Police Website Reveals CDC Suppressing Defensive Gun Use Data

by Vern Evans

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According to a report from Law Enforcement Today, recent revelations have exposed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for allegedly suppressing data on defensive gun use (DGU). This action has ignited debates over the transparency and potential politicization of the agency’s research on gun policy and public health.

The CDC, which studies various factors contributing to injury and mortality including firearm incidents, has been criticized for omitting defensive gun use statistics from its public communications. Despite commissioning a study from The National Academies’ Institute of Medicine and National Research Council, which recognized DGUs as a “common occurrence,” the CDC chose to exclude these statistics following pressure from gun-control advocates.

Documents obtained via Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests revealed that individuals such as Mark Bryant of the Gun Violence Archive, Devin Hughes of GVPedia, and Po Murray engaged with top CDC officials. They were introduced by the White House and Senator Dick Durbin’s office and pressed the CDC to downplay DGU frequencies, which range from estimates of 60,000 to 2.5 million annually in the U.S.

Mark Bryant was particularly outspoken, vehemently opposing the highest estimates of DGU. He was quoted in correspondence saying, “that statistic needs to be killed, buried, dug up, killed again and buried again. It is highly misleading, used out of context, and holds zero value even as an outlier in honest discussions surrounding DGUs.”

Despite initial reluctance, the CDC ultimately removed references to DGUs from its publications, a move that has been perceived as aligning the agency more with gun-control advocacy groups than with unbiased scientific inquiry. This has raised concerns about the CDC’s commitment to providing comprehensive and unbiased data.

Gary Kleck, professor emeritus at Florida State University’s College of Criminology and Criminal Justice and a long-time researcher of DGUs, criticized the CDC’s actions, suggesting they indicate the agency is a tool of gun-control advocates rather than a neutral body. Kleck, whose research supports at least 760,000 DGUs annually, emphasized the importance of rigorous methodology and empirical evidence in academic research.

This situation highlights the ongoing tension between scientific research and political influence, particularly in the contentious arena of gun policy. Critics argue that the CDC’s actions compromise its credibility as an evidence-based institution and call for greater transparency and accountability in its research practices.

“CDC is just aligning itself with the gun-control advocacy groups. It’s just saying: ‘we are their tool, and we will do their bidding.’ And that’s not what a government agency should do,” Kleck told Eddie Killian, the author of the Law Enforcement Today article.

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