January 28, 2023

The Centers for Disease Control’s reputation took a beating from its handling of the Chinese flu fiasco. Now, reporting by Stephen Gutowski at The Reload has taken another chuck out of the agency’s damaged credibility.

The scientists at the CDC have been busying themselves air brushing their website to remove inconvenient facts that get in the way of the gun control industry’s agenda, an agenda that’s shared and pushed by Joe Biden’s Democrat party.

FOIA’d documents obtained by The Reload show that gun control advocates objected to the CDC listing the number of defensive gun uses (DGUs) on their ‘Fast Facts” page about so-called gun violence prevention.

Mark Bryant, who operates the Gun Violence Archive website, lobbied CDC management to drop the DGU numbers cited on the website. After a meeting, he wrote this to the Associate Director for Policy, Partnerships, and Strategic Communication at the CDC’s Division of Violence Prevention:

“[T]hat 2.5 Million number needs to be killed, buried, dug up, killed again and buried again.  It 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.”

Here’s what the “Fast Facts” page showed back in December 2021.

Screen capture by Boch. Via CDC (Wayback Machine)

After lobbying from Bryant, the Newtown Action Alliance, GVPedia, and others, here’s the same section of the CDC’s website today.

Screen capture by Boch.

In short, they scrubbed data that indicated that, depending on who’s doing the counting, Americans defend themselves using firearms anywhere between 60,000 and 2.5 million times a year. But that objective truth was simply too much for the Biden administration’s allies in the gun control industry to stomach. It made their job of selling more limits on Second Amendment rights more difficult, so they got the CDC to scrub it.

Long story short: Americans can’t trust the CDC.

From The Reload . . .

The lobbying campaign spanned months and culminated with a private meeting between CDC officials and three advocates last summer, a collection of emails obtained by The Reload show. Introductions from the White House and Senator Dick Durbin’s (D., Ill.) office helped the advocates reach top officials at the agency after their initial attempt to reach out went unanswered. The advocates focused their complaints on the CDC’s description of its review of studies that estimated defensive gun uses (DGU) happen between 60,000 and 2.5 million times per year in the United States–attacking criminologist Gary Kleck’s work establishing the top end of the range.

“[T]hat 2.5 Million number needs to be killed, buried, dug up, killed again and buried again,” Mark Bryant, one of the attendees, wrote to CDC officials after their meeting. “It 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, who runs the Gun Violence Archive (GVA), argued Kleck’s estimate has been damaging to the political prospects of passing new gun restrictions and should be eliminated from the CDC’s website.

“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,” he wrote in the same email. “Put simply, in the time that study has been published as ‘a CDC Study’ gun violence prevention policy has ground to a halt, in no small part because of the misinformation that small study provided.”

Despite initially standing behind the description in the defensive gun use section of its “fast facts” website on gun violence, the CDC backtracked after a previously-undisclosed virtual meeting with the advocates on September 15th, 2021.

“We are planning to update the fact sheet in early 2022 after the release of some new data,” Beth Reimels, Associate Director for Policy, Partnerships, and Strategic Communication at the CDC’s Division of Violence Prevention, said in one email to the three advocates on December 10th. “We will also make some edits to the content we discussed that I think will address the concerns you and other partners have raised.”

The CDC did not respond to a request for comment on the decision, but none of the emails the agency released related to it did not show any attempts to obtain other outside points of view either before or after the meeting with the gun-control advocates. Hannah Bristol of the White House Office of Public Engagement did not respond to a request for comment on her role in the discussions beyond what the emails reveal. Emily Hampsten, Senator Durbin’s Communications Director, told The Reload their office’s only involvement was “simply connecting” “stakeholder organizations” with a federal agency as part of the “basic function of our work.”

Read the full report from The Reload here.

If Republicans want to, this little stunt – coupled with the CDC’s handling of the COVID fiasco – would result in a lot fewer taxpayer dollars funding the CDC’s politicized “gun violence” research. But don’t hold your breath waiting for that to happen.

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