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By Joe Bartozzi

Last week’s bombshell report by The Reload showing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) purposefully omitted defensive-use data sets after being lobbied by gun control groups shows serious concerns with the government-funded agency that’s charged with saving lives and protecting people from health threats.

The revelation of twisting data to meet pre-determined conclusions is the antithesis of science. It is nothing short of censorship. It is, in fact, dangerous that CDC researchers are cherry-picking data to force an outcome.

What’s worse is that these researchers aren’t acting in good faith to determine the outcomes from where the science leads. They are acting as agents of special interest groups. That’s not only scientifically irresponsible, it is also a violation of the law.

Corrupt Science

Researchers at the CDC deleted a reference to a self-defense gun use study after gun control groups complained that including the data would prevent them pressuring Congress to pass more gun control laws, The Reload reported. It was the result of months of political arm-twisting by three different gun control groups – the Gun Violence Archive, GVPedia and the Newtown Action Alliance.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn. talks to Po Murray, chairman of the Newtown Action Alliance. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

The groups took issue with a study by Gary Kleck, award-wining Professor Emeritus at Florida State University’s College of Criminology and Criminal Justice. Kleck’s study estimated defensive gun uses (DGU) happen between 60,000 and 2.5 million times per year in the United States. That 2.5 million figure was too much for the gun control groups to accept. Instead of providing refuting evidence, they killed the study and censored the data.

“[T]hat 2.5 Million number needs to be killed, buried, dug up, killed again and buried again,” Mark Bryant, one of the attendees who also runs Gun Violence Archive – the source for mainstream media’s “mass shooting” statistics. He wrote to CDC officials after their meeting, according The Reload, complaining of Kleck’s study. “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.”

Professor Kleck stood by his research. “CDC is just aligning itself with the gun-control advocacy groups,” Kleck told The Reload. “It’s just saying: ‘we are their tool, and we will do their bidding.’ And that’s not what a government agency should do.”

It’s more than that. That’s what the CDC is forbidden by law from doing.

The Dickey Amendment

This report appears to show that the CDC is in violation of the Dickey Amendment, which specifically forbids the agency from advocating for gun control through their studies. The Dickey Amendment, named for former Congressman Jay Dickey (R-Ark.), was first passed into law in 1996. The amendment states, “none of the funds made available for injury prevention and control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may be used to advocate or promote gun control.”

It was added after a 1993 CDC-funded study took an advocacy position linking gun ownership in the home to increased risk of death by a family member or friend. It was also after Dr. Patrick O’Carroll, the CDC’s acting head of the Division of Injury Control, said, “We’re going to systematically build a case that owning firearms causes deaths. We’re doing the most we can do, given the political realities.”

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Gun control-supporting politicians have complained ever since that the Dickey Amendment kept them from studying the issue of guns, but that simply wasn’t true.

The CDC’s budget tripled from the time the Dickey Amendment passed to over $6 billion in 2019. If the CDC was being told they couldn’t study anything gun-related, they didn’t listen very well. During that time, the CDC studied guns and suicidenoise and lead exposure at ranges, firearm violence prevention in Wilmington, Delaware, and issued a report on firearms homicides and suicides in metropolitan areas. That doesn’t include other studies by the FBI, the Department of Justice, and Congressional studies.

There was also that instance in 2013 when President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order directing $10 million in “gun violence” research.

In 2019, Congress updated the Dickey Amendment to read:

“While appropriations language prohibits the CDC and other agencies from using appropriated funding to advocate or promote gun control, the Secretary of Health and Human Services has stated the CDC has the authority to conduct research on the causes of gun violence.”

Except the CDC ignored that. The CDC is not only using federal funds to advocate for gun control, but they have also been caught red-handed doing it at the behest of gun control groups.

Diagnosis: Malpractice

This reveals two pressing issues for which lawmakers must demand answers. First, lawmakers should demand to know how and why the CDC bent to demands of gun control groups to omit relevant information that informs their studies. This tells us the CDC is studying issues surrounding firearms for politically-favored answers and cherry-picking data to support predetermined conclusions that supports the demands of gun control groups rather than studying to learn answers from where the evidence leads.

