CDC Report on Gun Storage is Statistically Meaningless

by Vern Evans

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Three teenage girls were alone in their Lawrence County, Kentucky, home one hot summer day in 2019. Suddenly, a white car pulled up and two men got out. One man started kicking in the front door. The second suspect circled around to the backyard and began breaking out a window with a shovel. The youngest of the girls, who was 14 years old at the time, found and loaded the family’s 9mm pistol and fired a round at one of the suspects, who both quickly left.

In 2021, a 12-year-old boy armed himself after two masked home invaders broke into his grandmother’s home demanding money. One of the suspects shot the 73-year-old woman, which prompted the youth to return fire in self-defense. Police later found one of the suspects curled up on his side in an intersection near the home. He was transported to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead. The grandmother survived her wounds.

In February, a 14-year-old Houston-area teen fired six rounds at an intruder who was trying to break into his home through the front door. Police found the suspect, who was wearing gloves and carrying a backpack, in the front yard where he was pronounced dead.

None of these defensive gun usages or any others were even mentioned in a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which purported to examine firearm storage data behaviors. Defensive gun usages weren’t the only data set omitted from the report. The CDC needed so many disclosures and disclaimers to tell readers what other data was missing from its research that it’s a miracle the report even was published.

The report, titled “Firearm Storage Behaviors — Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, Eight States, 2021–2022,” was based on telephone interviews. The researchers called the respondents using a “random-digit–dialed landline and mobile telephone survey.” However, the authors immediately encountered four significant problems that limited the validity of their work:

  1. They were unable to determine whether firearms were stored loaded or unloaded during the phone interviews.
  2. They were only able to obtain data from the eight states, which is statistically meaningless.
  3. Some respondents did not want to disclose whether they had a firearm in their home.
  4. All of the data was self-reported to the researchers, and therefore “subject to social desirability and recall biases.”

As a result, the findings were statistical gibberish. In the handful of states that participated, the authors concluded, “18.4% – 50.6% of respondents reported the presence of a firearm in or around their home, and 19.5% – 43.8% of those with a firearm reported that at least one firearm was stored loaded.”

Despite its holes, lack of conclusiveness and other problems, the CDC report was good enough for the corporate media. Gannett’s flagship newspaper USA TODAY quickly published a story titled, “Startling percentage of homes have unlocked, loaded guns, endangering kids, study finds.”

Incompleteness doesn’t matter to the corporate media if the topic is guns. Besides, the reporter quickly filled in the holes with quotes from Sarah Burd-Sharpe, senior director of research at Everytown for Gun Safety.

“Roughly once every day in the United States, a child under the age of 18 gains access to a loaded gun and unintentionally shoots themself or someone else,” Burd-Sharpe told the newspaper. “But there is no such thing as an accidental shooting by a child – the onus to store guns securely and keep them out of reach of children is always on adults.”

Evidently, the fact that the CDC report didn’t make that conclusion didn’t matter to the newspaper reporter, their editors or Everytown’s Burd-Sharpe.


The CDC would love to waste millions of taxpayer dollars conducting anti-gun research, because their goal has always been to declare “gun violence” a public health crisis. They don’t care about other types of violence, which are more common. For the CDC, only “gun violence” constitutes a crisis, and they see themselves behind the curve, since the American Medical Association adopted a policy calling “gun violence” a public health crisis back in 2016.

As it stands now, the CDC is barred from using public funds to support or advocate for gun control. We need to zealously be on guard for any attempt to circumvent this restriction, because the CDC has proven that its research is biased and cannot be trusted.

Defensive gun usages are not an aberration. They are the very reason why many law-abiding Americans keep firearms in their homes. To completely ignore them for a study that purports to examine firearm storage behaviors says a lot about the validity of the research and the bias of the researchers.

This story is courtesy of the Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project. Click here to make a tax-deductible donation to support pro-gun stories like this.

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