CDC data on gun violence is so unreliable that the Brady Campaign won’t use it anymore

CDC data on gun violence is so unreliable that the Brady Campaign won’t use it anymore

Gun Rights

CREDIT: Erik McGregor/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images The Brady Campaign, a leading gun violence prevention group, announced Monday that it will no longer be using gun injury estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), calling the federal agency’s reports too unreliable. Instead, it will use data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP), a database under the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The CDC provides an annual estimate of the number of people injured (not killed) by guns. But even the CDC will tell you that its data should be taken with a massive grain of salt: It appended a note to its 2016 and 2017 findings that warned its figures were “ unstable and potentially unreliable .” An analysis by the Trace, a nonprofit news organization dedicated to covering gun violence in the United States, and FiveThirtyEight found the CDC’s recent 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. Dr. Kyleanne Hunter, Brady’s vice president of programs, wrote in a statement on Medium Monday that Brady previously acquired its data by averaging the five most recent years of gun violence data from the CDC. Those averages were in turn used within Brady and for “external sources when quoting statistics on […]

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