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Posted: 4/16/2001 4:30:12 AM EDT
The Benefits of Firearms
Miguel A. Faria Jr., M.D.

Public Health and Gun Control: A Review
Part I: The Benefits of Firearms
Introduction: "A Gun in the Home"

[green]This is a rather long read. It basically counters the "Public Health" issue of the anti-gunners. Here is an excerpt:[/green]

Are There Benefits of Firearms?

What we do know, thanks to the meticulous scholarship of Prof. Gary Kleck and Doctors for Integrity in Policy Research (DIPR), is that the benefits of gun ownership by law-abiding citizens have been greatly underestimated. In "Point Blank: Guns and Violence in America" (1991) (11), a myriad of scientific publications, and his latest book, "Targeting Guns" (1997) (9), Prof. Kleck found that the defensive uses of firearms by citizens amount to 2.5 million uses per year and dwarf the offensive gun uses by criminals. Between 25 and 75 lives are saved by a gun for every life lost to a gun. Medical costs saved by guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens are 15 times greater than costs incurred by criminal uses of firearms. Guns also prevent injuries to good people and protect billions of dollars of property every year.

This has been substantiated by a Department of Justice study in 1997 under the Clinton administration, which found that up to 1.5 million citizens use firearms to protect themselves and their property yearly.

Incidentally, the health care costs incurred by gun shootings have been greatly exaggerated. DIPR, in an article published in the June 1995 issue of the JMAG, estimated that the actual U.S. health care costs of treating gunshot wounds is approximately $1.5 billion, which amounts to 0.2 percent of annual health care expenditures. The $20-$40 billion figure, frequently cited by the mass media and even medical journals, is an exaggerated estimate of lifetime productivity lost where criminals are given inflated, unrealistic life productivity estimates, as if their careers were suddenly expected to blossom into that of pillars of the community (12) with projected salaries equaling those of managed-care CEOs. Yet, despite these major detractions, the health advocacy establishment clings to the erroneous figures and extrapolations of Dr. Kellermann and other public health researchers and use these erroneous figures in propounding health and gun control policies, to the detriment of public policy.

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