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January 24, 1996

Weapons for Protection in Home Invasion Crimes

Author Affiliations

Doctors for Integrity in Policy Research, Inc San Ramon, Calif

JAMA. 1996;275(4):280-281. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03530280032030

To the Editor.  — Although the article by Dr Kellermann and colleagues1 purports to be a study of "home invasion crimes," a majority (51%) of his cases were burglaries, crimes of stealth in which confrontation is avoided by the criminal (except in unarmed countries such as in Europe where, absent the general deterrent effect of widespread gun ownership, confrontations are triple the US rates2). In such stealthy crimes, unlike the typical forced entry and terrorization of occupants in true home invasion, guns are little expected to be actively used for protection.3 Rather than study the protective uses of guns, the study is limited to situations little expected to be associated with the active, protective uses of guns. In all but a small percentage of protective gun use, the assailant is frightened away without a shot being fired.3 Thus, after successful protective uses of guns no one