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c\ ^^ S. Hrg. 103-1070 

^^ THE GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION ACT OF 1994: 
PUBLIC HEALTH AND CHILD SAFITY 



Y 4. J 89/2: S. HRG. 103-1070 

The 9un yiolence Prevention Act of... 

j.j.jLJiri_LvING 

BEFORE THE 

SUBCOMMITTEE OX THE CONSTITUTION 

OF THE 

COM.AIITTEE ON THE JUDICLVEY 
UNITED STATES SENATE 

ONE HUNDRED THIRD CONGRESS 

SECOND SESSION 

ON 

S. 1882 

A BILL TO AMEND TITLE 18, UNITED STATES CODE, TO PROMOTE THE 
SAFE USE OF GUNS AND TO REDUCE GUN VIOLENCE 



MARCH 23, 1994 



Serial No. J-103-47 



Printed for the use of the Committee on the Judiciary 




''^^OStsss 



U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 
21-366 CC WASHINGTON : 1995 



For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office 

Superintendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office. Washington, DC 20402 

ISBN 0-16-052115-7 



"^ S. Hrg. 103-1070 

THE GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION ACT OF 1994: 
PUBLIC HEALTH AND CHILD SAFEH 



Y 4, J 89/2; S. HRG. 103-1070 

The Gun Violence Prevention Act of... 



JNG 



BEFORE THE 

SUBCOMMITTEE OX THE CONSTITUTION 

OF THE 

COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY 
UNITED STATES SENATE 

ONE HUNDRED THIRD CONGRESS 

SECOND SESSION 
ON 

S. 1882 

A BILL TO AMEND TITLE 18, UNITED STATES CODE, TO PROMOTE THE 
SAFE USE OF GUNS AND TO REDUCE GUN VIOLENCE 



MARCH 23, 1994 



Serial No. J-103-47 



Printed for the use of the Committee on the Judiciary, 




ffs 



^5 ;o5s 



U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 
21-366 CC WASHINGTON : 1995 



For sale by tlie U.S. Govcmmem Pnnling Oflkc 

Superintendent of Document.s. Congressional Sales Oltiee, Washington. DC 20402 

ISBN 0-16-0521 15-7 



COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY 

JOSEPH R. BIDEN, Jr., Delaware, Chairman 

EDWARD M. KENNEDY, Massachusetts ORRIN G. HATCH, Utah 

HOWARD M. METZENBAUM, Ohio STROM THURMOND, South CaroUna 

DENNIS DeCONCINI, Arizona ALAN K. SIMPSON, Wyoming 

PATRICK J. LEAHY, Vermont CHARLES E. GRASSLEY, Iowa 

HOWELL HEFLIN, Alabama ARLEN SPECTER, Pennsylvania 

PAUL SIMON, Illinois HANK BROWN, Colorado 

HERBERT KOHL, Wisconsin WILLIAM S. COHEN, Maine 

DLANNE FEINSTEIN, California LARRY PRESSLER, South Dakota 
CAROL MOSELEY-BRAUN, Illinois 

Cynthia C. Hogan, Chief Counsel 

Catherine M. Russell, Staff Director 

Mark R. Disler, Minority Staff Director 

Sharon Prost, Minority Chief Counsel 



Subcommittee on the Constitution 

PAUL SIMON, lUinois, Chairman 

HOWARD M. METZENBAUM, Ohio HANK BROWN, Colorado 

DENNIS DeCONCINI, Arizona ORRIN G. HATCH, Utah 

EDWARD M. KENNEDY, Massachusetts 

Susan Kaplan, Chief Counsel 

John Trasvina, Staff Director 

John Bliss, Minority Chief Counsel 

(II) 



CONTENTS 



STATEMENTS OF COMMITTEE MEMBERS 

Page 
Metzenbaum, Hon. Howard M., U.S. Senator from the State of Ohio, Chair- 
man of the Subcommittee on the Constitution 1 

Simon, Hon. Paul, U.S. Senator from the State of Illinois 3 

Brown, Hon. Hank, U.S. Senator from the State of Colorado 4 

Hatch, Hon. Orrin G. Hatch, U.S. Senator from the State of Utah 9 

CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF WITNESSES 

M. Joycelyn Elders, Surgeon General, U.S. Public Health Service 6 

Panel consisting of Marian Wright Edelman, president. Children's Defense 
Fund, Washington, DC; and Joseph L. Wright, assistant medical director. 
Emergency Medical Trauma Center, Children's National Medical Center, 

Washington, DC, on behalf of the American Academy of Pediatrics 22 

Panel consisting of Arthur L. Kellerman, director. Center for Injury Control, 
Emory University School of PubUc Health, Alanta, GA; Stephen B. Teret, 
professor of health policy, Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public 
Health, Baltimore, MD; Richard Abom, president, Center to Prevent Hand- 
gun Violence and Handgun Control, Inc., Washington, DC; Timothy Wheel- 
er, chairman. Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership, Fontana, CA; Edgar 
A. Suter, national chairman, Doctors for Integrity in Research and Public 
Policy, San Ramon, CA; and Suzanna Gratia, Copperas Cove, TX 60 

ALPHABETICAL LIST AND MATERIAL SUBMITTED 

Aborn, Richard: 

Testimony 67 

Prepared statement 68 

Edelman, Marian Wright: 

Testimony 22 

Prepared statement 25 

Gratia, Dr. Suzanna: 

Testimony 79 

Various newspaper eirticles about people who have successfully defended 
their children with firearms 82 

Kellerman, Dr. Arthur L.: 

Testimony 60 

Prepared statement 62 

Simon, Hon. Paul: Various articles, posters, and centerfolds from Mother 
Jones magazine 35 

Suter, Dr. Edgar A.: 

Testimony 73 

Prepared statement 75 

Teret, Stephen B.: 

Testimony 64 

Prepared statement 65 

Wheeler, Dr. Timothy: 

Testimony 70 

Prepared statement 71 

Wright, Dr. Joseph L.: Testimony 28 

(III) 



IV 

APPENDIX 
Questions and Answers 

Questions of Senator Howard M. Metzenbaum to: ^^^® 

Dr. Arthur Kellerman 91 

Dr. Edgar Suter 98 

Additional Submissions for the Record 
Various news reports 123 



THE GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION ACT OF 
1994: PUBLIC HEALTH AND CHILD SAFETY 



WEDNESDAY, MARCH 23, 1994 

U.S. Senate, 
Subcommittee on the Constitution, 

Committee on the Judiciary, 

Washington, DC. 

The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 9:37 a.m. in room 
SD-226, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Hon. Paul Simon and 
Hon. Howard Metzenbaum presiding. 

Also present: Senators Brown and Hatch. 

OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. HOWARD M. METZENBAUM, A 
U.S. SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF OHIO 

Senator Metzenbaum. This morning, we are meeting for the first 
of several hearings on the Gun Violence Prevention Act of 1994, 
and I am very pleased to have the privilege and opportunity of 
sharing this hearing with my very good friend and colleague, Sen- 
ator Paul Simon. 

As we proceed forward, I would like to announce that there will 
be an additional witness this morning, Suzanna Gratia, whose 
name was not on the witness list. She will appear at the end of the 
hearing. 

We are meeting for the first of several hearings on the Gun Vio- 
lence Prevention Act of 1994, which is comprehensive legislation in- 
tended to attack the epidemic of gun violence in America. It is time 
that we do something in this area. It is an absurdity what is occur- 
ring in this Nation. We passed the Brady bill; it was significant 
legislation, but now we have got to take the second step. 

We are fast becoming a Nation afraid of its own freedom, afraid 
to come and go because of the risk of getting caught in a crossfire 
between drug pushers or youth gangs, or being the victim of a 
drive-by shooting; afraid to run a shop or ride public transpor- 
tation; afraid to stroll our neighborhoods at night; afraid to let our 
children play outside or go to school. We are all victims of gun vio- 
lence. I think most Americans realize that and demand a stronger 
response from their elected representatives. 

You do a TV interview and the person who is doing the interview 
at the conclusion of the interview says, I am with you, I think you 
are right on target. The American people want us to do something 
about this terrible tragedy. The Gun Violence Prevention Act, 
which is known as Brady 2, is a bill I introduced on March 1 of 
this year with Senators Kennedy, Bradley, Lautenberg, Boxer, Pell, 
and Chafee. It is designed to build upon the foundation laid by the 

(1) 



Brady bill, now the Brady law, which is the cornerstone of effective 
firearm regulation. It will prevent felons from buying guns from 
dealers and thereby save many lives. 

The Brady law is a great start, but it is obvious that we need 
to do more in order to attack the appalling and pervasive epidemic 
of gun violence in this country. That is why the Gun Violence Pre- 
vention Act was introduced. It is intended to begin the debate on 
the next generation of protections from gun violence, a comprehen- 
sive approach giving law enforcement more tools to keep guns out 
of the hands of criminals. 

This legislation includes six discreet initiatives. First, the bill 
contains strong measures against handgun violence. From 1987 to 
1992, the rate of murders committed with handguns increased 52 
percent, while the murder rate committed with all other weapons 
actually declined. Every 50 seconds, someone is raped, robbed, or 
assaulted with a handgun in America, and handgun homicides 
have now reached 13,000 a year. 

The best way to keep handguns out of the wrong hands is 
through licensing. Licensing is a barrier to gun crime. It allows 
States to screen prospective handgun purchasers by a thorough 
background check to make sure that they are not criminals, mental 
defectives, or other prohibited purchasers, and to ensure that they 
know how to use and store guns safely. 

Accordingly, the Gun Violence Prevention Act would require indi- 
viduals to have a valid State handgun license, a simple identifica- 
tion card with a photograph, similar to a driver's license, and pass 
a handgun safety course before they can purchase a handgun. 

I want to make it unequivocally clear, we are not talking about 
guns that are used by hunters and for marksmanship purposes 
other than the area of handguns. We are only talking about hand- 
guns. 

Licensing was initially proposed by Senator Kennedy in a bill he 
introduced in 1971, and it is long overdue. In this country, we re- 
quire a license and registration in order to operate a car. We 
should require at least as much to own a handgun as to drive a 
car. In addition, the bill would stop gun runners by limiting hand- 
gun purchases to one per month. 

Second, in addition to licensing of handgun purchases, this legis- 
lation does more to keep all firearms out of the wrong hands. The 
bill would prohibit persons convicted of violent misdemeanors, such 
as spousal or child abuse, from possessing any firearm. That is a 
broad-based term. People prone to violence should not have guns. 
In addition, the bill includes measures designed to keep guns out 
of the hands of juveniles. Senator Kohl has been the leader of that 
effort in the Senate and his Subcommittee on Juvenile Justice has 
looked carefully into the issue. 

Third, the bill aims to ensure that those who are granted Federal 
licenses to deal guns are legitimately dealers who are not selling 
to drug traffickers and gun runners. Senator Simon has led the ef- 
fort in the Senate to strengthen the regulation and screening of 
federally licensed gun dealers and his work is reflected in this bill. 

Fourth, although measures directed at the primary market in 
firearms, such as gun dealer regulation and the Brady law are im- 
portant, we must also get at the secondary market in guns, those 



who are not buying their guns from dealers, if we are to make seri- 
ous progress in curbing gun violence. 

The Gun Violence Prevention Act includes several protections 
aimed at the secondary market. Every handgun buyer in the sec- 
ondary market would be required to have a license and every seller 
would be required to register the transfer with the State police. 
Registration of handgun transfers is absolutely essential for speedy 
and reliable tracing of guns used in crime. 

Fifth, this legislation would take some necessary steps to im- 
prove gun safety. As I mentioned, licensing requires passage of a 
gun safety course. In addition, the bill would require manufactur- 
ers to add certain safety devices to guns to cut down on accidental 
shootings, especially by young children. Also, the bill would require 
adults to store guns safety away from juveniles. 

Further, this bill would ban certain weapons that pose a special 
danger to society and that have absolutely no legitimate hunting 
or sporting purpose, such as semiautomatic assault weapons, Sat- 
urday night specials, explosive ammunition, and large-capacity am- 
munition magazines. 

Let us be clear on the goals of this legislation. Contrary to the 
NRA's predictable, worn-out claims that every bill with the word 
"gun" in it is really a conspiracy to ban all guns, this legislation 
would not take a single gun away from anyone. It would not ban 
any hunting or sporting gun. It would not ban handguns. It would 
not put legitimate gun dealers out of business. It would not make 
gunowners register all the guns they own. All this legislation does 
is take some absolutely critical, prospective-only measures to keep 
guns out of the wrong hands and reduce gun violence. 

I believe that this legislation is a necessity. I believe that the 
American people want us in Congress to put an end to the violence 
that is occurring on the streets of America, and we are going to 
make every effort to pass this bill during this session. 

Senator Simon? 

OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. PAUL SIMON, A U.S. SENATOR 
FROM THE STATE OF ILLINOIS 

Senator SiMON. Thank you, Senator Metzenbaum. I thank you 
for your leadership. I am pleased to cochair this hearing on some- 
thing that is really important in our Nation. 

There are many causes of violence in our society. Poverty is one 
of the causes, and it has become too easy for policymakers to ignore 
poverty. You show me an area with high poverty and I will show 
you an area with high crime. What we are doing in our schools is 
part of it. Of those who are in prison today, 82 percent are drop- 
outs. If you want to have a real crime program, don't just build 
more prisons, do something about educational opportunity for dis- 
advantaged Americans. 

It is tied in with jobs. The majority of those in prison today were 
unemployed when they were arrested. Again, any area of high un- 
emplo3mient is going to be an area of high crime. What we see on 
TV too often has been a cause of crime. We have glamorized vio- 
lence, and I appreciate Senator Metzenbaum's help in working on 
that particular problem. 



But we should not fool ourselves. The cause of violence is a mo- 
saic with many pieces, but one of the pieces is the proliferation of 
weapons in our society. When you compare Seattle, WA, and Van- 
couver, BC, very similar in ethnic composition, very similar in the 
rate of crime, with one exception, and that is the rate of murder 
because of guns. Canada has much stricter rules in terms of weap- 
ons, and their rules differ from ours in three aspects that are cov- 
ered by Senator Metzenbaum's legislation. 

First, who can get a gun. There is a 28-day waiting period in 
Canada. Second, the kind of weapons that are tolerated. I live in 
hunting territory in deep southern Illinois. We have 12 acres right 
next to the Shawnee National Forest. On those rare days when I 
get home to southern Illinois, I literally see more deer than people. 
I am around hunters all the time. I have never seen a hunter with 
an Uzi or an AK-47. We don't need those weapons in our society. 

Third, Canada is much stricter on who becomes a dealer. Three- 
fourths of the dealers in our country aren't the people we think of 
as gun dealers who sell in stores. Three-fourths of the gun dealers 
sell out of the trunks of their cars or out of their kitchen and keep 
minimal, if any, kind of records. In the city of Chicago alone, 62 
crimes were related to weapons sold by one dealer in Hammond, 
IN. We have to be more careful about who becomes a gun dealer. 

I want to join my colleague in paying tribute to Senator Kohl for 
his work on juveniles and weapons, and Senator Feinstein on this 
committee, also, on her work on trying to outlaw certain weapons. 
We have moved to the point where young Americans are more like- 
ly to be killed by guns than automobile accidents. That is a fright- 
ening kind of a statistic. 

We read about the violence in Northern Ireland and we are ap- 
palled by the violence there, as we should be, but a child in the 
United States is 15 times more likely to be killed by a gun than 
a child in Northern Ireland. We can do better in our country, and 
that is what this hearing is all about. 

Let me call now on my colleague. Senator Brown, who shares the 
concern, if not all the views, of Senator Metzenbaum and myself. 

OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. HANK BROWN, A U.S. SENATOR 
FROM THE STATE OF COLORADO 

Senator BROWN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate your 
calling this hearing and your very thoughtful consideration of this 
subject. It is not often that I appear at a hearing where both you 
and Senator Metzenbaum are to my right. [Laughter.] 

Senator Metzenbaum. It is purely a matter of perspective. 

Senator BROWN. It must be that I have moved so far left. 

Violent crime strikes America every 22 seconds. We have a mur- 
der every 22 minutes. That is an incredible heritage that I don't 
think any of us are proud of. There is a rape every 5 minutes. 
There is no question we have a problem that is beyond the dimen- 
sions that anyone has thought about America would ever find. 

The Department of Justice estimates that from 1973 to 1991, 
36.3 million people were injured as a result of violent crime. If you 
think of that in some military context, that simply dwarfs what has 
ever happened in our wars. Of the roughly 2 million people a year 
that were injured as a result of violent crime, 51 percent required 



some level of medical treatment and 23 percent went to emergency 
rooms. It is not just the cost that we are concerned about or just 
the human misery, but the decline of our society, as a result. 

I believe, as Senator Simon does, that education can play and 
does play a big part of it. I personally believe the fact that we send 
our children to school far fewer days a year than our competitors 
either in Europe or in the Far East is a factor. Young, active, vigor- 
ous minds and bodies require activity, and if they are not turned 
to productive endeavors they will indeed fmd ones that are not. 

While talking to a young man in a special program in Adams 
County a month or so ago, I found an interesting aspect to his life. 
He is in the eighth grade; normally, he should be in the ninth 
grade. He had dropped out. Through a special program he was en- 
couraged to return to school, and he liked the new program. He is 
doing a little better, and I think part of the special attention is 
helpful. He is obviously a capable young man, even though he 
hadn't focused on academics. 

I asked him what time he got out of school. It gets out at 1:15. 
His mother doesn't get home until 6. Now, here is a young man 
who is a little more mature than his contemporaries. He has got 
lots of energy, his body is filled with hormones, and he doesn't have 
anything to do from 1:15 until 6. He is going to have problems, and 
part of it is because our school year is not only much shorter than 
our competitors in number of days, but it is much shorter in the 
length of the day. 

I don't mean that we have to lay all our problems on the schools, 
but it is important for us, as we think about crime, to think about 
filling the void so that there is productive time in our young men 
and women's lives. Part of that, I think, has to be utilizing the 
total capacity of schools far better than we do now. It also, I be- 
lieve, will help make us much more competitive in education. Some 
will say. Hank, that involves more resources. I suspect it does, but 
the cost if we do not respond to this crisis is unimaginable. 

I am one who thinks that our efforts at punishment with regard 
to guns ought to be focused on the people who misuse them, not 
on people who are law-abiding, and I think we probably will have 
better luck if we focus in that area. But the reality is, however you 
come down on that argument, we all have to join together to find 
some positive alternatives for our young people or this problem will 
get worse in spite of what we do with gun legislation. 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Senator Metzenbaum. Dr. Joycelyn Elders, Surgeon General of 
the U.S. Public Health Service, we are happy to have you with us 
this morning. 

I owe my colleague an apology. This is the Constitution Sub- 
committee of the Judiciary Committee. Paul Simon is chairman of 
that subcommittee, and I just started going forward, so I apologize 
to him. Really, it is his subcommittee hearing. 

Senator Simon. You have slightly more seniority than I do, Sen- 
ator Metzenbaum. 

Senator Metzenbaum. Both based upon the number of years in 
the Senate and the dates when we were born. [Laughter.] 

Senator SiMON. I will defer to Senator Metzenbaum any time in 
these kinds of things, so no apology is necessary. 



Dr. Elders, we are very pleased to have you here. 

STATEMENT OF M. JOYCELYN ELDERS, SURGEON GENERAL, 
U.S. PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE 

Dr. Elders. Thank you, Senators Metzenbaum, Simon, Senator 
Brown. It is a pleasure and an honor for me to be here this morn- 
ing to discuss the problem of gun violence in our society. 

We all know that violence is a crime, something usually dealt 
with in our criminal justice system. However, if we are to address 
the issue of violence in our society, we must start thinking of it as 
a public health problem. It is a public health problem because it 
can be prevented. It is a problem that can be cured. It does not 
have to be endured. Second, violence kills and injures more young 
people than AIDS or drunken driving, especially our bright young 
people. 

Gun violence permeates our society. In 1991, there were approxi- 
mately 26,000 homicides and 31,000 suicides in our country, or 
57,000 deaths. The number of deaths caused by violence, as you 
have said, is 1 every 9 minutes, or 162 per day. This number is 
greater than the deaths caused by AIDS, over 30,000 per year, or 
1 every 16 minutes, 90 per day, and it is greater than the deaths 
caused by drunken driving, nearly 18,000 persons per year, or 1 
every 30 minutes. 

Gun violence is an important contributing factor to the explosion 
of violence in general. Of the 57,000 deaths in 1991 related to vio- 
lence, over 38,000 were firearm-related injuries — 49 percent sui- 
cide, 46 percent homicide, and 4 percent unintentional. 

Every day in America, 14 children aged 19 and under are killed 
in gun-related suicides and homicide. Among teenagers 15 to 19 
years old, 1 in every 4 deaths is attributed to firearm injuries. 
Since 1985, the risk of dying from a firearm injury has increased 
by 77 percent for teenagers. They are the leading cause of death 
for African-American teenagers in this country and the second 
leading cause of death for white teenagers in this country. In fact, 
our white teenagers' deaths are 8 times that of other countries, and 
for our black teenagers it is 47 times that of any other industri- 
alized country. In 1990, more U.S. teenagers died from firearm-re- 
lated violence than all natural diseases combined. Fifty-seven per- 
cent of all African-American teenage males who died in 1990 were 
killed by guns. 

The direct cost of treating firearm injuries alone to our health 
care system is $1.4 billion a year. In a society with 250 million peo- 
ple, we have 211 million guns; 72 million are handguns and over 
1 million semiautomatic assault weapons. 

What especially concerns me is the easy access our children have 
to firearms. CDC estimates that about 1.2 million elementary-age 
latchkey children have access to guns in their homes each day, and 
we have heard many times that these children are in their homes 
prior to their parents being there. 

A nationwide survey of high school students found that 1 in 20 
students had carried a gun, usually a handgun, during the past 
month. It is estimated that 135,000 children take guns to school 
every day. I have often said it is easier for some of our children 



to obtain a gun than it is to find a good friend, a good teacher, a 
good school, or even a good minister. 

Risks associated with guns in the home are high. If you have a 
gun at home, you or a household member are three times more 
likely to be killed or to kill someone in your home. You or a house- 
hold member are five times more likely to commit suicide. When 
you add alcohol and a history of domestic violence to the mix, the 
risk of homicide is 20 times greater. Firearm assault on family 
members and other intimate acquaintances are 12 times more like- 
ly to result in death than assault using other weapons. 

The average child sees 8,000 murders and 100,000 acts of vio- 
lence on television before entering elementary school. When our 
children see violence without pain, what can we expect? Whether 
we look at the violence adolescents inflict on each other or the vio- 
lence they inflict upon themselves, adolescents who have experi- 
enced violence at home are violent in the community. To put it an- 
other way, adolescents are often the vector that takes violence into 
our communities from their homes. 

What can we do to solve this seemingly unsolvable problem? We 
have got to take a multidisciplinary approach to ending violence, 
the kind of approach that draws from criminal justice, education, 
social service, the religious community, and health. Our experi- 
ences over the past 20 years have taught us that the criminal jus- 
tice cannot solve the problem alone. 

We see this in prisons that are bursting at the seams, in our 
neighborhoods in decay, in the continuing decline of the family, in 
the ever-increasing number of children killing children, in 10- and 
12-year old children in this Nation planning their funerals, in sen- 
ior citizens afraid to leave their homes, and in 14-year-olds believ- 
ing the only safe haven is death. 

We must do several things. First, we must keep guns out of the 
hands of our children. This means legislation to prohibit their pos- 
session by minors. This means teaching parents and gunowners 
how to store guns safely in their homes, particularly homes with 
children. This means teaching parents to buy their children books, 
not guns. 

Next, we must ban the sale of semiautomatic assault weapons 
that have no other purpose but to kill. Next, we can reframe the 
public debate on firearms from one of gun control to one of public 
health; that is, preventing firearm injuries. The public health em- 
phasis is on prevention and on a scientific basis for defining and 
solving the problem. The public health model looks at causes; it 
takes a comprehensive view. Most importantly, it seeks to empower 
communities and it seeks to prevent violence before it occurs. 

If we ever expect to put an end to violence and victimization in 
America, we have to start where the violence starts, in our homes 
and in our families. Violence is a learned behavior and not a fact 
of life. We must focus on primary prevention. Primary prevention 
strategies are nothing new to public health. Twenty years ago 
when the toll of traffic crashes captured public attention, the first 
thing we did was strengthen driver's education in our schools. We 
said we must have safer drivers. 

Next, we went to the automobile industry and we demanded 
safer cars, seat belts, air bags, and other protective mechanisms. 



8 

Then we went to the highway builders and we said we must have 
safer highways. We have worked with the highway designers to 
make them safer, and then we cracked down on unsafe, usually 
drunken driving. Just as we reduced the number of deadly traffic 
crashes, I maintain we can engage in a similar procedure to reduce 
the deaths and injuries caused by violence. 

Senators we must use all of the resources we have got to tackle 
the problem that is killing our children. As was said earlier, we 
must have a comprehensive health education program in our 
schools that has an integral part of it conflict resolution as an im- 
portant part of the curriculum. We must educate ourselves and 
educate our parents so they can play a more active and construc- 
tive role in their children's lives. 

We must have our teachers involved so that they can begin to 
prevent violence when they see it occurring in their schools. The 
business community must be involved by adopting schools, sending 
in mentors, sponsoring internships, jobs and career paths for young 
people. Doctors and nurses must be trained to recognize the signs 
of domestic violence and child abuse, and help the victims. The 
clergy must speak out forcefully on violence and not continue to 
preach to the choir by taking their messages into the street. 

As I have said before and will say again, we must begin to have 
an integration of the things that are happening throughout our 
communities. Police must set an example and must enlist the help 
of all of our citizens. Young people themselves must be an example. 

We have got lots to do, and I feel that the legislation that you 
are discussing sends a very clear message to all of our citizens that 
you care enough to change the concern that we all have about this 
problem, and you are committed by taking the time, using your tal- 
ents as well as using your treasures, to try and make a difference 
in the lives of bright young people. 

You are aware of the problem, you have become advocates for 
this problem, and we all must become advocates for this problem 
so that we can develop an action plan to make our communities 
safe again. We each have to reach out and use all of the resources 
in our communities, and we must take risks and assume respon- 
sibility. Finally, we must educate and empower all of our children 
and all members involved in our communities so that we can re- 
claim our neighborhoods. To do an3rthing less is to sacrifice our 
children and our future. Our young people must have hope for their 
future. We must make this happen because they are our future. 

As your Surgeon General, I believe it is time for America to get 
over its love affair with guns. It is time to send the Terminator and 
Dirty Harry packing, along with the Marlboro Man and Joe Camel. 
The time is right, the time is now, and I thank you for holding this 
hearing. 

Senator SiMON. Thank you very much. Dr. Elders. 

I note that we have been joined by our colleague from Utah. Be- 
fore we ask questions, do you have any opening statement? 

Senator Hatch. If I could, I would appreciate it. 

Senator SiMON. Yes. 



OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. ORRIN G. HATCH, A U.S. 
SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF UTAH 

Senator Hatch. Thank you for extending me this honor. 

Welcome, Madam Surgeon General. We are happy to have you 
with us today. 

Mr. Chairman, violent crime is the scourge of the country. Thou- 
sands of bloody murders per year are brutally committed against 
innocent citizens in this country. Gang violence is epidemic. Indeed, 
our Nation's heartland is witnessing an unprecedented growth in 
gang violence, a plague all too well known to cities like New York, 
Chicago, and Los Angeles. 

Cities like Salt Lake City, UT, have had to face gang problems 
as well. According to the Salt Lake Area Gang Project, a 
multijurisdictional task force created in 1989 to fight gang crime in 
the Salt Lake area, there are at least 215 organized gangs in the 
Salt Lake area, with over 1,700 members. Juvenile involvement in 
Utah's gangs is substantial, accounting for 34 percent of gang 
membership. Members of these gangs are usually 15 to 22 years of 
age. 

However, the problem with S. 1882, the so-called Gun Violence 
Prevention Act, is that it will do little to ameliorate violent crime 
or even promote gun safety. Provisions such as the bureaucratic 
national handgun licensing system imposed on the States to admin- 
ister, and the prohibition on semiautomatic assault weapons will do 
little to stem the tide against violent crime. Instead the adminis- 
trative costs to Federal and State governments will divert funds 
away from the real problem, and that is fighting crime and disarm- 
ing criminals. 

Criminals generally obtain firearms in the black market or from 
other criminals, not from gunshops and licensed dealers, although 
some do there, too, by lying. All S. 1882 will do is make it far more 
costly for law-abiding citizens to purchase firearms for lawful pur- 
poses, such as hunting, target shooting and competition, collection 
and, most important, for home and self defense. 

As reported in the Sunday New York Times Magazine on March 
20, 1994, in an article by the noted scholar and author James Q. 
Wilson entitled "Just Take Away Their Guns: Forget Gun Control," 
legal restraints on the lawful purchase of firearms will have little 
effect on the illegal use of firearms. 

There are some 200 million guns in private ownership, about one-third of them 
handguns. Only 2 percent of the latter are employed to commit crimes ♦ * * More- 
over, only about one-sixth of the handguns used by serious criminals are purchased 
from a gunshop or a pawn shop. Most of these handguns are stolen, borrowed, or 
obtained through private purchases that wouldn't be affected by gun laws. 

Wilson goes on to argue that successful attempts to restric- the 
sale or possession of guns and ammunition would diminish the 
ability of the law-abiding to defend themselves. 

Gun control advocates scoff at the importance of self-defense, but they are wrong 
to do so. Based on a household survey, Gary Kleck, a criminologist at Florida State 
University, has estimated that every year guns are used — that is, displayed or fired 
for defensive purposes — more than a million times, not counting their use by police. 
If his estimate is correct, this means that the number of people who defend them- 
selves with a gun exceeds the number of arrests for violent crimes and burglaries. 



10 

The way to deal effectively with violent crime is to support meas- 
ures that effectively remove weapons from the hands of criminals, 
not from the hands of law-abiding citizens who responsibly use 
their weapons. That is why I support the Biden-Hatch bill. That is 
why I sponsored the measures in the crime bill that would increase 
Federal penalties against gang members and disarm criminals by 
throwing them in jail. That works. The House is not putting these 
provisions in. These will decrease the fear created by the plague of 
violent crime. Senate bill 1882, on the other hand, does little to 
cure this plague. I believe it is time that we stopped touting this 
ineffectual approach to crime control and pass a tough, common- 
sense anticrime bill. 

I said during the debate on the floor that if you pass Brady, what 
the American people are going to do is they are going to say, well, 
we are going to have 5 days, we had better go out and get our 
guns. Consequently, since that time guns sales have been, of 
course, skyrocketing. 

Some have said, well, what we have got to do is allow people to 
buy only one gun per month. Well, you know what the American 
people are going to do. You tell them they can't do something and 
they are going to go out and buy one gun per month. 

These are ridiculous approaches toward these problems and we 
are not attacking it in the way we should, and that is we have got 
to attack the criminals. We have got to take them away from them. 
We have got to get tough on crime. We have got to sentence these 
people to very, very stiff sentences and we have got to carry them 
out. We can't just let them out through a revolving door out on to 
the street. If they are going to use guns, they are going to pay a 
big price for it. 

Having said that, I am interested in the hearing. I am interested 
in what is going on and I am interested in the comments of our 
Surgeon General and others because I think it is important that we 
review all ideas on this matter. 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for your courtesy to me. 

