CDC Buried Study Showing Guns Are Used More Often For Protection Than Crime

Gun experts said unpublished study showed that guns were used for protection far more often than to commit crime.

Atlanta, GA – A new paper out of Florida State University accused the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of hiding results from a survey they conducted that said guns were used for defense three-and-a-half times more often than they are used by criminals.

There were nearly 2.5 million instances a year where people used a firearm for self-defense, defending others or protecting their property, according to the CDC student that remained unpublished.

The CDC conducted the study with data they collected from 1996, 1997, and 1998 and the findings were just recently uncovered, Reason Magazine reported.

The unpublished study supported previous findings by Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck and fellow Florida State University professor Marc Gertz who have claimed since the early 1990s that there were between 760,000 and 2.5 million “defensive handgun uses” per year.

The CDC’s findings meant that people were using guns in the United States more often for defensive purposes than for offensive uses.

But the CDC never published the lost survey data that Kleck uncovered.

Kleck released a new paper on Feb. 26 on the issue titled, “What Do CDC’s Surveys Say About the Frequency of Defensive Gun Uses?”

In that paper, Kleck exposed the fact that the CDC did national surveys asking about defensive gun use in 1996, 1997, and 1998.

The CDC’s findings were that an average of 2.46 million U.S. adults used a gun for self defense in each of those years from 1996 to 1998.

The CDC survey question was: "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?"

The people surveyed were not to include incidents from jobs like policing, where using firearms was part of the job, Reason Magazine reported.

Kleck found that the CDC's results showed guns were used defensively by people about 3.6 times as often as they were used offensively by criminals.

In his new paper, Kleck accused the CDC of suppressing those findings, and discussed reasons the data may have been hidden.

UPDATE: Kleck pulled his study over criticism that only 15 states were involved, not all 50, which only accounts for 27 percent of the population, according to Reason Magazine. The states included were: Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Montana, Ohio, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

No. 1-25

Where in the world do you get your information? You sound like a leftist living on friggin Mars.


Why use Hawaii in this study? This draconian state has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the nation. We have no possibility for concealed carry and we cannot shoot a person who breaks into our domicile. We must wait until our life is specifically and clearly threatened prior to pulling the trigger. No castle law in this Leftist state. We have no Second Amendment rights here….

Silly Willy
Silly Willy

UPDATE: The paper discussed in this post below has been withdrawn by the author Gary Kleck after Reason brought to his attention an important detail first pointed out by Robert VerBruggen of National Review: Kleck in the original paper treats the CDC's surveys on defensive gun use as if they were national in scope, as Kleck's original survey was, but they were not. From VerBruggen's own looks at CDC's raw data, it seems that over the course of the three years, the following 15 states were surveyed: Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Montana, Ohio, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. (Those states, from 2000 census data, contained around 27 percent of the U.S. population.) Kleck says he is working on a new version of the paper that recalculates the degree to which CDC's survey work indeed matches or corroborates his, and we will publish a discussion of those fresh results when they are complete. But for now Kleck has pulled the original paper from the web pending his rethinking the data and his conclusions. Per Reason Magazine

Michael Q Rudnin
Michael Q Rudnin

Are we living in a MAD nation? So many gun owners admitting to threatening each other by way of mutually assured destruction? That's such a messed up view of what defensive gun use is ...