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December 6, 2000

Impact of the Brady Act on Homicide and Suicide Rates

Author Affiliations

Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Executive Deputy EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2000;284(21):2718-2721. doi:10.1001/jama.284.21.2717

To the Editor: Drs Ludwig and Cook1 analyzed the results of the Brady Act, which is an example of legislation along the medical model. The "disease" is handgun violence and the "prescribed treatment" is restricting the purchase of legal handguns. However, an important issue involves the use of "law" as "medication."

There is consensus in the medical community that before a medication is recommended, it must be shown to be efficacious and safe. Legislators need to be advised of that standard and the proper use of it. They press forward with laws before properly understanding them or their unintended consequences.

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