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November 9, 1994

Firearm Violence and Public Health

Author Affiliations

National Rifle Association of America Fairfax, Va

JAMA. 1994;272(18):1406-1407. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03520180030019

To the Editor.  —The Commentary on firearms1 presented no factual or scientific justification for the legislative policies advocated. None of the 10 sources cited in the article tested the effectiveness of any gun law. Most of the statistics cited were true a decade ago, such as the increase in suicide among the young and its second-place ranking as a cause of death. Those limited data may support the Commentary's call for better data on firearm-related morbidity and mortality, but normally, data are collected and analyzed first, with policy recommendations following that. Here, the call to collect data was introduced as the last legislative proposal, with the admitted ultimate goal of banning the private possession of handguns.No basis was given to support the other proposals, partly because they were preceded by the misleading statement that national standards were needed because "guns are carried across state lines." The existing national

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