PHYSICIANS have an understandable interest in the likely health consequences
of keeping a gun in the home, so much so that some physicians have even urged
that their fellow practitioners use their positions as guardians of health
to persuade patients not to own guns, just as they might discourage drinking
to excess, smoking cigarettes, or a sedentary lifestyle.1
Unfortunately, both a narrow focus on the home environment and a decidedly
one-sided view of the violence-related uses to which guns are put has skewed
the portrayal of this issue in medical journals. This article is intended
to broaden the focus and introduce readers to relevant information that has
not heretofore been presented, or has been presented in a misleading fashion,
in the medical and public health literature on firearms and violence.
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