Letters

Elimination of firearms

BMJ 1997; 315 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.315.7114.1019a (Published 18 October 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:1019

All guns should be banned from homes

  1. Simon Chapman, Associate professora
  1. a Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Sydney, Sydney 2006, Australia
  2. b Demography and Health Division, Office for National Statistics, London SW1V 2QQ

    Editor—Paula Baillie-Hamilton questions whether reducing guns in the community will reduce premature deaths.1 She urges that advocates for a reduction in guns first “look at the size of the problem” but then goes on to consider only the rate of homicide by guns. For every person murdered with a gun in England and Wales there are 4.75 who commit suicide with a gun.2 The gun lobby argues that reducing access to guns will simply result in method substitution, but the largest multination study concluded that the rate of household ownership of a gun correlated with the rates of homicide and suicide in which guns were used, as well as the overall rates of homicide and suicide.2 The study found no evidence of a substitution effect in nations with low rates of gun ownership.

    Baillie-Hamilton also fails …

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