William C. Waters IV, MD
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Waters IV W.; Preventing Firearm Violence. Ann Intern Med. 1995;123:813. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-123-10-199511150-00032
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1995;123(10):813.
TO THE EDITOR:
In reviewing the College's position paper on preventing firearm violence , we are struck by the fact that although it is written by persons with careers in science, it lacks the attributes of a scientific approach to problem solving. The most basic strategy in science is to collect and analyze all available facts and data. This was simply not done; for every controversial assertion in the position paper, there is an egregious lack of balancing argument.
In their haste to link guns causally to the deaths of young black males, the authors did not mention that the groups in the United States for whom firearms ownership is the highest have the lowest homicide rate . The data showing that firearms, including handguns, can save lives , prevent the completion of crime, and limit personal injury  were not reviewed. Instead, the authors cite flawed and criticized  public health research and an essay written by an employee of Handgun Control, Inc. In depicting firearm owners as unsafe, the position paper omitted the facts that the death rate from firearms-related accidents continues to decrease  and that hunting—a sport that requires all participants to be armed—was the safest outdoor participant sport in the last year for which data are available.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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