Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Newly Discovered Data Proves Why We Can’t Trust the CDC on Guns

Friday, June 8, 2018

Newly Discovered Data Proves Why We Can’t Trust the CDC on Guns

Few who read this magazine are likely to be unaware of the anti-gun leanings of the Center for Disease Control, which for years has worked to treat firearm ownership like a disease that needs to be eradicated. But, newly discovered polling by the CDC shows just how far the agency is willing to go to hide evidence of the positive aspects of gun ownership.

To fully explain the recent discovery, a look at the history of Defensive Gun Use research is necessary:

The year is 1996. The Right to Carry movement is building momentum across the United States after violent crime peaked in the early 1990s. Criminologists Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz just published a study estimating that 2.5 million Americans used a firearm to defend themselves against another person in 1993. Gun-control advocates scoff at the number, though Kleck refutes the criticisms levied at his work (and does so even today).

The surest way to confirm, cast doubt upon, or refute any research is replication. The CDC had recently entered the “gun violence research” field, publishing a flawed study clearly designed to advocate for gun control in 1993.

Shortly after Kleck and Gertz published their research, the CDC began collecting data that could have been part of the debate over the hot-button issue of how often lawful gun owners use their guns in self-defense. They collected data on defensive gun use for three years (in 1996, 1997, and 1998) in the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) surveys. This data collection was not discovered until Kleck just recently came across it while looking for data on another topic. While Kleck is currently analyzing the data and comparing it to his own, something is clearly amiss.

For 20 years, this data went unnoticed. Like some buried treasure, Kleck luckily discovered it essentially by accident. He wasn’t looking for it because, like the rest of the world outside of the CDC offices, he had no idea it existed. It was not discovered until 20 years after the CDC stopped collecting data on the topic. Twenty years of silence. Given how often questions about defensive gun usage come up and the wide range of estimates (from around 116,000 per year to millions, depending on the source) as well as the CDC’s clear interest on the topic, one may wonder why this data was never acknowledged.

Twenty years of silence is good reason to question the CDC’s motives. They had opportunities to publicize the data. Former President Obama directed the CDC to conduct research into the causes and prevention of gun violence in 2013. The CDC then requested the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council identify the most pressing research problems. This report briefly discusses estimates of defensive gun usage, including citations of Kleck’s work, but makes no mention of the BRFSS data. The report notes the wide range of estimates, from “only” 108,000 annually to more than 3 million per year yet offers no mention of the CDC’s own data on the topic. Tellingly, every brief mention of defensive gun usage is followed by reference to the biased study on “risk factors associated with gun possession.”

Perhaps it was simply forgotten…by however many people worked on the BRFSS over the span of three years writing the survey, collecting the data, formatting the data, analyzing the data, and presumably presenting it to someone at CDC. Maybe it was misplaced.

Or maybe the CDC didn’t report the data because it did not corroborate their anti-gun leanings. It would be hard to advocate banning firearms from the same office that found a sizable number of law-abiding Americans use firearms to defend themselves every year. Is that more or less likely than a team of researchers forgetting they collected data on a hot-button topic?

Our assumptions about the CDC may be colored by their history with gun control advocacy. The motives or circumstances driving their silence may never be uncovered. Maybe in 20 years or so someone will find a long-lost memo that details why the CDC kept quiet. Maybe not.

While this data would have been useful to support our fight against gun control measures over the last twenty years, even now it can still serve as an example of how often law-abiding gun owners use firearms to defend themselves and others. Those who seek to curtail our firearms freedoms with anti-gun research always exclude the positive impacts of firearm ownership, but thanks to the CDC, we now know about the millions of Americans who are alive and unharmed today thanks to exercising their constitutional right to self-defense.

TRENDING NOW
Did Joe Finally Admit His Anti-Gun Agenda’s True Goal

News  

Monday, January 24, 2022

Did Joe Finally Admit His Anti-Gun Agenda’s True Goal

Last weekend, when four hostages were taken at Congregation Beth Israel Synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, countless people remained transfixed on their televisions and computers, awaiting the outcome. Fortunately, the hostages were able to free themselves. ...

New Mexico: Hearing TODAY on Gun Owner Liability Bill & Magazine Limit Legislation Filed in Santa Fe!

Thursday, January 27, 2022

New Mexico: Hearing TODAY on Gun Owner Liability Bill & Magazine Limit Legislation Filed in Santa Fe!

TODAY at 1:30pm or 15 minutes after the House floor session, the House Consumer & Public Affairs Committee will consider House Bill 9 by Rep. Pamelya Herndon (D-ABQ), legislation that creates civil fines and misdemeanor penalties for parents or guardians ...

Gun Control Group Hopes to Smear U.S. Firearms Industry with New Website

News  

Monday, January 24, 2022

Gun Control Group Hopes to Smear U.S. Firearms Industry with New Website

We all knew who the finger-pointers and tattletales were in junior high school. A disproportionate number of them, it seems, now populate America’s anti-gun lobby.

California: San Jose Passes Tax & Insurance Requirement for Gun Owners

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

California: San Jose Passes Tax & Insurance Requirement for Gun Owners

Yesterday, the San Jose City Council voted 10-1 to adopt a requirement for gun owners to purchase liability insurance, and 8-3 to adopt a tax on gun owners, despite overwhelming citizen opposition. Of the comments submitted in relation to ...

Washington: Slate of Anti-Gun Measures Pending Consideration in the Legislature

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Washington: Slate of Anti-Gun Measures Pending Consideration in the Legislature

This week, the Washington House and Senate could consider and pass seven different anti-gun measures that could lead to the most restrictive gun laws in the country, and your lawmakers need to hear from you now! 

Virginia: Extreme Bill Will Ban Home Defense & End Youth Hunting

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Virginia: Extreme Bill Will Ban Home Defense & End Youth Hunting

Though a pro-Second Amendment majority sits in the House of Delegates this session, that’s not stopping anti-gun lawmakers from continuing to push the same radical gun control they’ve pushed for the past two years. Here ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

Biden Administration Finalizes “New” Firearm Storage Rule

News  

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Biden Administration Finalizes “New” Firearm Storage Rule

On January 3, the Biden Administration’s Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it would be finalizing a new rule on firearm storage for Federal Firearm Licensees (FFLs). The DOJ additionally announced an update to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, ...

Washington: Another Year – Another Extreme Gun Ban!

Friday, January 14, 2022

Washington: Another Year – Another Extreme Gun Ban!

The legislature only just gaveled in this week and anti-gun legislators and gun control groups couldn’t wait to reintroduce their extreme gun ban legislation - an "assault weapons" ban, Senate Bill 5217.

Pennsylvania:  Senate Passes Legislation Strengthening Firearms Preemption Law

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Pennsylvania: Senate Passes Legislation Strengthening Firearms Preemption Law

The Pennsylvania Senate posted a strong pro-Second Amendment vote early Tuesday evening when they gave final approval to HB 979 on a vote of 32 to 17.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.