Senator SiMON. Thank you. Senator Hatch. 

Senator Metzenbaum, I assume you agree with Senator Hatch's 
statements entirely here. 

Senator METZENBAUM. As usual. 

Senator Simon. Yes. [Laughter.] 

Senator Metzenbaum. Dr. Elders, the American people are used 
to seeing the Surgeon General out front on health issues such as 
smoking and alcohol, but some might think it is strange that the 
Surgeon General has taken an active role in the debate about guns. 

I have been involved in the debate over guns for years, and dur- 
ing much of that time doctors and public health officials were no- 
ticeably absent. What has changed? Why has gun violence become 
a public health problem? 

Dr. Elders. Senator, that is a very interesting question, but, you 
know, it is not only now the Surgeon General that is out talking 
about gun violence. The American Medical Association is really 
holding major conferences and is very concerned about gun vio- 
lence, and one of the reasons is we really now are becoming aware 
of the problem, we are recognizing the problem, and we feel that 
we in the medical society need to become involved in addressing 



11 

this issue. It is in our communities. The average pediatrician sees 
five to six acts of violence that he has take care of each year. So 
we are seeing more of that and we reaUze that we have got to get 
involved and be responsive. 

Senator Metzenbaum. Thank you. You have been outspoken on 
the need for a comprehensive approach to gun violence, especially 
as it affects children. As I understand your view, many of the 
things we must do as a society to curb violence involve nongovern- 
mental efforts, such as efforts by parents and teachers. 

In your view, what role does the Federal Government have in 
trying to reduce gun violence to protect children, and what needs 
to be done on a Federal level? 

Dr. Elders. Senator, I think passing the Brady bill will in some 
ways help young people. You know, we need to keep the tools of 
violence out of the hands of our children. I feel that young people 
should not really be able to own or have a gun. I feel that that is 
something that they should not do. 

I feel that you can be leaders and really offer in leadership in 
saying that we need a comprehensive health education program in 
our schools and have an important part of the curriculum dealing 
with conflict resolution because many of our young people do not 
come from homes where they see problems dealt with in any other 
means other than in a violent way. I feel that you have taken lead- 
ership in trying to reduce the violence that we see on our tele- 
visions or that our children are exposed to, and I think that that 
is an important role for the Federal Government to play. 

Senator Metzenbaum. Attorney General Reno has said that "We 
have to make sure it is at least as difficult to have a gun as it is 
to get a driver's license, and we have got to get the guns out of the 
hands of our children." She also has suggested that it would be a 
good idea to require gun safety courses and testing before someone 
could buy a gun, saying "I think we should at least demonstrate 
before we own a gun that we know how to properly use it." Do you 
agree with the Attorney General's remarks? 

Dr. Elders. Senator, I agree with most of the Attorney General's 
remarks, and I certainly agree with those. 

Senator Metzenbaum. What are the public health implications of 
gun safety mechanisms? In the past, the Surgeon General has ex- 
amined how manufacturers market products that pose a health 
risk for consumers, demanding that consumers be told the truth 
about the product, such as with cigarette warning labels. 

Have you examined, or do you plan to examine how manufactur- 
ers market guns and whether something needs to be done in that 
area, and what effect do you think the marketing of guns has on 
our children? 

Dr. Elders. Senator, I think obviously the Surgeon General will 
not have much to do with the marketing of guns. I feel that that 
is really under the control of the criminal justice department, but 
I would certainly be supportive of things that they would rec- 
ommend that would increase gun safety in our homes and with our 
children. 

Senator Metzenbaum. Thank you very much, Dr. Elders. 

Senator Brown? 



12 

Senator Brown. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Dr. Elders, in your 
opening remarks you talked about television violence and the large 
numbers of incidents of violence that our young people see as they 
grow up even before they enter school. How do we address this 
issue? Do you think we ought to limit what is shown on television 
in some way? 

Dr. Elders. Well, you know, I think every time you try to say 
that, somebody says that you are limiting people's first amendment 
rights, so obviously I guess that is very difficult to do. You have 
held hearings, and Senator Simon has certainly been working hard 
to try and limit what is shown on television, or at least get the in- 
dustry to be responsible corporate citizens, and it is my under- 
standing that they are beginning to work on that. 

There was a bill to try and shut off TVs such that children could 
not view certain violent programs. You asked the TV industry to 
have those put on so the parents would know which ones to show. 
Of course, we found that there was only one television program out 
of all of the television programs that they thought contained vio- 
lence, so we feel that they didn't really regulate themselves and I 
think that they are going to go back and try again, it is my under- 
standing. 

Senator Brown. So at this point, the focus of your efforts is going 
to be warnings or voluntary efforts to urge advertisers to not adver- 
tise on violent programs? 

Dr. Elders. Well, warnings to parents; we are going to try and 
educate parents so they can really make decisions. We are going 
to give warnings to the advertisers. We are going to continue to 
hold talks and work with the television industry, and I feel that 
the industry can do a great job of reducing the kind of violence that 
is shown during times that children are usually watching. 

Senator Brown. You spoke earlier about making sure children do 
not possess firearms. Colorado has passed a law that requires our 
schools to dismiss any child that is found to have a deadly weapon 
in their possession when they come to school. Would you share 
your thoughts with us as to whether you think that is a good idea 
or a bad idea? 

Dr. Elders. Senator, it is very painful to me to feel that children 
are being dismissed for bringing a deadly weapon to school some- 
times because the reason they bring — you know, our survey said 
that the reason children bring deadly weapons to school is because 
they are really very afraid, they are very frightened of what is 
going on in their schools. 

We know that 160,000 children skip school or miss school every 
day because they are frightened of what goes on. We know that 
there are more than 2,000 children per hour attacked in our 
schools across the country, and 40 teachers attacked per hour. So 
we know that there is some reason for them to have some fear. I 
think we need to look at it, evaluate it carefully, try and work with 
the parents, work with the community, work with the school. I 
mean, I feel that there may be reasons 

Senator Brown. You would not favor dismissing them if they 
bring deadly weapons to school? 

Dr. Elders. You mean forever? 

Senator Brown. Well, no, just for that semester. 



13 

Dr. Elders. For that semester? 

Senator Brown. Yes. 

Dr. Elders. Well, you know, I would really have some problems 
personally with that because we know that it is usually the chil- 
dren that have the greatest amount of difficulty, so we move them 
out of the school, and now we have put them out into the commu- 
nity and they are far more likely to do even more harm out there 
where they have zero supervision. 

Senator Brown. Earlier, we talked about weapons and children. 
Do you have a statistics on the number of people who purchase 
guns from licensed dealers that go out and commit crimes? Is that 
where they get their guns? 

Dr. Elders. Senator, I do not have that data. We may have it 
at CDC. I do not know that. We will certainly try and get that for 
you, but it is my understanding, I think, like Senator Hatch has 
said, many of these guns are purchased on the black market. They 
are borrowed from friends or they are bought from someone who 
is not a licensed dealer. 

Senator Brown. You mentioned earlier comprehensive health 
education as being an important factor here. As I am sure you have 
seen, the remarks that were attributed to you in the Advocate 
Magazine obviously have raised some interest. Are those issues and 
beliefs the ones that you think should be included in a comprehen- 
sive health education program? 

Dr. Elders. Senator, I feel that a comprehensive health edu- 
cation program must start very early. We are talking about self-es- 
teem, teaching children how to make decisions, good diet, exercise, 
sexuality education, drug education, nutrition education. These are 
the things that our children need that are not being taught. 

Senator Brown. Are the comments you made in the Advocate 
ones that you think should be included in the sexuality education? 

Dr. Elders. I am sorry. Senator. What were they? 

Senator Brown. Well, the reference was that America needs to 
know sex is wonderful and normal and a healthy part of being, 
whether it is homosexual or heterosexual. 

Dr. Elders. Yes, I made — that is correct. They did get it correct. 

Senator Brown. Thank you. I have no other questions. 

Senator Metzenbaum. I gather that was a significant point in 
connection with gun control? 

Senator Brown. It was a point in reference to comprehensive 
health education which the Surgeon General had brought up in re- 
sponse, I believe, to your question. 

Senator Metzenbaum. I think the Chair thinks that the question 
was way off base, but I am sure the Surgeon General stands be- 
hind her comments. 

Senator Brown. I have never thought that about your questions, 
Mr. Chairman. [Laughter.] 

Senator METZENBAUM. Thank you. 

Senator Hatch? 

Senator Hatch. Well, I have. 

Senator Metzenbaum. Wait a minute. Senator Simon is here. 

Senator SiMON. First, if I may differ slightly from Senator Hatch 
here when he says that getting hold of gun dealers — and I am 
probably misquoting you here — isn't that significant, ATF checked 



14 

with people in prison, prison inmates, and asked them where they 
purchased their guns, and 27 percent said they got them from re- 
tail outlets. Now, when you add the people who don't have the 
stores, I think it is probable that if not a majority, close to a major- 
ity of guns were purchased from legal dealers. If we get a hold of 
those dealers, I think it can be extremely important. 

On your statistics, one of the things that I would just like to re- 
emphasize is that people who bring guns into their homes are more 
likely to have those guns used on themselves than on strangers — 
three times more likely to be used that way, and it is five times 
more likely that a home that has a gun will have a suicide. Those 
are statistics that are just overpowering. Then you mentioned 4 
percent unintentional, accidental deaths. Four percent doesn't 
sound like a lot. That is 1,520 deaths on this country. 

When we talk about statistics. Dr. Elders, sometimes this thmg 
becomes faceless. I don't mean to put you on the spot here now, but 
have you had any experience personally, talking with someone, 
knowing someone, where this thing is more than just these power- 
ful statistics? The statistics don't have flesh and blood. 

Dr. Elders. Senator, you may or may not know my brother, who 
was a veterinarian, my brother who I think I testified had his — 
you know, my dad took him on a mule for 13 miles to a doctor 
when he had appendicitis, and it was lanced and he returned 
home. Well, he subsequently became a veterinarian and he had 
been in practice for less than 3 years and he was killed in his home 
by handgun violence. You know, it was not someone in our family. 
It was a burglary, but he was killed at home. 

Senator SiMON. And so this thing is not just an abstraction for 

you? . 

Dr. Elders. It is not just an abstraction for me, sir. It is a real 
problem. We see too many, especially too many young black men, 
being killed by violence. It is a real problem for me. 

Senator Simon. In the area of cigarettes, we have gradually 
changed public use through education. In addition to legislation in 
terms of who gets control, are there things that we ought to be 
doing in the area of education on weapons, whether or not you 
should have one in the home — ^you know, the kinds of statistics 
that you have been using? Are we doing what we should be doing 
in the way of education? 

Dr. Elders. Well, I don't feel we are doing what we should be 
doing in the way of education. I feel that we really need to be not 
only educating our parents on how to be good parents and how to 
deal with guns and gun storage or whatever— you know, this would 
be a part of parent education. We need to be educating our children 
on how to deal with problems other than through violent means. 

We need to really work with our teachers. We have not educated 
our teachers in many of our schools, or most of our schools, to be 
exact, on really how to deal with violence in other than violent 
means. So I feel that we need to educate not only the individual 
gunowners in how to use guns and how to deal with that, but we 
need to educate all of our children. We need to educate our parents. 
We need to educate our communities on how to deal with this 
issue. 



15 

Senator SiMON. Because of the fear of violence, gun sales have 
escalated, and part of that education ought to be the dangers that 
you acquire when you get that gun in the home. 

Dr. Elders. And the responsibilities you assume. 

Senator SiMON. Yes. 

Senator Hatch? 

Senator Hatch. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Dr. Elders, I know that you are a very sincere person, and I have 
great respect for that. A lot of the violence in our society today is 
coming from the drug culture, from the dissemination and wide- 
spread use of drugs. A lot of the money that goes for weapons real- 
ly is coming from the sale of drugs, and so I have a few questions 
I would like to ask you about that relationship. 

You first broached the subject of studying legalization of drugs 
in December of last year, saying that you believed that legalization 
could significantly reduce violent crime in our country. In January 
of this year, the Washington Post reported that you felt your initial 
favorable impression of legalization had been buttressed by your 
reading of a number of studies. That was in the Washington Post. 

Now, could you please tell the subcommittee what studies you 
are talking about here because I don't know of any that say drug 
legalization could reduce crime? If there are, I would like to know. 

Dr. Elders. Senator, you know, my office — and we have people 
that are still working on it and they have not really — I have kind 
of gone through some of them quickly and they have not truly 
briefed me, so I would not like — I have already made one statement 
saying that I felt that we needed to do a study, and I want you to 
know that I have not educated me well enough yet. When I do that, 
I might be 100 percent wrong, but so far what I have learned — I 
don't feel like that, but I might. You know, you shouldn't make de- 
cisions on incomplete data. 

Senator HATCH. Well, I think it is important to point out that 
there is a difference between asking for a study and suggesting 
that it might be a good thing to do. As you and your staff do re- 
search on this, we would like to have whatever studies you uncover 
that indicate that that may be the case. 

In your comments about drug legalization, you indicated that 
there were positive experiences in foreign countries with legaliza- 
tion, in that crime rates were reduced without increases in drug 
use. That was in the Washington Post on December 8. 

Could you tell us which countries these were and what drugs 
were legalized and how the crime rates were reduced? 

Dr. Elders. Again, Senator, I want to make sure that — you 
know, again, I may have gotten their initial studies. I think every 
country that has done something in this area not only sent me 
their bill, they sent me their data and all of that. But, sir, I have 
been so busy since I have been here I haven't had time to spend 
time with that, and I think the administration made a decision so 
I felt that I had time to teach myself 

Senator Hatch. I know of no studies in any countries that show 
legalization reduces crime rates without increases in drug use. But 
if you find some, I would like to see them. I think it is important. 

Dr. Elders. Thank you. 



16 

Senator Hatch. Are you aware of reports that the Dutch are 
tightening up their relatively lenient drug policies because of sharp 
increases in drug-related crime and violence in recent years? That 
was reported in the Chicago Tribune on December 12. Are you 
aware of that? 

Dr. Elders. No, but again I do have a lot of data from the Dutch; 
you know, their original studies from their scientists. 

Senator HATCH. We would like you to submit that to us. 

Are you aware of the British experience of attempting to register 
and supply heroin addicts through physician-controlled distribution 
in the 1960's? 

Senator Simon. I don't mean to cut off Senator Hatch in this line 
of questioning, but to the extent we can focus on the gun 
question 

Senator Hatch. Well, I am because I think these are preliminary 
to getting to some of the gun questions. 

Dr. Elders. Senator, I have the data, you know, but I have not 
read it all and when I get educated, you know that I don't mind 
speaking out about what I believe in. 

Senator Hatch. You will submit that to the committee? 

Dr. Elders. Well, I haven't reviewed it yet. 

Senator Hatch. That is OK. 

Dr. Elders. When I finish. 

Senator Hatch. I cited James Q. Wilson's article. He said that 
the British effort resulted in a 30-fold increase in the heroin addict 
population in Britain in 10 years. Now, if that is true, would that 
give you pause with regard to legalizing 

Dr. Elders. Sir, I would really need to see the scientific data and 
not the newspaper report. 

Senator Hatch. I would, too. 

Dr. Elders. Well, you know, that is what I would like to do. 

Senator Hatch. Well, when you first raised the idea of legaliza- 
tion as a possible drug policy option — see, I think that an awful lot 
of violence in our society is centered in the use of drugs and the 
spreading and dissemination of drugs, and when you first raised 
the idea of consideration of legalization as a possible drug policy 
option last December your comments were reportedly not embraced 
by the White House. Since that time, you have reiterated your 
opinion that you believe drug legalization could reduce our crime 
rate and that the issue should be considered. 

Now, T assume that you continue to advocate your position with 
the administration. Have you found any sympathetic listeners 
down there? 

Dr. Elders. Senator, I am trying to educate me. 

Senator Metzenbaum. Senator, excuse me. We are getting into 
an area that is totally outside 

Senator Hatch. I don't think it is. 

Senator METZENBAUM. First, we had Senator Brown who wanted 
to get into the gay and lesbian question. Now, we have got Senator 
Hatch who wants to get into the whole question of drug legaliza- 
tion. Now, we have a very, very prestigious list of witnesses 

Senator HATCH. Howard, I didn't interrupt you, and this is very, 
very important. 



17 

Senator Metzenbaum. I know, but the fact is Senator Simon and 
I are cochairing this and I do think that we have normal rules, and 
that is we don't ask questions beyond the purview of the issue be- 
fore us. 

Senator Hatch. Well, this is the first hearing I have ever been 
in when anybody has raised that. Anybody can ask anything they 
want, but especially questions leading up to the use of guns that 
pertain to the primary reason why we have such a widespread pro- 
iferation of violent crime and gun use in our society. So I think 
these questions are not only pertinent, but you can't discuss the 
issue without them and I think it is important. 

You and I may differ on what we think is right here, but I think 
it is important for us to know where you are as a leader in our soci- 
ety as Surgeon General. So I just think it is important because I 
believe your position is irony. You support studying the legalization 
of drugs, and it is well understood, indeed generally agreed upon, 
that the use of narcotics, not simply the black market trade in ille- 
gal drugs, is a contributing factor to the increase in crime, and es- 
pecially violent crime with the use of guns. Drug dependence and 
addiction leads to violence and theft. 

You support bills like S. 1882 which are confiscatory in nature 
and would convert many types of hunting rifles and sporting rifles 
into contraband. Now, you know, the question that comes up is how 
could one hypothetically support legalization of drugs on one 
hand — I am not saying you do, but you have called for studies of 
it 

Dr. Elders. Thank you, Senator. 

Senator Hatch [continuing]. And the criminalization of firearms 
on the other? Now, if you can tell us, how does S. 1882 lead to re- 
duced gun violence and gun injury? Won't S. 1882 lead to growth 
in the black market for guns, where a lot of them are being picked 
up, and isn't it the basis for the argument of those who wish to le- 
galize drugs that such prohibition is ineffective? 

We have proven that time after time in this country, and with 
that in mind, let me ask you this question: Isn't it true that vir- 
tually the only people affected by this bill would be lawful gun pur- 
chasers? 

Dr. Elders. Well, Senator, that is certainly not my impression 
from reading the bill. 

Senator Hatch. All right. Well, that is all I have. Thank you. 

Senator Simon. Any further questions of Dr. Elders? 

Senator Brown. I did have a followup. 

Senator Simon. Yes; Senator Brown? 

Senator Brown. I wanted to inquire with regard to the sugges- 
tion that we outlaw sales of guns, and I think the current bill deals 
with both sales and possession. If that restriction should be ex- 
tended to other deadly weapons, knives and other weapons that 
could inflict death, do you think that would have a positive impact 
as well? 

Dr. Elders. Senator, I don't know the answer to your question. 

Senator Brown. One of the things that I had been concerned 
with as I went through the bill was the restriction on possession 
at age 16 — well really below age 21. Obviously, our young people 
go into the military well below that age, and while I know there 



18 

is an exemption for people who are supervised by someone 21 or 
older, at times squad commanders are not above the age of 21. 

Do you think there should be an exemption from the ban of fire- 
arm possession in the bill for people who have experience, who are 
perhaps 18? 

Dr. Elders. Senator, it never occurred to me that the bill in- 
cluded a concern of the military. You know, I felt that that was 
regulated by our military. 

Senator Brown. Thank you. 

Senator Simon. If I can quote, in partial response to Senator 
Brown, from your statement, "Firearm assaults on family members 
and other intimate acquaintances are 12 times more likely to result 
in death than are assaults using other weapons." If you give me a 
choice of somebody coming after me with a knife or a baseball bat 
or a gun, I don't have a hard time making the choice. There is just 
no question, guns are infinitely more deadly. 

Dr. Elders, I just want to thank you for standing up. When you 
enter this arena of gun control, you are entering an arena of con- 
troversy and it would be easy to duck. You haven't ducked, and I 
appreciate your standing up. 

Dr. Elders. Thank you. Senator. 

Senator Simon. Thank you very much. 

Senator Metzenbaum. Thank you, Dr. Elders. 

[The prepared statement of Dr. Elders follows:] 

Prepared Statement of M. Joycelyn Elders, M.D. 

Good morning, Mr. Chairman, Senator Metzenbaum and other members of the 
subcommittee. 

I am honored to be with you this morning to discuss why the epidemic of gun vio- 
lence has become a public health issue. We ordinarily think of violence as a crime, 
something to be dealt with under the criminal justice system. But if we are serious 
about addressing the issue of violence in our society, we must start thinking of it 
as a public health problem because it kills and injures so many people, especially 
ovir young people and our children. 

THE PROBLEM 

The following statistics, they bear repeating — gun violence permeates our lives: 

• In 1991, the most recent year for which we have information, there were ap- 
proximately 26,000 homicides and 31,000 suicides in this country. 

• The number of deaths caused by violence, then, is 1 every 9 minutes and 162 
per day. 

- This number is greater than deaths caused by AIDS, over 30,000 per year 
or 1 every 16 minutes (90 per day). 

- And it is greater than deaths caused by drunk driving, nearly 18,000 persons 
per year or 1 every 30 minutes (49 per day). 

- By the time I finish this statement, another person will have died from vio- 
lence. By the time we head to our homes tonight, another 36 will have died. 

• The average child sees 8,000 murders and 100,000 acts of violence on television 
before finishing elementary school. 

Gun violence is an important contributing factor to this explosion of violence in 
general: 

• During 1991, over 38,000 people died from firearm-related injuries — 49 percent 
were suicides, 46 percent were homicides, and 4 percent were unintentional. 

• Every day in America, 14 children ages 19 and under are killed in gun-related 
suicides, homicides, and unintentionally when a gun goes off. 



19 

• Among teenagers 15 to 19 years old, one of every four deaths is attributable 
to a firearm injury. 

• Since 1985, the risk of dying from a firearm injury has increased by 77 percent 
for teenagers 15 to 19 years of age. 

• Firearms are the leading cause of death for African American teenagers in this 
country and the 2nd leading cause (after motor vehicle crashes) among white 
teenagers. Look at the chart I brought that compares homicides among our 
young people with those in other industrialized countries. Almost the entire in- 
crease is attributable to firearms. 

• Between 1980 and 1991, tha suicide rate increased by 27 percent in the 10 to 
19 year old age group; 77 percent of this increase is attributable to an increase 
in firearm suicide. 

• The leading cause of death for both black and white teenage boys in America 
is gunshot wounds. 

• Gunshot wounds to youngsters ages 16 and under nearly doubled in major 
urban areas between 1987 and 1990. 

• For young people 10 to 34 years of age, firearms are the second leading cause 
of death, and one out of five deaths of U.S. teens is due to guns. In 1990, more 
U.S. teenagers died from firearm-related injuries than from all natural diseases 
combined. 

• Over half (57 percent) of all African American teenage males who died in 1990 
were killed with guns. This is up from 48 percent of in 1988. 

• The direct cost of treating firearm injuries alone to our health care system is 
$1.4 billion a year. 

• Handguns account for 72 million of the 211 million guns in the U.S. — about one 
in three, but they account for at least two-thirds of all firearm-related deaths. 

What especially concerns me is the easy access our children have to firearms: 

• CDC estimates that about 1.2 million elementary-aged, latch-key children have 
access to guns in their homes each day. 

• A nation-wide survey of high school students found that 1 in 20 students had 
carried a gun, usually a handgun, during a one-month period in 1990. 

As I have said before, it is often easier for some of our children to obtain a gun 
than it is to find a good friend, a good teacher, a good school or even a good min- 
ister. 

We have also learned about that there are risks associated with guns in the home. 
If you have a gun at home: 

• You or a household member are 3 times more likely to be killed or to kill some- 
one in your home. 

• You or a household member are 5 times more likely to commit suicide. 

When you add alcohol and a history of domestic violence to the mix, the risk of 
homicide is twenty times greater ! 

• Firearm assaults on family members and other intimate acquaintances are 12 
times more likely to result in death than are assaults using other weapons. 

SOLUTIONS 
What strategies does public health offer to combat this epidemic? 

1) First, violence as a public health issue requires a public health approach. As 
a public health professional, I feel we must emphasize prevention and use a 
scientific basis for defining and solving the problem. 

2) Second, using similar techniques as those applied to traffic fatalities, we must 
use an array of interventions to reduce violence. We can educate, we can 
enact laws and enforce regulations, we can change the environment, we can 
restore hope in the future for our children, we can take back our streets. 

3) Third, violence in the family often results in violence in the community. Chil- 
dren who witness violence at home are often the ones who resort to violence 
to solve conflicts in the streets. 



20 

4) And finally, prevention begins with education in our schools, with violence 
prevention a part of comprehensive health education in grades K through 12. 

The statistics I just cited are powerful proof that gun violence is a public health 
crisis of the first order. Let me now turn to the reasons why solving this public 
health crisis demands a public health approach. 

THE PUBLIC HEALTH APPROACH 

Public health's emphasis is on prevention and on a scientific basis for defining 
and solving the problem. The public health model looks at causes. It takes a com- 
prehensive view. Most importantly, it seeks to empower communities. And, it works 
to prevent violence before it occurs. 

Until recently, most of our nation's response to violence has been to apprehend, 
arrest, adjudicate, and incarcerate violent offenders through the criminal justice sys- 
tem. This response is important, but, by itself, it will not stop the problem. 

Although we must learn much more about how to prevent violence, what we do 
know clearly shows that violent behaviors, and the injuries and deaths that result, 
can be prevented. The police, judges and others in the criminal justice system agree. 
We should not wait until violence happens to look for solutions. We must stop the 
violence before it starts. This means paying more attention to our children, to what 
they learn and to what kind of people they will become. 

Public health also provides a scientific basis for defining the problem and finding 
solutions. 

SOLUTIONS 

Recently, I have had several opportunities to speak about family violence and I 
have learned something very simple, but very profound: if we ever expect to put an 
end to violence and victimization in America, we have to start where the violence 
starts — in our homes, in our families. 

Because violence is so much a learned behavior and not a fact of life, we must 
focus on primary prevention. We actually need to begin at birth or before, and then 
provide education and training— and opportunity — throughout a young person's life. 

Primary prevention strategies are nothing new for public health. Twenty-some 
years ago, when the toll of traffic crashes captured public attention, the first thing 
we did was strengthen drivers' education classes and make them a requirement. 
Then we worked with the automobile manufacturers to make cars safer, adding seat 
belts and child safety seats; we worked with the highway designers to make high- 
ways safer. And then we cracked down on unsafe, usuallv drunken, driving. 

Just as we reduced the number of deadly traffic crashes, I maintain, we can en- 
gage in a similar process to reduce the deaths and injuries caused by violence. We 
can identify and evaluate a wide array of strategies and interventions to prevent 
firearm injuries, focusing on changing the ways we resolve conflict. We can also as- 
sure guns are used or stored safely. 

Before anything else can happen, we must keep the tools of violence out of the 
hands of our children. The Brady law was a wonderful and courageous first step, 
but we must do more. Let me add my voice to that of the President's in calling for 
a ban on semiautomatic assault weapons that serve no other purpose but to kill. 

After this, then, the first long-range step in preventing violence, the one I care 
most passionately about, is education. We must devote our tools of commitment to 
education for the prevention of violence. 

1) We must educate our parents, beginning with prenatal classes. 

Having nurses visit homes of expectant parents to talk about child rearing, 
the risks of child abuse and how to prevent it is a proven way to prevent vio- 
lence and abuse in the home. 

2) We must offer and support early childhood education classes like Head Start 
for all children. 

This Administration is on record supporting full funding for Head Start. 

3) We must provide comprehensive health education in our schools, from kinder- 
garten through high school, and that health education must include violence 
prevention. I am convinced that schools offer us the best and easiest way to 
reach as many children as possible. 

We need more classes in conflict resolution designed to help children de- 
velop empathy with others, learn ways to control impulses, develop problem- 
solving skills, and manage anger. 

4) Because at the root of violence is poverty and hopelessness, the final measure 
of prevention is HOPE. Hope means developing programs to train young peo- 



21 

pie and make jobs available for them. I could not agree more with Attorney 
General Janet Reno that the oest social worker is a good job. 

I am concerned that children today are not learning the skills they need 
to be employable and productive in today's work force. I am worried that one 
study has found that one-fourth of all young African American males ages 20- 
29 are incarcerated, on probation or on parole, while only one-fifth are en- 
rolled in higher education. 

CONCLUSION 

Just like traffic accidents and tobacco, the problem of firearm violence does not 
lend itself to a single solution. We must take a multi-disciplinary approach to end- 
ing violence — the kind of approach that draws from criminal justice, education, so- 
cial services, and health. Our experiences over the past 20 years have taught us that 
the criminal justice system alone cannot solve the problem of violence. Adding more 

[)olice and building more prisons to lock up violent offenders for the balance of their 
ives will help, but these policies alone cannot solve our problems. We must be tough 
and smart. 

The only lasting solution to violence is a comprehensive solution — one that focuses 
on support for families and on building strong neighborhoods — while, at the same 
time, promoting an underlying bases of safety, self-worth, and economic security for 
all Americans. 

Youth can be taught skills to help them deal with violence. They can be helped 
to develop strategies needed to solve differences without violence. Young people can 
be taught about the situations or actions that are likely to result in violence or vio- 
lent injuries, such as associating with violent peers, using alcohol or drugs, and pos- 
sessing a firearm or other weapon. 

Young people can be provided with mentors, who can serve as role models. Teen- 
age parents, abused children, or wayward teenagers can be provided with training, 
support, and recreation. Tougher gun laws — like a ban on assault weapons and re- 
forms in how we license federal gun dealers — can help us reduce gun violence and 
deaths. 

In commercials airing nationwide, President Clinton calls on all of us to work to 
restore hope for our young people in this country. Our young people must have hope 
for their future. We must make this happen because they are our future. 

In the end, we all can CARE. 

The "C" in CARE is for Concern and Commitment. We must care enough to 
change our Concern to Commitment, sharing our time, our talents, and our treas- 
ure. 

The "A" is for Awareness and Advocacy. We must increase our own Awareness, 
and the awareness of every citizen, of the magnitude and cost of this epidemic — 
and we must Advocate for change, and develop Action plans at every level to attack 
this problem. 

The "R" is for Reaching out and Resources. We must Reach out to those in our 
community who may be at risk; we must take Responsibility, and we must use our 
Resources. 

And, finally, the "E" is for Education and Empowerment. We must Educate our 
children and each other about violence and how to prevent it — we must Empower 
ourselves and our communities to reclaim our neighborhoods. To do anything less 
is to sacrifice our children, our future. Our voung people must have hope for their 
future. We must make this happen because they are our future. 

As your Surgeon General, I oeUeve it is time for America to get over its love affair 
with gun violence. It's time to send the Terminator and Dirty Harry packing, along 
with the Marlboro Man and Joe Camel. The time is right, the time is now. 

Senator Metzenbaum. Our next witness has been a giant in this 
country in speaking up for children's rights. Her voice was heard 
and has been heard over a period of time when others were silent, 
and she has been truly the most significant spokesperson in the 
country for children's rights. I know I speak for all members of this 
subcommittee when I indicate how pleased we are to welcome Mar- 
ian Wright Edelman, president of the Children's Defense Fund. 

Dr. Joseph Wright — I am sorry, I didn't realize you were coming 
together. 

Ms. Edelman. It is nice to have two Wrights here at once. That 
is wonderful. 



