Unpublished CDC Study Confirms More than 2 Million Defensive Handgun Uses Annually
An unpublished Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study confirms Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck’s findings of more than two million defensive handgun uses (DGUs) per year.
Since the early 1990s, Kleck has maintained that there is a minimum of 760,000 DGUs annually. However, that is his low estimate. Kleck and research partner Marc Gertz have contended the actual number is closer to 2.5 million, reported Breitbart.
Kleck reaffirmed his numbers on February 17, 2015, explaining that while plenty of naysayers have criticized his findings, none have been able to offer empirical evidence to counter them.
Now, a CDC study conducted on data from 1996, 1997, and 1998 has been uncovered. The study, which was never released to the public, shows approximately 2.46 million DGUs per year.
One has to ask why the studies were left unpublished?
Kleck summarized the CDC findings:
In 1996, 1997, and 1998, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted large-scale national surveys asking about defensive gun use (DGU). They never released the findings, or even acknowledged they had studied the topic. I obtained the unpublished raw data and computed the prevalence of DGU. CDC’s findings indicated that an average of 2.46 million U.S. adults used a gun for self-defense in each of the years from 1996 through 1998 – almost exactly confirming the estimate for 1992 of Kleck and Gertz (1995). Possible reasons for CDC’s suppression of these findings are discussed.
On April 20, 2018, Reason magazine quoted Kleck’s reaction to the unpublished CDC findings; he explained that a figure of 2.46 million DGUs a year “[implies] that guns were used defensively by victims about 3.6 times as often as they were used offensively by criminals.”
According to Reason magazine, for those who wonder exactly how purely scientific CDC researchers are likely to be about issues of gun violence that implicate policy, Kleck notes that “CDC never reported the results of those surveys, does not report on their website any estimates of DGU frequency, and does not even acknowledge that they ever asked about the topic in any of their surveys.”
While the surveys specifically omitted weapons used during the course and scope of duty, Law Enforcement Today’s editor-in-chief, Jim McNeff, provided details that support these findings.
In his article, “Institutional Injustice Is a Lie,” McNeff provided personal evidence:
While working undercover I have experienced potential lethal encounters on no fewer than three occasions. First, I had a shotgun pulled on me by a (suspect) who wanted me out of his “hood” in Downey. Second, I had a person try to carjack my undercover vehicle until I pulled my handgun to defend myself in Santa Ana. Third, I had to pull my weapon on a person who challenged my presence by threatening great bodily injury since I was on “his turf”—which was the public housing projects in Los Angeles.
During each occasion McNeff was dressed in civilian clothing. The suspect in each case was not the intended target of the undercover assignment. Thus, bad guys in these gang-infested areas viewed him as an unarmed “victim.” Yet, he was armed with a handgun and able to defend himself during each crime.
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How often does this occur? It’s hard to say. Nevertheless, we’d enjoy hearing your story if you’ve encountered a similar experience.
– LET Staff