NRA Fakes CDC Statistic To Attack Cosmopolitan For Calling Attention To Women And Gun Violence

Blog ››› ››› TIMOTHY JOHNSON

A commentary video from the National Rifle Association (NRA) falsely claimed that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found there were up to 3.3 million defensive gun uses each year in the United States. But the CDC has never released a study with that conclusion. 

Moreover, the CDC is actually prevented from researching gun violence due to decades of NRA lobbying efforts.

In an April 7 video, NRA News commentator Dana Loesch, who is also a radio host for Glenn Beck’s The Blaze network, criticized Cosmopolitan for running recent features on women and gun violence, claiming the magazine is “sexist” and believes “women are less valuable than their potential rapists, and its rapists' feelings which we should prioritize rather than women’s safety.”

To support this claim, Loesch fabricated a statistic, stating a “CDC report commissioned by Barack Obama … shows that there are anywhere from 500,000 to 3.3 million instances of defensive gun use annually” and that the “CDC said that concealed carry is ‘a great deterrent to crime.’”

Loesch is likely referring to a 2013 Institute of Medicine and National Research Council (NRC) report requested by Obama in order to provide the CDC a possible research agenda should the agency be allowed to research gun violence.

One of the contributors to the report was criminologist Gary Kleck and included in the report is his repeatedly discredited research that claims that there are between 500,000 and 3 million defensive gun uses each year. The citation of Kleck's research in an NRC report is not indicative of the CDC’s conclusions about defensive gun uses, as Loesch falsely claimed.

The consensus view among gun violence researchers is that guns are used far more often to commit crimes than they are used to prevent crimes. Research has also found that defensive gun uses are so rare they are difficult to measure.

The NRA’s claim that the “CDC said that concealed carry is ‘a great deterrent to crime’” is also fabricated. Loesch may have been referring to more Kleck research in the NRC report which found “self-defense can be an important crime deterrent,” although the words quoted by Loesch do not even appear in the NRC report.

Loesch previously included fake historical Second Amendment quotes in her 2014 book about firearms, Hands Off My Gun: Defeating the Plot to Disarm America.

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Dana Loesch
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