One of the Left’s biggest knocks on guns is their claim that very few Americans actually use one for self-defense purposes and that firearms are used far more times to commit murder and other crimes.
Not only is that untrue, it’s very untrue. And what’s more, at least one government agency has known it’s untrue for at least 20 years — the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Recently discovered statistics from the CDC dating back to the mid-to-late 1990s that were never released to the public indicate that defensive gun uses (DGUs) are much more common than criminal uses of a firearm, The Daily Wire reported.
According to a new report from Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck, the agency conducted the surveys in 1996, 1997, and 1998 but neglected — purposefully, most likely — to make public the fact that Americans use guns in millions of self-defense situations every year on average.
But many people — arguably most Americans — believe otherwise. That’s because they’re treated to a steady diet of naysaying from the Left-wing, gun-hating establishment media arguing that Kleck’s research is inaccurate.
For example, in January 2015 Politico Magazine writers Evan DeFillipis and Devin Hughes (financial industry guys, not researchers with advanced degrees) wrote that such claims are a “tragic myth: that millions of gun owners successfully use their firearms to defend themselves and their families from criminals.” Further, they wrote that such claims have “nearly no academic support in public health literature.” (Related: Why black Americans are demanding their gun rights, even while oppressive liberal mobs are trying to disarm them.)
Well, that’s due in large part because the public health agency that has the correct data never released it.
As noted by Reason Magazine:
…Kleck conducted the most thorough previously known survey data on the question in the 1990s. His study, which has been harshly disputed in pro-gun-control quarters, indicated that there were more than 2.2 million such defensive uses of guns (DGUs) in America a year.
Now Kleck has unearthed some lost CDC survey data on the question. The CDC essentially confirmed Kleck’s results. But Kleck didn’t know about that until now, because the CDC never reported what it found.
Kleck said he found that the agency asked about defensive uses for guns in its Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) during the aforementioned timeframe.
The CDC survey, which Kleck said was of “high-quality,” asked respondents: “During the last 12 months, have you confronted another person with a firearm, even if you did not fire it, to protect yourself, your property, or someone else?”
Reason noted that the survey instructed respondents to leave out “incidents from occupations, like policing, where using firearms is part of the job.” In addition, the survey does not add instances where guns were used to defend against an animal.
Kleck found in the surveys that 79 percent of those who reported a DGJ “had also reported a gun in their household at the time of the [survey] interview.” Only people who admitted to owning a gun were questioned; for that reason, Kleck said the CDC’s final numbers must be rounded up.
The final adjusted prevalence of 1.24 percent of DGU’s implies that in an average year during 1996–1998, 2.46 million U.S. adults used a gun for self-defense.
“This estimate, based on an enormous sample of 12,870 cases (unweighted) in a nationally representative sample, strongly confirms the 2.5 million past-12-months estimate obtained Kleck and Gertz (1995). …. CDC’s results, then, imply that guns were used defensively by victims about 3.6 times as often as they were used offensively by criminals,” The Daily Wire reported.
As to the Politico Magazine article claiming his figures were wrong, Kleck responded (in the same publication) the next month that the writers could not refute any of his or research partner Marc Gertz’s rebuttals, research methodology, or logic in reaching their conclusions.
It’s not like this information is going to get wide play in the gun-hating American Pravda media. But the next time you hear someone say few Americans use guns every year to defend themselves, you’ll know better.
See more of this content at Guns.news.
J.D. Heyes is editor of The National Sentinel and a senior writer for Natural News and NewsTarget.