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May 23/30, 2001

Preventing Firearm Injuries—Reply

Author Affiliations

Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorJody W.ZylkeMD, Contributing EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2001;285(20):2581. doi:10.1001/jama.285.20.2581

In Reply: Dr Berg draws an analogy between guns and seat belts as personal protection devices. I prefer to compare guns to automobiles. Both are dangerous consumer products. People are required by law to use guns and automobiles safely, and law enforcement records are used to determine whether people are likely to do so. A record of driving offenses may result in loss of the driving privilege. A record of criminal offenses may preclude the purchase of a gun.1 Restrictions on guns and automobiles are based on the general principal that individuals should be prevented, if possible, from using dangerous consumer products to harm others. I agree entirely with Berg that restrictions on guns and automobiles should be applied without racial or ethnic bias.

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