Second, this demonstrates that there are serious concerns with the protocols in place at the CDC when it comes to their studies. This raises doubt as to the information the CDC provides to the American taxpayer when it becomes evident officials there are allowing studies to be published that are designed and influenced by political objectives instead of strict scientific criteria.

Rochelle Walensky
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky (Stefani Reynolds/The New York Times via AP, Pool)

The American public should be very concerned with this level of political influence to determine outcomes to satisfy radical advocacy groups. This is the very definition of political corruption.

Congress must call in the Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra and CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky to demand answers and accountability. They broke the law and they did it to muscle through false and incomplete evidence to support gun control restrictions on a Constitutionally-protected right.

It’s long past time that Congress demands of CDC officials, “Doctor, heal thyself.”

 

Joe Bartozzi is the President and CEO of the National Shooting Sports Foundation

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42 COMMENTS

    • Now the dot gov is slowly admitting the “conspiracy theorists” were correct. Never forget that dem voters were against citizens being able to question the government. They had their chance to vote against Covid (and future) tyranny. They asked for more of the same. In other news, propaganda still works.

      • Also, don’t fail to notice that the political lines have shifted enormously vis a vis the public itself due to this.

        It’s no longer D vs R with some Progs and RINOs thrown in for spice. It’s now establishment vs anti-establishment and the establishment actively sabotages its own party on both sides of the aisle.

        The idea that “center Left” people are sitting down and agreeing on most topics with Harmeet Dhillon and Steve Bannon, and even going so far as to war-game how to beat the establishment would have been unthinkable just a few years ago.

        Some people get salty when I say I’m not sure that DeSantis will get what he wants on guns. The reason isn’t because I hate DeSantis, it’s because I see him as a national figure and that means the establishment on both sides of the aisle wants to crucify him preemptively by denying him wins. He’s like Trump in that regard, a threat to the established order.

        And I’m old enough to remember how this works when a party wants to play hardball internally. A phone call is made, the state legislature goes dark and even unplugs all their phones, ignores standing rules and passes laws in the middle of the night because TPTB in the party told them to do something that the legislature knows is very unpopular within the state.

        In a situation where McConnel has already shown openly that he will actively work to deny R’s a Senate majority, you really think the GOP can’t take a page out of the D playbook? Or that they wouldn’t do so because ethics?

        People talk a lot these days about the fall of the Roman Empire. This isn’t the fall of the Empire, it’s the Fall of the Republic. Fortunately, we’re not dependent on a fool like Pompey Magnus but that doesn’t mean we’re not in for one Hell of a fight.

    • “By pushing deadly mRNA clot shots on us CDC caused more deaths than so called “gun’ violence.”

      yes and no and yes and no and yes and no.

      This assertion rises from (rooted in) the CDC data that reports, basically: There have been 7,680 more excess deaths among children and young adults in 2022 so far compared to the same time frame in 2020 at the height of the alleged Covid-19 pandemic. But the year 2021 was by and large the worst year for deaths among 0 to 44-year-olds, with 291,461 excess deaths in total, nearly 60,000 more than occurred in 2020.

      This was pointed out in the CDC report, but they didn’t include the context and that led to the idea that “deadly mRNA clot shots on us CDC caused more deaths than so called ‘gun’ violence.’ ” 

      In reality, that context supplied later, describes those numbers also included “other adverse events” deaths in people that had been vaccinated and not necessarily vaccines related deaths.

      Not defending the CDC here, but using it to point out the lack of, or slewed, context is a trick used by anti-gun a lot. For example, anti-gun likes to point to gun homicide stats and either call them all murders or imply they are all murders. But the context they leave out on purpose is that according to the FBI UCR 80% – 85% of firearm homicides stats are criminals shooting other criminals, police shooting criminals, or ordinary law abiding people shooting criminals in valid legal defense – over 50% of those are ordinary law abiding people shooting criminals in valid legal defense which is not murder by rather is ‘justifiable homicide’ which is also known as self/home/other-defense.

      if you take out this “over 50%” and police legally justified shootings (about 15%) – we find the actual gun murder rate is much lower than its touted to be by anti-gun and even lower than most of the countries that have strict gun bans.

