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Old April 16, 2001, 10:15 PM   #1
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Join Date: March 22, 2001
Location: Tucson, AZ USA
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I don't know if this has already been posted. Check it out, it's a good read.,2933,7217,00.html

Gun Control Science Misfires

Gun control advocates used to claim that more
guns meant more crime. Research
demonstrated, though, that more guns meant
less crime. As the criminology argument faded,
gun control advocates began arguing guns were
a public health problem.

But the public health argument is also bankrupt,
according to Miguel A. Faria Jr., M.D., editor of the
Medical Sentinel, the journal of the Association of American Physicians and
Surgeons. Dr. Faria lays out his reasoning in the Spring 2001 issue.

The U.S. public health establishment declared in 1979 that handguns should
be eradicated, beginning with a 25 percent reduction by the year 2000. Since
that time, hundreds of “scientific” articles have been published in medical
journals supporting the notion that guns are a public health problem.

Faria’s article spotlights many of the flaws of this research, including that of
Dr. Arthur Kellerman of the Emory University School of Public Health. Since
the mid-1980s, Dr. Kellerman used funding from the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention to publish research purporting to show that persons
who keep guns in the home are more likely to be victims of homicide than
those who don’t.

Dr. Kellerman claimed in a 1986 New England Journal of Medicine study that
having a firearm in the home is counter-productive. He reported “a gun owner
is 43 times more likely to kill a family member than an intruder.”

Dr. Faria points out that Dr. Kellerman’s analysis ignored the vast majority of
benefits from defensive uses of guns. Since only 0.1 percent to 0.2 percent of
defensive uses of guns involve the death of the criminal, Dr. Kellerman’s
study underestimated the protective benefits of firearms — in terms of lives
saved, injuries prevented and related medical costs — by a factor of as much
as 1,000.

In a 1993 New England Journal of Medicine study, Dr. Kellerman again
reported guns in the home are a greater risk to the victims than the
assailants. In addition to repeating the errors of his prior research, Dr.
Kellerman used studies of populations with disproportionately high rates of
serious psychosocial dysfunction such as a history of arrest, drug abuse and
domestic violence. Moreover, 71 percent of the victims were killed by
assailants who didn’t live in the victims’ household, using guns presumably
not kept in the home.

Dr. Kellerman’s conclusions depend on an apparent higher rate of
homicides among households with guns compared to households without
guns (45 percent vs. 36 percent). But Dr. Kellerman ignored his own data
indicating there were enough false denials of gun ownership to reverse this

Controversy has also swirled around Dr. Kellerman’s claim that gun
availability increases the risk of suicide. Dr. Faria says “the overwhelming
available evidence compiled from the psychiatric literature is that untreated or
poorly managed depression is the real culprit behind high rates of suicide.”

Backing this up is the observation that countries with strict gun control laws
and low rates of firearm availability — such as Japan, Germany and the
Scandinavian countries — have suicide rates that are 2 time to 3 times
higher than for the U.S. In these countries, people simply substitute for guns
other suicide methods such as Hara-Kiri, carbon monoxide suffocation,
hanging, or chemical poisoning.

Dr. Faria also cites the work of Florida State University professor Gary Kleck
and Yale University professor John R. Lott Jr. as serious challenges to gun
control advocates’ claim that guns are a public health problem.

In his books Point Blank: Guns and Violence in America and Targeting Guns,
Kleck reports that firearms are used defensively 2.5 millions times per year,
dwarfing offensive uses by criminals. Kleck says that 25 to 75 lives are saved
by guns for every life lost by a gun. The medical costs saved by the defensive
use of guns are 15 times greater than the costs caused by criminal use of
firearms, according to Kleck.

Lott reports in his book, More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and
Gun Control Laws that neither state waiting periods nor the Brady Law are
associated with a reduction in crime rates. However, laws that permit the
carrying of concealed weapons are associated with a 69 percent decrease in
death rate from public, multiple shootings such as those that occurred in
Jonesboro, Arkansas and Columbine High School.

Some concerned with gun violence in society have, in desperation, signed on
to the gun control agenda. They are willing to trade basic American rights
guaranteed by the Second Amendment for less violence. But it’s not a fair

The myth-busting work of Dr. Faria and others exposes gun control not only
as being unlikely to reduce violence but also as having adverse safety and
economic consequences. Junk science-fueled gun control misfires as a
public health strategy.
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Old April 17, 2001, 01:26 AM   #2
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The Trashman cometh . . .
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