22 

Senator Metzenbaum. Dr. Wright is representing the American 
Academy of Pediatrics and is assistant medical director of the Chil- 
dren's National Medical Center in Washington. We are happy to 
welcome you, Dr. Wright. 

Senator SiMON. You are not related I assume? 

Ms. Edelman. I don't know. We haven't talked; not that I am 
aware of. 

PANEL CONSISTING OF MARIAN WRIGHT EDELMAN, PRESI- 
DENT, CHILDREN'S DEFENSE FUND, WASHINGTON, DC; AND 
JOSEPH L. WRIGHT, ASSISTANT MEDICAL DIRECTOR, EMER- 
GENCY MEDICAL TRAUMA CENTER, CHILDRENS NATIONAL 
MEDICAL CENTER, WASHINGTON, DC, ON BEHALF OF THE 
AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS 

STATEMENT OF MARIAN WRIGHT EDELMAN 

Ms. Edelman. Mr. Chairman, I am just delighted to be here to 
thank you for your leadership and Senator Metzenbaum's leader- 
ship in trying to do something about guns and violence in our cul- 
ture. On the other hand, I am very sad to be here because in all 
of my 20 years of advocating for children, I have never anticipated 
a day when I would be here talking about guns and children, and 
I think it is shameful that we have permitted guns to become a fac- 
tor in our children's lives. 

Violence has become routine in so many of our children's lives be- 
cause we adults have failed miserably in our most basic respon- 
sibility of protecting our young. Between 1979 and 1991, almost 
50,000 American children were killed by guns. That is roughly 
equal to the number of American battle casualties in the Vietnam 
war. 

This toll, sadly, of child deaths is rising. In 1991 alone, 5,356 
children and youths died from gunshot injuries. An American child 
is now killed every 2 hours by violence, the equivalent of a class- 
room full or a Sunday school full every 2 days. I just think that 
is the most shameful thing I have ever heard and we have got to 
stop it. 

Thousands more children are injured by guns. The Centers for 
Disease Control estimate that there are five nonfatal gunshot inju- 
ries for every fatal one. This adds up to over 26,000 children and 
youths injured by gunfire in 1991 alone. Hundreds of thousands 
more children are not killed or physically injured, but still are 
grievously harmed by the pervasive violence around them. They 
lose their parents; they lose their siblings, their classmates. They 
are having to sleep in fear in bathtubs for cover. They are losing 
so much of their innocence to this immoral and disgusting tidal 
wave of violence that has seeped into every nook and cranny of our 
society, but that absolutely disproportionately affects certain poor 
and minority and inner-city communities. 

I am concerned because the ugly, malignant tumor of violence 
that has torn many of our communities apart has spread to young- 
er and younger children. Just the 560 American 10- to 14-year-old 
children who died from guns in 1990 were twice the number of 
handgun deaths of citizens of all ages in Sweden, Switzerland, 



23 

Japan, Canada, Great Britain, and Australia combined in that 
year. 

Gun violence is now the third leading cause of death among ele- 
mentary and middle school children alike. Twice as many of our 
children under 10 were killed by firearms in 1991 as we lost in sol- 
diers in the Persian Gulf and Somalia combined. 

In this Nation's undeclared civil war, as you have already point- 
ed out in previous questions, the majority of murders are commit- 
ted not by strangers but by family members or acquaintances, and 
we must begin to educate the public about the fact that guns don't 
protect, they endanger. 

An increasing number of our juveniles are not only becoming vic- 
tims of violence, but perpetrators of violence. Despite a declining 
juvenile population, juvenile arrests for murder rose by almost 93 
percent between 1982 and 1991, and approximately 80 percent of 
juvenile murders now involve firearms. I do hope that all reason- 
able people, whether they are gunowners or not or whether they 
are NRA members or not, could begin to reach some kind of con- 
sensus that we must take guns out of the hands of people who kill 
children and out of the hands of children. I would hope that this 
country can do that. 

I think escalating violence against and by children and youths is 
no coincidence. It is the cumulative and convergent manifestation 
of a range of serious and too-long-neglected problems, and we must 
have a comprehensive approach to trying to deal with this plagiie 
of violence in our society. Epidemic child and family poverty, in- 
creasing economic inequality, racial intolerance, pervasive drug and 
alcohol abuse, violence in our homes and popular culture, and 
growing numbers of out-of-wedlock births and divorce reflect a 
breakdown in families. 

If we add to these crises hordes of lonely and neglected children 
and youths left to fend for themselves by absentee parents in all 
races and income groups, gangs of inner-city minority youth who 
have been relegated to the cellar of American life without edu- 
cation, jobs or hope, and easy access to deadlier and deadlier fire- 
arms, I think you face the social and spiritual disintegration of 
American society that confronts us today. 

We have not valued millions of our children's lives and so they 
don't value ours in a society in which they have no social or eco- 
nomic stake. As we talk about the absolutely crucial importance of 
gun control and the kinds of measures that your bill proposes, I 
think it is also crucial that we talk about positive alternatives to 
the streets for young people when we ask mothers and fathers and 
young people of all races and classes what will make a difference 
to prevent violence. In addition to gun control, they always say 
after-school programs, weekend programs, summer programs, a 
sense of hope, jobs, and so we need to have a holistic approach. 

Passage of the Brady bill was an important step, though, toward 
a crucial and long-overdue gun control policy in our national life. 
In order to reduce the deadliness of violence, we must get guns off 
our streets and out of our schools and out of our homes. Firearms 
are virtually the only unregulated dangerous product in the United 
States. Although our Nation regulates the safety of countless prod- 
ucts, including children's toy guns, teddy bears, blankets, toys and 



24 

pajamas, it does not regulate the safety of a product that kills and 
injures tens of thousands of children and other citizens each year. 

We must not continue to elevate the interests of one industry 
that traffics in lethality above our children's survival. How can we 
speak to children about values, yet let millions of dollars be made 
selling guns to them? The September 1991 issue of the National 
Shooting Sports Foundation's official newsletter contains an adver- 
tisement with the following headline: "Scouting and 4-H Maga- 
zines Bring Shooting Message to 5,000,000 Potential Customers." 

Another ad encouraging parents to buy guns for their children 
queries, "How old is old enough?" and concludes: 

Age is not the major yardstick. Some youngsters are ready to start at 10, others 
at 14. The only real measures are those of maturity and individual responsibility. 
Does your youngster follow directions well? Is he conscientious and reliable? Would 
you leave him alone in the house for two or three hours? Would you send him to 
the grocery store with a list and a $20 bill? If the answer to these questions or simi- 
lar ones are yes, then the answer can also be yes when your child asks for his first 
gun. 

I find it absolutely shameful that we are permitting the market^ 
ing of guns to young children, and I hope that we can begin to get 
people who say we will not tolerate this. 

We know that rational gun regulations would begin to reduce the 
lethality of violence. Senate bill 1882 represents a significant step 
toward a comprehensive and sane national gun policy. In addition 
to a range of other measures in the bill, I strongly support the in- 
creased restrictions and requirements on Federal firearms licens- 
ing, as well as the ban on semiautomatic assault weapons and Sat- 
urday specials, weapons purposefully designed to take human life. 

I also believe that licensing and registration represent a positive 
step in the battle against gun violence. While I question the lawful 
purpose of handguns, which constitute approximately one-third of 
our gun population and yet are used to commit about 80 percent 
of all firearm murders, I certainly believe that imposing account- 
ability on handgun ownership is a step in the right direction. 

Many of the bill's other provisions which I support are so basic 
that it is astounding that they require new legislation. For in- 
stance, no rational argument exists to oppose the requirement that 
guns be manufactured so as to be inoperable by children under the 
age of 7. 

Firearms are manufactured, like all other consumer products, for 
public consumption, and even a cursory review of the full text of 
the second amendment and Supreme Court opinions demonstrate 
that firearms have no special constitutional status that should dis- 
tinguish them from other consumer products. How is it, then, that 
we continue to allow a deadly product which injures so many to go 
unregulated? 

When lawn darts were responsible for the death of three children 
in this Nation, they were instantly removed from the market. Why 
do we allow guns to stream onto the market and even to be mar- 
keted to adolescents and even younger children — according to that 
ad, as young as 10? 

Finally, there is one part of the bill that I believe should be 
modified. I am concerned that the provision that makes it a Fed- 
eral crime for a juvenile to possess a firearm would be unfortunate 
in its consequences. I firmly believe that no child in this country 



25 

should possess a firearm, and I support strong penalties for selling 
guns to children. However, I do question whether Federal prosecu- 
tion and punishment of children are an effective or appropriate so- 
lution to this grave problem. 

The Federal judiciary simply is not equipped to deal with status 
offenders, and to do so in large numbers. I realize that versions of 
this provision are also included in the House and Senate crime 
bills, and we are also urging the conferees to take a close look at 
those provisions for the same reasons. 

I want to applaud what you are doing in introducing this bill. We 
support it strongly and we will be working with you to see if we 
can't bring some sanity and some safety to the children of America. 

[The prepared statement of Ms. Edelman follows:] 

Prepared Statement of Marian Wright Edelman 

Good morning, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate the opportunity to testify this morn- 
ing. And I thank both you, Mr. Chairman, and you, Senator Metzenbaum, for your 
leadership on these critical issues. 

Violence has become a routine aspect of many of our children's lives because \ye 
adults have failed miserably in our most basic responsibility — protecting our chil- 
dren. Between 1979 and 1991, almost 50,000 American children were killed by guns. 
That is roughly equal to the number of American battle casualties in the Vietnam 
war. The toll is rising: in 1991 alone — the most recent year for which we have com- 
plete data — 5,356 children and youths died from gunshot injuries. At least one 
American child now is killed with a gun every two hours — the equivalent of a 
classroomful of children every two days. 

Thousands more children are injured by gunfire. Although we do not know the 
exact numbers, the Centers for Disease Control estimate tnat there are five non- 
fatal gunshot injuries for every fatal one. That works out to over 26,000 children 
and youths injured by gunfire in 1991 alone. 

Hundreds of thousands m^ore children are neither killed nor physically injured, 
thank God, but still are grievously harmed every day by the pervasive violence 
around them, by losing parents or siblings or classmates, by having to sleep in bath- 
tubs for cover, by losing much of their childhood and all of their innocence to this 
immoral and disgusting tidal wave of violence that reaches all corners of our society 
but particularly afflicts certain poor and minority and inner-city communities. 

An incident here in the District this past weekend underlines both the physical 
and emotional threat our children are facing. According to the Washington Post 
(March 21, 1994, pages Dl, D3), this past Sunday afternoon, three men began shoot- 
ing at a group of men playing cards on a street corner, wounding two. The Post re- 
ported that one of the assailants "appeared to open fire without regard for several 
young children scampering about or riding bicycles nearby. * * * " One of those chil- 
dren was nine year old Lashawnda Henson. She described seeing one of the gunmen 
pull out his gun and start shooting. "He didn't aim at me," she said. 

Lashawnda's three year old sister, Keisha, also was at the scene, also on a bike. 
As the gunman began to back away, still firing off shots, he bumped into Keisha 
and knocked her down. 

Sunday was a beautiful spring day here in the District, a day when children 
should be outdoors playing without worry. Lashawnda and Keisha and their play- 
mates were not physically injured by this incident. But, they were emotionally hurt. 
Children are being forced to seize the pleasures of play — of being children — at great 
risk. Unfortunately, today, Lashawnda and Keisha are not alone. Millions of our 
children face the same frightening experiences and the same fears. Lashawnda and 
Keisha and every child in our nation, including in our nation's Capitol, must be able 
to play without fear of being shot and without witnessing bloodshed on evei^ corner. 

The ugly, malignant tumor of violence devouring American communities has 
spread to younger and younger children. Twice as many American children under 
the age of 10 were killed by firearms in 1991 as American soldiers were killed in 
the Persian Gulf and Somalia combined. Just the 560 American 10- to 14-year-old 
children who died from guns in 1990 were twice the number of handgun deaths of 
citizens of all ages in all of Sweden, Switzerland, Japan, Canada, Great Britain, and 
Australia combined that year. 

In this nation's undeclared civil war, the majority of murders are committed not 
by strangers but by family members, neighbors, or acquaintances. Where the race 



26 

of murderers is known, about 83 percent of the murderers of Whites are White and 
about 94 percent of the murderers of Blacks are Black. The national plague of vio- 
lence transcends racial boundaries and is far more Likely to strike at home than on 
the streets. 

And, most murders involve guns. In 1992, nearly 70 percent of the homicides re- 
ported by the F.B.I, involved firearms. Firearms account for virtually the entire in- 
crease over the last several years in the homicide rate for children and youths. For 
example, from 1985 to 1990, the non-firearm homicide rate remained essentially 
constant for 15- to 19-year-olds; during those same four years, the firearm homicide 
rate for that age group increased by almost 150 percent. ^ 

An increasing share of juveniles also is acquiring and using firearms. Despite a 
declining juvenile population, juvenile arrests for murder rose by almost 93 percent 
between 1982 and 1991. By contrast, arrests for murder among individuals 18 years 
of age and older grew by less than 11 percent. Approximately 80 percent of juvenile 
murders now involve firearms. 

Escalating violence against and by children and youths is no coincidence. It is the 
cumulative and convergent manifestation of a range of serious and too-long ne- 
glected problems: epidemic child and family poverty, increasing economic inequality, 
racial intolerance, pervasive drug and alcohol abuse, violence in our homes and pop- 
ular culture, and growing numbers of out-of-wedlock births and divorces. Add to 
these crises hordes of lonely and neglected children and youths left to fend for them- 
selves by absentee parents in all races and income groups, gangs of inner-citv and 
minority youths relegated to the cellar of American life without education, jobs, or 
hope, and easy access to deadlier and deadlier firearms, and you face the social and 
spiritual disintegration of American society that confronts us today. 

What are the family values in the richest nation on earth that let one in five, or 
14.6 million, of our children live in poverty in 1992 — five million more than in 1973? 
How much concern do we have for the mture when young families with children 
of all races saw their median income plunge nearly one-tnird between 1973 and 
1990? What does national security mean when an estimated three million children 
witness parental violence every year, and a child is reported abused and neglected 
every 13 seconds? How can we expect the 100,000 children who are homeless every 
night and have no place to call their own to respect the homes and property of oth- 
ers? 

We have not valued millions of our children's Uves and so they do not value ours 
in a society in which they have no social or economic stake. Countless youths are 
imprisoned by lack of skills in inner-city neighborhoods where "the future" means 
surviving the day and living to 18 is a triumph. Their neglect, abuse, and mar- 
ginalization by parents, schools, communities, and our nation turned them first to 
and against each other in gangs and then against a society that would rather im- 
prison than educate them. 

While we have declined to invest in our children over the last two decades, we 
also have saturated their lives with images of glorified violence. I am not referring 
just to violent entertainment programming either. With the local news vying to 
cover the bloodiest crime in the most graphic manner, many adults, let alone chil- 
dren, have the sense that violent crime is even more routine than it actually is. 

Having imbued millions of youths with a sense of hopelessness and surrounded 
them with a culture of violence, we then gave them easy access to guns. We adults 
let gun manufacturers flood the market with guns of growing lethality; we even let 
those guns be marketed to children. More than 200 million guns are in private cir- 
culation in America. Millions of new guns, many of them with mass-market avail- 
ability, enter our communities each year. In fact, these days, you can get a Saturday 
night special for about the price of a text book. You often can get a license to sell 
guns with less hassle than it takes to get a driver's license and can buy, across the 
counters of some of our largest chain stores, a gun as readily as a toaster — actually, 
more readily, since the safety of toasters is regulated. 

Passage of the Brady bill, for which I applaud you, was an important first step 
towards a rational gun policy. However, there still is a long way to go. While we 
work to effect critical long term changes to improve the lives of American children, 
we also must work to reduce the current easy access to more and more techno- 
logically advanced and increasingly cheaper non-sporting firearms. It is our only 
hope for reducing the number of children who will be kiUed tomorrow, and next 
week, and next year, our only means of ensuring that a black eye or a cut, rather 
than multiple bullet wounds, will be the consequence of a spat. 



iProm 1985 to 1990, the firearm homicide rate for 15- to 19-year-olds increased from 5.8/ 
100,000 to 14.0/100,000. By contrast, the non-firearm homicide rate increased from 2.8/100,000 
to 3.1/100,000. 



27 

In order to reduce the lethality, the deadliness, of violence we must get guns off 
our streets, add out of our schools, and out of our homes. Firearms are virtuallv the 
only unregulated dangerous consumer product in the United States. Indeed, al- 
though our nation regulates the safety of countless products including children's 
teddy bears, blankets, toys, and pajamas, it does not regulate the safety of a product 
that kills and injures tens of thousands of children and other citizens each year. 

We must not continue to elevate the interests of one industry that traffics in 
lethality above our children's survival. How can we speak to children about values 
yet let miUions of dollars be made selling guns to them? The September 1991 issue 
of the National Shooting Sports Foundation's official newsletter contains an adver- 
tisement with the following headline: "Scouting & 4-H Magazines Bring Shooting 
Message to 5,000,000 Potential Customers." Another ad encouraging parents to buy 
guns for their children queries, "How old is old enough?" and concludes: 

Age is not the major yardstick. Some youngsters are ready to start at 10, 
others at 14. The only real measures are those of maturity and individual 
responsibility. Does your youngster follow directions well? Is he conscien- 
tious and reliable? Would you leave him alone in the house for two or three 
hours? Would you send him to the grocery store with a list and a $20 bill? 
If the answer to these questions or similar ones are "yes" then the answer 
can also be "yes" when your child asks for his first gun. 

We know that rational gun regulations would begin to reduce the lethality of vio- 
lence. S. 1882 represents a significant step towards a comprehensive and sane na- 
tional gun policy. In addition to a range of other measures in the bill, I strongly 
support the increased restrictions and requirements on federal firearms licenses, as 
well as the ban on semiautomatic assault weapons and Saturday night specials, 
weapons purposefully designed to take human life. 

I also believe that licensing and registration represent a positive step in the battle 
against gun violence. While I question the lawful purpose of handguns, which con- 
stitute approximately one-third of America's gun population and yet are used to 
commit about 80 percent of all firearm murders, I certainly believe that imposing 
accountability on handgun ownership is a step in the right direction. 

Many of the bill's other provisions, which I support, are so basic that it is as- 
touning that they require new legislation. For instance, no rational argument ex- 
ists to oppose the requirement that guns be manufactured so as to be inoperable 
by children under the age of seven. 

Firearms are manufactured, Uke all other consumer products, for public consump- 
tion. As even a cursory review of the full text of the Second Amendment and Su- 
preme Court opinions demonstrates, firearms have no special constitutional status 
that should distinguish them from other consumer products. How is it, then, that 
we allow a product responsible for the deaths and injuries of thousands of Ameri- 
cans each year to go unregulated? When lawn darts were responsible for the deaths 
of three children in this nation, they were instantly removed from the market. Yet 
we allow firearms to stream onto the market and even to be marketed to adoles- 
cents. 

I urge you to consider a system of regulation that would hold guns at least to the 
safety standards of other dangerous consumer products. We cannot continue to ig- 
nore that tens of thousands of American children's lives are being destroyed by gun 
violence, that hundreds of thousands of our children are growing up — those who are 
lucky — hoping to survive until their 18th or 21st birthdays. 

Finally, there is one part of the bill that should be modified. I am concerned about 
the provision that makes it a federal crime for a juvenile to possess a firearm. Make 
no mistake, I firmly believe that no child in this country should possess a firearm 
and I support penalties for selling guns to children. However, I question whether 
federal prosecution and punishment of children are an effective or appropriate solu- 
tion to fills grave problem. The federal judiciary simply is not equipped to deal with 
status offenders, and to do so in large numbers. I realize that versions of this provi- 
sion also are included in the House and Senate crime bills and we also are urging 
the conferees to take a close look at those provisions for the same reason. 

We personally and collectively must struggle to reclaim our nation's soul and to 
give back to our children a sense of hope and security, a belief in American fairness, 
and an ability to dream about, envision, and work towards a future that is attain- 
able and real. We must fill our children with the joy and the promise of life, not 
the lack of opportunity and the crippling fear that so many encounter. The Ounce 
of Prevention pieces, included in both the House and Senate crime bills are critically 
important ancf I urge the conferees to include those provisions in the final bill. We 
also must stop the gun violence so that, while they are young, children can experi- 



28 

ence what has become the luxury of a childhood, and so that they may have the 
opportunity to grow up to be healthy, productive adults. 

Senator Simon. We thank you, Ms. Edelman. 
Dr. Wright? 

STATEMENT OF DR. JOSEPH L. WRIGHT 

Dr. Wright. Good morning, Mr. Chairman and subcommittee 
members. My name is Joseph Wright. I am assistant director of the 
Emergency Medical Trauma Center at Children's National Medical 
Center here in Washington. I am also an assistant professor of pe- 
diatrics at George Washington University School of Medicine and 
Health Sciences. 

I am here today representing the American Academy of Pediat- 
rics, an association of over 47,000 pediatricians who are dedicated 
to promoting the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, 
and adolescents. This testimony is also endorsed by over 1,500 
members of the Ambulatory Pediatric Association representing pe- 
diatric academicians and child health professionals. 

I would like to thank you and the committee members for this 
opportunity to appear before you today on behalf of the academy, 
as well as the countless other health professionals working on the 
front lines in our Nation's emergency departments and trauma cen- 
ters. 

Public health nomenclature defines an epidemic as any condition, 
biologic or social, the occurrence of which is clearly in excess of nor- 
mal expectation. Make no mistake about it, Mr. Chairman, to reit- 
erate what my fellow academy member. Dr. Elders, has already 
stated, violence in America is a public health problem, a problem 
of epidemic proportions raging out of control. The prime contributor 
to the carnage in our homes, on our streets and in our communities 
is firearm-related violence. 

Mr. Chairman, over the past 10 years I have worked in emer- 
gency departments of Brooklyn, NY; Newark, NJ; and here in 
Washington, DC. I have witnessed firsthand the tremendous toll 
exacted on our young people by this epidemic of violence. 

No matter how many times we hear the numbers, they are still 
staggering: over 200 million firearms in America, as you have al- 
ready heard, including 1 million semiautomatic weapons which in- 
clude Uzis, TEC-9's, MAC-lO's, street sweepers, guns whose only 
purpose is to maim and kill; an estimated 70 million handguns in 
this country. That is almost one gun for every child in this country. 

According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, a new 
handgun is produced in this country every 20 seconds. During the 
time that it will take to conduct this hearing, throughout America 
14 people, including 2 children, will be shot dead. 

While shocking, it is not totally surprising that 1 in 6 pediatri- 
cians has reported treating a child wounded by a firearm. At Chil- 
dren's National Medical Center, we have experienced an 800-per- 
cent increase in pediatric firearm injuries treated through our trau- 
ma center since 1985. 

The National Center for Health Statistics has documented more 
deaths from firearms in the adolescent age group than from all nat- 
ural causes combined. In a true epidemiologic turnaround indic- 
ative of an escalating nationwide epidemic, that same agency just 



29 

last month reported that gunshot wounds have surpassed motor ve- 
hicle accidents as the leading mechanism of fatal injury in 6 States. 

However, mortality statistics don't merely tell the entire story; 
they merely represent the tip of the iceberg. For every childhood 
death as a result of violent injury, another 40 children are hospital- 
ized and over 1,100 are treated in emergency departments. The 
yearly direct cost of acute and trauma care for victims of firearms 
injuries exceeds $1 billion, 80 percent of which is paid for by tax- 
payer dollars. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention con- 
servatively estimates that the lifetime costs of long-term care and 
lost productivity are in the neighborhood of $15 billion annually. 

Moreover, these statistics don't reflect the human tragedy of 
young lost lives, unrealized potential, and family and community 
devastation. Witnesses of violence are also deeply affected, and 
children are particularly vulnerable. Children exposed to violence 
may suffer from the same post-traumatic stress disorder first iden- 
tified among Vietnam soldiers. Such exposure can result in flash- 
backs, diminished ability to concentrate in school, sleep disturb- 
ances, and a fatalistic orientation to the future which can lead to 
high-risk-taking behavior. 

While it has long been recognized that the unique developmental 
and maturational factors of adolescence often lead to high-risk be- 
haviors amongst these children, the additional variable of posses- 
sion of or access to a gun can turn a trivial situation into a lethal 
encounter. In fact, as we have heard, studies have found that a 
firearm in the home is associated with a fivefold increase in the 
likelihood of a suicide occurring in that household and a nearly 
threefold increase in the likehhood of a homicide occurring. These 
odds are tremendously increased in households with a history of 
domestic violence. Another study recently published by Dr. Arthur 
Kellerman and Associates in the New England Journal found that 
a firearm in the home is 43 times more likely to kill a family mem- 
ber than to kill an intruder. 

When physicians encounter an epidemic, they look for a causal 
agent and try to eradicate it, control it, or at least protect people 
from it. In the case of violence in America, the causal agents are 
numerous and complex, but in the case of firearm violence the le- 
thal agent is clear. It is the gun, particularly the handgun. 

Handguns constitute about one-fourth of guns kept in U.S. 
homes, but account for about three-quarters of all firearms deaths 
and injuries. Looking just at firearm deaths amongst American 
teenagers, 73 percent of teenage homicides due to firearms involved 
handguns, and of teenage suicides due to firearms, 70 percent in- 
volved handguns. 

To protect our country's children from this firearms epidemic, the 
American Academy of Pediatrics believes that handguns should be 
eliminated from the environment in which children live and play. 
We support a ban on handgun, deadly airguns and assault weap- 
ons. As an interim step, we also support other measures to reduce 
the availability of these firearms and to reduce the destructive 
power of handgun ammunition. 

The academy advises its member to counsel patients and their 
parents about the dangers of having a gun in the home, especially 
a handgun, and to advise removal of guns from the household. If 



30 

families choose to keep a gun, we urge that it be stored securely. 
In addition, we support efforts to reduce the glamorization of gun 
use in the popular media, an issue on which the academy has 
worked closely with Senator Simon. 

In general, the academy supports the Gun Violence Prevention 
Act of 1994, as introduced by Senator Metzenbaum and others. In 
particular, the bill's gun licensing and registration provisions, in- 
creased regulation of gun dealers, assault weapons ban, and other 
provisions intended to reduce the availability of firearms should 
help to protect our Nation's children from the epidemic of gun vio- 
lence. 

To illustrate, please allow me to relate a classic historical exam- 
ple used as a teaching case in schools of public health across the 
country. In the 18th century, Dr. John Snow, the father of modem 
epidemiology, mapped the homes of victims of a cholera epidemic 
in London. He observed that the stricken citizenry lived in areas 
served by a particular water pump. He was able to stop the epi- 
demic by disabling the pump, giving health authorities the oppor- 
tunity to track down and treat the underlying pollution problem be- 
fore more people could get sick. 

This proven public health research and intervention model must 
be applied in the same manner to the handgun violence epidemic. 
For those of us working in the trenches of our Nation's emergency 
medical system, we often find ourselves drowning in a sea of young 
victims. This act can help to stem the tide so that we can produc- 
tively focus our skills and our training on the restoration and pres- 
ervation of young lives rather than the salvage of devastated ones. 

No one would argue that guns themselves cause violent behavior, 
but until the underlying social and economic problems can be ad- 
dressed we can do something to limit the flow of guns and thereby 
reduce the death and injury they incur. The Gun Violence Preven- 
tion Act will help to stem the supply of weapons flowing into our 
communities by banning certain assault weapons, by making it 
more difficult for individuals to purchase guns on behalf of others, 
by enhancing the regulation of firearms dealers, by limiting pur- 
chases to one gun per month, and by requiring firearm thefts to be 
reported. 

In addition, the legislation will help to keep guns out of the 
hands of criminals and make it illegal to transfer guns to juveniles. 
By requiring gun safety education as a condition of getting a li- 
cense to own a gun, by making it illegal for adults to leave a loaded 
handgun where a juvenile could gain access to it, and by requiring 
manufacturers to include safety devices on firearms, the bill should 
also help to prevent unintentional firearms injuries and deaths. 

Now is the time for Congress to take action against the epidemic 
of firearm death and injury amongst our Nation's youth. Not only 
will you have pediatricians behind you, but the public as well. A 
recent survey conducted for the Joyce Foundation by Louis Harris 
Research found that 77 percent of adults believe that young peo- 
ple's safety is endangered by the widespread presence of guns. One 
in five parents reported that they have known or know a child who 
has been wounded or killed by another child who had a gun. Not 
incidentally, the survey also showed that by a margin of 52 percent 
to 43 percent, Americans favor a Federal law banning the owner- 



31 

ship of all handguns, except by those given permission in a court 
of law. 

In my remaining few moments, I would like to leave you with an 
anecdote that haunts me each and every day that I continue to en- 
counter young victims of violence in my place of work. Just at the 
end of the last school year, I cared for two young boys who had 
been shot in a well-publicized incident at a public swimming pool 
here in the District of Columbia. Their injuries were not life-threat- 
ening and after initial trauma stabilization, I took some time to 
talk with the youngsters alone. 

I was struck by the impassivity and mundane nature with which 
they described their ordeal. It was as if being shot was as ordinary 
as walking down the street. With great animation and bravado, 
they told me about routinely hearing gunshots and about witness- 
ing acts of violence in their neighborhood. However, more quietly, 
they both admitted fearfulness about returning to the community 
center where the incident had occurred. It was then that I realized 
that for many of our youngsters the issue is not so much the fear 
of death, but more so the fear of how to continue living. 

Once again, I would like to thank you for allowing me this oppor- 
tunity to share the views and concerns of the American Academy 
of Pediatrics on this crucial issue. The academy applauds your ef- 
forts to curtail gun violence in our society through the Gun Vio- 
lence Prevention Act and hopes that Congress will consider even 
bolder measures m the future. On behalf of the academy, let me 
say that we stand ready to assist you in whatever ways possible. 

Thank you. 

Senator Simon. We thank you. Dr. Wright. 

Senator Metzenbaum? 

Senator Metzenbaum. Those are two of the most magnificent 
statements I have heard since I have been around here. We are 
grateful to both of you. 

Ms. Edelman, the Children's Defense Fund has focused on issues 
such as education, day care, health care, and welfare. Yet, you re- 
cently closed the Annual Conference of the Children's Defense 
Fund by calling for an end to gun violence in America. Has the 
problem of gun violence for children become so bad that it is now 
an equal or greater priority for the Children's Defense Fund as 
education or health care? 

Ms. Edelman. Yes, sir; in fact, you know, it is our number one 
occupation at the moment. Whenever in the last several years we 
have been trying to organize communities or have meetings in the 
black community or have meetings with parents to talk about im- 
munizations or health care or teenage pregnancy and education, 
the issue that they were most concerned about was whether a child 
was going to get home from school safely and not be shot. 

So the violence issue became such a threshold issue of survival 
that we stopped to understand that we had to address what was 
a growing emergency in our communities, and we have been 
shocked by what we have found. There is a war going on in Amer- 
ica and children are primary victims of this war, and we have got 
to do something about it. 

I mean, he has said it is an epidemic, but it is an emergency that 
our children are absolutely terrified and are not aware of how they 



32 

are going to be able to be protected in the middle of neighborhoods 
where gunfire is routine. He told an anecdote, but I had an anec- 
dote a few weeks ago when I was at a downtown Connecticut Ave- 
nue law firm and there was this wonderful young man about the 
age of one of my sons, 19, who was a security guard in the lobby, 
handsome, well-dressed. I had a nice conversation with him and 
when I went up in the elevator with my companion, he said that 
young man who has finished high school, is working, had boasted 
to him how proud he was that he thought he was going to make 
it to 20. I wondered what we had done in America when young 
men's dreams turn to dust so early and his greatest goal in life was 
just to live to be 20. We have got to do something to stop the killing 
of children in America. 

