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May 12, 1989

The Cost of Hospitalizations for Firearm Injuries

Author Affiliations

West Columbia, SC

West Columbia, SC

JAMA. 1989;261(18):2638. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03420180061025

To the Editor.—  It would be erroneous to use the results of the study by Martin et al1 to justify further restrictions on gun ownership by individuals, although legislators will probably do this.Before even thinking of further legislation, one must examine the harmful effects of gun control laws, which have been known to increase violent crime rates in some instances. In fact, the defensive use of guns in a restrained and proper manner by homeowners often scares away intruders without causing injury. In addition, violent crime in Orlando, Fla, decreased dramatically after the police trained 2500 women in firearm use several years ago. The above facts, along with others, are detailed in an excellent monograph published by the Cato Institute.2While public sources are currently paying most of the cost of firearm injuries, this does not call for restricting the rights of peaceful law-abiding persons to defend