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January 1986

Children and Handguns-Reply

Am J Dis Child. 1986;140(1):5-6. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1986.02140150007003

In Reply.—Mr Kremske's letter in Gun Week is typical of the diversionary tactics used by progun lobbyists to avoid looking at the facts. The important issue is not whether or not guns are tied as the fifth leading cause of death or whether the term leading is misleading but rather that, in the year cited, handguns killed 730 children and adolescents. It is easy for him to reduce these lives to statistical insignificance when he does not have to deal personally with these tragedies and family bereavement.

My article refers to guns, not handguns, as the fifth leading cause of death in children, yet it should be noted that the majority of these deaths are accidental and inflicted by handguns. Handguns account for only 20% of the nation's firearms yet account for 90% of all firearms misuse, both criminal and accidental.1 Mr Kremske infers that I favor taking