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January 13, 2005

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Comments

Tim Lambert

Wilson's conclusion: "In sum, I find that the evidence presented by Lott and his supporters suggests that RTC laws do in fact help drive down the murder rate, though their effect on other crimes is ambiguous."

Are you going to try to tell us that Lott stopped reading Wilson's dissent before he got to the conclusion?

If it's a V shape then the dummy variable model is misspecified. If there is an abrupt increase or decrease when the law is passed, the trend model is misspecified. Raising a possibility of misspecification does not mean that that possibility is true. What is required is a statistical test for misspecification. Hoorowitz performed such tests (see Appendix D). ALL of the models were misspecified. That means that NONE of the models fit the data and they should all be thrown out, not just the dummy variable one.

Tom

Are you serious? No matter how you try to stretch things it is obvious that Wilson's argument in that sentence was much broader than just murder. Your discussion of the dummy variable issue is just childish. The discussion and graphs regarding the "Inverted V" argument in his book make it very clear that the simple dummy variable approach can be very misleading. I could quote the passages, but you would try to avoid the issue. Why don't you deal with the substance? If it is a V shape, how can the averages on either side be different? THis is discussed in more depth in his book.

Tim Lambert

Nice try, Tom. Wilson's sentence reads "some of his results survive virtually every reanalysis done by the committee." You left out the words "some of". Why did you do that?

Lott originally used the dummy variable model and only switched when it started to give results that he did not like. Neither the committee nor Wilson seem to have found Lott's reasons for discounting the dummy variable model persuasive.

Tom

A) One of the two sentences being debated here by Wilson says: "his results survive virtually every reanalysis done by the committee."
B) If you read More Guns, Less Crime, there is a powerful discussion about how the simply dummy approach can be misleading and this appears to be such an example.

Tim Lambert

Dear Tom, you seem to be having some difficultties reading the NAS report. p140 row 1 shows a statistically significant 4.12% increase in violent crime when the regression uses data to 2000. This is why Wilson said "murder" rather than "crime".

Tom

Dear Confused Carl:

Even if you are unable to read what Wilson wrote, possibly you can look at the actual regression tables in Chapter 6 where the panel did its own work. If you leave out the regressions that do not control for other factors that can effect crime (what Wilson was saying wouldn't get published in a refereed journal), the violent crime regression show that VIOLENT CRIME IS FALLING! Not just murder, but rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Look at all the regressions that use the longest period of data up to 2000. Even if you pretend to be dense in reading Wilson and find it necessary to confuse two different paragraphs that he has written, even you can not deny this point.

Carl Jarrett

Confused Tom - The NAS report does not show that "virtually ever reanalysis of the committee showed that violent crime fell."

Lott's statement clearly misrepresents Wilson's dissent.

The only person doing the selective quoting is Lott.

Tom

Dear Confused Carl:

Lott is referencing two different parts of WIlson's discussion. Lott clearly quotes Wilson as saying: "confirmation of the findings that shall-issue laws drive down the murder rate . . . " On the other hand, virtually ever reanalysis of the committee showed that violent crime fell. Only the cases where Wilson objected to them not accounting for other factors did they not find an effect.

You are getting as bad as Lambert in sellectively quoting things.

Carl Jarrett

You are stuttering, RL. Listing four names is not the entire panel nor is it evidence. Where are the quotes for "all but one"? Lott claimed they were public. He should produce the data, if he has it. I doubt he does and I'm sure he's simply making it up.

Wilson is most certainly referring to murder in the snippet Lott cherry-picked. On Page 269, Wilson writes "If this analysis of Lott's work showed that his findings are not supported by his data and models, then the conclusion that his results are fragile might be sufficient. But my reading of this chapter suggests that some of his results survive virtually every reanalysis done by the committee. Lott argued that murder rates decline after the adoption of RTC laws even after allowing for the effect of other variables that affect crime rates."

Lott is dishonest when he writes: "Wilson said that that panel's conclusion raises concerns given that "virtually every reanalysis done by the committee" confirmed right-to-carry laws reduced crime."

Wilson sums up his dissent with "In sum, I find that the evidence presented by Lott and his supporters suggests that RTC laws do in fact help drive down the murder rate, though their effect on other crimes is ambiguous."

Lott: "confirmed right-to-carry laws reduced crime."

Wilson: "their effect on other crimes is ambiguous."

If you can't see the difference between what Wilson wrote and Lott's inaccurate and selective rephrasing, there isn't much that can be done with you.

Why don't you write Lott and ask for the time, place, details of the Nagin and Cook discussion he claims to have overheard? Nagin has already denied he ever talked to Cook on the subject. Where's Lott's evidence?

You don't need to understand math and statistics to know that Lott is blowing smoke. This isn't about arcane debates about data sets, dummy variables and such, it's about Lott's lack of integrity.

Where's his evidence for his claims?

RL

A) Lott's Los Angeles Times piece and his book The Bias Against Guns gives the names of four people and he mentions that there are others.
B) Why don't you write him about the details on Nagin.
C) Wilson's discussion is not using the term "murder" with that quote. I look at the panel's own regressions and for the ones that Wilson was talking about they show drops in ALL the violent crime rates.

RL

A) Lott's Los Angeles Times piece and his book The Bias Against Guns gives the names of four people and he mentions that there are others.
B) Why don't you write him about the details on Nagin.
C) Wilson's discussion is not using the term "murder" with that quote. I look at the panel's own regressions and for the ones that Wilson was talking about they show drops in ALL the violent crime rates.

RL

A) Lott's Los Angeles Times piece and his book The Bias Against Guns gives the names of four people and he mentions that there are others.
B) Why don't you write him about the details on Nagin.
C) Wilson's discussion is not using the term "murder" with that quote. I look at the panel's own regressions and for the ones that Wilson was talking about they show drops in ALL the violent crime rates.

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