Honestly, I don’t really know. And at the moment, neither do you.
TLDR: The CDC appears to have conducted three surveys that include information about defensive gun use in the late 90s. The data sets were never published, but are reported to have corroborated a study by Kleck, in which he had claimed something over two million defensive uses in a given year.
It’s important to note that Kleck’s new paper* was published then pulled over some criticisms regarding scope. He has said he will re-run the data under the appropriate scoping constraints and re-issue the report. This is what responsible researchers do, so try not to read into his retraction anything remotely like “he got caught lying” or similar.
I’m anxious to read his new report, and to see if they’ll release the complete CDC data set for public review. I have in the past been a champion of having the CDC conduct gun violence studies so long as everything is transparent and publicly available. If this story is true, this is exactly why the Dickey amendment was adopted, and why public funds for research should always yield publicly accessible data.
For now, don’t run around making claims about either Kleck or the CDC – be a responsible citizen and wait for the facts to be exposed properly.
*This link goes to where the paper was originally published, but it’s no longer there. When I have access to the new report, I’ll update the link.