Senator Metzenbaum. I don't think that the average American 
appreciates the challenge and the problem and the fear of some in 
the neighborhoods who have to worry about whether their sons or 
daughters are coming home. It used to be you would think only of 
sons. Now, you think of daughters as well, and it is just unbeliev- 
able. 

Ms. Edelman. It is unbelievable. 

Senator Metzenbaum. Yet, I find, and I am saying this to you 
frankly, such a terrible, organized campaign to try to keep us from 
moving legislation to try to bring it to a halt. 

What are the best ways to keep guns out of the hands of chil- 
dren, in your opinion? 

Ms. Edelman. One is to stop guns from being accessible to them. 
I mean, many children can walk down to a street corner and get 
guns. You know, they are easier to get in many instances than 
textbooks or toasters, and so we have got to make these lethal 
weapons unavailable to children. 

Second, we have got to talk to adults, many of whom, including 
parents, think that they are trying to protect their kids, and we 
have got to get guns not only out of the hands of children and 
where children can get them, but we have got to get them out of 
our homes. 

I think parents realize that when they have a gun in the house 
they are much more likely to see that gun used against themselves 
with suicides, against acquaintances or family members — and one 
of the things we are going to start doing is to do a public education 
campaign to say guns don't protect, they endanger. 

I know many parents I hear from now who are not only not 
gunowners and don't have them in their houses, but are very wor- 
ried that their children are going to play in other houses where 
guns are present. You often used to ask whether the parent was 
in the home. Now, you are worrying about whether you are sending 
your kid off to a neighborhood or to other homes where there may 
well be a gun, so we have got an enormous public education job to 
do. 

The third thing we have got to do is to see that children have 
something to do that is positive, that they are engaged in positive 
activities, that there are after-school and weekend activities. When- 
ever you ask young people, why did you do something, whether it 
was engaging in drugs or hurt somebody, the most common answer 



33 

you get back is, I didn't have anjd:hing better to do. I think that 
is a terrible indictment of American society. 

Young people who are hopeful, who feel good about themselves, 
who feel that they are learning in school and the schools have high 
expectations for them, who feel they are contributing to the com- 
munity, who think there is a job out there — you know, they are 
much less likely to engage in this because they have got something 
to lose. So we have got to control guns, but we have also got to give 
young people positive alternatives. 

Finally, we have got in our culture to stop glorifying violence. We 
adults have taught young people and children that violence and 
guns are the way to feel powerful, the way to feel like you are 
somebody. You know, it is ubiquitous in our culture, as you have 
all made so clear in your leadership. So, in addition, we adults are 
going to have to begin to model different behavior. Children are 
doing what we do because we adults use violence as a way of solv- 
ing disputes. We glorify deadly weapons in our culture and in our 
television programs and in our video games. 

So we have got to say "enough," and if we are going to begin to 
get a hold of this plague that is killing so many children, we are 
going to have to look at how we resolve conflicts, how we related 
to each other, and we are going to have to look at adult conduct 
in our homes, abusing each other and our children in our culture. 
So this is a very complicated thing that is going to require a com- 
prehensive approach, but the first thing, again, is to get rid of the 
virus, if you will, and that is the gun. 

Senator Metzenbaum. Thank you, Ms. Edelman. 

Dr. Wright, what percentage of firearm deaths are unintentional, 
if you know? 

Dr. Wright. Overall, 5 percent of firearm deaths are uninten- 
tional. However, in the pediatric age group from to age 19, fully 
10 percent of firearm injuries are unintentional and the fifth lead- 
ing cause of unintentional injury, so this is not an insignificant 
number. 

Senator Metzenbaum. As you know, the Gun Violence Preven- 
tion Act would require manufacturers to add certain safety devices 
to guns, such as child-proof safety devices, load indicators for hand- 
guns, and magazine safeties that prevent guns from firing after the 
magazine has been removed, where you leave one bullet in the gun. 

Do you think these measures will be effective or helpful in pre- 
venting unintentional injuries? 

Dr. Wright. Yes, I do believe that they will be effective and help- 
ful toward preventing unintentional injuries. Children, by nature, 
developmentally are curious and prone to high-risk-taking behav- 
ior, and these measures will help to negate some of those behaviors 
when guns are in the household and accessible to children. 

Senator Metzenbaum. Now, you noted that firearm deaths and 
injuries cost over $14 billion per year in direct and indirect costs. 
Are you in a position to sort of explain how that comes about or 
how you calculated that number? 

Dr. Wright. That was a figure published by the Centers for Dis- 
ease Control and Prevention relating to injuries in 1985. It relates 
to not only direct costs, but long-term costs of lost productivity and 
the costs of rehabilitation and long-term care. 



34 

I would say that since that time the costs have escalated, cer- 
tainly, since 1985 and that figure is probably — I stated during the 
testimony it was a conservative estimate — is probably more on the 
order of $16 to $20 billion annually. 

Senator Metzenbaum. You touch on this in your testimony, but 
I wonder if you could elaborate on what it is like being a pediatric 
surgeon dealing with gun injuries in emergency rooms across the 
country today. Have your experiences in recent years changed over 
time from what they were when you first became a practicing phy- 
sician? 

Dr. Wright. Absolutely. If I can address the second part of your 
question first, when I first came to Washington to Children's Hos- 
pital in 1983, I managed perhaps a handful of gunshot wounds dur- 
ing the course of a year. I returned to Washington some 10 years 
later and, as I mentioned, the increase was some 800-fold. In 1991, 
we treated 132 children with firearm injuries through our trauma 
center, and the burden on our trauma system has been tremen- 
dous. 

The leading mechanism of injury for children is still the blunt in- 
jury, motor vehicle accidents and the like, but the burden placed 
on our resources has truly taxed our ability to care for all types of 
injured children largely because of the increased burden of firearm 
injuries. 

Senator Metzenbaum. Thank you very much. You both have 
been superb witnesses and very, very helpful and supportive. 
Thank you. 

Senator SiMON. I want to join in thanking both of you. Marian 
Wright Edelman, I have always been impressed by, and back about 
3 years ago, Senator Metzenbaum, when people talked about who 
should be a candidate for President of the United States, among 
other things I said we ought to be looking at people who aren't run- 
ning, who aren't thinking about it. I mentioned three or four possi- 
bilities and one of them was Marian Wright Edelman. That is how 
highly I think of her. 

Dr. Wright, your American Academy was interested in this whole 
question of television violence. I got into it accidentally. I found the 
group that was out there leading the fight was your academy, and 
I want to thank you and the others of your academy for that lead- 
ership. 

First, before I ask a question, I want to simply repeat one line 
from your testimony, Ms. Edelman. "Just the 560 American 10- to 
14-year-old children who died from guns in 1990 were twice the 
number of handgun deaths of citizens of all ages in all of Sweden, 
Switzerland, Japan, Canada, Great Britain and Australia combined 
that year." That is astounding, it really is. 

You mentioned how we regulate other things. Mother Jones Mag- 
azine had a 2-page spread on teddy bears and how we regulate 
teddy bears. Here is a TEC-9, which is now the favorite weapon 
of gangs and drug kingpins, and so forth, and this TEC-9 is just 
totally unregulated. You know, something is slightly wrong in our 
society. I am going to enter that in the record here. 

[The information referred to follows:] 



35 



by peter 



stone 






These are not exactly haloon days 
for ihe National Rifle Association. Not 
long ago u was arguably the most pow- 
erful lobby on Capitol Hill, but lately it's 
been taking some hits Despite using all 
the old siandbys — direct-mail blii;:es. ad 
campaigns, the rhetoric of fear — the NR-A 
just doesn't seem able to strike quite as much 
terror in the hearts of politicians amTnorc 

The Brady Bill, with its minimal controls (like a 
hve-dav waiting period) on handgun sales, was in 
NR.A eves A Terrible Thing, but they could not stop it in 
Congress The NR--\ failed to block recent gun-control ini 
natives in Virginia, New Jersey, and New York. A figh 
expected in Connecticut as Governor Lowell Weicker plans to draft 
legislation that would virtually ban private ownership of guns. 

Although last Novembers elections showed that the NR.'X st 
has enough cloui to make a difference (especiallv in the guberna- 
torial races in Virginia and New Jersey), this is a moment of 
opportunity for gun-control advocates. President Clinton backed 
the Brady Bill, called for curbs on assault weapons, and created 
an interagency task force on violence prevention that, some spec- 
ulate, may be considering new options to control firearms Sena- 
tor Daniel Patrick Moynihan, D-Ncw York, wants the president's 
health-care plan to include a massive new la.x on ammunition. 
.■\nd in legal and public-health circles, there is talk of holding 
gun manufacturers liable for the societal costs their products 
incur (see sidebar, page 44). 

Finally the prestigious Nov England Journal 0/ Medicine was able 
to destroy a sacred NR.\ myth last October when it rtvealed in a 
carefully documented study that house- (Continued on page 42) 

The once-mighty NRA is wounded — but still dangerous 



36 





justified civilian 

homicidei <l% 

(self-defense) 

Police shootings <l% 

Accidents 4% 



(unregulated) 

I There are no federal safety standards for the domestic 
manufacture of guns 

^ There are no voluntary, industrywide safety standards for 
the manufacture of guns 

J Approximately one gun model is recalled every three years 

4 Keeping a gun in your home makes it three times more likely 
that someone vv-ili be killed there. 

_) In 1990. guns killed 37.184 people in the United States. 



Firearm deaths 
by cause (1990) 



;ryj^ 



Every ji™ minutes some; 



Solutions 

Regulate guns like other 
consumer products. 

Ban all handguns and 
assault rifles. 

Tax ammunition heavily. 



14 

Every I F minutes somebody dies from a gun wound 



c 



Each gun in|ury involving hospitalization costs sjJ^^J^ I w-' ■ 
A gun rolls off the assembly line in America every I V»/seconds America imr 

There are Z- I V_/^ • \J T gun dealers. Dut only X. I ^ 
For the first time ever, a ma|Oi ity - 



37 



\ 



ars 




arms 



Guess which one has more manufacturing regulations? 

^ ICvj(jy(heavily regulated) 

1 At least four broad types of federal safety standards cover 
teddy bears: sharp edges and points, small parts, hazardous 
materials, and flammability. 

^In 1976 the toy industry issued a comprehensive 
voluntary toy-safety standard. The Toy Manufacturers 
Association has maintained a safety standards 
committee since the early 1930s. 

3 Six separate teddy-bear models were 
recalled in fiscal year 1992 alone. 

^Keeping a teddy bear in your home 
does not increase the chance that 
someone will be killed there. 

2 Teddy bears killed nobody last 
year. Only eight child deaths 
from all accidents involving 
toys were reported in the 
first eight months of 1993. 



sor-.ewhere in the U.S. is shot. 



83^ 



a month 



" license to sell a gun costs 
another gun every I I seconds, 
'hsp.-ctors to keep an eye on them. 

52 



^rnencans. »^xL percenc, favor a ban on handgun sales 




Pc)-if ir reprints oi thii pullout a'v avaiUb'p for S I 9S eath. ftoni 

Mother fonei. 1661 Mtiiiun St., San Franci%<:o CA 94103 

S.ibst.intial discount i lor bulU orders. To ,ubscrib(.- to Mother )onr\ 

-.ill (800)GET MOjO. Photograph by Fred Stimson. Rese;»rch by Julir 

Prttrt.-n .lod An. -I Sab^c RESEARCH ASSISTANCE BY LEXIS NEXIS 



38 



(Conunucd jtom page 39) holds wiih guns are nol safer, bui 
much more dangerous, than households wuhout guns. In (aci, 
according lo ihc siudy. us three times more likely (even when 
accounting for factors such as race and income) that someone 
will be killed in your home if handguns are present 

None of this is good news for the true believers at the NRA. 

Worst of all. the public may be deserting the cause A Harris 
Poll found that more than half of the American population now 
favors handgun controls, and a majority would favor changing 
the Second Amendment, if necessary to bring gun violence 
under control The surgeon general told Mother Jones that she 
corvsiders gun violence the leading public-health problem in the 
nation (see page 55). 

Whv' The answers are on the nightly news tourists are 
gunned down ai highway rest stops, foreign exchange students 
are murdered when they knock on the wrong door, thi 
Waco standoff turns into a holocaust, heavily armed mad- 
men blow away victims in restaurants, schools, and 
office buildings, young kids kill each other and 
their teachers, or commit suicide Between 
the drive-by shootings and the domestic 
disputes that escalate into firefights, it 
seems that anybody anywhere, anytime 
is at risk 

Behind all the headlines looms a 
seldom-voiced question: how 
much longer will the tiny frac- 
tion — probably no more than 
04 percent — of the American '' 
population that is actively involved 
the NR.^ continue to dominate public 
policy on guns^ — Editors 



/ The NRA relies \ 
.' on police-affiliate 
' groups because its own 



image is so sullied in 
s the law enforcement 
community. / 



On a SLN-DRENCHEtl MORNING LAST OCTOBER, 
the downtown Washington office building that 
houses the NRA was besieged b)' a small band of 
angry members of Congress Led by Representative Nita 
Lowey D-New York, the group of six female representatives 
demanded that the NR.^ stop running a series of gloss>- ads in 
such family magannes as People and Redbook Ostensibly, the 
"Refuse to Be a Victim' ads were aimed at giving women infor- 
mation about self-defense, but Lowey charged that the ads were 
really a thinly veiled attempt to get women to buy guns and join 
the NRA. "They're preying on women's legitimate fears." Lowey 
protested "This campaign has made it clear to me that they 
have a new target — .American women " 

In addition to the ad campaign, the NRA has launched a S2 
million get-tough-on-crime initiative dubbed CnmcStrike, hired 
new pollsters to improve its image, relied heavily on police-affil- 
iate groups to make up tor its poor standing in the official law 
enforcement community and expanded a controversial direct- 
mail drive to boost us membership 

The NR.\s public relations crusade has been supplemented 
bv increasingly hea\7 spending on lobbying and political activ- 
ities. The NR-As lobbying arm spent a whopping $28 9 million 
in 1992 

Bui all the money the group ls throwing around may noi be 
able to mask what appears to be serious weakness inside the 
NRA army The organization, previously torn by internal dis- 
agreements, LS now suffering from new problems, including 

• Severe financial troubles The NRA racked up a S9 mil- 



lion deficit in 1991, a near $30 million deficu in 1992, and was 
showing another $15 8 million in red ink by the end of August 
1993 — although NRA Treasurer Wilson Phillips claimed that 
the deficit would be only $7 million at the end of the year 
Since 1990, the group's liquid assets have dropped from $90 
million to $60 million — a startling 33 percent decline. 

The NR-As executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre, Jr., has 
downplayed the seriousness of the deficits; in a late 1992 
speech to the NRA board he argued, "The National Rifle Asso- 
ciation isn't a business It's a cause" He added that the group 
"wins not when we're skillful misers, but when we're skillful 
investors." 

• Crackdowns on dissension Leaders from the Florida, Ore- 
gon, and Iowa affiliate groups were hauled before a special NRA 
"ethics" committee last year because they questioned the parly 
ine on priorities and the organization's mounting deficits 
I Daniels, a lifetime NRA member and president of the 
Florida Sport Shooting Association, was suspended 
for two years for printing a letter in his group's 
newsletter that raised questions about the 
deticils 

• New signs of rebellion David 
Edmondson, who retired in April 1993 
as executive director of the NRA's 
Texas affiliate, is an outspoken 
cruic of the current leaderships 
financial management He is 
actively organizing a union of 
state affiliates to gam more lever- 
age over headquarters. Edmondson 
says that, so far, about eight state 
groups are interested in the idea "It's 
obvious that they want the state affiliates 
to keep their mouths shut," he says "Thev 
have a built-in means of disseminating infor- 
lon through their newspapers ' 





Some of the internal strife plaguing the NRA may stem . 

from the controversial role played by board member Neal 
Knox, whose particular brand of zealotry was recently docu- 
mented by the Wall Strecl Journal Knox likes to say things hke, 
the way to solve the crisis in Somalia is to hand out .AK-47s to 
the Somali masses, or, the modest 1968 Gun Control Act (aimed 
at banning the import of Saturday-nighi specials) was based on 
a law originating in Nazi Germany. 

But Knox's hard-line style may be out of touch with much of 
the NR-As rank-and-file membership, which traduionally encom- 
passes hunters, gamesmen, and gun collectors Many of them 
would doubtless vote with the majority of Americans who, 
according to the recent Hams Poll, are now willing to contem- 
plate some gun-control measures, whereas to Knox any gun 
control IS tantamount to full surrender He and other NRA true 
believers arc adherents to an absolutist interpretation of the Sec- 
ond Amendment that even former Supreme Court Chief Justice 
Warren Burger, a gun owner and a conservative has denounced 
as a "fraud' (In fact, legal scholars have repeatedly pointed out 
that the amendment contains no substantial barriers to federal, 
state, or local gun-control laws See sidebar, opposite page ) 

For the NR.A, the political terrain is changing all too radically 
For decades the organization successfully blocked even modesi 
gun-control laws But now the climate of fear and intimidation 



o 



guns 



THE SECOND'S MISSING HALF 



A we// regulated Militia, being necessary to the 
security of a free State, the right of the people to 
keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. 

— Second Amendment, U.S. Constitution 

Emblazoned across the front of the NRA headquarterj in 
Washington. D.C.. is halfoi this amendment — the second 
half. It's a testament to how well the NRA does its job that 
most Americans probably don't know about the first haK. 
with its clunky and inconvenient dependent clause. But that's 
how the Founding Fathers wrote it. The NRA's reasons for 
focusing on its backside are faiHy obvious, but what do the 
courts say about the Second Amendment? 

According to Jon S. Vemick and Stephen P. Teret of Johns 
Hopkins University Injury Prevention Center, the Supreme 
Court has examined two broad issues involving Che amend* 
ment's reach. The first is whether the amendment controls 
federal law only or whether it aJso can be extended 
to the state and locaJ levels. The second Is whether it 
protects individuaJ rights to own firearms, or only col- 
lective, "militia" rights. 

On the first question, the Court ruled definitively in 
Unrted States v. Cruikshank that the amendment 
"means no more than (the right to keep and bear 
arms) shaJI not be infringed by Congress." This 1876 rul- 
ing established that states and locaJities are not prevent- 
ed from enacting their own gun-control laws — and they 
remain free to do so to this diy. 

In 1886. in Presser v. Illinois, the Court reaffirmed the 
concept of a state's rights, as it were, to control guns, and 
this position has never been modified. Therefore, it re- 
mains the Court's last word on the subject. Lower courts 
have time and again held to this precedent- 
Regarding the second broad question of individuaJ versus 
state-militia rights, the Court held in its 1 939 Unrted States 
V. Miller decision that individuals have in effect no right to 
keep and bear arms under the amendment, but only a col- 
lective right having "some reasonable relationship to the 
preservation or efficiency of a well-regulated militia." Lower 
courts have consistently applied the Mtl/er decision in 
upholding various gun-control lav^ over the years. 

The Supreme Court most recently revisited this question 
in 1980, when it reconfirmed that "these legislative restric- 
tions on the use of firearms do not trench upon any constitu- 
tionally protected liberties." One significant part of that case 
is that then Chief Justice Burger and current Chief Justice 

Rehnquist both supported chat interpretation. Burger has 
- - . ' ■.,- * y-tit -> .- , "-^ ': . i'\ ■ -■. I.' .; • 

~ '■■ •' -c^' :r—v .•'•.- • .s. -T fcf -s* •••- .■i'0',.1--'; , 



Americans will be 

injured with gunt 

today. 



denounced the NRA's edited version 
of the amendment as a "fraud." 

The legal precedents are clear: Almost 
any state or local gun-control action is fine; 
the Second Amendment does not apply. On the federaJ 
level, only laws interfering with state militias are prohibited. 

There's really no legaJ problem with gun control at all. As 
a legendary sports figure once pointed out, in a different 
context, "You could look it up." On the other hand, most 
Americans (56 percent) don't want to. since they now agree 
with the statement, "Although the Constitution provides 
the right to bear arms, American society has changed to the 
point that it is too dangerous for this right to continue as 
originally written." At this point, the NRA might want to 
consider putting the front end of that amendment back up 
at headquarters. It could be worse. 




O 



40 




vt- 



?*^^ LIABILITY'.,!; 'T 






For over a dozen yean, Stephen P. Teret has been retearch- 
Ing and thinking about gun violence In America- In hi« 
position as director of the Johns Hopkins Univenlty Injury 
Prevention Center, Teret has become interested in the 
question of whether weapons manufacturers can be held 
liable (or the damage their products cause people. 

One prt>mising area would be to hold gunmakers 
accountable for making their guns as safe as passible. 

"There are things that could be done with existing tech- 
nology to make handguns safer," says Teret, "and reduce 
dramatically certain types of tragic 
shootings — such as the child who 
plays with a parent's gun, a teenager 
who commits suicide, or an owner 
shot vflth his own gun by an intruder. 
"The way to do this is to personal- 
lie the gun to the ovmer. The low- 
tech way is to provide a combination 
lock on the gun. The owner is the 
only person who knows the combi- 
nation, so when it is 'locked' no one 
else can shoot it. 

"The high tech way involves 
implanting an electrical component 
or receptor in the gun that is acti- 
vated only by a transmitter that the 
owner keeps in a bracelet or ring. 
"Guns can easily be child-proofed in these or other 
ways," adds Teret. "In fact. Smith & Wesson used to sell a 
'child-proof model. Now, however, they are pushing their 
L-adySmith handgun on young women, but they are not 
child-proofed even though common sense says a lot of 
these young women are going to be around children. So 
the question is, will the company be liable when something 
terrible happens? 

"Who has moral blame? The shooter or the manufac- 
turer, or both? What about the board of directors of the 
company making the guns? They are discharging a pollu- 
tant into the stream of commerce. They make decisions 
that have life-and-death implications for other people, but 
they make them on the basis of profit and loss, because of 
the lack of regulation by the government-" 




SURGEON GENERAL'S ADVISORY 
The NRA's position is irresponsible. NRA mem- 
bers think only of themselves. 



ihai ihcy crcaied is crumbling, and gun-control grou|is aic ulk- 
mg optimisiicallv aboul the chances for ban?, on scniiauiomaiic 
assault weapons and on gun possession hy minors — the lalter a 
measure even the NR.^ now (quietly) endorses. 

In response to the changing environment, the NRA has been 
working overtime to craft a strategy- for winning new support. 
LaPierrc. the NRAs brash and bullish executive vice president, 
says the NRA is in a political dogfight, he has pushed the NRA 
to reshape its public image in an effort to recruit new adherents 
LaPierre boasts that the NRA membership has increased by 
800,000 since 1991 to 3 3 million, and claims that the Clinton 
administrations attacks are helping "People respond when 
there's a threat.' he explains "I think Clinton is mobilizing gun 
owaiers at record rates " 

A fervent opponent of gun control. LaPierre blames the 
media for all that ails America and the NRA At an NRA con- 
vention in Nashville last April, he vK-arned that the United 
States 15 being "driven apart by a force that dwarfs any political 
power or social tyrant that ever existed on this planet the 
American media " 

Under LaPierres and Knox's leadership, the NRA in recent 
months has paid pollsters lavishh" to help the group repackage 
its image Though this turn to pollsters for direction is hardly a 
sign of ideological conviction, it could give the group a short- 
run boost to make cosmetic alterations. 

The question is whether the pollsters insights may backfire 
badly with women and other constituencies The "Refuse to Be a 
Victim' ads, which cost the NRA just under SI million, were test- 
ed for aboul two months in Houston, Miami, and 'Washington 
Thev showed a woman — actress Susan Howard of "Dallas" — 
looking terrified as she and her young daughter walked through 
a dark underground garage 

Although the NR-«v claims that the ad campaign was not 
meant to encourage women to buy guns or to boost us member- 
ship, the ads did include an 800 number where callers could 
sign up to join CnmeSirike. and mvued women to attend self- 
defense classes, which the NRA helped organize in the three test 
cities The NRA also ran televnsion ads in Houston and radio 
spots in Miami To test the concept, pollster Gary Lawrence 
worked wnth focus groups in ten cities Four hundred individual- 
interviews with women were conducted as well, according to 
Tanva Metaksa. who runs what the NR-A, calls its "womens poli- 
cies group" 

Despite the NRAs careful planning, a backlash is already 
underway Betr\' Friedan. the feminist author and activist who 
helped organize last year's Los Angeles conference on guns and 
violence, denounced the NR.«i campaign as a "false use of fcmi- 

SOURCES FOR THE PULLOUT ON PAGES 40-41 INCLUDE 

• U S Consumer Products Salety Commiinon "Talking Poinu for Toy Safety." 
"CPSC Recalls — 1^ 1992," "Toy. Related Deaths and ln|yries. January 1992-Septem- 
ber 1993" 

• Toy Manufacture^^ of America 'Toy Industry Faa Book. 1993-1994" 

- Arthur L Kellermann. et at "Gun Ownership as a Risk Factor for Homicide in 
the Home," Netv £/ig1ondJoumol of" Medicine, October 7. 1993 
■ National Safety Council Acodcnt FoctJ, 1993 

• Dorodiy P Rice et «1, Con of ln;ury in the United Srotes. * Report to Confress, 
1989 

• LH Research Int A ^rtVi of the Amencon People on Guns OS Oiildfen s Heotth 
Issue, June 1993 

• Interviews with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, Consumers 
Union. Firearms Research and Identification Association. American Nauonal Stan- 
dards Institute Sporting Arms and Ammunitions Manufaaurer's Association and 
the Violence Policy Center 



'HO'O Bt JOSir 



41 



nism" Friedan added ihal ihc real lssuc ib nol "jusi a question 
of violence against women. It's also against children and a whole 
generation of young t)lacks." 

Like the ad campaign, the NRAs CrimeStrikc initiative seems 
to be spurred in part by public relations concerns- In recent 
years, the NR.A has been trying to shore up lis fast-eroding sup- 
port in the law enforcement community 

i-or much of its 122 years, the NRA worked in tandem with 
police groups on major issues relating to crime and guns. Siart- 
ii.g in the mid-1980s, however, rifts emerged as the NRA 
opposed legislation that would have banned so-called cop- 
killer bullets 

The NR-A also made the major blunder of taking on Joseph 
McNamara, the well-known former head of the San Jose, Cali- 
fornia, police department The NR,A ran an ad. headlined "So 
You Want Legalired Drugs in America?', that distorted 
McNamara's beliefs and angered many law enforcement 
officials. 

CnmeStrike, which combines state lobbying 
with national advertising and direct-mail 
bliLzes, appears to have been launched part 
Iv to woo back the police community It i 
also aimed at divening public attention 
from gun-control measures and focus 
mg it on NRA-backed campaigns to 
pass tougher sentencing laws and 
build more prisons in several 
states This past election season, 
CnmeStrike succeeded in push- 
ing initiatives through in Wash 
ington and Texas. 

The NR.\ also has tried to repair us 
tics with police by helping create a new 
law enforcement organization altogether 
.•\ccording to the New Republic, m 1991 the 
NRA gave 5100. 000 to help launch the Law 
Enforcement Alliance of America. Since then, the 
NRA has often touted the LEAA position on issues — for 
instance, its strong opposition to the Brady Bill — as evi 
dence that the law enforcement community stands behind the 
NRA. 

The NRAs recent turn to Madison Avenue sales techniques 
grows in part out of some significant setbacks in the 1992 elec- 
tions. For instance, in his race for reelection. Representative 
Mike Synar, D-Oklahoma, faced one of the NRAs heaviest media 
barrages, costing an estimated $128,000. 

The NR.As anti-Svnar ads focused on areas in which the 




/ An NRA official 
' claims that Clinton's 



group by mobilizing 
gun owners at 
\ record rates. 



group thought he might hi vulnerable, such as his voles against 
constitutional amendments on lljg burning and the balanced 
budget. But the congressman won his race anyway, largely by 
counterpunching against the NRA "1 think we set the stage for 
how to handle the NRA," he said "It's hard to be successful as 
a lobbying group when your whole approach is based on fear 
and hate " 

The Svnar strategy of taking on the NRA frontally almost 
paid off in New Jersey Governor James Florio's reelection cam- 
paign last fall, before voter anger over another Florio action — 
raising state ta.xes — doomed him to defeat. Florio had been 
high on the NRAs enemy list after he pushed through a 
statewide ban on semiautomatic assault weapons in 1990 Last 
fall. Florio came back from way behind in the polls by focus- 
ing on the links between guns, crime, and violence, before 
narrowly losing the election to Republican Christine Todd 
Whitman. 

Despite these setbacks, it would be premature to 
write the NR.'^ off. It was able to help defeat Mary 
Sue Terry, the Democratic candidate for gover- 
nor in v'lrginia last fall. And the anticnme 
nitiative the NRA got on the ballot in 
Washington passed handily, spurring 
talk that us CnmeStrike effort may 
prove to be a powerful new organuing 
tool with a public edgy about 
criminals 

Still, the once-terrible fear of 
the NR-A m Congress has been 
dissipating Even some members of 
the Republican party, who have long 
been allied with the NR,A and have ben- 
efited from Its support, are rethinking 
ir position on gun control. Massachu- 
setts Governor William Weld for example. 
> endorsed curbs on assault weapons in his 
state. But the NRA can still boast that among its sev- 
enty-five board members are Representatives John Dingell, 
D-Michigan, and Bill K Brewster, D-Oklahoma, and Sena- 
tors Larry E. Craig, R-ldaho, and Ted Stevens, R-Alaska. 

For now. there's only one way to view the NRA: it may be 
wounded, but it still has plenty of ammunition left History 
shows that when the NR.A feels under siege, as it does now. it 
fights back even more aggressively The NR.-\ is still the best- 
armed lobby in the country □ 
Peter H. Slone. a reporter (or [he National Journal, covers lobby- 
ing and campaign finance 



CYBERACTIVISM 

Mother Jones invites ill readers who have E-mail access to Internet to 
participate in an electronic discussion of gun violence and what can 
be done to stop it, beginning January 3, I 994. It will be the first of 
what we hope will be regularly scheduled events conducted by Moth- 
e- J'.nes Interactive, the electronic complement to Mother Jones 
magazine. 

To take part in the discussion, simply access alt.motherjones on 
Usenet, or subscribe to motherjones-list (linked to the news group) 
by sending E-mail with "help" in the message to listserver@ 
mojones.com. 

While you're on-line, you can read (or reread) articles from back 
issues, talk back to editors and writers, and join in on electronic con- 



versations with other readers. You can also find information on sub- 
scriptions; writers' guidelines; and editoriaJ. art, and publishing 
internships. 

