Posted By FFL Dealer Network on 10/18/2018 in Firearm News

CDC Gun Violence Statistics

CDC Gun Violence Statistics

Some new data on gun violence statistics in the United States is being questioned by several groups. 

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says the number of people being shot in the US is on the rise. Other data contradicts that. 

Several independent agencies looked at the CDC data on gun-related injuries (Note: To get to the gun reports, you must select the "violence-related only" option in the search field on Intent Of Injury) and found it does not match studies by other agencies. The CDC says gun violence was up 37 percent from 2015 to 2016. The other research says violence dropped. 

"An analysis performed by FiveThirtyEight and The Trace found that the CDC’s report of a steady increase in nonfatal gun injuries is out of step with a downward trend we found using data from multiple independent public health and criminal justice databases. That casts doubt on the CDC’s figures and the narrative suggested by the way those numbers have changed over time," says The Trace. The Trace is a nonpartisan, nonprofit reporting center that studies gun violence. "Even its estimates of BB gun injuries are more reliable than its calculations for the number of Americans wounded by actual guns." 

The CDC's own report says its own gun violence statistics are probably wrong. A closer look at the data in the chart "10 Leading Causes of Nonfatal Violence-Related Injury, United States 2016, All Races, Both Sexes, Disposition: All Cases" (Note: This is accessed through the gun-related injuries link above) shows an asterisk next to the reported numbers in gun violence. The asterisk footnote says " Injury estimate is unstable because of small sample size." 

"WISQARS considers a national estimate unstable and potentially unreliable when: 

  • the estimate is less than 1,200 
  • or the number of records used is less than 20, or 
  • the CV exceeds 30%." 

A closer look at the data in the chart "10 Leading Causes of Nonfatal Violence-Related Injury" makes other data questionable. For instance, while admitting the 88.679 people listed as being injured by gunfire is probably wrong, it also says 39.759 people were injured by bites or stings in 2016. Another CDC reports says 4.7 million dog bites occur in the US each year. Which number is correct? 

The Trace's report also looks at gun violence statistics from the National Emergency Department Sample and the National Inpatient Sample. Both of these show a slow but steady drop in the number of gunshot victims in the US from 1995-2016. 

The CDC report is also not independent investigation or research. The Atlanta-based agency relied on information from the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission. "CPSC is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of the thousands of types of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction," says the website. Firearms specifically do not come under the CPSC jurisdiction, a fact that the gun control group Violence Policy Center does not like.

Gun control advocates have long complained that the CDC is not allowed to investigate gun-related matters. This report from the CDC that gun control advocates are now using illustrates why having the CDC look into gun violence is not a good idea.

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