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Invited Commentary
Firearm Violence
March 2017

Firearm Violence as a Disease—“Hot People” or “Hot Spots”?

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
JAMA Intern Med. 2017;177(3):333-334. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.8273

In this issue of JAMA Internal Medicine, Green and colleagues1 report on firearm violence in Chicago, Illinois, from 2006 to 2014 and show how the violence is transmitted by social interaction through networks of people. The study establishes that the spread of firearm violence can be understood with parameters that have been used for more than half a century to model the spread of infectious diseases. This important finding helps put to rest the mistaken idea that epidemiology, medicine, and public health somehow have no place in the prevention of firearm violence, a disease process that affects roughly 100 000 people in the United States each year.2,3