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March 4, 1992

Gun-Associated Violence Increasingly Viewed as Public Health Challenge

JAMA. 1992;267(9):1171-1174. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03480090013003

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GUN CONTROL opponents like to say that "guns don't kill people, people kill people." But people with guns kill people much more often and efficiently than people without guns.

Guns may not cause violence, but they make violence more severe, more likely to lead to death instead of just injury. And it's not limited to the inner city.

That fact shattered the idyllic University of Iowa campus in Iowa City last November. A disgruntled doctoral candidate gunned down six people, killing three professors, a student whom he apparently perceived to be a rival, and an administrator, and paralyzing a staff member—with a legally purchased handgun.

'Lifetime' Change in 10 Minutes  It all happened in 10 minutes."The life of everyone on this campus changed forever," says Gregory Williams, JD, PhD, associate vice president for academic affairs. "We learned that no one is immune. To ignore such senseless acts only endangers