To leam more about Mother Jones Interactive, send E-mail to 
mojones-info@igc.org. or find us at one of the following locations: 

• Internet services: 

FTP. ftp.moiones.com; Gopher, searchable: gopher.mojones.com; 
WAIS. searchable: wais.mojones.com; WVW/. www-mojones.com 
(also contains some images)- 

• Other services: 

IGC networks, motherjones conference; The WELL, mojones con- 
ference; CompuServe, MaRaztne Datahas*' Plus 



o 



42 




43 




At left, gang member Chivo 
teaches his daughter Co hold a gun. 
her mother looks on. A rtval gang 
has tried to Will Chrvo teveral times 
once while he was carrying his baby 

Photographs by 
Joseph Rodriguez 



44 




JOSEPH RODRIGUEZ 

has been recording the lives 
of Latino gang members 
and their famihes in East 
L.A. for the past etghleen 
months Hts work won 3 
1993 Mother Jones Interns- 
tional Fund (or Documen- 
tary Photography award, 
(See page IS,) 




!, HOW 1 HATE THEIR STUPID SIGN LANGIAGE. OCCULT AST 

crooked palmings. finger-Chincsc 1 haie iheir Puritan 
black Their fai heads shaved like Roundheads in ihe age 
of Cromwell — the pcniicmiary look — noi Cavalier 1 ha:c 
ihcir smglcis I hate ihcir tattoos, seniimcnial pnck-rosf?. 
I hate their [argon 1 haic their bandannas 1 hate rap 
An\iA'a\ there I was at ni) siss\ g\'m the other day — read 
the WciU Sited joumal. lose a few pounds on the SiairMaster — 
and \^haI do you think accompanied mc ihiough the canyon's of Wall Street but 
insidious black, male, heterosexual rap There it was — the music of thumj^ — 
blasting through ihc hlond pagan house of abs and pecs 

I hate tht rh^Tiicd-diLiaic Rap dictates noi thought bui rlunie encourages rh\th- 



45 




A member of the Rock Mara gang 
shows hts g»ng stgn while being 
booked for drug possession in the 
East l_A. sheriff's station 



Twelve-yean-old Mark hangs out with 
the Evergreen Boys, dreaming of 

somedajr owning his own car. Mark's 
family connections with the Ever 
greens go back three generations 



he child's defiance 
is most interesting 
to the city. The stand 
the dress, the music of 
the outsider exercise 
erotic appeal. 



nin sli>i;.mMi^.ind jmulf — in.ui.il.inv pnvmi; a> viii); .ililMult' pi».iiii;.i^ ihiiiii;lil 

K llicri' .t nuirt- i umpIiL.ucd Invc jil.tn ^iumi; on iii '\nu'fK.i' Uc knuw lor .1 l.m. 
llii)-.,' Ill U-, ssho read ihi- Uol/ M/.ci /.lutiuil. lli.ii siliilc ini.ldk- il.is^ children Imv 
niiitL' rap ilun bljtk childrt-n Wf dtJiu know wliv.cV wi- ^d\ wi- ilnni. 

\atgi-l ihf •>.icuili)>;ii.;il abslr.'\clii)n' Tlu- iillur d.iv. I w.is JDokini; tllrouuli sninc 
Mljp>lii)[5 o( my niece .md nephew ih.il ini swcr h.id Icli on llu' drjinboard ^no« 
lenl ikis Birthday parly Clowns Balloons .Alul llu'ii 
llus liu' nine-year-old hoy and llie si\-\'ear-old ijirl .ire 
posinj; 111 llie haekyard of iheir suhnrhan house a- 
i;an.4sl.is The boy ivilh a bandanna on Ins he.ul ,1 
musl.iche aiui jjoalee paimed on 1 he ijirl willi .1 1- 
shirl and daii>4;liiii> earrings Thev weie hi>ih vi^jnin'.; 
wiih iheir finders They h.id dead e\'es 

M\' iniiial reaction was amusenieni .11 ihcir cha- 
rade n^en pride. They got it so right. MT\! 1 guess 
But to what reality arc my niece and tiejihew drawn' 

We adults do most heartily deplore what is hap- 
pening in the 'inner city" Those of us who live elsewhere are shocked by the niav- 
hcm — little pops and flares in the night and answering sirens, far awav Wc deplore 
all of It .And when something hidetius happens, which it does, in the morning 
paper or on the news, then we mutter sometliing, a thought — not a thought — a 
blank bubble, like an unmarked van. passes through our consciousness and its 
freight IS obscene loathing we dare not enunciate .ANIVl.ALS SCLM 

The commercial on the eleven oclock news is a r.ip for cola, with black chil- 
dren in black, mouthing a mindless jingle which celebrates the eh.xir. And the 
ele\en o'clock news, which leads with an 'Aninuils tm the Loose" storv. ends with 
live minutes of contract mayhem — pro foiiiball and ice hockev hints and b.ise- 
bail teams in Baltimore or basketball players m Boston dukinc it out befcsre 
heering fans 

1 went to a fancy benefit lor some Me.\ican-.American chaniv: The entcrtain- 
inciit. alternating wuh the sentimental mariachis. included scleral famous comics 
arid actors doing -street stuff — Edward James OInios. for e.'sample. did hi.s 
famous pachuco bil. the slouch, hands in his pocket, the head cocked back, the 
legs far out in from. HEY M.ANNNNN. \\ H.'\S H.\PPEMIIi:\G^ The standard 




46 



U.kV j.iiR.m » ilh ati l-.iM L A « hini L ikc, 'iw ^u-c-nkiii liadgcs. nunnnnii 
Whjl I like hcM aKiulJiK- K..Jri);uc;s pliolO(;ta|ilis is ihal lli.-> are devoid i)( mid^ 

dU-ilas-s n.iswljjir lic lu hmc Siill pan ol ihc mi ii-on of ihcsc plioios is iliai wc (an 

Slate « llhiHil fear of fK-mg killed None of lis slioiild siarc al such faees in real life 
Ille\ gel on ihe bus m ihcir Raiders jaikeis. llieir ears plugged wufi luige liiam- 

siornvsof rap— ihai's wliai itie\ hear, we hear a liny, meiallie ush. iish. Ush leaking 

F^ fiom ihell earphones — ihey hoard die eilv bus in 

^k groups, talk loud, foi ihey are gianls, piraies 

^^ , , li would he a sm.irl idea nol lo look al 

art of the turn-on ,,,^„,_„^, , ,„^,,„ „_„,^.,, ,„, ,,,ild,en. bu, 

lhe\ are children wuh maehelcs and guns and 
no poini ol lef-francc. so betla show me de(- 
(rante, or vou are ouua hrcff once I blow vour 
br.uns lo hell 

Keep your eves to vourseK Read your paper- 
back Read your magazine Do nol niakc eve 
coniaci Thc\ arc children so war\ ol anv dis 
ihe\- mi.ghi "smoke' \ou for staring 

Stare instead at Joe Rodriguczs phoios. the 
McMcan-.-^merican chapter of vouihlul ollcnders ENamine their four-block piece 
of L .\ Look at the neat bouses ol some of them not e.sactk lead-peeling, siinkin 
tenements in Spanish Harlem East L.A is not Spanish Harlem And L A , like 
Miami, has a belter climate (or child murder than New "lork or Chicago On a 
swcctlv scented January nighi one can hang out. throw rocks at buses or at the 
cars on the freewax 

Some of these children are good-looking some not 
(Thev seem, in cither case, unaware ol the difference i 
Thc\ look more American than Mexican to m\ eve. with 
an American ironv on their faces, cspecialb the child 
women who look like the; arc made up for Elrl;n<i 

Clearly Joe Rodriguez has put in his time with these 



art of the turn-on 
of these photos is 
that we can stare 
without fear of 
being killed. None of 
us should stare at 
such faces in real life. 



right, the chaotic scene 
tecondf after a gang member 
wAi hit in a drive-by shooting \r 
May I 993 The boy lying on the 
sidewalk took five bulletv, but 
lived Photographer Joe 
Rodriguer narrowly avoided 
being hu as well 




47 




Thf Quilles family in their 
home Danny (nghc) thrx)w» hi* 
fang iign, "M" for Maraville. a 
fang thai can be traced back 
'Our generations to Mexico in 
early 1920s. Oanny'v n^other 
alls her older Maraville gang 
('lendi were "more like Wert 
S'de Story in the 1950s — no 
funs, just hand righting." 



children Whai his camera does not explain is why ihey look so dead to con- 
science Mother Church had alwavs told us that ihc "age of reason' begins 
around the age of seven, well before hormones sprout domes. Is it ih.vi thev 
know we are waichmg? Gangsta hfe reduces to an attitude, a pose. These chil- 
dren appear prisoners of street theater, even when they are in the family kitchen 
OnK one, the child sinrmg into the Los Angeles night sky has an expression lo 
which a caption of "wonder " might fit. 

As actors, ihey seem only to exist in the plural Dress the same Spell ideniical- 
Iv with their lingers. They shave each oihcrs' heads and watch each others' backi 
The gang regards the greatest sinner to be the member who wants out 

Tliese children of East L.A. puzzle us for being so imenselv communal VVc 
Americans honor the idea of the youthful rebel We have taken our meaning from 
the notion of adolescent rebellion (James Dean rebels against the mad British 







48 



1 



^hl^onsign the gangsta 
to subhumanity. But 
when this child falls, he 
leaks blood. They are 
not monsters, after all. 



kirip^ Hnck linn is ilw iiiiKMccnih cciuurys rcinKinnc litro. die of i1k mIip..! 
m.irm. (uc ol Ins drunk pappy, (rc-c as a runaway slave on a rafi. 

l( » iilnn the ncighbi.rliood ilic losi-bo)' brolhcrhiwd is ilic oiiK siKiciy pmg^ 
oulsidc— nl llic clly of adulls— lf>c tlllld appears soliiary. dcfianl. Il is m llns 
defunce ilu- child is mosi inii-resnng to ihe cuy The rapsicr hcconies HulU 1 inn 
The siancc. the dress, iht music of ihis outsider exercise eroiic appeal 

In the fall 1^3 issue of E'.qmn Ornrlirn.ni. a 
magazine of no disiinciion or cxcepiion. iherc 
1^ an arliclc by Mark Lcyncr called "Gangsla 
Allure" ("\V'hai becomes a man mosi^ Evil, of 
toursc Smug, sinisui dudes gel all the hoi 
acuon Here's how 10 look like a real Reservon 
Dog") In Tans recenily ai a show of Jean 
Colonna's "outlaw chic," the models fired blank 
cartridges al the photographers at the fool of 
the runwa)' 

Bang! The theatrical turns real and then we of the audience are horrified 
Looh. m\ God, look, ilic Iwin i" 'us iinv coffin, diapcii witli gau;c. 
MO.VSTERS' .\SIMALS' 

On the other side of the fascination with the rebel is this high moral distant- 
ing. Consign the gangsta to subhumanity But when this child falls, he leaks 
blood- They are not monsters, after all 

If. as God's silence to Job suggests, there is something inexplicable about 
evil— either the evil the night commits against us or the evil wc inflict on each 
(,, her— there is also less mvsierv to the crueli\ in East Los .Angeles than wc 
otherwise pretend 

Is It so inexplicable that a child never embraced might be seduced b\ the 
cull ol power? .An Oakland cop sa\s to mc: "Have you ever been in a physical 
hghi- It may be the onlv moment in your life when vou can control the out- 
come ' 

These photographs do noi tell us about crack mothers or schools that don i 
work or pappv dead or in prison. Documcniary without a hint of narrative 
comes dangerously close to the vision Diane Arbus saw in her madness 
Children appear grotesques Spawn of some hideous neighborhood (not 





An Evergreen Boyi gang member gets 
a haircut while children play Another 
Evergreen brandishes a toy gun. 



Two-year-old Thomas Regalado was 
killed In a drive-by shooting in June 
199; It was said that the bullets were 
intended tor his uncle, a fang rssember 
The wnctc was lor.'ing (or a way out o' 
gang lile, but his "homeboys" didn't 
like the idea 



49 





ours) witlioui trees or sun or air A land o( roaches and rats and unnaiural 
mothers. 

No imm is cm isluin/ aniic of Uiclj Didn't we learn that in high schooP There is 
no possibility of a healthy suburb radiant from a corrupt inner city The children 
of East LA live in the same cir>' as Madonna and Tom Bradley and Harvard-edu- 
cated screenwriters who use coke for inspiration to sell a believably tarnished 
vision of the world to the children of the crack mother in Compton In this Los 
Angeles an Austrian muscle man becomes kin to the Kennedys, and a movie 
mogui who kills with dead eyes- 

And look; there is always a TV in the houses of East LA And it's always on. 
m the suburbs wc use TV lo watch the niavhein of the irner city But on the TV 
111 the inner city they watch us The bejeweled pimp in his gold BMW parndies 



50 




In South Central L.A.. members 
of the Insane Juvenile Queens 
hang out in front of their high 
school after class. Made up of 
twelve- to seventeen-year-old 
girls, they say they are misun- 
derstood by their parents and 
other adults. But, they add, 
">iVe are not a gang — we don't 
do gangster things. We are a 
family We take care of each 
other" Their male counterparts 
are the Insane Juvenile Kings. 



the Bc\erl\ Hills matron on 
Rodeo Drive The baby with the 
gun in his chubby fisi is spiritual 
heir to John Wayne and his femi- 
nist cowgirl wife .'Vnnic Oakley, 
and to the country that was set- 
tled with guns in the cowboy 
movies, and in truth 

The political left used to speak 
of "community" when Americans 
were more interested in the sepa- 
ration of the rich from the poor. 
But latch the left has gotten involved with the sclt-actualization 
movement, a most American movement tor being so centered 
on the individual. Now the talk is all about m\ right to do my 
own thing with my own bod\ and its nobods's business if 1 do. 
The right responds with a nostalgic creak about "family values.' 
as though ihis country was ever a place of family values, and not 
it counlrv where healthy families prepared their children lO 
leave home 

\Vc arc people who believe in the first-person singular pro- 
noun — which IS our strength. Bui our weakness is iliai wc don't 
comprehend out lives in common, the ways we create i>ne 
aiiolhei m the American ciiv .As .American^ we have aK\'j\s 
feiiretl ilu" cii\". uiili Hiii k ue lia\e alwax's \K;inicd lo cst.ijx' 



Thus do we look at the faces of Easi L..A we consign the chil- 
dren to some remote kingdom of THEM 

Thirty years ago. 1 grew up listening to the black Protestant 
hymns of the civil rights movement In the l'?60s. black .Ameri- 
ca was perceived b\' most .Americans as the moral authorir\' of 
this nation. Today we are to believe that the inner city is so 
bereft of moral life that children must be taken out of town — 
taken where^ To moral Walnut Creek' Moral Evanston' 

Even black intellectuals and smart filmmakers propose that 
what IS needed is to get the children out of the city It is a 
romantic notion that has survived into our century Transport 
street children, get them away from concrete and broken glass 
and piss smell, expose them to a ledcmptive green world 
This notion credits to trees powers that we used to assign to 
the soul. And it assumes that what is needed to heal the chil- 
dren of East L .A IS something leafy rather than the human 
touch 

We do not bclic c in souls Wc hclicvc in pecs and abs \Sc do 
not believe in the city Wc believe m nightmares and monsters. 
Pinally. these photographs do not embarrass us. though thcv 
should Looking at these faces, wc never guess wh\- we use the 
music of violence to build up our skinny arms ~ 

Ricliard Rodiitiic;, an ct^Koi ai Piicific iVcu.^ Scivitc. is ihc 
iiutlim (if Davs o( Ohli,cation ,An .Aigumciit with Mv Mexican 
laihcr (\'il;inc f:.iiil;v 1992) 



51 




interview 
with 

joycelyn 
elders 

t»y 

ken 
kelley 



Surgeon General Jo>-celyn Eldcrs"s cru- 
W-rr*i sade to promote health education and 

• ^^ awareness encompasses the "epidem- 
ic," as she calls it, of gun violence. 
^* Frank and opinionated, she told us 

what Americans need to do — now. 

Q: The National Centers for Disease Control and Pre- 
vention recently said that gun-related deaths and injuries 
make gun violeiKe one of the major public-health hazards 
in the country Do you agree? 

A: Yes, I da Homicide, often involving guns, is a disease 
that is the leading cause of death for young black men, and 
the second-leading cause of death for all people aged 5f- 
teen to twenty-lbuc That mofees it the leading health issue, 
particularly when guns are used in combination with 
drugs and alcohol. And the statistics show that is most 
often the case. Guns kill more teenagiers than the other big 
killers— hean disease, cancer, and AIDS— combined. 
Q: What does that tell you about America? 



A: That tells me, first of all, 
that guns are far too accessible and too 
readily available. There are over 200 million 
guns in our society— rand thats just the leg^l ones, the 
ones we know about. Every ten seconds, another gun is 
produced. And every fourteen minutes, some person in 
America dies from gun-inflicted action. 

Q: Your two predecessors, Doctors Koop and Novello, 
had good intentions as surgeons general. In Koops case, he 
was shunned by Reagan, who didn't want to acknowledge 
AIDS. And one always felt that Novello's heart was in the 
right place but that she never had George BusUs ear How 
do you intend to use your position? 

A: I've pretty much always used my positions as a bully 
pulpit. What that means is strongly advocating for the 
things I feel are really important Gun violence, to me, is 
the highest-priority public-health issue, and I have to make 
sure Congress is aware of it, the American people are 
aware of it, the president is aware of it, and that we all 



SURGEON GEKERAL'S WARNING 
i^Buns are hazardous to your health. 



rHOTO IV HAD HMUUGA 



52 



life with 



out guns 



Ix-gin uigcllu-i to develop policies lo cMcinim.ue the disease — 
ilic c/'iilcMiic leally — of fiiiii violence 

One of my favorite sa)'ings is, "When you're dancing wuh a 
bear, you can'i gel lircd and sil down You wan uiiiil ihc bear 
gcis tired, then you su down " Now I want )'ou lo know that this 
old dancer is gciting real tired, and I'm ready to recruit some 
new partners to dance with the bear so we can eliminate the 
horrors created by gun violence. 

Q Have you often spoken to the presideni about the gun- 
related health crisis? He's mentioned ii in several speeches when 
promoiing his health-care package 

A: The president came into office pretty well educated about a 
lot of these issues. Don't forget, I'd had five-and-a-half years to 
work on him (Imiglis). 

kj A recent National Rifle Association president said, "All 
guns arc good guns There are no bad guns The whole nation 
should be an armed nation " How do you handle thatl' 
A That's a vcrv irresponsible position. I don't 
know how anybody can say that who looks at 
what's happening to our young people and 
what's happening to our country all because of 
guns. The NR.A is putting themselves in a 
position where people will no longer trust 
them. They've been trusted tn the past, but 
now their credibilnv is on the line. 

Who is the NR.A an\-\vay? They arc usualK 
middle-income people who onh- think of them 
selves, who want to have no government, rea' 
except self-rule by themselves I think that little 
cracks are starting to emerge in the NR.^ armor 

When President Clinton presented his health-care bill, he 
proposed a scvcnty-hve-cenis-per-pack ta.x increase on ciga- 
rettes to help pav for the plan. Is it too much to equate the dan- 
gers of cigarettes and the dangers of guns by putting a hefty ta,\ 
on handguns and bullets, as Senator Mo\-nihan has proposed? 

A 1 absoluleh' would support that I thmk we should have a 
very very hea\y tax on handguns and on bullets 
:.^ .'\re you going to tell the president that' 
A. 1 thmk he's already heard that 
Q .Are you going to push him on it further' 
A: Well, we re going to work on that 
Q I'll take that as a yes, yes? 

A Understand that 1 can't get out ahead of the president Now, 
sou have to realize that. 

(J Along the same hnes, one of your predecessors. Luther 
Terry pushed Congress to enact the first health warnings on 
cigarette packaging, wording that has gotten stronger m the 
years since How about the same thing tor guns? Something 
like, "Warning: keeping a gun in your home makes you three 
times more likely to become a homicide victim.' which is true 

A: 1 know it is. Certainly we have to find some kind of warn- 
ing to put on guns tor sale .And thals not too far-fetched But 
what 1 rcallv want to do is take the guns our of the hands of 
irresponsible people 

i' You want to make it harder to possess guns' 
A Oh. absolutelv I want to make it as hard as possible I sup- 
port a total ban on handgun ownership for anyone under eigh- 
teen. Uzis should be absolutely banned from entering this coun- 
try Automatic weapons of any kind should not be for sale in 
.America Por thai matter, toy U:is should not be available for 
kids, either There would be a minimum seven-day waning peri- 




od between applying lor a gun perniii and ubi.umng a gun 
Q Whal's the rush' Why iioi a nionlli' 
A: I'm being generous. We can always look at lengthening il 
later Nobody with a criminal record would ever be allowed to 
buy a gun All assault weapons would be banned, compleiely 
And everybody who still possesses a gun license would recei\'e 
mandatory education and training by professionals on how to 
handle a gun. After all, I can't drive my car until 1 pass a test 
proving I know how lo handle a car Gun ov^Tiers would have to 
be evaluated by how they scored on their wTitien and firing tests, 
and have to pass ihe tests in order to own a gun. .And 1 would, as 
1 say tax the guns, bullets, and the license itself very heavily 
Q What can you, as surgeon general, do to help' 
A. What 1 can do is to go out and talk about the problems and 
solutions, make people aware of the scope of the problems, get 
them to become advocates for a turnaround, and convince them 
to develop an action plan, targeted to their community to 
deal with voung people |They need to] find out what 
the kids want to do — dances, midnighl-baskelball 
leagues 

We can begin to address the issue of guns by 
teaching our young people how to deal with 
situations in nonviolent ways. Someone said to 
me the other day, "What our adolescents need 
IS not so much health care, but healthy car- 
ing," and I agree. Parents and churches need to 
provide that Curricula in our schools (need to) 
provide that 

(.,> Isnt that putting an awfully big burden on 
already shaky school svstems' 
A; If 1 had an\-place else to put it. I would 1 feel that we can't 
educate children who are not healthy and we cant keep them 
healthy if they're not educated There has to be a marriage 
between health and education Y'ou can't learn if vour mind is 
full of unhealthy images from dailv life and contusion aboui 
right and wrong 

Q As a longtime advocate of early sex education and condom 
use for teenagers to reduce unwanted pregnancies, what do \'ou 
believe is the relationship between unwanted children and gun- 
related violence? 

A: We know that there are several predisposing factors to gun 
violence poverrx; lack of education, lack of good parenting, lack 
of jobs, living in an environment where \iolence is seen every 
day all the time And children being born to children are likeK 
to have all of these predisposing factors 

Q Did you ever think that your job would lake \ou from deal- 
ing with onl\' Arkansass problems to those of the enure nation' 

A: No Ten years ago. I had done everything that Joycelyn 
Elders ever thought she would do and wanted to do 1 was a doc- 
tor, I was a professor. Id been president of all the important aca- 
demic clubs (But now] my biggest challenge is to educate the 
American people, to make access to health care available for all, 
and to make sure thai prevention plays a big part in health care. 
In the case of guns, prevention means we prevent homicides 
and devastating, expensive gun injuries by preventing those 
who shouldn't have guns from getting their hands on guns, I We 
musti deal with all of the contributing factors to gun violence as 
a whole, because us like a leaky bucket — it you'x'c got a bucket 
with six holes shot through it land] vou plug up five, you've still 
got a leaky bucket n 

Ken Kcllc)' IS a frcrluiur ui itri (iii nul\imal ni(ij;ariiif.^ 



o 



53 



WHAT YOU CAN DO 



I 



Every public issue reaches a critical pc)ini. 
For gun conU'ol, dial momeni is now; 

lor jn\ puliliL-hcjlili t.ain|i.i:^ii ui sut«,fid. intii\'idiuilb musi gi-l invoKvd So uso ihc 
enclosed stamps on voiir biiMiicss null and personal correspondence- \\n[\- a letter in 
lavor of bannnig Itandguiis and assarili rilles lo the U'liitc House or your con;;ressperson or 
Mtiaiors. But doiit slop there. Write. f<'r example, to votir newspapers ciiine reporters, ask- 
ing them to include tn iheir stories the make, manufacturer, and seller otain nun used in a 
^rime or uninicmional injury V> • ■ . to your insurance companies, asking iheiii lo lew a 
surcharge on gun owners, who are far more likely to require catastrophic health care than 
aie those who dont own guns. Find out who h,is a federal firearms license in your coiiiiiiu- 
nity (it's not just the local gun shop), publicize their names, and aiuc about them to your 
local zoning board or lowi politicians If your stale is preempted — the National Rillc ,\sso- 
ctalion has lobbied to take away the right for cities and towns to pass stricter giin-coniriil 
laws than the slate has — ;. to \'our governor and state re;iresentaiives to regain ihat 
right. If sour state is one of the few that isn't preempted, work to keep it that wav 

Or write to the organizations below: foes, to demand they stop opposing common- 
iense gun restrictions: friends. tt> let them know you appreciate their work: and official 
groups, 10 urge them lo support positioning gun violence as a public-health issue 



FOES 

National Rifle Association 
1600 Rhod« Ittand Avpnur NW 
Washington. DC 20016 
Attn: Wayne LiPierre. ]r . 
«Ke£unve vice president 

National Association of FcoEHAkLT 

Licensed Fircani-is Dealers 

14SS e. Sunrise Boulevard. Suite 916 

=ort Lauderdale, f L 13304 

Ittn: Andrew Molthan, prriident 

National Shooting Si'oris 

Foundation 

Flintlock Rtdge Office Center 

N Mile Hill Road 

Newtown, CT 06470-23S? 

Attn: Robert T Delfay. president 

CiTiiENS' Committee »or the RtCHT 

TO KCEf AND Beai 

600 Pennsylvania Avenue SE. tt20S 

Washington. DC 20003 

i'^n: John Snyder, director 

ri«EARMS Coali 

Bo« 6537. Silver Spnng. MD 1090* 

Attn: Neal Knox 

Cum Owners of 

America 

aOOl Forbes Place 

Springfield. VA 13IS 

Attn, Larry Pratt. 

executive directoi 



FRIENDS 

Violence Policy Center 
I 300 N Street NW 
WaihingTon, DC 2000S 
Attn: Josh Sugarmann, 
executive director 

Handgun Control. Inc 

I22S Eye Street NW 

Suite 1100 

V/ashington, DC 20005 

Attn: Richard Aborn. president 

Attn Sarah Brady, chair 

Coalition to Stoo Gun VtOLENC 
100 Maryland Avenue NE 
Waihington. DC 20002-S62S 
Attn; Michael K. Beard, 
executive director 



officials 

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, 

AND Firearms 

650 Massachusetts Avenue NW. 

Room 8190 

Washington, DC 20226 

Attn: Public Affairs 

Health and Human Services 
200 Independence Avenue. 61 5-F 
Washington. DC 20201 
Attn: Secretary Donna Shalala 

The Centers eor Disease Control 

National Center (or Injury 

Prevention/Control 

4770 Buford Highway NE. MS-F36 

Atlanta. CA 10341-3724 

Attn: Mary Ann Fentey, public 

information officer 




WHAT NOT TO DO 

If wc want to mount a viable cam- 
paign to regulate firearms in America 
and CO ban handguns and assault rifles, 
we cannot ignore the lessons of pn-vi 
ous public-health campaigns: 

• Don't polarize the debate. We need 
to distinguish between those guns that 
inflict the most damage on society — 
handguns and assault weapons — and 
those that do little harm, such as 
hunting rifles. We must convince 
responsible hunters and sport shoot- 
ers of the need for strict regulation. 

■ Don't rely exclusively on statistics. 
The number of Americans killed by 
guns is about 37.000 a year That num- 
ber is tragic. But cigarettes, for eaam- 
ple, kill about 400,000 people a year. 
Since many Americans aren't directly 
affected by gun violence, attempts to 
engage them by hyping statistics will 
likely fail. Politicians are leery of ques- 
tions of morality, responsibility, and 
quality of life — but those are the real 
issues underlying this debate. If our 
leaders won't raise them, we should 

• Don't paper over complexities for 
the sake of political correctness. 
Specifically. >ve must acknowledge our 
differences: messages that reach white 
suburban yuppies won't have much 
relevance for black teenage males in 
Harlem. It's an issue that makes liber- 
als squirm, but to ignore these differ- 
ences is to base public policy on intel- 
lectual dishonesty. 

• Don't rely on the federal government 
to solve the entire problem. Public- 
health campaigns are most successful 
when they start from the ground up 

Like the antismoking campaign, 
this struggle will be won with 
victories effected by 
average citizens. Federal 
regulating individ- 
ual behavior won't 
work without a pop- 
ular consensus 
supporting them 



54 

Senator SiMON. Ms. Edelman, you mentioned that one of the 
things we ought to do is to get those guns out of homes, but there 
is fear out there and as a result of fear a lot of people are buying 
those guns. What do you say to a parent who wants to protect that 
child? 

Ms. Edelman. Well, it is a hard issue because, you know, there 
is a lot of fear and there is a lot of reason to fear, but I think that 
we have just got to get a community conversation going, which is 
why we want to begin to have parents think, because many parents 
who have bought guns, or are thinking about guns, are doing so be- 
cause they think that that is the best thing for their children. 

So we have got to give them the facts to say, as much as you are 
bringing this gun into your house in order to defend your children 
against outside intruders, the greater likelihood is that that gun is 
going to be used against someone that you know or in an accident 
or in a suicide by a family member. So we have got to start that 
conversation and have parents begin to think. 

Second, I think that parents would agree that guns in the hands 
of children is not something that we want to see go on in this soci- 
ety. As we look at polls, I think more and more people are begin- 
ning to understand that guns endanger rather than protect. So I 
think we have got to get a real community conversation going and 
have us deal with this hard issue. Once they know the facts that 
you are 43 times more likely to have a gun in your home used 
against a family member or an acquaintance or be used for suicide 
or accident, I think they will begin to say that we have got to find 
another way and that guns are not the solution; they are part of 
the problem. 

Senator SiMON. To simply say you are going to hide a gun — I can 
remember hiding Christmas gifts and our children discovering the 
Christmas gifts. Kids are very ingenious and they are going to be 
finding guns if they are hidden in a home or if you try to keep 
them out of the hands of children. 

Ms. Edelman. Absolutely. Again, the data speaks for itself, but, 
you know, there are 7,257 accidental killings from guns in homes, 
and when I looked at suicides I was really quite amazed. Children 
are terribly creative and imaginative, and all of us know how they 
have ransacked every nook and cranny of our house. So, again, we 
have just got to sort of say guns should not be kept in houses and 
get parents to begin to think about other ways of protecting their 
kids. 

Senator SiMON. Dr. Wright, in the next panel we are going to 
have a physician from California who is a member of a group called 
Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership who is opposed to any gun 
control laws. Do you think you represent the majority of physicians 
or is his position representing the majority of physicians? 

Dr. Wright. Well, certainly those of us who are advocates for 
child health and are consciously in the forefront for children's 
health would stand behind the position that the academy has pre- 
sented with regard to reducing the accessibility and availability of 
firearms to children. I would just echo what Ms. Edelman has al- 
ready said that there is sound, well-done research particularly by 
Dr. Kellerman, whom you will hear from later, and his colleagues 



t 

II 



55 

to back up and support all the data and the facts that we have tes- 
tified to before you this morning. 

Senator Simon. Did the American Academy of Pediatrics — was 
this a close vote? I don't know how you make your decisions. Was 
this a controversial matter or was this something you arrived at 
easily? 

Dr. Wright. No, I don't think it was a terribly controversial mat- 
ter. I think that for those of us in the academy, again, we simply 
stand by "do what is best for the children." That is our bottom line 
motto, so that this legislation is, in our view, something that will 
reduce the accessibility and availability of firearms to kids and it 
is the right thing to do. 

