Update: Oh, the power of faith… So a few days after this story broke, I thought I’d browse over to the Usenet group talk.politics.guns — where Lott (as Rosh) had been a vigorous participant — to see whether people knew about it, and what they were saying if they did. They had heard, but I was a little surprised to see that some of the staunch pro-gun-rights folks were adamant that this was some sort of nefarious liberal concoction. The tone of these posts struck me as a little desperate — some seem to be under the unfortunate impression that the case for gun rights stands or falls with this one particular researcher — but I figured skepticism wasn’t terribly unreasonable either. I’m not used to being pegged as a liberal, except in the narrow circles where that means “like J.S. Mill” and not “like Al Gore,” but I am, after all, just some dude who runs a website.
When the Post story ran, though, it occured to me to check back and see where the discussion went after the question of whether it was true or not had been pretty definitively settled. My mind boggled slightly at what I saw. The folks there are still in denial. One guy thought it was ridiculous that someone would trust the notoriously biased WaPo not to fabricate an interview. Another poster sniffs that it’s “sloppy” to reference a mere newspaper article rather than a “primary source.” (I’d have thought a reporter’s published interview with one of the parties involved was a primary source…) I guess this is what happens when we’re encouraged to think of political disputes as a kind of struggle between opposing “teams.”