      But, for the U.S. when we look behind that data at murder rates overall (guns used or not) we find that ~94% of black murder victims are murdered by blacks and ~83% of white murder victims are murdered by whites and blacks commit murder at a rate three times greater than whites – on a per population percentage basis. Now why is this significant? Its significant because its the thing no one anti-gun wants to talk about, that murders overall are mostly along inner-racial (not inter-racial) lines and it tracks right along for specifically gun murders also – and its the same in gun ban countries (what ever the racial divides are for the particular country on a per population percentage basis), that murders overall (guns used or not) are mostly along inner-racial lines at about the same rates and percentages and it tracks right along for specifically gun murders also. The reason anti-gun stays away from going into this is because it defeats their ‘far right wing white supremacist racist preying on black’ narrative. (not defending ‘far right wing white supremacist racist’ but the data does show they are not the main boogy-man the black community needs to worry about.)

      Context is important.

  1. No data from our corrupt government can be trusted. It’s all twisted to conform to an agenda. Nothing but straight propaganda. The mainstream media is all to willing to play along with it.

  2. Back in the 90’s the naïve me thought the Internet would be bringing unfettered, un-gated access to an endless stream of un-censorable data. Date, by virtue of the Internet, anyone could check sources of and the sources of those sources all the way back to the original funders and researchers.

    Had I more life experience I would have realized that compartmentalization, cronyism and the constant thirst for power would have given us the opposite reality where curated and “trusted” entities censor and gatekeep at a level never before seen. Algorithms are dictating reality and re-writing history in real-time.

    The conclusions have already been made to every issue we have or will ever be confronted with and now it’s up to big tech, government powers and social pressures to get us all to agree. Or at least enough of us.

    • “Back in the 60’s the naïve me thought the FBI with Efrem Zimbalist Jr. was someone whose character was something to strive to achieve. And it was. Now I want these liars to DIAF slowly. God Bless you if you are upholding your oath if not let us or yourself remove you from our path.

      • ….now that we know the truth about J. Edgar?….do have to admit most of the agents i’ve met seemed a decent sort…but they’re not the ones calling the shots….

    • The conclusions have already been made to every issue we have or will ever be confronted with and now it’s up to big tech, government powers and social pressures to get us all to agree. Or at least enough of us.

      Have a white pill and relax. Their plan is falling apart because it’s unworkable and always has been. It’s the damage they do along the way to be concerned about.

      As TTAG likes to say, “You can’t stop the signal”. A curated internet fools the majority for a while but ultimately Ayn Rand was right about one thing. You can ignore reality but you cannot ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.

      Consequences are coming.

      • Six of one, half dozen of the other. There’s no real difference in a communist and a fascist.

        The end result is the same. Millions dead and no end of suffering in sight.

        • They’re a little of each, but different. Neocommunist probably works. They’re left wing authoritarians.

        • Fascists are literally the opposite of communists. Decades of brainwashing and propaganda have worked well to hide that from people.

        • @A Common Misconception, yeah no. Up is literally the opposite of down. Positive is literally the opposite of negative. Fascism and Communism are almost EXACTLY the same thing, and I challenge you to give me one, single polar opposite difference between the two.

        • A common misconception For your edification, Fascists are NOT the opposite of Communists. Google the name Giovanni Gentile and you will find he was the Italian Socialist who ghost wrote Mussolini’s Manifesto. You see, Fascists, Socialists and Communists are “bedfellows.”

        • “Fascists are literally the opposite of communists.”

          The difference between them is very small in ideology and incredibly tiny in actual practice. They are both left-wing authoritarian, which in practice boils down to “dictator with nice-sounding word salad that some idiots believe”.

          “Decades of brainwashing and propaganda have worked well”

          Yes, as you are showing us with your actively-incorrect-but-matching-the-propaganda comment.

