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Firearm Violence and Public Health

Butch Reed
JAMA. 1994;272(18):1408-1409. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03520180030024.
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To the Editor.  —Once again, I was distressed to see a biased Commentary1 based on clichés and rhetoric obviously taken from the Sarah Brady handbook.The gun violence epidemic is hardly an epidemic, it's a tempest in a teapot that's taken on monumental proportions thanks to a willing accomplice in the form of the liberal national media.Using the data of Adler et al, there are more than 200 million guns in America. The vast majority of these are legally owned and are used responsibly by 70 million honest Americans every year for sport and self-defense. The average makeup of the 20 000 Americans who are killed "by guns" (not by each other) are young, urban, drug-using criminals shot by others of the same ilk. This figure, which is widely touted by the "ban-them-all" crowd, but not fully explained, also takes into account criminals shot by police and criminals

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