The Weekly Reload Podcast

Gun Violence Archive's Mark Bryant on His Role in the CDC Gun Defense Drama

December 23rd, 2022

Last week, we broke news of the CDC removing gun defense use estimates and a review paper it commissioned from its website after meeting privately with a group of advocates.

This week, we have one of those advocates on the show. Mark Bryant, executive director of the Gun Violence Archive, was involved in the private meeting with CDC officials. He attacked Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck's estimate of 2.5 million defensive gun uses per year as misleading. And he said it was preventing new gun restrictions from making progress.

The CDC initially rebuffed the request from Bryant, GVPedia's Devin Hughes, and Newtown Action Alliance's Po Murray. However, they eventually changed course and deleted the defensive use estimates from their website without getting input from other points of view or making a public announcement of the edit.

Mark joins the show to explain and defend his role in the conversation, which he says he was added to late in the process. He argued his only concern in the conversation was with the accuracy of the data.

Things got a bit heated when I challenged him on a number of points and vice versa. However, it stayed civil overall, and I think the conversation was fruitful and exciting. Beyond the politics of the situation, we also discussed the controversy over how best to measure defensive gun uses as well as things like mass shootings.

Plus, Contributing Writer Jake Fogleman and I give updates on New Jersey's gun-carry restrictions and California's fee-shifting law.