  3. It is really very telling when a person like Marjorie Taylor Greene calls for the FBI to be abolished. And introduces legislation to defund and dismantle the ATF. And the Libertarians Liberals and the Left, and even the conservatives don’t jump to support her.

    I’m really glad that I live in a state with constitutional carry. Nothing’s guaranteed. But it certainly is better than living in my former home state of California. Or Virginia were I use to live.
    For those that don’t know it, the Athens Tennessee revolt that has been discussed here on TTAG. That armed revolt was caused by the accusations of a local election being stolen.

    Can you say Civil War???

    “Elon Musk Just Went To WAR With The FBI For Spending MILLIONS In Taxpayer Dollars To Censor Us!” video 14 min long

    • Chris T I have some very bad news for you. the FBI use to be a paramount of law enforcement. Since the Leftists in the person of the Deep State, they have overly politicized the Bureau. To tell you the truth, I have had four instances where I provided the Bureau with valuable credible information about criminal activity and all four times, they screwed it up.

      • I have bad news for you. But 50 years ago when I was a kid in the 1970’s, the Left called the FBI evil. Now in the 21st century those same people now are in charge of the FBI.

        But it’s only Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene who says the FBI should be disbanded, defunded, and done away with. I agree with MTG.
        I have come to understand that people who constantly complain about law enforcement are not serious people. And I have found that most of them actually do not support Second Amendment civil rights for the civilian population. And, Or they don’t support disarming the police and issuing them night sticks with the training to use them.

        People who complain endlessly about cops don’t support civilians being allowed to kill criminals dead on sight, without having to ask permission from the state first. Or they are told to call the police first. Before they take action.

        • MTG says that because she’s been SWATTED and the FBI hasn’t done shit.

          There’s nothing wrong with LE when it’s actual LE. When it’s the enforcement arm of a corrupt government you have a police state.

          And these problems didn’t just start yesterday. This has been decades in the making. Hoover wasn’t a standup guy, neither was Ness. The FBI has been problematic for many decades and never properly reigned in.

          Issues with local LE have been there for a long time too, though nowhere near as severe until the past few years.

          Why are you so gung ho to shoot thieves but not the brigands running government and LE? Is not the abuse of power by the FBI actually worse for Rule of Law and society than some asshole stealing a head unit from a car?

          Personally I don’t like either but if I had two bullets and saw a car thief and Comey standing together I’d be hard pressed not to think that the best option was to shoot Comey twice.

        • Chris T, fifty years is a rather LONG time. Those people you claim to be in charge now came up during the late 90’s. No agents who were active during the 70’s and even ’80’s are even in the Bureau anymore. No, it is not Marjorie who is the ONLY one who said the FBI should be defunded, etc, There are a lot of people who say the same but are not as vocal.
          Two of my contacts with the Bureau commenced AFTER I retired in 2003 except for two which they screwed up two cases in the middle and late 70’s. But essentially the Bureau is not much better than your local detectives if maybe better educated. Many of them can’t find the hand in front of their face in a dimly lit room. Mediocrity has infected the Bureau since the ’70’s and ’80’s. And even then the talented Agent was few and far between.

        • strych9, The way you are usually SWATted, is due to the incompetence of the Police Dept doig the swatting. It seems that SWAT is the REACTION arm of the departments and depend on information given by a dispatcher. They do not usually delve into the background of people in the case they have been assigned. They (SWAT) are strictly the “commandos” of the departments.

        • @Walter:

          It’s not really incompetency of the police, it’s a knowing manipulation of standard police tactics by an outside actor for the purpose of harming others. It is very illegal to attempt to initiate such a police response without a valid reason.

          SWATing is generally considered a form of attempted assault/murder due to the number of people shot and killed by police due to the practice. Gamers, just a few years ago, who SWATted each other went to prison for more than a decade over it. One guy even got several decades because the SWAT team killed an innocent person entering a house they believed was a murder/hostage scene. Homie got charged with Murder 2 over that and was found guilty.

          Doing such against a sitting member of Congress would, you’d think, warrant some sort of investigation as to who was behind the action because it’s a felony when you do it to a rando and a Federal crime when you do it to an elected representative.

