Multiple investigations have discovered that John Lott, also known as “the last pro-gun academic” and “the NRA’s favorite gun ‘academic,'” is a complete fraud.
Lott became prominent as an “academic” voice for the gun lobby after the 2012 massacre at Connecticut’s Sandy Hook Elementary School.
InvestThat isn’t when or where Lott kicked off his career, however. No, rather, as investigators have recently found out, Lott had literally been parading himself falsely as a legitimate academic for years.
And that’s not a light statement. Lott was exposed to have invented a “former student of John Lott” online identity so that he could write online and brag about himself. Lott invented this “fake fan,” known as Mary Rosh, in an attempt to answer the critics of his research who only grew in number with each passing day.
After an investigative blogger discovered that Lott and “Rosh” were based at the same internet address, Lott admitted that he and Rosh were, in fact, the same person.
That incident happened in the early 2000s. Much more recently, Lott did it again, only this time his lies were based upon an actual person.
In 2014, Dartmouth College student Taylor Woolrich became involved with the student organization “Students for Concealed Carry on Campus” while she was attempting to shake a much older man who was stalking her.
Woolrich ended up carrying a firearm, and she later came in contact with Lott’s organization, the “Crime Prevention Research Center,” or CPRC. Woolrich reached out to Lott and the CPRC because she wanted to speak out to the media about stalking.
And that’s when things went downhill. A piece co-authored by Lott and Woolrich was roundly rejected by the media outlets Lott pitched it to.
To fix that, Lott decided to write up something completely on his own, writing in first person as though he was a student of Dartmouth College. All the while, he manipulated the real Woolrich, who described him as “extremely, inappropriately pushy…controlling and kind of snappy.”
Thus, yet again, Lott made up a fake identity for himself. The piece he ended up having published on Fox was a coughed up propaganda piece that had been published just days earlier on the Daily Caller.
As for content, the piece was nothing more than a shock piece, peddling Lott’s organization, the CPRC, and his fake research.
Fake research is, in fact, another tradition for Lott.
Think Progress discovered an article written by associates of Lott that literally misread a chart that was embedded in the article. The chart said one thing, while the text said something completely different, slanted to make it seem like there was some shred of evidence for the right’s favorite claim that, somehow, more guns equal less crime.
Think Progress pointed out what might have been one of the main reasons that the paper, molded to the lies that Lott and the CPRC peddle, was such a mess.
‘Given the extensive history of Lott supporting erroneous research, one is forced to wonder whether Moody and his colleagues were influenced at all by the thank you note at the beginning of their paper: “The authors thank The Crime Prevention Research Center for its support.”’
Lott, of course, isn’t the first or only figure on the right to be fond of lies. The Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump, is addicted to them, often not keeping the same story throughout the same week.