This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, April 25, 2018:  

Gary Kleck, professor of criminology who is now retired from Florida State University, and another professor at FSU, Marc Gertz, teamed up to do a study in the mid '90s about how often Americans used to defend themselves. The study was so carefully crafted that Marvin Wolfgang, acknowledged by the British Journal of Criminology as “the most influential criminologist in the English-speaking world,” was forced to admit its excellence:

I am as strong a gun-control advocate as can be found among the criminologists in this country…. The Kleck and Gertz study [The National Self-Defense Survey] impresses me for the caution the authors exercise and the elaborate nuances they examine methodologically.


I do not like their conclusions that having a gun can be useful, but I cannot fault their methodology. They have tried earnestly to meet all objections in advance and have done exceedingly well.

Kleck and Gertz's conclusions? Americans used firearms more than two million times every year to defend themselves from criminal attack.

Apparently this so outraged the Clinton administration that they called on the CDC (the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) to refute it. After all, if Kleck's study was correct, it would blow a hole in the anti-gun narrative: that criminals used far more often than -abiding citizens and therefore those citizens could be persuaded to give them up as unnecessary and dangerous to have around the house.

And so the CDC complied. When the first study confirmed that Kleck and Gertz were correct, it ran another study. When its conclusions matched the first, they ran still another. That one also confirmed what Kleck and Gertz had concluded. So they buried the reports.

While doing some research on his own, Kleck recently stumbled across those buried surveys and no doubt was delighted to see that, after decades of criticism from anti-gun types over his conclusions, the CDC validated and confirmed the conclusions from the study. After reviewing the newly discovered/uncovered/recovered studies, Kleck – in his best professorial manner – wrote:

The final adjusted prevalence of 1.24% [of the population experiencing a defensive gun use (DGU) in the past twelve months] therefore implies that in an average year during 1996–1998, 2.46 million U.S. adults used a gun for self-defense. This estimate, based on an enormous sample of 12,870 cases (unweighted) in a nationally representative sample, strongly confirms the 2.5 million past-12-months estimate obtained [by me and Marc] Gertz in 1995…. CDC's results, then, imply that guns were used defensively by victims about 3.6 times as often as they were used offensively by criminals.

Kleck added: “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.”

In other words, the CDC got caught hiding information damaging to the anti-gun narrative then prevalent during the Clinton administration. But they didn't bury it deeply enough.

Dean Weingarten, recently retired from the after a 30-year career in Army Research, Development, Testing and Evaluation, knew exactly what the CDC was up to, calling “the timing and size of the surveys done by the CDC … fascinating. They were done immediately after Kleck and Gertz published their paper.”

Weingarten noted that:

Gary Kleck, as a scientist, a , and a proponent of a number of gun control measures, is careful not to cast aspersions on the CDC. He does not accuse anyone of malfeasance. He notes the surveys were done during the Clinton administration, and these findings would have worked against the gun control agenda of the administration.


Someone at the CDC made the decision not to publish these results.

Kleck's revelation comes at a most propitious time, when on guns, gun ownership, and the Second Amendment have reached a fever pitch. Kleck's freshly confirmed conclusions remove an important “talking point” from those determined to disarm America. After all, if Mr. and Mrs. America are using guns a couple of million times a year to ward off criminal attacks, how could they be persuaded to give them up?

Given the passage of sufficient time, truth will out, as Professor Kleck and Gertz have just found out. Their vindication, after 25 years, must be sweet indeed.


Background on Gary Kleck

Background on Professor Marc Gertz, Kleck's co-author Dishonest CDC caught hiding data proving that guns are used FAR more for self-defense than for crime NARRATIVE FAIL: Newly Discovered CDC Surveys Demolish Anti-Gun Talking Points CDC, in Surveys It Never Bothered Making Public, Provides More Evidence That Plenty of Americans Innocently Defend Themselves with Guns CDC Survey On Defensive Gun Use Was Never Publicized Newly revealed government statistics hidden from public dismantle liberal gun control narrative CDC Failed to Report Strong Evidence of Defensive Gun Uses

Background on the CDC

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