Senator Simon. Let me ask one question, finally, of both of you 
and then I will yield to my colleague. My mail is probably typical 
of other Members of the Senate and Members of the House. Even 
though my position on gun issues is very clear, as the NRA re- 
minds everyone every time I am up for election, the mail I get is 
still very strongly against any kind of gun control legislation. 

It is fine for you, Dr. Wright, and you, Ms. Edelman, to be here 
and testify, but, real candidly, we are not getting letters from the 
pediatricians, from the supporters of the Children's Defense Fund, 
saying we ought to have some kind of control over this proliferation 
of weapons. 

You mentioned. Dr. Wright, the polling numbers. The public as 
a whole clearly supports getting a hold of this thing, but the public 
as a whole is not letting their feelings be known, as our friends in 
the NRA are, to Members of the Senate and the House. 

How do we generate some response that can make a difference? 
We are sometimes too responsive to that mail here in the U.S. Sen- 
ate. Do either one of you want to tackle that? 

Ms. Edelman. Well, I will be glad to tackle it. This is a new 
issue for us, but I will tell you that I think that if we are going 
to have the kind of stringent gun control measures that we need 
in this country, we are going to have to build a mass movement 
that demands it, and women and mothers and parents have to be 
a key part of that. 

You know, we need the equivalent of Mothers Against Drunk 
Driving in the gun area, and we are out exploring now with a 
range of community groups — and there are many groups around 
the country of parents who have lost kids, who are struggling in 
an isolated way, and so the issue is whether we can pull them to- 
gether into a movement that will give you the kind of support that 
you need. We are going to be doing everything we can to do that. 

Second, I think if we get out there and begin to educate the pub- 
lic about the dangers of guns and about the specific ways in which 
we can tackle them, that will change, and we are doing two things 
that will begin to be implemented shortly. We have been testing a 
child watch program to really make people see and feel violence in 
the way in which the pediatrician does in seeing these children 
every day. 

We have just field-tested in the District of Columbia and in St. 
Louis taking community leaders, civic leaders, business leaders, 
media leaders — and I would welcome to have the Congress go out 
on one here in Washington; take them out and let them be briefed 



56 

by the coroner about the number of children who are coming, and 
let them go over to the rehabilitation center and see the children 
sitting in wheel chairs who have been shot; let them hear the par- 
ents talk about what it means to lose a child. So we are trying to 
begin to personalize gun violence so that people can begin to under- 
stand that there is a war going on and that their children are the 
chief victims and that we must do something about it. 

The third thing we are planning is a way of beginning to try to 
build a mass pubHc education base and get a strong conversation 
going about the toll of violence. This October, we are trying to get 
the religious community to become the moral locomotive, rather 
than the moral caboose, on violence in American society, and begin 
to look at the extent of violence in their communities, in the fami- 
lies, in their congregations; to look at guns and children; to really 
say what does your faith demand when you have 1.3 million Ameri- 
cans who have died violently over the last 25 years. 

So over the next months. Senator, I do hope that we can play a 
key role, along with many other groups, and we are trying to begin 
to work in coalition with other groups to get a community con- 
versation going, to get us working very strongly and coherently to 
provide a countervoice to those who try to sell violence in the form 
of guns or in the guise of entertainment, so that you will begin to 
have the kind of support that you need. I think that the American 
people do want gun control, and we will try to begin to translate 
that into active support. 

Senator SiMON. Great. 

Dr. Wright? 

Dr. Wright. I would just like to add that as health professions 
and all professions, we also need to educate ourselves. There is a 
groundswell of support, but there is still a lot of education that 
needs to happen amongst the people who are in a position to speak 
passionately and be advocates. 

I was impressed at the American Association of Public Health 
meetings in San Francisco last October at the proliferation of basic 
research activities going on in this area and just the sheer number 
of people that have become passionately interested and have begun 
to undertake projects in their workplaces and the places where 
they live. As Ms. Edelman has said, we need to interweave the ex- 
pertise and the talent of all these people who are working in their 
communities and in their hospitals to bring together a massive 
campaign that will bring forth a powerful voice to Congress. 

Senator Simon. If I may be a little more specific, what we need — 
and we appreciate your presence here, but what we need is not a 
resolution by the American Academy of Pediatrics. 

Ms. Edelman. You need mail and calls. 

Senator Simon. We need phone calls. We need letters from the 
pediatricians to the members. 

Senator Brown? 

Senator BROWN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. You know, as we 
talk about the tragic deaths from use of firearms, and I suspect 
other means as well, it is sobering. One can contemplate all the 
lives that are lost that might still be alive if we had done some- 
thing differently. 



57 

Ms. Edelman, let me take you back to something you talked 
about. If this law goes into effect, it would be illegal to purchase 
a gun, and to possess it would be a Federal crime, in effect. Should 
young people, under 21, who we think of as juveniles, be arrested 
and tried in Federal court as adults? 

Ms. Edelman. Well, as I indicated in my testimony, while I cer- 
tainly want to make sure that adults who are peddling and manu- 
facturing and selling guns should be curbed and we should deal 
with them very stringently, I do have difficulty in trying to make 
it a Federal crime for young people who are status offenders. The 
Federal courts, as you know, will be overwhelmed, so we have 
asked that one look at that gain in terms of possession by juve- 
niles. 

I think that clearly there should remain discretion, as I gather 
the changed provisions of the crime bill would allow, for judges to 
deal with young people who are repeat offenders to turn children 
over to adult systems. But I think at this time we are opposed to 
having possession by young people be a Federal crime. 

Senator Brown. If possession is dropped, or at least not an issue, 
should young people who violate the law be tried in Federal courts 
as adults? 

Ms. Edelman. We think that children should be rehabilitated 
wherever possible. We, on the other hand, understand that there 
may well be instances where young people have done something 
that is so egregious or may well be beyond rehabilitation, and that 
judges should have the discretion to determine when they are going 
to bind those children over to adult courts. 

There is currently a study that the Federal Government has com- 
missioned to look at the impact of waivers of juveniles to adult 
courts, though I am deeply disturbed about the tendency to use 
waivers for younger and younger children, particularly when we 
have not put into place adequate prevention methods. So, again, I 
think that we should wait and see what we have learned from the 
experience of waivers of young people over to adult courts before 
we decide that we are going to mandate this in a uniform way. 

Senator Brown. What about sentencing juveniles to Federal pris- 
on? Is that something you would feel that judges should have dis- 
cretion about as well? 

Ms. Edelman. You know, justice should be individual, particu- 
larly when it comes to children. We have imprisoned more and 
more people over the last years and are spending billions of dollars 
on that, and yet it does not seem to have had a major impact on 
youth crime. So I think that I always want to put my focus on pre- 
vention and want to look very carefully before one creates new Fed- 
eral crimes for what have been status offenders in the past. I 
would again like to use that as a basis of discretion with the judge 
when there are particularly egregious problems with young people. 

Senator BROWN. Thank you. Dr. Wright, if indeed it is niade ille- 
gal for young people to buy or possess weapons, as this bill would 
do, would you anticipate that young people would no longer buy or 
possess firearms? 

Dr. Wright. No; in an absolute sense, I don't beheve that it 
would, but certainly this is one means of a deterrent for access is 
what the academy supports and what I would hope to see in my 



58 

work environment. As I talk to youngsters, youngsters are often 
very introspective and reflective immediately following a traumatic 
incident, and many times in the course of treatment in our emer- 
gency department I have the opportunity to talk to kids and find 
out how they get their weapons or what the access is like. I do be- 
lieve that any measure that would deter the access by any means 
would help from my perspective, and certainly that is the view that 
the academy supports as well. 

Senator Brown. Do you have a feel for how much this would re- 
duce juvenile possession of firearms — I mean, would it cut the 
number of weapons in half? What do you expect out of this law if 
it goes on the books? 

Dr. Wright. Well, quantitatively we have no knowledge as to 
how many weapons are currently coming from what sources on the 
street as it occurs today, but one thing that I would like to advo- 
cate in trying to get that information is, again, talking to young- 
sters, finding out what the sources are. It has to be a comprehen- 
sive effort, this bill being just part of that comprehensive effort in 
trying to get at the sources of weapons. 

I don't believe that this is certainly the be-all and end-all, but 
it is part of a comprehensive efi'ort that includes grassroots re- 
search, just getting down and talking to the kids, finding out what 
the access is and where they are getting the guns from. 

Senator Brown. You see, we are dealing with young people who 
commit crimes with weapons. Presumably, that is already illegal. 
What we are now doing is saying it is also illegal for them to pos- 
sess the weapon and to purchase the weapon. 

The question really is if it is already illegal to do what they have 
done, will making it twice illegal have a big change in their behav- 
ior? I don't know the answer to that. My guess is it may relate to 
how well you enforce this law. As you say, maybe it is a tool, but 
I guess a question that comes to me is, is there something else we 
ought to be looking at, not simply making a second crime for these 
young people. 

Senator Simon, I think, is interested in and has worked in an 
area where I have sponsored a bill. The idea is to change our tax 
laws so that there is some encouragement for teams and other 
businesses to swap for weapons; not purchase weapons from young 
people, but swap. We are thinking about basketball tickets and 
baseball tickets, and maybe there are other things that can be do- 
nated, but changing the tax laws so that we encourage juveniles to 
give up their firearms voluntarily. At least to me, there is a real 
question as to how much good making it twice illegal will do. 

Dr. Wright. If I can just take a step back to reiterate the impor- 
tance of the public health model. That is a very critical piece to the 
whole success of this bill in combination with other efforts. We 
have to be able to document and employ control measures to see 
exactly what it is that we are doing. 

I agree that at this point I don't know what the quantitative ef- 
fect would be, but certainly as part of a comprehensive effort, one 
that we have to monitor and measure, it is really important that 
it be included in a large public health effort, not just viewed in 
terms of one bill that may have some measurable effect, but in 



59 

terms of a comprehensive effort involving many professionals from 
many disciplines. 

Ms. Edelman. Senator Brown, we are in the middle of doing 
focus groups with young people, asking them a whole lot of ques- 
tions about what might make a difference. In light of your ques- 
tions — we have not already completed the ones in Minnesota — we 
will add this, or at least begin to try to get their reactions on what 
would make a difference. We just finished focus groups last week 
in the District of Columbia with young people, but I will try to see 
if it isn't too late to add this. We will be trying constantly to see 
what will make a difference and what might deter you or not deter 
you, and we will share whatever information that may be useful on 
this issue. 

Senator Brown. I would appreciate it. I particularly appreciated 
your comments with regard to looking for positive activities for our 
young people. I do share that view, and I can well see why Senator 
Simon has other jobs for you in mind. We both have a very positive 
view of your contribution here. 

Ms. Edelman. Thank you. 

Senator Simon. We thank you both. Let me just comment be- 
cause Ms. Edelman mentioned the question of mandatory mini- 
mums. I have discussed with Senator Biden holding a hearing on 
that subject. We tend to think we really are tough on crime with 
mandatory minimums. We now have 510 people per 100,000 in our 
prisons. South Africa is second with 311. Venezuela has 137; Can- 
ada, 109. As we have incarcerated more and more people, our crime 
rate has gone up and not down, and I think we really have to look 
at substantial answers, not answers that have great public appeal, 
necessarily. 

Ms. Edelman. I agree. 

Senator Simon. We appreciate both of you for your testimony and 
you leadership. 

Ms. Edelman. Thank you for your leadership. 

Senator Simon. Our final panel is Dr. Arthur Kellerman, director 
of the Center for Injury Control, Emory University School of Public 
Health and Medicine; Dr. Stephen Teret, head of the Division of 
Public Health, Department of Health Policy and Management, 
Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health; Richard 
Aborn, president of the Center to Prevent Handgun Violence; Dr. 
Tim Wheeler from Fontana, CA, who is with a group called Doctors 
for Responsible Gun Ownership; Dr. Edgar Suter, also from Cali- 
fornia; and Suzanna Gratia, if we can get one more chair there. We 
will just add one additional chair to the panel. 

We may have to take a 10-minute recess for a roll call over on 
the floor. Why don't we do it right now before we get the panel 
started? We apologize. We will be back with you in 10 minutes. 

[Recess.] 

Senator Simon. The hearing will be resumed. We will observe the 
5-minute rule, if we may, and we will enter your testimony in the 
record if it is longer than that. We will start with you, Dr. 
Kellerman. 



60 

PANEL CONSISTING OF ARTHUR L. KELLERMAN, DIRECTOR, 
CENTER FOR INJURY CONTROL, EMORY UNIVERSITY 
SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH, ATLANTA, GA; STEPHEN B. 
TERET, PROFESSOR OF HEALTH POLICY, JOHNS HOPKINS 
SCHOOL OF HYGIENE AND PUBLIC HEALTH, BALTIMORE, 
MD; RICHARD ABORN, PRESIDENT, CENTER TO PREVENT 
HANDGUN VIOLENCE AND HANDGUN CONTROL, INC., WASH- 
INGTON, DC; TIMOTHY WHEELER, CHAIR, DOCTORS FOR RE- 
SPONSIBLE GUN OWNERSHIP, FONTANA, CA; EDGAR A. 
SUTER, NATIONAL CHAIR, DOCTORS FOR INTEGRITY IN RE- 
SEARCH AND PUBLIC POLICY, SAN RAMON, CA; AND 
SUZANNA GRATIA, COPPERAS COVE, TX 

STATEMENT OF DR. ARTHUR L. KELLERMAN 

Dr. KELLERMAN. Senator Simon, between 1991 and 1993 I rep- 
resented the fields of emergency medicine and public health as a 
member of the National Research Council's Panel on the Under- 
standing and Control of Violent Behavior. In the course of our 
work, the panel reviewed the complex array of social, behavioral, 
developmental, and environmental factors that contribute to vio- 
lence. 

Our view of the role of firearms in interpersonal violence was 
summarized in the following statement: 

Available research does not demonstrate that that greater gun availability is 
linked to greater numbers of violent events or injuries. However, what is clear is 
that gun-inflicted injuries have more lethal consequences than injxuies inflicted by 
other weapons. This suggests that making guns less available in high-risk situations 
might remice the number of homicides. Educational, technological and regulatory 
strategies can be advised with the objective of changing how handguns are used and 
stored, changing their allocation from higher-risk to lower-risk segments of the pop- 
ulation, reducing their lethality, or reducing their numbers. For any of these policies 
to reduce homicides, two conditions must be met. The policv must reduce violent 
uses of at least some types of guns and they must not be replaced with more lethal 
weapons. 

The Gun Violence Prevention Act of 1994 could go a long way to- 
ward addressing the panel's recommendations. However, I am cer- 
tain that this legislation will be fiercely opposed by those who be- 
lieve that unrestricted ownership of handguns is part of the solu- 
tion to violent crime rather than part of the problem. 

Gun manufacturers have an economic interest in selling all the 
weapons they can and they have made self-protection the comer- 
stone of their marketing strategy for handguns. It has been effec- 
tive. Handgun owners are far more likely than owners of rifles or 
shotguns to cite self-protection as their single most important rea- 
son for keeping a gun in the home. However, interest in handguns 
for self-protection is not limited to law-abiding adults. 

Sheley and Wright recently surveyed a selected sample of more 
than 800 violent juvenile offenders and a comparison group of 758 
inner-city high school students. When they asked members of both 
groups who have carried a gun why they acquired their last fire- 
arm, protection was identified more often than any other reason. 
Unfortunately, the gun that is kept loaded and readily available for 
protection can also be reached by a curious child, an angry spouse, 
or a depressed teenager. 

Consider the following facts: The chief medical examiner of King 
County, WA, and I studied all gunshot deaths that occurred in that 



61 

county over a 6-year period. More than half occurred in the home 
where the gun involved was kept. Nine cases involved the killing 
of an intruder or an assailant in self-defense. During this same 
time period, guns in the home were involved in 12 unintentional 
gunshot deaths, 41 criminal homicides, and 333 firearm suicides. 

Bobbie Lee examined all gunshot injuries, nonfatal as well as 
fatal, that occurred in homes in Galveston, TX, over a 3-year period 
of time. Only two firearm injuries were related to residential rob- 
bery or burglary. In one case, the resident was shot and killed by 
the burglar. In the other, a burglar was wounded by a homeowner. 
During this same time period, guns were involved in the death or 
injury of more than 100 homeowners, family members, friends, or 
acquaintances. 

An analysis of 12 years of FBI homicide statistics for the entire 
United States revealed that women were shot and killed by their 
husbands or an intimate acquaintance twice as often as women 
were killed by strangers using guns, knives, or any other weapon. 
When a woman killed with a gun, the victim was five times more 
likely to be her husband, an intimate acquaintance, or a member 
of her family than to be a stranger or a person of undetermined 
relationship. 

A CDC study of family violence in Atlanta, GA, revealed that 
family and intimate assaults that involve guns are 12 times more 
likely to end in the death of the victim than assaults that do not 
involve guns. Finally, colleagues at three major universities and I 
recently teamed up with local law enforcement agencies to conduct 
two large-scale case control studies to determine whether keeping 
a gun in the home increases or decreases a family's risk of violence. 
All suicides and all homicides that took place in the home of the 
victim were studied, regardless of the method. 

We found that several behavioral risk factors are linked to an in- 
creased risk of violent death in the home. However, even after tak- 
ing the effect of these risk factors into consideration and matching 
case and control households by victim age, sex, race, and neighbor- 
hood, we found that homes with guns were 4.8 times more likely 
to be the scene of a suicide and 2.7 times more likely to be the 
scene of a homicide than comparable homes without guns. 

Senator SiMON. If you could conclude? 

Dr. Kellerman. Many people overestimate the benefits and un- 
derestimate the risks of having a gun in the home. All it takes is 
the occasional anecdote of an armed citizen resisting an intruder 
to send them out to get a gun to keep in their night stand. It is 
the same incentive that has encouraged people to buy tickets in the 
lottery, but the rules of this game are different and the voters and 
citizens in this country, people considering purchase of gun and 
Members of Congress should consider if a lottery in my home State 
of Georgia gave one winner a week the jackpot but picked out four 
families for execution, I don't think they would sell many tickets 
to that lottery. We need to ask ourselves the same question when 
we consider buying a gun for protection. 

[The prepared statement of Dr. Kellerman follows:] 



62 

Prepared Statement of Arthur L. Kellermann, M.D., M.P.H. 

PUBLIC health perspectives on firearm violence 

I am an academic emergency physician and Director of the Emory Center for In- 
jury Control. Between 1991 and 1993, I represented the fields of Emergency Medi- 
cine and Public Health as a member of the National Research Council's Panel on 
the Understanding and Control of Violent Behavior. In the course of our work, the 
panel reviewed the complex array of social, behavioral, developmental and environ- 
mental factors that contribute to violence.^ Our view of the role of firearms in inter- 
personal violence was summarized in the following statement: 

Available research does not demonstrate that greater gun availability is 
linked to greater numbers of violent events or iniuries. However, what is 
clear is that gun-inflicted injuries have more lethal consequences than inju- 
ries inflicted oy other weapons. This suggests that making guns less avail- 
able in high risk situations (e.g., in the hands of unsupervised juveniles and 
others barred from legal gun markets, in homes with histories of family vio- 
lence, in "fighting bars") might reduce the number of homicides. 

Educational, technolo^cal and regulatory strategies can be devised with 
the objectives of changing how handguns are used and stored, changing 
their allocation from higher-risk to lower-risk segments of the population, 
reducing their lethality, or reducing their numbers. For any of these poUcies 
to reduce homicides, two conditions must be met: the policy must reduce 
violent uses of at least some types of guns and they must not be replaced 
with more lethal weapons. 
Understanding and Preventing Violence, page 18. 

The Gun Violence Prevention Act of 1994 could go a long way toward addressing 
the panel's recommendations. However, I am certain that this legislation will be 
fiercely opposed by those who believe that unrestricted ownership of handguns is 
part of the solution to violent crime rather than part of the problem. Gun manufac- 
turers have an economic interest in selling all the weapons they can, and they have 
made "self-protection" the cornerstone of their marketing strategy for handguns. 

Handgun owners are far more likely than owners of nfles or snotguns to cite "self 
protection" as their single most important reason for keeping a gun in the home. 
However, interest in guns for protection is not limited to law-abiding adults. Sheley 
and Wright recently surveyed more than 800 violent juvenile offenders and a com- 

Earison group of 758 inner city high school students. When they asked members of 
oth groups who had carried a gun why they acquired their last weapon, "protec- 
tion" was identified more often than any other reason. ^ 

Unfortunately, the gun that is kept loaded and readily available for protection can 
also be reached by a curious child, an angry spouse or a depressed teenager. Con- 
sider the following facts: 

• The Chief Medical Examiner of King County WA and I identified all of the gun- 
shot deaths that occurred in that county over a six year period. More than half 
occurred in the home where the gun involved was kept. Nine cases involved the 
killing of an intruder or an assaSant in self defense. During this same time pe- 
riod, guns in the home were involved in 12 unintentional gunshot deaths, 41 
criminal homicides and 333 firearm suicides.^ 

• Bobbie Lee of the University of Texas examined all gunshot injuries (nonfatal 
as well as fatal) that occurred in homes in Galveston, Texas, over a three year 
period of time. During this time frame, only two firearm injuries were related 
to residential robbery or burglary. In one case, the resident was shot and kiUed 
by the burglar. In the other, a burglar was wounded by a homeowner. During 
this same time period, guns were involved in the death or injury of more than 
100 homeowners, family members, friends and acquaintances.'' 

• An analysis of 12 years of FBI homicide statistics for the entire United States 
revealed that women were shot and killed by their husband or intimate ac- 



1 Panel on the Understanding and Control of Violent Behavior. Reiss A, Roth J eds. Under- 
standing and Preventing Violence. Washington, D.C., National Academy Press, 1993. 

2 Sheley JF, Wright JD. Gun acquisition and possession in selected Juvenile samples. Research 
in Brief Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, National Institute of Justice, 
U.S. Department of Justice. December, 1993. pp. 1-11. 

3 Kellermann AL, Reay DT. Protection or Peril? An analysis of firearm related deaths in the 
home. N Engl J Med. 1986;314:1557-60. 

■'Lee RK, Waxweiler RJ, Dobbins JG, Paschetag T. Incidence rates of firearm injuries in Gal- 
veston, Texas, 1979-1981. Am J Epidemiol 1991;134:511-521. 



63 

quaintance twice as often as women were killed by strangers using guns, knives 
or any other means. When a woman killed with a gun, the victim was five times 
more likely to be her husband, an intimate acquaintance of a member of her 
family than to be a stranger or a person of undetermined relationship.^ 

• A CDC study of family violence in Atlanta, Georgia, revealed that family and 
intimate assaults that involve guns are 12 times more likely to end in the death 
of the victim than assaiilts that do not involve guns.^ 

• Colleagues at three major Universities and I teamed up with local law enforce- 
ment agencies to conduct two large scale, population based, case-control studies 
to determine whether keeping a gun in the home increases or decreases a fami- 
ly's risk of violent death. This is the same research technique that was used 
to explore the relationship between cigarette smoking and lung cancer. All sui- 
cides and all homicides that took place in the home of the victim were studied, 
regardless of the method used. We found that several behavioral risk factors are 
Unked to an increased risk of violent death in the home. However, even after 
taking these factors into consideration and matching case and control house- 
holds by victim aye, sex, race, and neighborhood, we found that homes with 
guns were 4.8 times more likely to be the scene of a suicide, and 2.7 times more 
likely to be the scene of a homicide than comparable homes without guns.'''^ 

Unfortunately, many people overestimate the benefits and underestimate the 
risks associated with keeping a gun in the home. The fact that an armed citizen 
occasionally stops a crime is all the encouragement many people need to keep a 
loaded pistol in their night stand. It's the same logic that sells millions of lottery 
tickets each week. Unfortunately, the rules of this game are different. If my state 
lottery gave one winner a week the jackpot but randomly selected three people for 
execution, I don't think the/d sell many tickets. 

Violence in America is a complex problem. There are no simple solutions. While 
we work to identify and incarcerate predatory criminals and address the conditions 
that promote violence, we must also take additional steps to limit the devastating 
impact of handguns and assault weapons. We can improve public safety without 
compromising the interests of legitimate sportsmen. We can't afford to do less. 

BIOSKETCH 

Arthur Kellermann, M.D., M.P.H., is Director of the Center for Injury Control, 
Emory University School of Public Heailth, and an Associate Professor of Emergency 
Medicine in the Department of Surgery at the Emory University School of Medicine. 
Dr. Kellermann was bom and raised in South Pittsburg, a small town in East Ten- 
nessee. He attended his hometown schools, then obtained a B.S. degree from Rhodes 
College in Memphis. After obtaining his M.D. degree from Emory University, Dr. 
Kellermann moved to Seattle, where he completed residency training in Internal 
Medicine and earned an M.P.H. degree fi-om the University of Washington School 
of Public Health. In 1983, Dr. Kellermann initiated his first study of the epidemiol- 
ogy of firearm related deaths with the support of the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical 
Scholars Program. 

In 1985, Dr. Kellermann accepted an appointment as Chief of the Division of 
Emergency Medicine at the University of Tennessee, Memphis. He also served as 
Medical Director of the Emergency Department of the Regional Medical Center at 
Memphis and Co-Medical Director of the Memphis Fire Department Emergency 
Medical Services Bureau. Between 1991 and 1993 he represented the fields of Medi- 
cine and Public Health on the National Research Council Panel on the Understand- 
ing and Control of Violent Behavior. In September of 1993, he moved to Atlanta to 
establish the Emory Center for Injury Control. 

Dr. Kellermann is a member of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine, the 
American College of Emergency Physicians, the American Public Health Association 
and the American Trauma Society. He is board certified in the specialties of Emer- 
gency Medicine and Internal Medicine. 



^ Kellermann AL, Mercy JA. Men, women, and murder: gender-specific differences in rates of 
fatal violence and victimization. J Trauma. 1992;33:1-5. 

^Saltzman LE, Mercy JA, O'Carroll P, Rosenberg M, Rhodes P. Weapon involvement and in- 
jury outcomes in family and intimate assaults. JAMA. 1992;267:3043-3047. 

■^ Kellermann AL, Rivara FP, Somes G, Beay DT, et al. Suicide in the home in relation to gun 
ownership. N Engl J Med. 1992;327:467-472. 

8 Kellermann AL, Rivara FP, Rushforth N, et al. Gun ownership as a risk factor for homicide 
in the home. N Engl J Med. 1993;329:1084-91. 



64 

Senator SiMON. Thank you. 
Dr. Teret? 

STATEMENT OF STEPHEN B. TERET 

Mr. Teret. Senator Simon, much of what I had intended to say 
has already been said very eloquently by those who have testified 
before me, so with your permission, I would like to depart from my 
written testimony and be quite brief. 

Senator SiMON. Your written testimony will be entered in the 
record and we will be happy to have your oral testimony. 

Mr. Teret. Thank you very much, Senator Simon. You men- 
tioned earlier that we deal with statistics, especially those of us 
who live in the world of public health, but you mentioned that the 
statistics really are based upon real stories, and I would like to un- 
derscore that in the area of statistics regarding firearm injuries, 
those statistics all tell a story. The building blocks of those statis- 
tics are bullet-torn bodies of individuals. 

Unfortunately, I am personally familiar with one of those stories 
that involved a 22-month-old baby named David, the baby of some 
friends of mine. Both the mother and father of this child worked 
during the day, so they sought day care for him in the home of an 
individual. That woman who kept David, as was her custom, took 
him up to her bedroom one day at noon time for his nap in a crib 
that she kept in the bedroom for that purpose. 

When she left the bedroom. Senator, her 4-year-old son entered 
the bedroom, went to the night table, opening the drawer and took 
out the loaded handgun that was kept there under the mistaken 
premise that it would confer protection on the people in the house- 
hold. The 4-year-old walked over to the crib where 22-month-old 
Davis was, raised the gun, pulled the trigger and put a bullet 
through David's head. That is a statistics that I can find in the 
U.S. statistics records, but the statistic doesn't tell us anything 
about the obscenity of that kind of tragedy, the tragedy that ex- 
isted not only for David and his family, but for the boy who pulled 
the trigger and his family. 

What we have to look at is why are those tragedies happening 
over and over again and, more importantly, how can they be pre- 
vented, and I would like to offer a suggestion to the subcommittee 
about prevention of those tragedies, which is that we could redirect 
our attention away from the person who is pulling the trigger and 
direct it toward the person who is making the trigger. 

For decades, we paid little to no attention at gun manufacturers. 
The corporations that manufacture guns have been able to manu- 
facture as many guns as they like, to design them in any way that 
they want, and to market them in any way that they want because 
we as a society have failed people like David. We have failed to reg- 
ulate the manufacturers, and instead we have misrelied on our in- 
ability to regulate the person who is holding the gun once millions 
of guns come into the hands of individuals. 

We could do a number of things by regulating the manufacturers. 
Number one is we could prevent certain types of guns from being 
made, such as the bill that is before this subcommittee, S. 1882, 
does with regard to Saturday specials and assault weapons. 



65 

Second, is we can regulate the design of the guns, as this bill 
also does. For many years, guns were made by a gun manufacturer 
that were child-proof and they were advertised as child-proof. The 
gun manufacturer made these guns from the late 1880's to the late 
1930's and then stopped making those guns child-proof. The guns 
that that manufacturer makes now, which it sells particularly to 
women, don't have that child-proof quality to them. Why don't 
they? Because nobody makes the manufacturer do anything about 
the design of guns. 

Last, what we could do is we could regulate the way manufactur- 
ers market guns. I have brought an ad that appeared in the Ladies 
Home Journal a couple of summers ago from Colt Firearms, and 
you will see, Senator, that it shows a mother tucking her child into 
bed at night and it says that self-protection is more than her right, 
it is her responsibility. The finer print of the ad that you might not 
be able to see from where you are. Senator, tells that mother that 
she could fulfill that responsibility for self-protection by the acqui- 
sition of a Colt semiautomatic weapon. That is deceptive advertis- 
ing. 

In my mind, if you take the data that Dr. Kellerman has already 
testified about that he and his colleagues and other scientific re- 
searchers have developed that shows that, on balance, a gun is 
more perilous than protective in a home, it makes that ad decep- 
tive. If that ad were not for a gun, if it were for a medication, for 
instance, the ad would be withdrawn immediately and punitive 
measures would be taken against the manufacturer. But, again, for 
reasons that are difficult to understand, we have given a carte 
blanche to gun manufacturers and failed to regulate them. 

We can stop our failure of responsibility to people like David, to 
hundreds and thousands of other people, to 38,000 people who are 
killed by guns each year now, by turning our policy attention away 
from that person who is pulling the trigger and directing it toward 
he who is making the trigger and be far more effective. 

Thank you. Senator. 

[The prepared statement of Mr. Teret follows:] 

Prepared Statement of Stephen P. Teret 

My name is Stephen Teret and I am Professor of Health Policy at the Johns Hop- 
kins School of Hygiene and Public Health. I hold joint faculty appointments in the 
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Departments of Pediatrics and Emergency Medi- 
cine, and I am Adjunct Professor of Health Law at the Georgetown University Law 
Center. For the past fifteen years, my work has been in the prevention of injuries, 
with particular emphasis on the prevention of firearm-related injuries. From 1988 
until 1994 1 served as the Director of the Johns Hopkins Injury Prevention Center. 
I have published niunerous articles in scientific and health policy journals on the 
prevention of firearm injuries. 

