The CDC Removed 'Defensive Gun Use' Data at the Request of Gun Control Advocates

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File

The CDC came into prominence in 2020 when a little man with a big ego took to the national stage. He took to cameras like a mosquito to bare skin. He wasn’t part of the CDC, but rather an interconnected agency called the NIH. Fauci, as head of the NIAID (part of the NIH), and bureaucrats at the CDC quickly took turns giving advice about public policy rather than their designed mission which is public health.


The CDC came into being at the end of World War II. It started as the “Office of Malaria Control.” It was so effective at controlling malaria, the Federal Government created the “Communicable Disease Center,” later named the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It opened its offices in Atlanta and there it stayed.

According to the CDC:

CDC is the nation’s leading science-based, data-driven, service organization that protects the public’s health. For more than 70 years, we’ve put science into action to help children stay healthy so they can grow and learn; to help families, businesses, and communities fight disease and stay strong; and to protect the public’s health.

Notwithstanding having no lawful mandate or authority to dictate and demand things like rent moratoriums during a pandemic, the CDC did just that. During the past three years, the CDC has expanded its titular authority. Gun control advocacy appears to be another area that it has taken on, rather than just reporting data. And, to that end the CDC has apparently removed data to conform with gun control and gun grabbers, to influence public opinion.

The CDC has a dedicated webpage that discusses gun violence. About midpage it reads:

Although definitions of defensive gun use vary, it is generally defined as the use of a firearm to protect and defend oneself, family, other people, and/or property against crime or victimization.

Estimates of defensive gun use vary depending on the questions asked, populations studied, timeframe, and other factors related to study design. Given the wide variability in estimates, additional research is necessary to understand defensive gun use prevalence, frequency, circumstances, and outcomes.


A  study that indicated as many as 2.5 million defensive gun use (DGU) happen each year was removed.

According to an article in “The Reload,” published on Thursday, the CDC allowed gun control advocates to dictate policy, with the CDC removing the study from its website. The advocates had difficulty getting the CDC to meet with them until Dick Durbin’s office pressured the CDC to schedule a virtual meeting. During the meeting and later in emails to officials at the CDC, Mark Bryant of Gun Violence Archive (GVA), asserted that the study was “damaging to the political prospects of passing new gun restrictions and should be eliminated from the CDC’s website.”

Bryant emailed CDC officials later saying:

“[T]hat 2.5 Million number needs to be killed, buried, dug up, killed again and buried again,” “It is highly misleading, is used out of context and I honestly believe it has zero value – even as an outlier point in honest DGU discussions.”

A FOIA  production that The Reload reviewed showed some pushback from CDC officials. One was James Mercy. He wondered why differing studies would not be included, writing:

“I mean all we say on the fact sheet essentially is that you get different estimates of defensive gun use depending on the methods you use to measure it and then point to the National Academy report.”


According to The Reload, the FOIA production included a fair share of fully redacted pages but also contained some illuminating emails including a reference to  “plans to talk about potential changes “off-line.”  Was that to avoid a paper trail and create plausible deniability for both the gun control advocates and officials at the CDC?

CDC is, apparently willing to skew data to suit gun-control advocates. The adage of the “squeaky wheel” comes to mind.



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