The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) tracks gun violence statistics, which is controversial among Second Amendment supporters who point out that guns aren’t bacteria. Conservatives have often opposed funding the CDC’s gun research, but in 2019, Congress voted to reinstate it. That research did get results — but recent leaks show that gun control advocates still aren’t happy.
Recently leaked emails between gun control groups and the CDC show that, for three months in 2021, researchers were pressured to hide their statistics about defensive gun use. The CDC had posted figures on its website showing that guns were used to deter or prevent crime up to 2.5 million times every year; activists thought these numbers made it harder to get gun bans passed. Mark Bryant of the anti-2A Gun Violence Archive emailed CDC to say the statistic needed to be “killed, buried, dug up, killed again and buried again,” claiming it was “highly misleading.”
To its credit, CDC resisted the pressure for months — but on September 15, the agency finally caved in and agreed to pull the statistics. Their website now has a bland statement that “Estimates of defensive gun use vary.” That’s true — but even the low estimate of 60,000 times a year is a big number.