27/00: Certify the electors, then the judges
11/23/00: Kangaroo coup
11/20/00: This is what the Electoral College is supposed to prevent
11/16/00: The liar next time
11/09/00: JUST GO!
11/06/00: Hail Mary past
11/02/00: As the nose grows: The scripture according to Gore
10/30/00: Clinton sure can pick 'em
10/26/00: Gore's 'Nam flashbacks
10/23/00: Courting George Orwell
10/20/00: The three faces of Al
10/17/00: Must Christian conservatives be fascists?
10/13/00: Oil good; Dems bad
10/10/00: Al Gore: Serial fibber
10/06/00: Sigh of the crook
10/03/00: So who's the 'dumb guy' now?
09/29/00: Don't do drug legalization
09/26/00: I'd burn down my neighbor's house
09/22/00: Democrats worship the money shot
09/19/00: Other film footage we'd like to see
09/15/00: Bush can name the **^%*
09/12/00: The Supreme Court ratchet
09/08/00: Our mistake -- keep polluting
09/05/00: Bubba protects and serves
09/01/00: AlGore's 'going out of business!' tax plan
08/29/00: Bush's compassionate conservatism
08/25/00: Space alien tells funny jokes in bathtub
08/22/00: Dems view world only in black and white, not in color
08/18/00: Another Damascus Road conversion
08/15/00: The viagra cotillion
08/11/00: The hand-wringing Hamlet from Hartford
08/07/00: The Democratic party's white face
08/04/00: Hillary's potty mouth
08/01/00: The hole in the story
07/28/00: Cheney's detractors can't get their story straight
07/25/00: AlGore: Elmer Blandry
07/21/00: The tyranny of non-objectivity
07/18/00: The state's religion
07/14/00: Reform it back
07/11/00: Keating for veep
07/07/00: Gore invented 'Clueless'
07/04/00: The stupidity litmus test
06/30/00: O.J. was 'proved innocent' too
06/27/00: The last guys 'proved innocent'
06/23/00: Serious Republican candidates don't get serious press
06/19/00: They weren't overzealous this time
06/16/00: Evolution of the strumpet
06/13/00: Actual journalistic malpractice
06/09/00: I did not have sexual
relations with that ... man!
06/06/00: IRS turns Bubba's screw
05/30/00: Too corrupt to be an Arkansas lawyer
05/26/00: Choose liberalism
05/24/00: Violence against coherence
05/22/00: Developmentally disabled Republicans
05/16/00: For womb the bell tolls
05/12/00: Asylum from Georgetown
05/10/00: The truth is out there, even for the clueless
05/08/00: Barbie is a liberal Democrat
05/02/00: Moving the goalpost
04/28/00: The bastardization of justice
04/25/00: How Monica Lewinsky saved the constitution
04/24/00: It's sunny today, so we need gun control
04/19/00: No shadow of a doubt -- liberal women are worthless
04/14/00: It takes a Communist dictator to raise a child
04/11/00: The verdict is in on Hillary
04/07/00: Vast Concoctions III
04/04/00: 'Horrifying' free speech in New York
03/31/00: Check-Off Box For Pimp Suits
03/28/00: All the news that fits -- we print!
03/24/00: Net losses all around
03/20/00: To protect, serve --- and be spat on
03/16/00: Thank Heaven for the consigliere
03/13/00: Vast concoctions II
03/09/00: The bluebloods voted against you
03/07/00: The Tower of Babble
03/03/00: Vast concoction
03/02/00: Hillary's sartorial lies
02/28/00: You have to break a few eggs to make a joke
02/22/00: I've seen enough killing to support abortion
02/18/00: A liberal lynching
02/15/00: McCain and the flag
02/11/00: The Shakedown Express
02/08/00: To mock a mockingbird
02/05/00: Summing up Campaign 2000: 'Oh, puh-leeze!'
02/01/00: A Confederacy of Dunces
01/28/00: Dollar Bill's racist smear
01/24/00: How high is your freedom quotient?
01/21/00: Numismadness
01/18/00: How dare you attack my wife!
01/14/00: The Gore Buggernaut
01/10/00: The paradox of discrimination law

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