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December 2, 1992

Violence in America: Guns-Reply

Author Affiliations

JAMA Medical News & Perspectives Chicago, Ill

JAMA. 1992;268(21):3072. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03490210053026

In Reply.  —The weapons that Dr Kleber had in mind during my interview with him1 include guns such as the Tec-9 and the Tec-22, manufactured by Intratec (Miami, Fla). Other companies manufacture similar weapons. The Tec-9 carries a clip of 32 rounds, the Tec-22 carries a clip of 30. They are described as semiautomatic pistols. Thus, Dr Kohanski is correct in bringing me to task for describing such weapons as "machine guns." A semiautomatic weapon requires a pull of the trigger for each round to be fired; a machine gun will continue firing until the ammunition runs out, as long as the trigger is held back. However, the point may well be only a technical distinction. The March 10, 1992, issue of the New York Times quoted LeRoy Martin, Superintendent of Police in Chicago, Ill, commenting on these weapons: "They are designed to spray whole groups of people, and