Keith J. Popovich, MD
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Popovich KJ. Firearm Injury Prevention. Ann Intern Med. 1998;129:336. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-129-4-199808150-00021
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1998;129(4):336.
TO THE EDITOR:
Cassel and colleagues  seek to establish an authority (physician) view to support a position that a majority of U.S. citizens opposes. Evidence for this claim is the fact that 31 states have passed laws giving citizens the right to carry concealed weapons. The authors fail to focus on the finding in their Table 5 that 70.5% of internists and 80.3% of surgeons think that one should not be forbidden the right to own a handgun. Will this article ever be quoted to reflect this support?
The article confuses criminal use of firearms and accidental discharges. These issues warrant different treatment, much as foot pain from diabetic neuropathy and foot pain from arterial ischemia should not be lumped together. The importance of the “gun violence” issue is not prioritized against any other issues. Should we ban other dangers, such as swimming, motorcycles, and knives? The survey seeks testimonial support of the medical literature on guns (Table 3). Why? Could the respondents name any authors or titles? Much of this literature has been refuted . The design of survey questions affects the results. Cassel and colleagues' Table 5 lists many anti-gun ownership choices but no alternate strategies. The benefit of firearm ownership was not surveyed. The questionnaire should have been provided as an appendix to the article. If gun violence is defined as a medical issue, then perhaps it is reasonable to redefine medical malpractice as a criminal negligence issue with prison terms. That will surely decrease events.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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