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June 14, 1995

A Public Health Approach to Making Guns Safer

JAMA. 1995;273(22):1743-1744. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520460025024

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BANNING GUNS may not be the only way to reduce the toll of death and injury from handguns. Weapons can be designed so they cannot be used except by the owner; evidence of the burden on health care costs that handgun injuries cause can be used to get support from otherwise pusillanimous legislators.

These were among the steps aired at a conference, Guns—A Public Health Approach: Making Changes in Making Guns, sponsored by the Association of Trial Lawyers of America and the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research (part of the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and Hygiene in Baltimore, Md) held recently in Washington, DC. The 60 000-member association champions injury prevention and fair treatment of injured persons. Previous conferences have dealt with toy safety, injury prevention among the elderly, recreational injuries, and violence toward women. All have involved the medical and legal communities, and all

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