Statistics should not be hidden from the American public to justify Leftist legislation, but that’s exactly what’s happening in the gun control debate.

At the urging of gun control organizations last year, the CDC removed its estimates of defensive gun uses from its database, which previously cited the 2013 National Academies of Sciences report that estimated individuals using guns to stop crimes ranged from 64,000 to 3 million instances per year. The CDC pinpointed this estimate at 2.5 million, which gun control proponents found delegitimized their position, saying the statistic “has been used so often to stop [gun control] legislation,” thus, it should be removed from the website. They further wrote that the number should be “killed, buried, dug up, killed again, and buried again,” because it was allegedly “misleading” – although they never expounded on why the data was faulty or inaccurate. This is the height of intellectual dishonesty; if you must hide information from your opponents to justify your viewpoint, your position doesn’t hold water.

The writer of the letter, Executive Director of the Gun Violence Archive Mark Bryant, erroneously states that the author of the study from which the CDC pulled the 2.5 million number later “debunked” his own study – which is unsubstantiated. In 2015 the author wrote in defense of his study that “at least 18 national surveys have consistently confirmed that DGUs [Defensive Gun Uses] are very common, probably more common than criminal uses of guns.” His research was even used in the Supreme Court’s landmark gun control case District of Columbia v. Heller, which established that the Second Amendment does entitle American citizens to keep and bear arms. 

The CDC clearly made a hasty, politically motivated decision when removing statistics on DGUs from their site, but they unfortunately aren’t alone in this misinformation campaign led by the federal government. 

John R. Lott Jr., an economist and the founder of the nonprofit Crime Prevention Research Center, wrote that as the U.S. Department of Justice’s senior adviser for research and statistics, he found that the FBI’s active-shooting reports were substantially skewed, with many cases about armed citizens preventing crime misidentified or missing entirely. After his findings were reported, the FBI continued to publish the same numbers: that armed citizens only stopped 14 of 302 active-shooter incidents between 2014-2022.

In reality, the correct rate of armed citizens preventing active-shooter situations is eight times higher than what the FBI reported, and if the field is narrowed to instances in which permit holders were allowed to carry, the rate is 11 times higher, Lott writes. Based on his nonprofit’s in-depth research to correct the FBI’s numbers, they found that out of 440 active-shooter incidents from 2014 to 2022, armed citizens stopped 157. 

The moral of the story? Don’t believe everything you see (or don’t see) on government websites. In an ideal world, these institutions are bastions of truth and accurate statistics, but in the real world, they can no longer be trusted, especially when it comes to politically motivated discussions.