- The Washington Times - Monday, April 27, 2015

The research director for Everytown for Gun Safety, the gun control advocacy group co-founded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, recently refused to appear for an on-air debate with longtime gun law researcher John Lott on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal.”

“When there’s a credible scientist — somebody who wants to have a real constructive conversation about this, we’re going to be there,” researcher Ted Alcorn said. “But folks who seek to minimize the issue of gun violence, the grave issue of gun violence in this country or to draw attention away from the real issues to themselves — that’s not a conversation that I think is productive to be a part of.”

Instead, Mr. Alcorn appeared after Mr. Lott during the episode.

The two discussed a recent Pew Research Center study that found for the first time, more Americans think protecting gun rights is more important than controlling gun ownership, 52 percent to 46 percent.

The study also showed that Americans who had worried about crime had favored stricter gun control, but now tend to want to keep the laws on the books or loosen gun restrictions.

“In short, we are at a moment when most Americans believe crime rates are rising and when most believe gun ownership — not gun control — makes people safer,” wrote Pew’s Andrew Kohut.

“Every country in the world that’s banned guns has seen an increase in murder rates,” said Mr. Lott, president of the Crime Prevention Research Center and the author of “More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws.”

Mr. Lott said he was “disappointed” someone from Everytown wasn’t willing to go on to discuss the issue.

“They continually refuse to appear at the same time,” he said.

Mr. Lott said there are now more stories about defensive gun use, that people are catching up to research on the issue, and that predictions of gun control advocates have not come to pass.

Mr. Alcorn questioned the wording of the poll and said it set up a “false dichotomy.”

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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