[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
May 12, 1989

The Cost of Hospitalizations for Firearm Injuries-Reply

Author Affiliations

University of California San Francisco

University of California San Francisco

JAMA. 1989;261(18):2638. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03420180061027

In Reply.—  Dr Blackman suggests that our study can be used to estimate the number of firearm injuries nationally. Unfortunately, this is not the case, since we looked only at firearm injuries requiring hospitalization. Our estimate that in 1984 there were approximately 62 000 firearm injury hospitalizations in the United States does not include the large number of firearm injuries that do not require hospitalization (for which no estimate is available).Dr Blackman also suggests that to reduce the costs associated with firearm injuries we should incarcerate criminals who use firearms in violent or drug-trafficking offenses. At best this would be only a partial solution. Federal Bureau of Investigation statistics show that most homicides committed with firearms are not crime related; of all firearm homicides in 1987, only 25% were associated with felonies or suspected felonies.1 Studies2,3 have clearly shown that the number of firearm deaths in the