I suggest that Mr. Lawson (“Democrats’ CDC Found Guns Used For Defense,” Jan. 8) read the complete studies to which he refers. The 1995 report by criminologists Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz did estimate 2.5 million defensive gun uses annually, but was unable to verify these numbers or to link them to hospital records.

One critic called their report “just bad science.” The 2013 study “Priorities for Research to Reduce the Threat of Firearm-Related Violence” was undertaken to show the need for CDC-based study of this subject, contrary to the Dickey Amendment.

The need was proven by the report’s conclusion that estimates of defensive gun uses per year could not put in a range smaller than 5 million maximum and 180,000 minimum, and no comparison of benefits (defensive uses) to risks (suicides and homicides) could be made. Further investigation was recommended, but funds were not allocated.

Susan Sheridan


(2) comments


The Kleck & Glick study was accurate but because the weak minded liberals don't agree with the results they use phrases like " just bad science" to dismiss it rather than refute the details. These so-called scientists are proven to have agendas that drive their "science" and will lie, cheat and steal to make their point.


I think you are attributing motives to "weak minded liberals" that simply are not there. Kleck and Gertz did report between 2.2 and 2.5 million defensive gun uses each year.

However, only about 200,000 victims of such shootings reported the attacks, and only half of those sought treatment. These facts indicate only a weak link between gun ownership and preventing crime. The study was not hidden. Rather, its contents did not merit much publicity. The quote about "bad science" continued as follows: "it's a well-known problem in epidemiology that if something's a rare event, and you try to ask how many people have done this, you will get incredible overestimates." (Source is noted in original letter.)

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