The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reportedly removed statistics on defensive gun use in the US after pressure from gun control advocates.
According to a CDC study, between 60,000 and 2.5 million cases of self-defense occur annually. Links to that study were removed from the site in 2021 after in-person meetings with gun control advocates, emails obtained. and published by The Reload show
“[T]hat 2.5 Million figures should be killed, buried, dug up, killed again and buried again,” wrote Mark Bryant, executive director of the Gun Violence Archive, in an email to the CDC. “This is so wrong. ‘true, out of context used, and I believe it has zero value – even as a salient point in honest DGU discussions.”
“And this very small study by Gary Kleck has been repeatedly debunked by all sides of the issue. [even Kleck] it is still law by gun rights advocates and the politicians who support them, and is used every time in court hearings at the state or federal level as a blunt instrument against gun safety regulations. “Gun violence prevention policy published as ‘CDC Study’ stalled by flawed data provided by small study.”
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Bryant was among gun control advocates to nearly meet with CDC officials over the data. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., reportedly facilitated the meeting through his office.
CDC officials initially resisted removing the reference, the emails show. Dr. Deb Khoury, the CDC’s acting deputy director, noted that Bryant’s GVA only examined “a very small percentage of people who used a gun for self-defense,” adding that it “does not include individuals who used a gun for self-defense but did not report it.” . It’s used for law enforcement.”
Khoury said that a situation where a person raises a firearm to avoid a conflict does not count under the Bryant indicators unless the person reports it to the police.
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Still, the CDC agreed to Bryant on Sept. 15, 2021, after an online meeting with him and others, The Reload reported.
“We plan to update the fact sheet in early 2022 as some new data becomes available,” wrote CDC’s director of policy, partnerships, and strategic communications for the Division of Violence Prevention. Deputy Beth Reimels in a follow-up email. “We will also be making some revisions to the content we discussed that I believe will address the concerns you and other partners have raised.”
The CDC reportedly did not consult the study’s author, Florida State University Professor Emeritus Gary Kleck, before removing the study.
“CDC is aligning itself with gun control advocacy groups,” Kleck told the publication. “It’s just saying, ‘We’re their weapon and we’re going to do their bidding.’ And that’s not what a government agency should be doing.”
The CDC did not respond to a request for comment.