Margaret A.WinkerMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Interim CoeditorIndividualAuthor
To the Editor: The research by Dr Wintemute
and colleagues1 was designed to produce
results that could be interpreted to suggest further restrictions on gun ownership.
Leaving aside most of the study's limitations, all acquisitions of handguns
except through licensed dealers were ignored. More importantly, an arrest—not
a conviction—following lawful acquisition was the measure of criminal
recidivism. Misdemeanants may be more likely to commit crimes than persons
with no criminal record, as the authors assume, but it could equally be the
case that police are more apt to arrest persons known to have criminal records,
in which case the authors' conclusions are unwarranted.
Blackman PH. Violent Criminal Activity Among Handgun Purchasers With Prior Misdemeanor Convictions. JAMA. 1999;282(5):425-427. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-282-5-jbk0804