I am here today to testify regarding America's epidemic of gun violence, and to 
discuss the policy options that are available to our society for reducing the number 
of gun-related deaths. I applaud the Subcommittee for its innovative approach and 
willingness to look at guns as dangerous products that must be regulated, just as 
we regulate other products that are hazardous to our health. 

Our country's policy on guns has, to date, focused largely on individuals and their 
use of guns. When a gun comes into the hands of an individual, we proscribe certain 
actions he or she may take with the gun. But our ability to govern those actions 
has proven ineffectual. Given our inability to control the use of guns, and given the 
escalating death toll that now exists due to that inability, we must now turn to reg- 
ulating guns rather than the behaviors of those possessing guns. Controlling the ve- 
hicles and vectors that deliver injury and disease has a long tradition in the science 



66 

of public health. We controlled mosquitoes to reduce the incidence of malaria; we 
must control guns to reduce the incidence of gunshot wounds, which are the number 
one cause of death for some groups within our population. 

A focus on the sale of handguns is warranted. Our present laws permit handguns 
to be sold legally to persons who ought not to be in the possession of instruments 
of such lethality. Individuals convicted of violent misdemeanors (many of whom may 
have been offered the plea bargain of a misdemeanor, after having been charged 
with a felony, only because of courtroom overcrowding or a prosecutor's high case 
load), can legally purchase a handgun in most states. Persons against whom an 
order of protection has been issued, because a court was convinced that the possibil- 
ity of domestic violence was present, can legally purchase handguns. And handguns 
often are possessed by children because our laws do not specifically prohibit such 

gossession. Some people, because of their age or their history of violence, should be 
arred from possessing any gun. Our present law treats this issue inadequately. 

Possession of certain guns should be banned for everyone, because of their high 
propensity for use in mayhem. When bills banning the manufacture, sale, and pos- 
session of certain guns have been introduced in Congress or in state legislatures, 
a cry arises that tne particular weapon has a sporting or recreational use. Argu- 
ments then ensue about the validity of that assertion, and the extent to which the 
gun is used for sport. The tacit assumption of those arguments is that one would 
not want to interfere with the interests of sportsmen. But if the gun is also used 
for murder, why should not our commitment and duty to preserve life override the 
interests of the sportsmen? 

For decades, the debate over guns has focused on the users of guns, and has inad- 
equately examined the manufacturers of guns. Regulating he who makes the trigger 
is as important as trying to regulate he who pulls the trigger. Regulating the manu- 
facturer will be more effective than trying to regulate the millions of people into 
whose hands the manufacturer is now placing guns. But we have failed to exercise 
this regulatory opportunity and responsibility to protect the public's health. At 
present, gun manufacturers Eire given great freedom to decide now many guns to 
make, how to design those guns, and how to market the guns. 

But decisions made by gun manufacturers, based largely on corporate profit- 
ability, are in essence health policy decisions for others. Death by gunfire accounts 
for more teenage deaths than all natural diseases combined, and gun manufactur- 
ers' decisions are therefore trulv life and death decisions for our children. Why are 
these decisions basically ignored, by the federal government? 

In the field of environmental health, scientists speak of the need to regulate point 
source pollution — the smokestack belching filth into the atmosphere, or the sewer- 
age pipe discharging raw sewage into a stream. Millions of handguns each year are 
discharged into the stream of commerce, and the point sources for this pollution are 
the loamng platforms of gun factories. But little attention is focused on the corpora- 
tions and individuals who operate these factories and create these lethal instru- 
ments. The production of handguns must be governed. 

Handguns can be made so that they are cnildproof, but manufacturers have cho- 
sen not to do so. Unfortunately, this is true even for handguns that are now being 
marketed to women, where there is a likelihood that the handgun will be in the 
same home as a child. The manufacturers are not protecting children by the use 
of existing technology because they do not have to — handguns and their manufactur- 
ers are not regulated. 

Handguns can be made so that they are "personalized," i.e., they can be operated 
only by the authorized possessor. This can be accomplished through the use of low 
technology (e.g., a combination lock on the handgun) or high technology, such as a 
ring worn by the owner that must be touched to the handgun in order for the hand- 
gun to shoot. If handguns were so equipped, they would be inoperable by the young 
child who finds the gun, the depressed teenager who is contemplating suicide, or 
the thief who has taken the handgun in a residential burglary. This lifesaving tech- 
nology is not employed by handgun makers because they do not have to — handguns 
and their manufacturers are not regulated. 

Presently, handgun manufacturers advertise their products with the promise that 
a handgun in the home will provide protection. The best scientific data contradict 
this assertion, but no cheirges of deceptive advertising have been brought against 
the manufacturers. Their marketing sometimes pictures children shooting nand- 
guns, and this too is unregulated. 

Our failure to address the manufacture, design, and marketing of guns has led 
to a proliferation of handguns and an epidemic of gun deaths. Many of these deaths 
are preventable. Reasonaole regulation of the manufacture, design, and marketing 
of handguns, such as that contained in legislation to be considered by this Sub- 
committee, will successfully address this public health crisis. 



67 

Senator SiMON. Thank you. 
Mr. Aborn? 

STATEMENT OF RICHARD ABORN 

Mr. Aborn. Senator, I will try and stay within my allotted 5 
minutes. As the president of the Center to Prevent Handgun Vio- 
lence and the president of Handgun Control, I want to thank you 
for this opportunity to address one of our greatest and most tragic 
public health and safety problems, gun violence. 

Imagine, if you will, a childhood disease that every day takes the 
lives of 13 American children between the ages of 10 and 19. I say 
imagine because there is no such single childhood disease that 
takes that kind of toll, but imagine that there were such a disease 
and imagine that the cure for such a disease did not involve any 
new medical technology, did not require extensive laboratory test- 
ing and, in fact, did not depend on any kind of medical break- 
through whatsoever. Would we take action against this deadly epi- 
demic? Absolutely, of course, we would, and we would do it with 
dispatch because we are a society that cares about our children. 

The disease that I have just described to you does, in fact, exist. 
Gun violence, as you have heard repeatedly this morning, is not a 
disease in a technical sense, but it is surely an epidemic. It kills 
a total of 15 children a day, and while there is no single cure, we 
can and we must take action against this deadly horror. One in 
four deaths in young people between the ages of 15 and 19 and 20 
and 24 years of age occur because of gunfire, more than any other 
cause. 

We at the Center to Prevent Handgun Violence are, in fact, tak- 
ing action. In cooperation with the American Academy of Pediat- 
rics, from whom you heard earlier this morning, and Dr. C. Everett 
Koop, we are working with health professionals to alert parents to 
the dangers posed to children by keeping a gun in the home. 

In eight major cities, we are working with parents and teachers 
in a school-based curriculum that adopts traditional conflict resolu- 
tion techniques and applies them to gun violence and incorporates 
them into a curriculum called Straight Talk About Risks. It warns 
children about the dangers of guns, while also teaching them these 
vital conflict avoidance skills. 

But education alone is not enough. We must also keep guns out 
of the hands of children. That is why Handgun Control commends 
you for considering this comprehensive gun control legislation, the 
very kind that is before this committee. 

Speak of gun violence today and most Americans think of the ter- 
rible toll wrought by firearm homicides, but as great as that toll 
is, it is surpassed by even the larger number of Americans who lose 
their lives every year due to suicides and accidents with firearms. 
In 1990, 16,507 Americans died from firearm homicides, while 
20,301 Americans died as a result of suicides or accidents from fire- 
arms. It is not enough, therefore, in reducing gun violence to keep 
guns out of the hands of the criminals. We must also keep guns 
out of the hands of those whose youthfulness and immaturity make 
them more prone to gun accidents and suicides. 

The Center to Prevent Handgun Violence has been a leader for 
many years now in the fight against gun accidents and suicides. 



68 

and that fight begins at home. Gun-owning parents who have 
young children in the home have a responsibility to make sure that 
their children do not gain access to the family gun. 

Six years ago, a member of our board by the name of Judy Soto, 
who was a pediatric social worker, drove her 10-year-old son to 
school. That afternoon after school let out, her son went out with 
his best friend to another playmate's house. While there, they 
found three loaded guns. What happened happens very often across 
this country. One of the guns was accidentally fired, kiUing Judy 
Soto's 10-year-old child. 

Judy did not throw her hands up in grief and say there was 
nothing that we can do. She, in fact, turned her grief into construc- 
tive action and passed a law, the first ever, that requires parents 
to keep guns away from their kids. That law was passed in Florida 
and, in fact, the incidence of kids being shot now accidentally in 
Florida is on the decline. Florida was just the beginning of that. 
Ten other States have now joined Florida in passing such child ac- 
cident prevention laws and a number of other States are now ac- 
tively considering such laws. 

But adults too are at risk, and you have heard repeatedly about 
that. Rhode Island has passed a mandatory handgun safety law. 
California has just passed one, also, which takes effect on April 1st. 
We urge the Congress to mandate such a mandatory safety train- 
ing course nationally. 

You have heard from a previous witness that the Attorney Gen- 
eral has said time and again, and she is correct, that it should be 
at least as hard to get a license to possess a gun as it is to drive 
an automobile. Two months ago, those words took on additional 
meaning when CDC reported that if recent trends in motor vehicle 
crash and firearm mortality were to continue, firearms would dis- 
place motor vehicle crashes as the leading cause of injury death in 
the United States by the mid-1990's. 

Senator Simon. If you could conclude your statement? 

Mr. Aborn. We have advocated, as you know, the mandatory li- 
censing and training of all gunowners. We also seek to send a mes- 
sage to dealers by asking that the Congress pass a law which 
would give citizens who are injured as a result of the negligence 
of gun dealers the right to sue those gun dealers in Federal court. 
Such a law would help send a very clear message to dealers that 
they must act in strict compliance with the Gun Control Act of 
1968. We think doing so would be one of a number of very nec- 
essary measures to make sure that dealers comply with the myriad 
of laws they now must face. 

Thank you. 

[The prepared statement of Mr. Aborn follows:] 

Prepared Statement of Richard Aborn on Behalf of Handgun Control, Inc. 

Mr. Chairman, Members of the Subcommittees, as the President of the Center to 
Prevent Handgun Violence and the President of Handgun Control, Inc., I want to 
thank you for this opportunity to address one of our greatest and most tragic public 
health and safety problems: gun violence. ^,oa 

Imagine, if you will, a childhood disease that everyday takes the lives ol Id Amer- 
ican children between the ages of 10 and 19. I say "imagine," because there is no 
single childhood disease that takes that kind of toll. But imagine that there was 
such a disease. And imagine that the cure for such a disease did not involve any 
new medical technology, did not require extensive laboratory testing and, in fact. 



69 

did not depend on any kind of a medical breakthrough whatsoever. Would we take 
action against this deadly epidemic? 

Of course we would. We are a society that cares about our young people. 

The disease that I have just described to you does not exist. Gun violence is not 
a disease, not in any technical sense. But it is an epidemic. It kills a total of 15 
children a day. And while there is no single cure, we can, and we must, take action 
against the gun violence which causes one in every four deaths of young people be- 
tween 15-19 and 20-24 years of age and which is responsible for more deaths than 
all natural causes in those age groups. 

And we, at the Center to Prevent Handgun Violence, are taking action. In co- 
operation with the American Academy of Pediatrics and Dr. C. Everett Koop, we are 
working with health professionals to alert parents to the danger posed to children 
by keeping a gun in the home. In eight major cities, we are working with parents 
and teachers in a school-based curriculvun, entitled "Straight Talk About Risks," 
that warns children about the dangers of guns, while also teaching them vital con- 
flict avoidance skills. 

But education alone is not enough. We must also keep guns out of the hands of 
children. That's why, as President of Handgun Control, Inc., I commend you for con- 
sidering comprehensive gun control legislation of the kind that is presently before 
this Committee. 

Speak of gun violence today and most Americans think of terrible toll wrought 
by firearm homicides. But as great as that toll is, it is surpassed by the even larger 
number of Americans who lose their lives every year due to firearm suicides and 
accidents. In 1990, 16,507 Americans died from firearm homicides while 20,301 
Americans died as the result of firearm suicides or accidents. 

It is not enough, therefore, in reducing gun violence to keep guns out of the hands 
of criminals. We must keep guns out of the hands of those whose youthfulness and 
immaturity make them more prone to gun accidents and suicides. 

The Center to Prevent Handgun Violence has been a leader for many years now 
in the fight against gun accidents and suicides. And that fight begins at home. Gun- 
owning parents, who have young children in the home, have a responsibility to 
make sure that their children do not gain access to the family gun. 

Six years ago, Judy Soto, a pediatric social worker in Hollywood, Florida, drove 
her 10-year old son, Omar, to school and kissed him goodbye. It was the last time 
you would ever see her son alive. That afternoon after school let out, her son went 
out with his best friend to another playmate's home, where there were three loaded 
guns in the house. What happened minutes later is all too common. One of the guns 
was accidentally fired, killing Judy Soto's ten year old child. 

Fortunately for us, Judy channeled her grief into constructive action. The next 
year, she helped lead the fight in Florida for a law that requires parents with young 
children under the age of 16 to lock up their guns. Following the enactment of that 
first-ever child accident prevention law in 1989, thousands of parents in Florida 
have locked up their guns. And, as a result, the number of children dying from acci- 
dental shootings in Florida has dropped substantially in recent years. And Florida 
was just the beginning. Ten other states have now joined Florida in passing child 
accident prevention laws and a number of other states are actively considering such 
laws. 

But it is not just children who are accidentally shot with firearms. Adults, too, 
are at risk. That's why we need to do a much better job of teaching all gun owners 
about the fundamentals of gun safety. For more than a decade, Rhode Island has 
had a law requiring handgun purchasers, as a condition of receiving a license to buy 
a handgun, to pass a six-hour firearms safety course. California passed a similar 
gun safety law that takes effect on April 1. 

Attorney General Janet Reno has sadd time and time again that "It should be at 
least as hard to get a license to possess a gun as it is drive an automobile." Two 
months ago, those words took on added meaning, when the Centers for Disease Con- 
trol and Prevention reported that, "If * * * recent trends in motor vehicle crash and 
firearm mortality were to continue, firearms would displace motor vehicle crashes 
as the leading cause of injury death in the United States by the mid-1990's." 

The licensing and training of gun owners is a good beginning, but it is not a com- 
plete answer. Just as we have required automotive manufacturers to improve the 
safety of cars, so too should we require gun manufacturers to improve tne safety 
of guns. 

Many children and adults beUeve that the removal of a magazine from a pistol 
removes all bullets from a gun and that's a mistake. And all too deadly mistake. 
A bullet remains in the chamber, a bullet that can just as effectively kill an individ- 
ual as a fully loaded pistol. Surely American gun manufacturers are capable of de- 
signing pistols that are incapable of firing a single bullet once the magazine has 



70 

been removed. And I have to believe that American gun manufacturers are capable 
of making sure that every gun produced in this country has a reliable load indicator. 

I commend this Subcommittee for considering comprehensive legislation. Gun vio- 
lence is a major public health and safety problem. And the fight against gun vio- 
lence requires a national plan of action, one that addresses gun accidents and sui- 
cides, as well as, homicides. 

I deeply appreciate the time and attention that this Subcommittee is giving to 
this issue and I welcome any questions you might have. 

Senator SiMON. Dr. Wheeler? 

STATEMENT OF DR. TIMOTHY WHEELER 

Dr. Wheeler. Senator Simon, my name is Dr. Tim Wheeler, and 
I thank you for the opportunity present my views to the sub- 
committee today. 

I specialize in the field of medicine known as otolaryngology and 
head and neck surgery in Fontana, CA, and I am also the president 
of Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership, which is a physician- 
based grass-roots organization that we formed for the purpose of 
assuring balance and credible research in the debate on firearms 
ownership as a public health issue. 

Our organization's mandate is not an easy one to accomplish be- 
cause, frankly, there is a lot of bias and a lot of emotion surround- 
ing the debate in the medical community about firearms violence. 
The view of firearm violence that we see mostly in the medical lit- 
erature today is pretty simple, and that is that guns are by their 
very nature a fundamental part or cause of violence and that citi- 
zens' access to them should therefore be strictly limited, or even 
forbidden. 

The proponents of that view have held out the complex issue of 
firearms as a pubUc health problem, an infectious disease. This 
metaphor calls for eradicating guns to end gun violence much the 
same as one would eradicate the virus that causes smallpox. Now, 
this approach involves chopping off the legal issues surrounding 
gun ownership and chopping off the idea of a right of firearm own- 
ership for self-defense and leaves only the remains of the issue, 
which fit into a medical model. 

This has played well with doctors who abhor guns, to begin with, 
but advocates of guns for citizens' self-defense don't get very far 
with these medical researchers who often tend to lump them along 
with criminals. The hard data which support lawful gun ownership 
are ignored by these doctors, often with the stated justification that 
the data are not peer-reviewed by physicians. 

An example: The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics has reported 
injury rates in several categories of robbery and assault victims. 
They categorize these victims according to the manner in which 
they resisted. These researchers from the U.S. Government found 
out that those victims who used a gun to resist these violent at- 
tacks suffered injuries only in 17 percent of the cases. Other meth- 
ods of resisting resulted in injuries in as much as 51 percent of the 
cases. , 

In other research. Dr. Gary Kleck down at Florida State Univer- 
sity has shown that as many as 800,000 to 2.4 million times a year 
Americans use firearms for defense. At the University of Massa- 
chusetts, two professors of sociology, Drs. Wright and Rossi, sur- 
veyed a group of imprisoned felons on their views on the armed po- 



71 

tential victim. Most of these prisoners demonstrated and indicated 
in their answers that they were very respectful of the armed poten- 
tial victim. In fact, 57 percent of them agreed with this statement, 
that most criminals are more worried about meeting an armed citi- 
zen than they are about running into the police. 

My question is this: Why have we not seen these studies ac- 
knowledged in the medical literature on guns and violence? Why 
have these researchers ignored vital data which show the life-pre- 
serving and injury-preventing benefits of guns? 

Another example from the Centers for Disease Control and Pre- 
vention came from Dr. Mark Rosenberg, who actually suggested in 
an interview that the possibility of manufacturing a gun trigger 
with sensors that recognize and respond to only one hand, the hand 
of the user, would be a good idea for controlling gun violence. He 
suggested implanting the owner's hand with a chip. Now, it is hard 
for me to understand how a public health official could suggest that 
any American would submit to this kind of intrusion. 

In the State of California, we have tried elements of Senate bill 
1882. We have enacted into law an assault weapon ban, we have 
enacted into law a 15-day wait on firearm purchases, and we have 
an elaborate and arcane system of restrictions on the sale of guns. 
None of these laws have ever been shown to reduce firearm vio- 
lence in California. 

This year, we have a different approach in California. We are 
learning. We passed a law called three strikes and you are out. 
This is directed at felons and not at citizens. I would ask the Mem- 
bers of the Senate, Senator Simon, to learn from the mistakes of 
us in California and to pass legislation that would imprison crimi- 
nals but would not disempower decent citizens, and let us give up 
the notion that somehow passing one more gun ban will stop vio- 
lent crime. 

Thank you. 

Senator Simon. Thank you, and we will enter your full statement 

in the record. 

[The prepared statement of Dr. Wheeler follows:] 

Prepared Statement of Timothy Wheeler, M.D., on Behalf of Doctors for 

Responsible Gun Ownership 

Senator Metzenbaum, Senator Hatch and Members of the Committee, my name 
is Timothy Wheeler, MD. I want to thank this Subcommittee and its Members for 
allowing me the opportunity to express my views before you today. 

I speciaUze in the field of medicine known as otolaryngology in Fontana, Califor- 
nia. I am also the Chair of Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership, a physician 
based grassroots organization that was formed for the purpose of assuring balance 
and credible research in the debate on fu-earms ownership as a public health issue. 

Our organization's mandate is not an easy one to accomplish, because, frankly, 
there is a great deal of bias and politicization of the issues surrounding the debate 
within the medical community on private firearms ownership. This lack of objectiv- 
ity that I speak of is reflected in much of the medical Hterature addressing issues 
of firearm violence. 

The contemporary view of firearm violence in the medical literature is a simple 
one: guns are by their very nature a fundamental part of our nation's crime prob- 
lem. Citizens' access to them should therefore be strictly limited, or even forbidden. 

The proponents of that view have held out the complex issue of fuearm crime as 
a public health problem, an infectious disease. The metaphor calls for eradicating 
guns to end gun violence, much the same as one would eradicate the virus that 
causes smallpox. 



72 

This Procrustean approach, chopping off the legal constitutional issues of gun 
ownership and fitting the remains into a medical model, has olayed well with those 
doctors who abhor guns. Advocates of guns for citizen self-defense do not get far 
with these medical researchers, who tend to lump them together with criminals. 

And the hard data supporting lawful gun ownership are ignored by these doctors, 
often with the stated justification that the data are not peer-reviewed by physicians. 

The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics has reported injury rates in several cat- 
egories of robbery and assault victims. Those victims who resisted their attackers 
by unarmed force suffered injuries in fifty-one percent (51 percent) of the cases. 
Forty percent (40 percent) of victims using a knife for defense were injured. Thirty- 
five percent (35 percent) of those who fled or resisted nonviolently were injured, and 
twenty-five percent (25 percent) of the victims who submitted passively to the as- 
sault were still injured. 

But of those victims who used a gun to resist their attackers seventeen percent 
( 17 percent) were injured. Of all the possible ways of dealing with a predatory at- 
tack, resistance with a gun was the best for preventing injury of the victim. 

In other research Dr. Gary Kleck of Florida State University's School of Criminol- 
ogy and Criminal Justice has comprehensively studied armed citizen self-defense. In 
his peer-acclaimed book Point Blank Kleck has shown that Americans use firearms 
to defend themselves 606,000 to 960,000 times in the course of a year. The author's 
subsequent direct survey of a randomly selected, nationwide population sample has 
resulted in a upward revision of those figures to between 800,000 and 2.4 million 
defensive gun uses per year. 

Two professors of sociology at the University of Massachusetts, James Wnght and 
Peter Rossi, surveyed imprisoned felons on their views on the armed potential vic- 
tim. Fifty-six percent (56 percent) of the criminals agreed with the statement "a 
criminal is not going to mess around with a victim he knows is armed with a gun." 
Another item read a smart criminal always tries to find out if his potential victim 
is armed." Eighty-one percent (81 percent) agreed with that. Yet another item read 
"most criminals are more worried about meeting an armed victim than they are 
about running into the police." Fifty-seven percent (57 percent) of the criminals 
agreed with that statement. Thus, experienced predators recognized the risk to 
themselves from the armed citizen. 

But why have we not seen these studies acknowledged in the medical literature 
on guns and violence? Why have these researchers and the editorial staffs who pub- 
lish their work seemingly ignored vital data showing the life-preserving, injury pre- 
venting benefits of guns? 

Perhaps the answer is illuminated by the editor of the New England Journal of 
Medicine in his response to being informed that fewer than 3 percent of gun crimes 
involved the use of "assault weapons." The author stated "I am unmoved by the ar- 
gument that these weapons (automatic and semiautomatic weapons) account for 
only a small fraction of deaths." In supporting a ban on the sale of those firearms 
this leader of academic medicine rejected facts in favor of emotion, science in favor 

of sentiment. /. t-w- r^ 

This bias is certainly reflected, unjustifiably in both the Centers for Disease Con- 
trol's (CDC) research and its policies. Leading the charge is Mark Rosenberg, M.D., 
M P P of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, a division of the 

CDC. 

Dr. Rosenberg and the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control are not 
shy about expressing their negative views on firearms. In a recent issue of Rolling 
Stone, Dr. Rosenberg suggested that to regulate the lethality of guns, technological 
advances may play a role. He cited the, "possibihty of manufacturing a gun trigger 
with sensors that recognize and respond to only one hand. (The owners hand would 
probably have to be implanted with a chip)." 

It's hard for us to conceive of how any public health official can realistically sug- 
gest that any American would permit their privacy interests to be violated to the 
point of having a government micro-chip implanted in their body. 

Certainly, however, this thinking is merely the natural extension of the policy 
that was suggested in the CDC's May 1993 Injury Control in the 1990's: A National 
Plan for Action which states: 

New legislative and regulatory efforts to be considered are to prohibit the 
manufacture, importation, and sale of handguns except in special cir- 
cumstances; establish a national waiting period for all purchases of fire- 
arms, coupled with a mandatory criminal record background check; estab- 
lish nationwide restrictive licensing of handgun owners whereby a handgun 
license would be granted only when a clear, legitimate need for possessing 
a handgun is demonstrated (e.g. for professional use); and enact an excise 



73 

tax on firearms and ammunition at a rate sufficient to cover the public cost 
of firearms injuries. 

The document shows that it was printed by the Association for the Advancement 
of Automotive Medicine (AAAM) as a part of the "conference materials for the Sec- 
ond World Conference on Injury Control." The endorsements page of the document 
at page vi of the report lists among its supporters Handgun Control, Inc. 

When asked about this matter, Health and Human Services' Secretary Donna 
Shalala stated that the report's recommendations are subject to the report's dis- 
claimer that the recommendations "are those of the contributors and do not nec- 
essarily represent the policy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or 
any other federal agency." Perhaps that is true in a technical sense, but then why 
would the U.S. taxpayer pay $100,000 to develop the entire report's recommenda- 
tions, and nearly $749,000 to have the U.S. participants present them at the Second 
World Conference on Injury Prevention and Control? 

To me the answer is clear. Through whatever artifice it takes, anti-gun research- 
ers are motivated more by their feelings about guns than by a real desire for the 
truth. 

Any reasonable assessment of the risks of firearm ownership must include the 
known benefits. And those benefits are measured in terms of the deaths averted and 
injuries avoided by lawful defensive uses of firearms. Limiting responsible gun own- 
ership will not control criminal gun violence. You can be sure that criminals will 
get guns. 

No waiting period and no other laws that severely prohibit felons from ever touch- 
ing a firearm will stop them. Even one of our more noted criminologists. Professor 
James Q. Wilson from UCLA, stated not too long ago that "the Brady bill, which 
I support, may affect the probability that one or two lunatics will get guns and go 
off on a killing spree, but the chances that the Brady bill or any feasible gun control 
measure will really take guns out of the hands of serious criminals, I think, is quite 
farfetched." 

Last summer a felon serving time in a Maryland state prison wrote the Washing- 
ton Post, and said among other things, that the first thing a released violent crimi- 
nal will do "is get a gun," no matter what laws are on the books. If he is right — 
and he ought to know — then measures like Washington's "3 Strikes and You're 
Out," Arizona's law to end parole and early release programs, and doubling prison 
time for violent offenders in Texas make a good deal of sense. These approaches cer- 
tainly make more sense than going down the same failed path of passing more laws 
that only affect the law abiding. 

Do we really want to face the real problems causing violence in our society? Amer- 
ica is asking that question, and so am I. America has had plenty of gun control, 
but very little violence control. It is a lot tougher to deal with the person behind 
the gun than the gun itself Guns are not the root cause of violent behavior. 

If this gun ban passes, or any variant of it, you can be sure that a victory will 
be declared by the bill's supporters in the fight against violent crime, even though 
the bill does not provide one cent to improve state and local law enforcement efforts, 
or really cut crime. The felons at the Maryland State Penitentiary will receive the 
news of the bill's passage from television. When they do, a knowing smile will ap- 
pear on their faces. It will be business as usual. In fact, business will be better than 
usual, because the law abiding citizen will be disarmed. 

I urge you instead to empower America's law abiding citizens, and reject the no- 
tion that gun bans will effectively deal with our nation's public health problems. 

Senator Simon. Dr. Suter? 

STATEMENT OF DR. EDGAR A. SUTER 

Dr. SuTER. Every year, as many as 2.5 million good Americans 
use guns to protect themselves and their families — as many as 75 
lives protected by a gun for every life lost to a gun, as many as 5 
lives protected per minute. The tangible human benefits of guns in 
the hands of good citizens are the lives saved, the injuries pre- 
vented, the medical costs saved, and the property protected. It 
should not be surprising that about 1 percent of America's guns are 
used annually to protect good people, or that guns are the safest 
and most effective means of protection, or that guns' benefits are 
75 times their costs. 



74 

Decades of research published in the criminological, sociological, 
and legal literature and the work of Presidential and National In- 
stitute of Justice commissions have all exposed the false promises 
of gun control. Some professional societies and some of the medical 
literature unfortunately have uncritically embraced politically cor- 
rect fallacies. At least one journal, the New England Journal of 
Medicine, has strayed into politics so far afield of good science that 
it has been disavowed by its own State medical society. 

We have been deceived by catchy ratios, headline-grabbing 
factoids, and outright false statements from medical politicians. 
Today, we heard one witness claim that there were 7,000 uninten- 
tional gun deaths amongst innocent children. That is a 60-fold ex- 
aggeration of the 120 such accidental deaths that occur each year. 

Former Surgeon Koop, the editor of the Journal of the American 
Medical Association, and others have claimed 1 million Americans 
die from guns every year, a 35-fold exaggeration. In another 35-fold 
exaggeration, 3 CDC employees, including Dr. Rosenberg, claim 
that "The odds that potentially suicidal adolescents will kill them- 
selves is 75-fold when a gun is kept in the home." The truth: Since 
that study, no study has shown an increased risk of firearm suicide 
for normal teens. 

The barely measurable increase in risk for mentally ill teens 
from the study quoted by Rosenberg was actually showing one-thir- 
ty-fifth the risk claimed by Rosenberg and bolstered only the non- 
controversial policy of denying guns to the mentally ill, the gross 
exaggerations of Dr. Rosenberg notwithstanding. 

The Journal of the American Medical Association published an 
AMA position paper on military look-alike guns, the buzz word 
named "assault weapons." That position paper was based on a sin- 
gle flawed study of gun traces. Since gun traces are not representa- 
tive and not an accurate sample of crime guns, the Congressional 
Research Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, 
and the FBI have all explained gun trace data cannot be used for 
statistical purposes and therefore cannot be used for developing 
sound public policy. 

In fact, over two dozen studies ignored by the AMA showed that 
these assault weapons represent a barely measurable fraction of 
crime guns. In the worst areas of drugs and violent crime, so-called 
assault weapons represent from zero to 3 percent of crime guns. 
The best current evidence suggests that, overall, these false sym- 
bols of violence represent about one-eighth of 1 percent of American 
crime guns and nothing like the nightmare suggested by the im- 
agery of gun prohibitionists. 

We have heard it touted that owning a gun should be at least 
as tough as owning a car. The proponents of the automobile model 
of gun ownership, however, apply their analogy selectively and in- 
completely. Medicine's prohibitionists ignore that no license or reg- 
istration is needed to own and operate any kind of auto on private 
property. No proof of need is required for automobile registration 
or driver licensure, and once licensed and registered, autos may be 
used anywhere in the United States and State drivers' licenses are 
given full faith and credit by other States. 

Although the toll of auto tragedies is many times that of guns, 
no arsenal permit equivalent is asked of auto collectors or auto 



75 

sports enthusiasts, nor has anyone suggested that automobile man- 
ufacturers be sued when autos are, as they frequently are, misused 
by criminals in drive-by shootings, bank robberies, car bombs, and 
all manner of crime and terrorism. 

Who needs a car capable of three times the national speed limit? 
But cars have good uses, is the usual response, and so too do guns 
have good uses— the protection of 2.5 million good Americans every 

year. 

