GOP lawmakers want CDC to reinstate defensive gun use data

GOP lawmakers want CDC to reinstate defensive gun use data
AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane

A pair of representatives from New York and Texas are urging the head of the Centers for Disease Control to bring back data on defensive gun uses the agency removed from its website, apparently at the request of gun control activists. In a letter to Rochelle Walensky, Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) and Rep. August Pfluger (R-TX) reminded the CDC head that trust in the institution is at an “all time low”, but one step that the agency could take to begin to restore the damage done would be to put the defensive gun use data back online.

“Public trust in the CDC is already at an all-time low. Now, we find out the supposed ‘non-partisan agency’ is removing information that gun control activists don’t like. The CDC’s own study showed that Americans have relied on their own guns for self-defense upwards of 2.5 million times in a year. Congress needs to act and put guardrails in place to protect from this behavior,” Pfluger told Fox News Digital in a statement.

“The CDC must immediately end their blatant politicization of the facts in pursuit of the Far Left anti-gun agenda,” Stefanik said in another statement to Fox. “The Biden Administration is shamefully lying to the American people and hiding the facts of how law-abiding citizens use their Constitutionally-protected Second Amendment rights to keep our families and communities safe.”

As The Reload’s Stephen Gutowski first reported, the CDC removed a study it had commissioned from Florida State professor emeritus Gary Kleck, which estimated the number of defensive gun uses in the United States to be somewhere between 60,000 to 2.5-million every year; a number far higher than what anti-gun activists wanted to see in an official government report.

Mark Bryant, executive director of the pro-gun control Gun Violence Archive, told CDC officials that the data needed to be “killed, buried, dug up, killed again and buried again” in an email and subsequent meeting.

While CDC officials initially resisted his request, they ultimately agreed to remove the study from their website.

As Stefanik and Pfluger wrote in their letter to Walensky, “this censorship panders to the activist groups who aim to cover up the fact that much of the firearm industry prevails because consumers seek the ability to protect their life, liberty, and property,” which sounds about right to me. The only issue with Kleck’s study was that anti-gun activists didn’t like the result of Kleck’s research, which showed that defensive gun uses are far more common than media reports suggest; in part, at least, because the vast majority of defensive gun uses don’t involve pulling the trigger and may even result in a police report being filed, much less a live shot or a front page story in local media.

Will the CDC back down and add the link to Kleck’s research as Stefanik and Pfluger are requesting? I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for that development. But with Republicans taking control of the House in early January, the GOP will have the opportunity to start providing at least a modicum of oversight to the Biden administration and executive branch agencies like the CDC, and that means we’ll likely be learning a lot more about the cozy relationship between the gun control lobby and the CDC, ATF, and DOJ that’s been taking place largely behind closed doors over the past few years.