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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 162372 Find in a Library
Title: Guns in the Medical Literature -- A Failure of Peer Review
Journal: Journal of the Medical Association of Georgia  Volume:83  Issue:13  Dated:(March 1994)  Pages:133-148
Author(s): E A Suter
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 16
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Errors of fact, design, and interpretation abound in the medical literature on guns and violence, and the peer review process has not stopped the publication of errors in politicized, results-oriented research.
Abstract: Most of the data on guns and violence are available in the criminological, legal, and social sciences literature, yet such data escape acknowledgement and analysis in the medical literature. Lobbyists and other partisans continue to promulgate fallacies that cloud the public debate and impede the development of effective violence reduction strategies. In examining a representative sample of what he refers to as politicized and incompetent research, the author contends that only incremental improvements in violence prevention are attainable through the repeal of victim disarmament laws. Instead, more effective and affordable violence prevention measures need to be implemented. An objective assessment of risks and benefits of various proposals can assist in the development of rational public policies. The author notes that the responsible use and safe storage of firearms does not cause social problems and produces no victims. Moreover, he believes that guns offer positive social benefits in protecting good citizens from criminals and presents data to show that between 25 and 75 lives may be saved by a gun for every life lost to a gun. In addition, the author points out that guns prevent injuries to good people and medical costs from injuries and protect billions of dollars of property. He recommends that organized medicine pursue scientific objectivity to improve the peer review process and that society adopt a pro- choice approach to self-defense and gun ownership. 80 references and 12 graphs
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Citizen gun ownership; Criminal justice research; Firearm-crime relationships; Firearms deaths; Gun Control; Medical research; Self defense; Victims of violent crime; Violence prevention; Violent crimes
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