KGVO welcomed Dr. John Lott, President and founder of the Crime Prevention Research Center, headquartered here in Missoula, to Thursday’s Talk Back program.

Lott had literally been on eight radio interviews that morning before he arrived at the KGVO studios at 9:00 a.m., so much was the demand for his expertise in gun violence and research.

Lott referenced the tragic school shootings in Uvalde, Texas, as well as the mass shooting that occurred in Buffalo, New York where Payton Gendron has been accused of murdering 10 people in a racially motivated attack.

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Lott said through his research in the Buffalo shootings, he found that Gendron had listed several of the reasons he chose the supermarket in Buffalo.

“The guy spent a lot of time explaining why he picked the target that he did,” began Dr. Lott. “He wanted to have a place where people didn't have permitted concealed handguns. He knew that if some people had permitted concealed handguns then it would make it harder for him to kill more people, and then he wouldn't get as high of a body count, and you wouldn't get as much media attention. These guys make this so explicit time after time on these things, and of course, the shooting that we had yesterday in Oklahoma was another place where guns are banned.”

Dr. Lott acknowledged that the supermarket in Buffalo did have an armed guard, which made him an easy target.

“If you have a police officer or a guard in uniform, they have an incredibly difficult job,” he said. “In the Buffalo case, this guy (Gendron) had cased the grocery store. He knew where the guard was stationed in there. That gave him a huge tactical advantage. Who do you think they take out first if they if there's one person that they believe is armed, and he's in uniform, who do you go after first? Because if you take out that guy, then you're going to have free reign for the rest of the place.”

Dr. Lott pressed the issue of having plain clothes officers in the schools, to make it harder for the shooter to take out the armed personnel.

“People like Ted Cruz are out there saying we need to have uniformed police officers in each school,” he said. “You know, if you're going to put a police officer in each school, don't put them in uniform. Have them blend in, give them a staff position wearing plain clothes, and then put up a sign saying ‘there's somebody here who has a concealed handgun that you know you can’t identify beforehand'.”

Dr. Lott also said it is a fallacy that mass school shootings only occur in the U.S. He asked our listeners if anyone could say where the worst mass school shooting in history occurred.

“There are all sorts of mass public shootings around the world that people don't know,” he said. “Do you know how many people were killed in the worst school shooting? You know where it was? It was in Russia where 333 people were killed in that school shooting. It happened in 2004. Why is this not common knowledge? Because when these attacks occur in other countries, they usually don't get any news coverage.”

Click here to find out more about Dr. Lott’s research and to see for yourself the proof he offers regarding gun violence.

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