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Invited Critique
July 2000

Repeat Victims of Violence—Invited Critique

Arch Surg. 2000;135(7):843. doi:10.1001/archsurg.135.7.843

Violence is a major public health problem and violence prevention is a maturing discipline. Areas in which progress has been made can be compared with areas of continuing concern when considering thoughtful interventions. The good news is that national data from 1993-1997 show a decline in nonfatal/fatal firearm-related injury rates that was substantial and consistent by sex, race/ethnicity, age, and intent of injury. This was consistent with a 21% decrease in violent crime during this same period.1 Data from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey between 1991 and 1997 would similarly indicate that violent behavior among US adolescents has been declining, including a 25% decrease in carrying guns and 9% decrease in engaging in a physical fight on school grounds.1 Evidence-based comprehensive strategies that have contributed to declines in violence include gun-oriented policing, gang-based interventions, the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms initiatives to track guns used in crime to identify purchasers and traffickers.2

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