In an embarrassing indication of just how obedient the Biden/Harris administration is to left-wing lobbyists and activists, a report from The Reload has revealed that according to unearthed emails, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) surreptitiously removed statistics from its website that gun control advocates found unhelpful to their cause.
The activists at issue had expressed concern about data published on the CDC website that suggested that a comprehensive review of studies conducted to date showed that defensive gun uses (DGUs) took place between 60,000 and 2.5 million times annually.
The gun control proponents took particular issue with CDC-commissioned research conducted by criminologist Gary Kleck, who pegged the actual incidence rate at the top end of the figures cited by the CDC, with three months of back-and-forth with the agency ensuing as a result.
Contending that the figures were counterproductive in terms of their work in support of stricter federal gun control measures, advocates including Mark Bryant, head of the Gun Violence Archive, met with Biden administration officials and fought for the statistics to be scrubbed.
“[T]hat 2.5 Million number needs to be killed, buried, dug up, killed again and buried again,” Bryant wrote to the CDC, adding, “[i]t 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.”
Bryant did not stop there, writing, “And while that very small study by Gary Kleck has been debunked repeatedly by everyone from all sides of this issue [even Kleck] it still remains canon by gun rights folks and their supporting politicians and is used as a blunt instrument against gun safety regulations every time there is a state or federal level hearing.”
Though at first, the CDC appeared poised to defend the use of Kleck's numbers as part of its “fast facts” gun violence web page, the decision was ultimately reversed following a meeting with the gun control activists in September of last year.
In December of 2021, Beth Reimels of the CDC's Division of Violence Prevention put the activists' minds at ease in an email that read, “We are planning to update the fact sheet in early 2022 after the release of some new data.”
“We will also make some edits to the content we discussed that I think will address the concerns you and other partners have raised,” Reimels added.
According to the Daily Caller, the relevant portion of the CDC website now declares, “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.”
As The Reload suggests, the revelations contained in the aforementioned emails may exacerbate already tense relationships between the CDC and members of the soon-to-be Republican House majority set to assume oversight duties in January.
Kleck himself expressed frustration at the CDC's decision making, noting that the agency never even contacted him for his opinion prior to removing his research data from its website and declaring their conduct to be “blatant censorship.”
The report author added, as The Reload noted, “CDC is just aligning itself with the gun-control advocacy groups. It's just saying: 'we are their tool, and we will do their bidding.' And that's not what a government agency should do.”
Sadly, the ease with which the Biden administration simply shuts out any facts capable of undermining one of its inviolable political positions is nothing new, but hopefully, some sufficiently curious members of the new House majority will pursue accountability in this shameful episode.