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April 1993

Bias, Ignorance, and Gun Control: A Plea for Education

Author Affiliations

Department of Neurology University of Missouri Health Sciences Center Columbia, MO 65212

Arch Neurol. 1993;50(4):345. doi:10.1001/archneur.1993.00540040007003

To the Editor.  —In his article entitled "Grappling With the Enigma of Violence,"1 Menken is quite correct in pointing out that the thousands of laws dealing with the sale, distribution, and use of firearms have failed to provide any convincing evidence of effectiveness against the rising numbers of violent crimes in America. The acquisition and use of firearms for criminal purposes is not in the least way affected by statutes that govern the behavior of law-abiding citizens. The continued efforts and success of various anti-gun organizations serve only to divert our efforts and resources away from the more fundamental issues of social disorder and economic inequalities that underlie most acts of violence.Menken is wrong, however, when he suggests that proposals that encourage a ban on the private use of handguns altogether "... merit our vigorous support."1 Factual studies have shown that the legal, defensive use of firearms by

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