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a firearm for self-defense, defending others or protecting their property, according to the CDC student that remained unpublished.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The unpublished study supported previous findings by Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck and fellow Florida State University professor Marc Gertz who have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.