CDC Quiet on Data Showing Americans Regularly Use Guns for Self-Defense

CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
CDC Quiet on Data Showing Americans Regularly Use Guns for Self-Defense
National Rifle Association Institute For Legislative Action (NRA-ILA)
National Rifle Association Institute For Legislative Action (NRA-ILA)

Fairfax, VA – -( The year is 1996. The Right to Carry movement is building momentum across the United States after violent crime peaked in the early 1990s. Criminologists Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz just published a study estimating that 2.5 million Americans used a firearm to defend themselves against another person in 1993. Gun-control advocates scoff at the number, though Kleck refutes the criticisms levied at his work.

The surest way to confirm, cast doubt upon or refute any research is replication. The CDC had recently entered the “gun violence research” field, publishing a flawed study clearly designed to advocate for gun control in 1993.

Shortly after Kleck and Gertz published their research, the CDC began collecting data that could have been provided evidence in the debate over how often the public utilize a firearm in self-defense.  You wouldn’t know it, but the CDC actually collected data on defensive gun use for three years (in 1996, 1997, and 1998) in the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) surveys. This data collection was not discovered until Kleck came across it looking for data on another topic. He is analyzing that data and comparing it to his own, but…something is amiss.

For 20 years, this data went unnoticed. Like some buried treasure, Kleck stumbled across this data. He wasn’t looking for it because, like the rest of the world outside of the CDC offices, he had no idea it existed. It was not discovered until 20 years after the fact.

Given how often questions about defensive gun usage come up and the wide range of estimates (from around 116,000 per year to millions, depending on the source) as well as the CDC’s clear interest on the topic, one may wonder why this data was never acknowledged.

Perhaps it was simply forgotten…by however many people worked on the BRFSS over the span of three years writing the survey, collecting the data, formatting the data, analyzing the data, and presumably presenting it to someone at CDC. Maybe it was misplaced. Maybe it was lost in a flood.

Maybe. Or perhaps the CDC didn’t report the data because the findings weren’t convenient.  It is hard to advocate banning firearms when the evidence shows a sizeable number of Americans using firearms to defend themselves every year in the United States. Is that more or less likely than a team of researchers forgetting they collected data on a hot-button topic?

Our assumptions about the CDC may be colored by their history with gun control advocacy. The motives or circumstances driving their silence may never be uncovered. Maybe in another 20 years someone will find a long-lost memo that details why the CDC kept quiet. Maybe not.

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the “lobbying” arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Visit:

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Timothy Votaw

Ever since the CDC was shanghied by the Obama administration to be a mouthpiece for politically-influenced double-talk, using their once-reliable credentials and influence, I take their incursion into such matters as this to be of little value, nor validity. That would take a very serious deep-cleaning of biased staff, from the top down. CDC would be better served, as would we, to concentrate on, well, DISEASE, in the traditional sense. They certainly have plenty to work on.

Missouri Born

Isn’t the CDC just another branch of the Democrat party.


CDC is to monitor and track disease breakouts. There are legal entities that track the use of gun usage in self defense and the CDC is not one of them. I’d rather the CDC track communicable outbreaks of deadly disease and not worry about gun self defense. We have the sheriffs office and local PD reports for the rest.


One might well ask the following question. Has the CDC, a government agency that lives on taxpayer monies been co-opted by anti constitutional/anti civil rights operators. Strikes me that, along with the primary question, the following points could well be added.
1. How did this situation come to pass.
2. Who were the facilitators of this most undesirable movement.
3. How is it that our elected representatives aka The House of Representatives and U.S. Senate seemingly stood by, observing this change, without complaint or counter action.


Gee just like the UFO studies (there’s nobody out there) the CDC says about the same thing , only it has to do about guns.


So what was the results of the study? no one has published them? No one has asked for the results?

Heed the Call-up

From what I have read, Kleck states the studies showed an average of about 2.4 million DGUs annually. Since the studies aren’t published, and my search on the CDC website did not find them, it will be a long time, if ever, before the CDC will acknowledge these studies and offer an explanation for why they were not published and provide the results. This was at the time Congress accused the CDC of anti-gun studies and defunded them. Actually, Congress only reduced their budget by the cost of those anti-gun studies.