          Yet the FBI has no interest in who is behind this at all. MTG and Massi have both given interviews where they have stated that they’ve inquired with the FBI as to the status of an investigation and found that one didn’t even exist.

          Which is strange since the people at the location in which MTG was swatted have mountains of evidence about who did it.

          It’s pretty obvious that the FBI has a deep corruption problem that goes back a long way and that at this point they have a political allegiance.

          And if the MTG thing doesn’t convince you of that there’s the whole Twitter thing along with whistleblowers.

          The FBI is compromised and not to be trusted, at all. They don’t care about what amounts to a murder attempt on a sitting member of Congress but they’ve got all the time in the world to illegally gather cell phone data about people who happened to be within a few miles of the Capitol on 1/6 or figure out who should be illegally censored on Twitter. Heck, they’ll even sent their own tac unit to AK to go grab a grandma they already knew just happened to be in DC a few miles from the Capitol and never went to the Capitol because she’s a MAGA supporter.

          It’s really rather shockingly blatant how obvious they make this; that the FBI is now, at best, a proto-Checka.

        • strych9, I beg to differ. Having been a police officer, I have some knowledge of police operations that maybe you do not. It seems that the dispatcher informs and dispatches a squad car. When a SWATing occurs, a supervisor usually a LT will call for a SWAT call out. Adequate information about the caller, the alleged “criminal” that is being SWATed is not even researched. It is what is commonly called a “knee jerk reaction”.
          In the case of SWATing, the FBI would not get involved as there is NO FEDERAL CRIME within their jurisdiction. As a phone cell or other wise was used believe it or not the crime would fall under the jurisdiction of the US Postal Inspectors. I know that sounds ridiculous but welcome to Federal Law. The Inspectors are not usually notified as the PD is EMBARRASSED at being bamboozled.
          As I cited above, SWAT is a tactical REACTION unit and does not often have the information needed to do an appropriate plan of action, hence SWATing occurs all too often. It comes down to a police supervisor making a decision based on little or NO INFORMATION.
          We do agree on one thing. The FBI is NOT to be trusted.

  4. The D in CDC is “disease” – the only reason they got into counting gun use statistics was because one (1) anti-gun lunatic working for them during the Clinton years thought that by doing so it would be a start in taking away guns from the citizenry. Let’s show America that guns are at least as bad or worse than cigarette smoking. They just got through destroying one industry, how about going 2-for-2?

    I’m 100% all-in for counting as accurately firearms use in America. Why we leave this job to the worst/stupidest people possible I will never understand.

    • The worst and stupidest people can’t make it on their own accord in private life where meritocracy would never let them get beyond table bussers.

  5. Knowing what we now know about the clot shots and the CDC’s continued push for them, and the corruption. regarding gun-related data, are there any CDC guidelines any of us would follow?

    • It’s amazing. When the pandemic hit, I checked the CDC for information on a regular basis. I don’t know how I could ever trust the federal government again after everything in the past few years. The most amazing part is half of the country begging for more lies and tyranny.

      • Dude,

        “The most amazing part is half of the country begging for more lies and tyranny.”

        Exactly!!! Begging for more, as the excess death rate balloons, life insurance companies pay out record claims, funeral homes are frenetic with the explosion in business, and casket companies reporting record demand for child-sized caskets.

        But its the guns, the guns, the guns….

        Following the money….the CDC works for Pharma.

        So does the mainstream media….

        So does our government (at all levels).

        Heck is coming…stock up and load up.

    • We may have legislation pending to end religious exemption and mandate the shot to receive health insurance here in NY so potential for some spicy lawsuits soon.

  6. I don’t think the CDC is caving into to “gun control groups” at all. I believe that they are loaded with anti-gun radicals who are spreading their political afflictions on the rest of us.

      • Southern, I never was much of politician. I guess that is why I retired as a Sergeant. Grunt work was what I did/do best.

        • I grew up watching the BBC series “Yes Minister” and “Yes Prime Minister”. I didn’t like it or understand it then but I appreciate it now as the best lesson in how government and bureaucracy works and doesn’t work.

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