A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that guns are used defensively between 60 and 2.5 millions times per year.
These numbers were bad news not only for law-abiding Americans but for gun-control advocates who are eager to push their agenda.
While the former camp is unlikely to cause further trouble, a new report shows gun-control advocates were able to influence the CDC to remove defensive gun usage stats.
But what about the details?
A 2013 study was ordered by the CDC. It was partially influenced partly by an executive order issued by former President Barack Obama. The study found that DGU incidents ranged from 60,000 to 2.5 million per year.
The report states that estimates for gun use in self defense differ greatly due to definitional differences, different data sources, and questions about accuracy, particularly when self-reported. According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, there are between 60,000-120,000 defensive gun usages per year.
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According to another body of research, self-defense could account for as many as 2.5 million incidents per year. This indicates that self-defense can be used as a deterrent to crime.
Based on Gary Kleck’s findings at Florida State University’s College of Criminology and Criminal Justice,
This range was reflected on the CDC’s gun facts web page up to this year.
Stephen Gutowski (an analyst at CNN) and the founder of Reload obtained emails from the CDC and anti-gun activists through a Freedom of Information Act request. These emails revealed a campaign that sought to discount Kleck’s findings.
Mark Bryant, executive director of Gun Violence Archive sent an email to CDC stating that “[T]hat 2.5 Million number must be killed and buried and dug again, killed again and buried again.” ”
Bryant said, “It is highly misleading and is not used in context.” It has no value, even if it is used as an exception in DGU conversations. ”
According To The Reload Bryant believed Kleck’s estimate was damaging to the anti-gun agenda and activists’ ability to pass new gun restrictions.
Bryant stated that, even though Gary Kleck’s small study was repeatedly discredited by all sides [even Kleck], this is still canonized today by gun rights advocates and their supporting politicians. It is used to oppose gun safety regulations when there is a hearing at the state or federal level. ”
Gun control activist stated, “Put simply, in the time that study was published under the CDC Study, gun violence prevention policy has stopped.” This is in large part due to misinformation from the small study. ”
The original support of the DGU range for 2013 by the CDC was found in this archived copy from its “Firearm Violence Prevention Prevention” page.
The page stated earlier this year that defensive gun usage estimates vary depending on population studied, questions asked and timeframe. According the report Priorities to Research to Reduce Firearms-Related Violence (PRIMARIES FOR RESEARCH TO REDUCE FIREARM-RELATED VIOLENCE), there is 60,000 to 2.5 million defensive gun users per year.
Despite the dubious claims of anti-gun groups, the CDC finally caved to the pressure.
After a virtual September 2021 meeting, Beth Reimels (associate Director for Policy Partnerships and Strategic Communication at CDC’s Division on Violence Prevention) sent an email saying: “We are planning to update the fact sheet in early 2022 after receiving some new data. ”
Reimels said that the edits would address concerns raised by “Bryant”, and other partners.
The range from 60,000 to 2.5million has been removed.
Now, the page states that estimates for defensive gun usage vary depending on the population studied and the study design. Because of the variability in estimates, it is necessary to continue research to better understand defensive gun usage prevalence, frequency and circumstances.
Jennifer Mascia is a reporter from the Trace. She noted that the CDC had recently updated its gun violence facts page.
Kleck told the Reload that the “CDC only aligns itself with gun control advocacy organizations. That is not what a government agency should do.
The Rand Corporation suggested in 2018 that Kleck’s figure of 2.5 million might be exaggerated. His survey assumed that more people would pack heat than was actually the case. The NCVS estimate of 116,000 DGU incidents per year almost certainly understates the true number.
This would mean that the number DGUs is still well above what Second Amendment critics are comfortable citing.