Terrorists have a huge advantage when ordinary citizens are not allowed to arm themselves, says John Lott Jr., founder and president of the Crime Prevention Research Center.
"Police and military are extremely important, there's no doubt about that, but other countries have learned the limits of this," Lott said Friday on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV
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"Terrorists have huge strategic advantages. They determine the time and the place where to do the attack," he said.
Lott said Israel is a prime example.
"If you're in Israel and … have two officers on a bus with you and a terrorist is there, the terrorist has certain options. He either can wait until the officers leave the bus and then engage in his attack, or he can kill them first."
"Israel tried for decades to try to put more police, more military on the streets, but realized no matter how much money they spent, if the terrorists were simply willing to be patient long enough, there'd be some opening for them."
Lott — author of "More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws,"
published by University of Chicago Press — said in the early 1970s, the Jewish state finally allowed civilians to carry handguns for protection, which removed the strategic advantage terrorists had.
"Because even if the police left the bus, he still didn't know whether somebody in front or behind or to the side might be able to go and stop them," he said.
"Unfortunately, look at Europe right now; they still haven't learned this lesson. They won't let Jewish citizens carry guns for protection. They tried putting soldiers in front of Jewish facilities but the problem is … soldiers can't be on their toes every single minute, day after day, week after week, month after month.
"They're sitting ducks there. They're out in front of the buildings in uniform, the terrorists know that they're there, and you face the same limits that Israel faced," Lott said.
Lott's Virginia-based organization is dedicated to researching the "relationship between laws regulating the ownership or use of guns, crime, and public safety; [and] educating the public on the results of such research."
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