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September 3, 1997

Regulating Firearm Advertisements

Author Affiliations

University of Nevada Medical School Reno

JAMA. 1997;278(9):701-702. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550090025018

To the Editor.  —Dr Vernick and colleagues1 seem to have a recurrent problem confusing their minority opinions as gun control advocates with consensus. In 1993, Vernick and Teret2 wrote that it was "well established" among scholars that the US Supreme Court had disparaged an individual's right to keep and bear arms while confirming that the Second Amendment only protected the right of states to form a militia.2 A search of the peer-reviewed legal literature revealed that of 50 articles on the subject, 47 found that the Supreme Court affirms the individual's rights and only 3 supported the militia-only view. Now, in their 1997 article apparently critical of both the First and Second Amendments, Vernick et al1 proffer that there is a consensus that "the best available scientific evidence contradicts the advertising message that a gun in the home is, on balance, protective." Kleck and Gertz3