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July 14, 1999

Risks and Benefits of Gun Ownership

JAMA. 1999;282(2):135-136. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-282-2-jbk0714

To the Editor: In his article on the risks and benefits of having a gun in the home, Dr Kleck1 presents inconsistencies in his analyses and standards of evaluation and a willingness to use questionable or misleading statistics to support his position.

First, Kleck routinely dismisses National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) results on defensive gun use (DGU), claiming, incorrectly, that they capture less than (a nonrandom) 4% of all such events. Yet he uses the NCVS data concerning self-defense gun use, without caveat, to claim that guns are an effective method of self-defense.