When John Lott, founder and CEO of the Crime Prevention Research Center, was called to be an expert witness—as he has been many times before—for an Oregon committee hearing, he was happy to oblige.
With a 10-hour trek standing between his home in Montana and the state capitol in Salem, Ore., Lott set out to testify. He had a lot to say.
What happened next was a shocking act of political maneuvering to suppress an expert witness. Lott got a call saying he wouldn’t be able to testify. He kept making inquiries as he drove and finally was told he could speak for a total of two minutes but that no one would be allowed to ask him any questions—the thing is, Q&A sessions are typically much longer than a person’s prepared testimony, so even with two minutes (less time than any popular song) to speak, legislators would not be allowed to get his analysis of proposed laws.
What Lott said, and what happened after, is worth hearing.