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Invited Commentary
Firearm Violence
April 13, 2020

Fewer Guns, Ergo Fewer Deaths

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Intern Med. 2020;180(6):911-912. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2020.0813

Despite tens of thousands of yearly gun-related homicides and suicides, despite nearly weekly mass gun-related murders in schools and the workplace, despite our national leadership among nations in gun-related fatalities, we must accept that national gun legislation, for now, is dead. Guns are everywhere: on the streets, in the malls, in our churches, and in our homes. It has become much too easy in a moment of anger or depression to grab a loaded weapon in a desk drawer and kill someone or ourselves, as a Research Letter by Butler et al1 in this issue of JAMA Internal Medicine illustrates. Rather than protecting against intruders, guns in the home are far more likely to be involved with homicide or suicide than self-defense.1 This finding mirrors similar findings from studies published in 1986,2 1992,3 and 1993,4 itself a sad commentary on the lack of progress.

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