We have heard the deceptive claim that a gun in the home is 43 
times as likely to kill the homeowner. This is a political effort from 
a researcher with an admitted bias, a disdain of guns, to falsely 
suggest that guns are dangerous when used for self-protection. 
Since only about 1,000 of the protective uses of guns results in the 
death of the predator, any study such as Dr. Kellerman's 43-times 
fallacy that counts the number of criminals killed as the only meas- 
ures of guns' benefits will expectedly underestimate guns' benefits 
1,000-fold. 

No objective researcher would suggest 

Senator SiMON. If you could conclude your remarks? 

Dr. SUTER. No objective researcher would suggest that the num- 
ber of criminals killed by police is an honest measure, much less 
the only measure, of the effectiveness of law enforcement. Yet, this 
is exactly the method used by Dr. Kellerman to fabricate the 43- 
times fallacy. Victim disarmament is not a policy that saves lives. 
I also find it very interesting to note that not one member of the 
committee recognized that since 1968, it has already been illegal by 
Federal law to sell guns to children. 

[The prepared statement of Dr. Suter follows:] 

Prepared Statement of Edgar A. Suter, M.D. 

Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee: My name is Edgar A. Suter, MD. 
I specialize in family practice and aviation medicine in San Ramon, California. I am 
also the National Chair of Doctors for Integrity in Research and PubUc Policy, a doc- 
tors' organization dedicated to bringing balance and integrity to private and public 
research on firearms ownership and use. I appreciate the opportunity to speak to 
you today, as a member of the medical community and as a concerned citizen, about 
a subject matter that has been blurred and distorted by emotionally charged rhet- 
oric and questionable research. 

That subject is, of covirse, private firearms ownership and use. The medical com- 
munity has become increasingly involved in the firearms ownership debate, and 
many of the voices that have been heard within this community have encouraged 
legislators and the pubUc to support strict regulations, and even bans, on firearms 
ownership. These factions of the medical community have proffered supposed evi- 
dence of outrageously high health care costs to society that are attributable to pri- 
vate firearms ownership, and have attempted to discount any of the benefits to law- 
ful firearms ownership by citing biased and methodologically flawed research. They 
would have you believe that the answer to lower health care costs and a safer soci- 
ety is more restrictions and bans on gun ownership. Our national organization of 
medical school professors, researchers, and cUnicians beUeves that exactly the oppo- 
sit© is tru.6. 

Every year as many as 2.4 million good Americans use guns to protect themselves 
and their families, as many as 75 Uves protected by a gun for every life lost to a 
gun, as many as 5 lives protected per minute. The tangible human benefits of guns 
in the hands of good citizens are the lives saved, the injuries prevented, the medical 
costs saved, and the property protected. 

Is it surprising that about 1 percent of America's guns are used annually to pro- 
tect good people? * * * that guns are the safest and most effective means of protec- 
tion? * * * or that guns' benefits are 75 times their costs? 

If these facts are surprising it is because a monolithic wall of censorship around 
certain high-profile journals has kept such data from publication while encouraging 



76 

the publication of fundamentailly flawed science. The peer review process should en- 
sure the publication of competent scientific studies without interference from politi- 
cal censorship. The medical literature on guns and violence has failed on both 
counts — not only has peer review failed to identify biased and sometimes incom- 
petent research from politicized "scientists" who benefit from millions of taxpayers' 
dollars, but medical peer review has censored all data and research unless it sup- 
ports an imagery of the gun as the icon of violence. 

It is medicine's dirty little secret, the real "public health emergency," that there 
is a shocking amount of bias that infects the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the 
Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the New England Journal of 
Medicine (NEJM), and certain other medical journals and professional societies. 
That bias obsciu-es rather than clarifies the interaction between weapons and vio- 
lence in our Nation today. In obscuring that interaction we are sidetracked from im- 
plementing effectual solutions — delayed in healing the wounds of violence. 

Congress is being successfully beguiled by perhaps well-intentioned physicians 
who are, for personal rather than scientific reasons, simply opposed to private fire- 
arms ownership. Their stated objective is to create a culture of intolerance for lawful 
gun ownership in this country. Several have been receiving public funds for years. 
They spend millions of tax-payer dollars with no objective oversight whatsoever to 
ensure the accuracy and utility of their research. By toeing the line of CDC's stated 
political objective — making the private ownership of guns not only illegal, but "so- 
cially unacceptable" — these researchers have ingratiated themselves with their os- 
tensible overseers at the CDC. At the same time, CDC officials spend public money 
attending gun prohibition conferences, such as Dr. Rosenberg's recent appearance 
at the Handgun Epidemic Lowering Plan (HELP) Conference in Chicago October 
16-19, 1993. This conference was described by its organizer as a political meeting 
and not a scientific assembly. 

These purveyors of this "science" ignore the overwhelming evidence of the protec- 
tive benefits of guns while they promote the deadly policies of gun control. Though 
my remarks today address guns and violence — and the 75 lives saved by guns for 
every life lost to a gun — let us not imagine that breast cancer research, AIDS, and 
other controversial topics are untouched by politicized science. 

The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics has shown that guns are the safest and most 
effective means of protection for oneself or ones family. Defense with a gun results 
in fewer injuries to the defender than resisting with less powerful means and in 
fewer injuries than not resisting at all. The fact that guns are the safest and most 
effective means of protection is particularly important to women, children, the elder- 
ly, and the physically challenged — those most vulnerable to vicious predators. 

Decades of research published in the criminological, sociological, and legal lit- 
erature and the work of Presidential and National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Com- 
missions have all exposed the false promises of gun control. Some professional soci- 
eties and some of the medical literature, unfortunately, have uncritically embraced 
these politically correct fallacies. At least one iournal, the New England Journal of 
Medicine, has strayed into politics so far afield of good science that it has been dis- 
avowed by its own state medical society. These are also the same Journ£ds that, be- 
cause of their palpable visceral antipathy towards guns, blind themselves to the 
overwhelming predominance of data demonstrating the good uses of firearms and 
guns' net benefits to society. 

We have been deceived by catchy ratios, headline grabbing "factoids," and outright 
false statements from medical politicians. Former Surgeon General Koop, the editor 
of JAMA, and others have claimed that 1 milUon Americans die annually from 
guns — a 35-fold exaggeration ! 

In another 35-fola exaggeration, three CDC employees, including Dr. Rosenberg, 
claimed that "the odds that potentially suicidal adolescents will kill themselves is 
75-fold when a gun is kept in the home." The truth? Since that study, no study has 
shown an increased risk for firearms suicide for normal teens. The barely measur- 
able increase in suicide risk for mentally ill teens, about iy35th the risk claimed by 
Rosenberg, bolstered the non-controversial policy of denying guns to the mentally 
ill, the gross exaggerations of Dr. Rosenberg and his colleagues notwithstanding. 

The JAMA published an American Medical Association (AMA) position paper on 
military "look alike" guns, the buzzword named "assault weapons." That position 
paper was based on a single flawed study of gun traces. Since gun TRACE data are 
not representative and are not an accurate sample of crime guns, the Congressional 
Research Service (CRS), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF), and 
the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have explained that gun TRACE data 
cannot be used for statistical purposes, and therefore cannot be used for developing 
sound public poUcy. 



77 

In fact, over two dozen studies ignored by the AMA show that these "assault 
weapons" represent a barely measurable fraction of crime guns. In the worst areas 
of drug and violent crime, so-called "assault weapons" represent from zero to 3 per- 
cent of crime guns. Best current evidence suggests that, overall, these false symbols 
of violence represent about one-eighth of 1 percent of American crime guns; nothing 
like the nightmare suggested by the imagery of gun prohibitionists. 

The editor of the NEJM has stated in print that he needs no data because he 
finds these guns abhorrent. He describes all guns' benefits as "intangible" though 
there the 2.5 million good Americans protected by guns annually would disagree 
with him, including the good citizens and shopkeepers who used these "black guns" 
to protect themselves, their families, and their livelihoods from gang and mob vio- 
lence in the Los Angeles Riots, Hurricane Hugo, and Hurricane Ajidrew. As this 
committee has heard today, good citizens use these guns for protection of themselves 
and their children. 

It is this kind of "science' that allows the AMA to cite a single flawed study in 
the face of over two dozen contradicting studies. We are pummeled incessantly by 
flawed studies and sensationalized imagery. Each rare "assault weapon" tragedy is 
newsworthy for months precisely because such incidents are rare. 

As this Committee is well aware, the CDC is charged by Congress with identify- 
ing solutions to violent and accidental deaths and injuries, including those involving 
firearms. Regrettably, as I have stated, the CDC has consistently abused its man- 
date, using public monies to fund research intended from the outset to confirm a 
predetermined opinion, a political agenda, against decades of research demonstrat- 
ing the net benefit of guns in our society and the failure of gun control. This evi- 
denced not only in its research, but also in its communications strategy with the 
public. Let's take for example the anti-gun "spin" the CDC gives promoting a very 
selective application of comparing mostly intentional gun injuries with different 
types of accidental deaths. 

Early this year, the CDC released a study asserting that the 21 percent decline 
in motor vehicle deaths between 1968-1991 was the result of government interven- 
tion in the form of "public information programs, promotion of behavioral change, 
changes in legislation and regulations, and advances in engineering and tech- 
nology," and that firearms-related deaths, which increased 60 percent during the 
same period, could be curtailed with a similar approach. 

The study failed to articulate, however, that virtually all motor vehicle-related 
deaths are accidental, while only a small number of firearms-related deaths are. The 
causes and, therefore, prevention strategies are necessarily different for accidental 
and intentional injuries. The CDC's method is comparable to lumping intraoperative 
deaths, stabbing deaths, and death by hara kirir to contrive some inference about 
knives. If one honestly compares "apples to apples," the CDC's approach to public 
health and safety is left wanting — between 1968-1991 the decline in motor vehicle- 
related deaths fell short, compared to all other major types of accidental death. 
While the motor vehicle-related accidental fatality per capita rate declined 37 per- 
cent between 1968-1991, non-motor vehicle public deaths declined 38 percent, home 
accidents declined 41 percent, work accidents 49 percent, and firearm-related acci- 
dents 50 percent. 

In fact, in the absence of the kind of massive governmental intervention that the 
CDC proposes, annual fatal firearms-related accident rates have declined steadily 
throughout the 20th century. Since the all-time recorded high in 1904, the fatal fire- 
arms accident rate has steadily dropped 85 percent. Since 1930, while the popu- 
lation has doubled and the number of privately owned firearms has quadrupled, the 
annual number of fatal firearms accidents has declined 56 percent. In other words, 
the imagery of "a proliferation of guns on our streets" holds no scientific truth. 

We have heard it touted that owning a gun should be at least as tough as owning 
a car. The proponents of the "automobile model of gun ownership," however, apply 
their analogy selectively and incompletely. Medicine's prohibitionists ignore that no 
license or registration is needed to "own and operate" any kind of auto on vrivate 
property. No proof of "need" is required for automobile registration or drivers' Ucen- 
sure. Once licensed and registered, autos may be used anywhere in the U.S. and 
every state's licenses are given "full faith and credit" by other states. 

Although the toll of auto tragedies is many times that of guns, no "arsenal per- 
mit" equivalent is asked of auto collectors or auto sports enthusiasts. Nor has any- 
one suggested that automobile manufacturers be sued when autos are, as they fre- 
quently are, misused by criminals in drive-by shootings, bank robberies, car bombs, 
and all manner of crime and terrorism. No one has suggested banning autos because 
they might be used illegally or are capable of exceeding the 55 mph speed limit, 
even though we know "speed kills." Who needs a car capable of three times the na- 



78 

tional speed limit? "But cars have good uses" is the usual response. So too do guns 
have good uses, the protection of 2.5 million good Americans every year. 

We have heard the deceptive claim that a gun in the home is "43 times as Ukely 
to kill the homeowner." This is political effort from a researcher with an admitted 
bias, a disdain of guns, to suggest that guns are dangerous when used for self-pro- 
tection. Since only about 1-in-a-thousand (0.1 percent) of the protective uses of guns 
results in the death of the predator, any study — such as Dr. Kellermann's "43 times" 
fallacy — that counts the number of criminals killed as the only measure of guns ben- 
efits will expectedly underestimate guns' benefits a thousand fold. 

No objective researcher would suggest that the number of criminals killed by po- 
lice is an honest measure, much less the only measure of the efi'ectiveness of law 
enforcement, yet this is exactly the method used by Dr. Kellermann to fabricate the 
"43 times" fallacy. If one took note of the 1990 Harvard Medical Practice Study sam- 
ple suggesting that medical negligence kills 150,000 Americans per year indicating 
that doctors' negligence kills five times as many people as guns. One might then 
conclude that doctors, despite extensive training, licensing, and scrutiny are a dead- 
ly public m.enace. Why don't we reach that conclusion? Because, in balance, doctors 
save many more lives than they take. Just as with guns, where 2.5 million lives 
are protected annually, and 75 lives are protected by a gun for every life lost to a 
gun. 

Dr. Kellermann has recently, and expectedly, revised his estimate downwards. His 
"43 times" fallacy has been downgraded to the "2.7 times" fallacy. His method and 
data are still fallacious because they overlook the honest measure of guns' benefits — 
the lives saved, the injuries prevented, the medical costs saved, and the property 
protected. Simply stated, the benefits of guns are 75 times the costs of guns. 

Dr. Kellermann used a method comparable to noting diabetics are more likely to 
have insulin and, from this, concluding that insulin causes diabetes. Dr. Kellermann 
is fond of noting that his method was used to associate lung cancer and smoking, 
but no has one suggested that lung cancer caused smoking. Medicine's prohibition- 
ists ignore that, in the few exceptional circumstances where guns are associated 
with violence, one must consider that, as the preponderance of data shows, that 
rather than guns causing violence, violence causes justifiably frightened people to 
obtain guns. Consider the skyrocketing gun sales after the L.A. riots. The unparal- 
leled rates of gun sales continue even as the mass media begins to admit that claims 
of an "epidemic of violence" are false. 

Is it coincidence that medicine's politicians have exaggerated the human and eco- 
nomic costs of gun violence, looking to tap honest, tax-paying gun owners for a new 
source of revenue, just as inner-city hospitals have been hit with budgetary con- 
straints? The real cost of medical care for gun violence is approximately $1.5 billion 
per year — less than 1 percent of America's $800 billion total health care costs. To 
exaggerate the costs oi gun violence, gun prohibitionists are fond of including esti- 
mates of lost lifetime earnings — assuming that gang bangers and rapists would be 
as socially productive as teachers, factory workers, and other good Americans. 

In fact, it has been estimated that active criminals cost society untold human suf- 
fering and an average of $400,000 per year. It has also been noted that about three- 
fourths of gun death victims are involved with drug trafficking or use. It is therefore 
more realistic to believe that the gun deaths of those predators actuedly represents 
a net savings to society in both human and economic terms. This is nowhere near 
the assorted and false claims of $20, $40, or $80 billion in costs. 

As to the human costs of guns, mass media has made it fashionable to claim an 
"epidemic of violence." Crime is a very serious problem, but analysis of homicide 
data shows a stable to slightly declining trend for every segment of American soci- 
ety except for an outbreak of violence virtually limited to inner-city teens and young 
adults involved in drug trafficking. Federal law already makes teen gun purchases 
illegal and Washington, D.C.'s gun ban goes much further, yet Washington, D.C.'s 
African-American male teens have a homicide rate twenty times the U.S. average. 
If "guns cause violence," why does Virginia, the alleged "easy purchase" source of 
Washington, D.C.'s guns have a murder rate one-third less than the national aver- 
age, and one-ninth of Washington, D.C.'s rate? 

If "guns cause violence," why do groups with higher rates of gun ownership have 
the lower rates of murder? Why did Florida's homicide rate fall 40 percent when 
good citizens were allowed to carry concealed weapons? 

Notwithstanding Handgun Control, Inc.'s (HCI) imagery about "blood running in 
the streets," the observed reality is that crime fell because vicious predators feared 
an encounter with an armed citizen, a fear far greater than the fear of apprehension 
by police or the fear of our timid criminal justice system. It is no mystery why Flor- 
ida's tourists were targeted by predators — the predators knew that tourists, unlike 
Florida's good citizens, were unarmed. HCI makes many proposals "if it saves only 



79 

one life * * * " Since gun ownership and the carriage of concealed weapons by sane, 
law-abiding adults saves many lives, HCI and this committee should support such 
policies, if saving lives is really the interest. 

If gun control works, why do areas with the most severe restrictions have the 
worst violence, and the areas with the most permissive gun policies have the least 
violence? Murder rates are as much as 80 times higher in areas with the most dra- 
conian gun bans. 

Even in the bastions of liberalism the voices of politically incorrect, but scientif- 
ically justified, dissenters are being heard. In the current Atlantic Monthly, law pro- 
fessor Daniel Polsby poses a key question about the false promises of gun control: 
if gun control saves one life but costs many lives, what then? Criminals already 
overlook laws against murder and drug trafficking. Criminals already ignore 20,000 
American gun laws, including national laws. What mystical incantation will cause 
criminals to respect the next gun law? 

As repeated, National Institute of Justice (NIJ) studies have shown, criminals not 
only have ready access to cheap stolen guns — including guns stolen by Washington, 
D.C. police officers then peddled on the black market — without any waiting period, 
background check, licensing, or registration. With criminals' great motivation to ob- 
tain guns for their "line of work," the black market in guns will not wither under 
gun prohibition, it will prosper. 

It is time that the deadly costs of gun control were examined. By making good 
Americans defenseless prey, gun prohibition will hardly create the civiUzed Utopia 
claimed by some Members of Congress and others. If the "true believers" of gun pro- 
hibition wish to remain heedless of data; if they continue to promote gun taxation 
and bans hoping against hope to produce an unproducible gun scarcity in a nation 
with an estimated 200 to 240 million guns, only 0.1 percent of which are misused; 
if they wish to eschew the safest and most effective means of protection for them- 
selves, they are welcome to do so. However, such unwise, unworkable, unconstitu- 
tional, and deadly proposals must not become public poUcy. 

Every item of Senate Bills 1878 and 1882, even to the name "Gun Violence Protec- 
tion Act of 1994," is a crime control sham. A more honest title would be "The Crimi- 
nal Occupational Protection and Victims Persecution Act of 1994." Ban some guns 
because they are too small, some because they are too big, and, as for the ones that 
are "just right," make them too expensive to own by all but the wealthy. By increas- 
ing the monetary and bureaucratic costs of gun ownership, this travesty will dis- 
proportionately disarm good Americans. The Brady law has been in effect not even 
one month. Perhaps the prohibitionists are afraid that, if we give time for the effect 
of the law to be knov^m, the crime control fraud of gun control vAW be revealed more 
clearly than it already is. 

Every person has the inherent right to self-protection and, by inference, the right 
to the safest and most effective means to that protection. By confiscatory levels of 
taxation and regulation, a disproportionate number of good Americans will be left 
defenseless against predators and, as experience has shown in many jurisdictions, 
there will be many good Americans who will not comply. By the stroke of a pen they 
will be transformed into crimineds simply because they needed to protect themselves 
and their children and could not afford the costs you impose upon them. Addition- 
ally, we should not forget that the basis of the Second Amendment is not some theo- 
retical construct. Schindler's List reminded us of the Holocaust and, at the same 
time, reminded us how helpless good people can be when they are disarmed. It re- 
minded us that should government decide to do away with civil liberties, a disarmed 
citizenry is then only one breath away from oppression. 

We call upon Congress to review the competent and honest research and to insti- 
tute oversight to ensure the competence and integrity of future research funded 
with public money. We call upon Congress to censure CDC employees who pursue 
a political agenda on public money. Taxpayers must no longer foot the bill for the 
politicized research conducted by the CDC or some of its extra mural investigators. 

The facts are clear — as many as 75 lives are protected by guns for every life lost 
to a gun. Victim disarmament is not a policy that saves lives, because, in the hands 
of good citizens, guns save lives, prevent injuries, reduce medical costs, and protect 
property. Guns have benefits with which we can LIVE ! ! I 

Senator SiMON. Thank you, Dr. Suter. 
Dr. Gratia? 

STATEMENT OF DR. SUZANNA GRATIA 

Dr. Gratia. Mr. Chairman, I know your heart and everybody else 
in this room, their hearts are in the right place on this. I know that 



80 

most people in here already have an opinion, but if you could for 
the next few minutes, I would just like you to open your mind and 
try to look at this from a new perspective and maybe even consider 
or put your wife or your daughter in my place. 

I didn't grow up in a house with guns. I personally abhor hunt- 
ing. I did grow up in a house where my father was an expert on 
the founding of our country, and knowing what I know it amazes 
me that this is even up for discussion. When I was 21, I was given 
a gun for self-protection by a friend and taken out and trained on 
how to use it, and I carried that gun with me. 

A couple of years ago, my parents and I were in a restaurant in 
Texas, where I am from. We had just finished eating — the place 
was packed — when all of a sudden this guy drives his truck 
through the window. Of course, my first thought is, like everybody 
else, it is an accident. I started to get up to go help, and then we 
heard gunshots. 

Immediately, my father and I got on the floor, my mother down 
behind us. We put the table up in front of us, and the shooting con- 
tinues and you are thinking, robbery? What could it be? The shoot- 
ing continues. It took a good 45 seconds, I would say, for me to fig- 
ure out that this man was simply going to walk around and shoot 
as many people as he possibly could. Now, he was not spraying bul- 
lets. He had complete control over the circumstances. He walked 
from person to person, aimed and pulled the trigger; next person, 
aim, pull the trigger. 

When I figured it out, I thought I got this guy. I reached for my 
purse and then realized that a couple of months earlier I had made 
the stupidest decision of my life. I had taken my gun out of my 
purse and left it in my car 100 yards away, totally useless, because 
I was concerned about losing my license to practice chiropractic. In 
the State of Texas, it is a felony offense to carry concealed any- 
where where wine or beer or any alcohol is served, and I was wor- 
ried about losing my license. 

Making a long story short, my father saw what he thought was 
an opportunity to go at the man, which he did, and the man turned 
and shot my father in the chest and he fell. It made the killer go 
ofi" to my left, and for whatever reason he continued around the 
room beyond me. Someone at the back of the restaurant broke out 
a window and I saw an opportunity to escape. 

I turned around, I grabbed my mother by the shirt collar and I 
said, come on, come on, we got to run, we got to get out of here. 
My feet grew wings and I ran 40 yards as fast as I could out the 
window. When I got outside, I realized that my mother had not fol- 
lowed me out, and a short while later I learned from one of the po- 
lice ofiicers that she had stayed. She had crawled out into the open 
where my father was and cradled him until the gunman got back 
around to her. He pointed his gun at her. She looked up at him, 
put her head down, and he pulled the trigger. 

Both my parents were lost that day. I am not mad at the guy 
that did it because everybody knows you can't legislate against a 
rabid dog. That is a sick animal. You can't be mad at that. What 
I am mad at is my legislators. I am mad at them legislating me 
out of the right and the ability for me to protect myself and my 
family. A gun is not a guarantee. Of course, my gun could have 



81 

jammed. Of course, I might have missed. I can tell you I have hit 
far smaller targets at much greater distances, but it is possible. 
But it would have changed the odds, wouldn't it? 

In conclusion, I want to make it very clear that I would much 
rather be sitting in jail with a felony offense on my head and have 
my parents alive. It is not going to happen to me again. 

That concludes my testimony, but with your permission and if 
there are no objections, I would like to submit for the hearing 
record a stack of articles of people who have successfully defended 
their children with firearms. 

Thank you. 

Senator SiMON. They will be entered in the record. 

[The articles referred to follow:] 



82 



Luluh Lavcry was home wiih her 
J;iu!jhicr jt thtfir Richford. Vt.. home 
when ihcy heard ihe sounds ol J 
UircL-il cni'ry. A.s her daughter phoned 
(xilice. Lavery lo.\ded a shotgun and 
WLiii U) invoMiuute. Finditlii a man 
rcuchinii throu'jh a broken backdoor 
window. L;>vcry ("ircd a sini;lc blaM. 
Tht nv,in llcd. b'ui a wounded suspect 
wjs yukfcly apprehended. {The Mes- 
.vi/icrr. 5(. Albaru, Vt.. lO/l l/VH 



Her family taken hostage by her 
daughiers ex-boyiricnU. Barbara 
Hok of Ktfams. Utah, and her hus- 
band were threatened wuh deaili. 
then forced into the bathroom of their 
home. When the man. armed wuh a 
ritle. went into the kitchen w\ih her 
daughter. Holl slipped mio the bed- 
room and 201 her .22 pistol, 'l was 
hiding in The comer and when he 
came'out of the kitchen. I just pulletJ 
the trigger." Hnli said. Her single 
^hol hit' the man in the head and 
>topp<:d the attack. (T/ir Tnhum-. Salt 
Lake City. Utah. 10/21/91) 



A Salincno. Tcv. woman was 
alone w,ih her two young da-chtcrs 
when a man attcmpied lO gam entry 
to the home during the e:irly nwtinmtf 
hour<u Failmi! to enter the tront dt>.)r. 
the bunilar began to crawl through a 
window when the woman Hred a 
shot-un. nioriaily woundmii him. 
(T/if Vull^\ Mnrmnn 5/ur. Harlinwn. 
Tex. 4/7/^6) 



Napping in her rural Mission. 
Tex., home wiih her two children. 
Vanessa Cooper heard a car pull up. 
and. looldng out the window, saw an 
unfamiliar car in the driveway. Fear- 
ing for the safety of her children. 
Cooper picked up a pistol and went 
to Invcstigaie. She found a man m ihc 
living room, and when he ignored her 
questions on why he was there and 
lunged at her. Cooper fired, killing 
ihe intruder. (The ValUy >Vtormns 
Star. Harlingen. Tc.\.. 3/13/92) 



After their son received several 
death threats, an Evcreo, Wash., cou- 
ple arranged for an armed neighbor 
to be at their hotne when the boy ar- 
rived home from school. When the 
marv— a suspect in several sexual as- 
saults on children— *roke inco the 
home, the neighbor struggled with 
ard shot him. The intruder fled, but 
was later apprehended by police. 
(The Herald. Evcnar; Wash., 12/19/9 1) 



Sweeping the walk in from ot h.s 
Norristown. Pa., re.staorant Long 
Som heard h.s 10-year-old daugh or 
screaming. Som pulled a p..s.o.ror 
which he ha.«< a permit, and r.in to 
where she had been loading boxes in 
ihe car to find a man ir/inu to carry 
her awav. Docidinu Som was serious 
■Ulcr the bus.nessman Mrcd s*;v.;ra 
shois in iho air. Ihc alU.ckor dropped 
,„e g.rl and ran aw;»y. 'J/'''^ '''"'•'■ 
r/f ruV Norri-stown. Pa.. 12/l^/^l) 



Hearing the unmistakable sounds 
of a door being kicked in at his 
Hope Mills. N.C.. home «^'y °".« 
morning. Hal Edwards grabbed his 
£un and went to investigate, bd- 
wards found the intruder in hrs 
sleeping daughier-s bedroom, and^ 
jtter being tired upon, shot the 
c'iminal iwlce in the chest, killing 
him (The (Vfwj J< Ohserver. Ra- 
leigh. N.C., 2/24/93) 



Charlie Mikos of Bensalcm. Pa., 
had just gone to bed when he was 
roused by his daughter's screams 
and die sounds of a struggle. Run- 
ning downsuirs. he found a man 
holding what laier turned out to be a 
stun ^un to her head. Grabbing his 
pistol. Mikos trained it on the man. 
convinced him to ctt^c his assault 
and held him for police. {The Bucks 
County Courier Times, Lcvitto-J^n. 
Pa.. 11/6/92) 



83 



Threatening robber shot by woman 



LAVONlA, a. (AP) - A gunman 
ordfred J woman (ocomeouc al a mo- 
rel ftaihroom or see her ciiild kill«l. 
so s-*ie opwiaa the floor ind shcx n.m 
m ihe had. authoniie jjid Saiur- 
day 

The man. wtio was entically in- 
pired. was one of iwo armed rot>5ers 
who broke into (he room Friday nigM 
hairs afur robbing anoiher family ai 
an Iniersiaie U molrt. Franklin 
CiXiniy Shenff Joe Fosier said. 
• Carol Pailerson of Enterprise. 
Ala., was no( injured during the 
sTioodng but her husband. James 
Howard Paiterson. suffered a trac- 
(Ured skull during a scuffle when the 
men broke in. 
The Second gunman go( tway. 
Paiterson jumped one oC the men 
when ihey oroke in and. while he 
scufned with ihem. Mrs. Paiterson 
grabbed one a( their guns and ran to 
ine bathroom. Foster said. 

One robber went to the door and 
lotd her to come out or he would kill 
her sleeping child. Mrs. Patterson 
■"came out. but she came out shooting 
and she got one o( them." Foster 
said. 

The o<hef robber escaped, but Fes- 
ter iaid authorities "think we know 
who he is." 

The Patterson's 7-ycar-o(d daugh- 
ter. Briana Patterson, slept soundly 
even though half a dozm gunshots 
were fired. Foster said. 

"They emptied their other gun 
back at her. but shedidn't get hun at 
all." Foster said of Mrs. Patterson. 
"Cine of them ran out the door and 
ran back in and snapped his gun at 
h-r husband, bui ii was already 



empty." 

The man sho* by Mrs. Patterson 
was lakm to Tjimadge .Memorial 
Hitpiiai in -^ugjiia. where .he wjs ,n 
critical Condition a/ier head surger* 
the shenir said. Auihormes said ih«;y 
were unjbie to identify him and 
would ringerprint him. 

The Pauersons were traveling to 



Washington and had stopped to spend 
the mghi at ihe Lavonia motel, 

Foster said the robbers led a brief 
case .n \U< Paticrsooj' room contain- 
ing jewelry, waic.'ies ind cash taken 
in a roooery of another family at a 
motel in Banks Couniy Several mem- 
bers of ihe family were treated at a 
hinspiial for bruises. 



84 



PISTOL PAGKIH' 
AUNTIE FOILS 
GIRL'S KIDNAP 



Post Win Services 

DENVER — A modern-day 
Annie 0«Jtley tlnslc-h»n<Je<ily 
i&ved her niece Crom in alleged 
kidnaper by axobuihinf him on t. 
-mounuin ro«d asd holding blni 
for copa. 

The drannQg aad hippy end- 
ing unfolded outtlde Denver on 
Monday when the M-year-oId 
womaa. cairyfng^ a loaded piatot. 
flopped U»e auspect'i van. 

'I wasn't folnj w shoot him or 
anything. I wai aa scared aa he 
was." uid the axint, who was 
Ideatlfled by poUce only as 
-Maria." 

Maria waa so terrified that 
vben cops Qaally came to arrest 
the fuapect, afae told them the 
Aldnl know ha« to uncock the 
pi5toL 

Police lold her to gently place 
the foa on the ground. 

The Incident be^aa when Mar- 
la'a f-year-old nlec«, Audrey, 
waa playlniT vlth a coualn on a 
tldewaUt. A man grahbed her. 
dragged her Into a ran and fled. 

The vicUm'a mother and an- 
other aunt daabed to Maria's 
house ASd told h«r about the kid- 
naping. 

'I bad }ust (ot out of the 
ihower. and I went and fot my 
pm and I jot my buJleta. Maria 



told The Denver Poat. 

She figured the thuir who 
grahbed her niece would try to 
yet out of town because of the 
commotion at the scene of the 
abduction. On a hunch, she 
headed lo nearby Lookout Moun- 
tain. 

It paid oft. 

While Audrey's mother waa 
«—iHw g relativea. Maria and an- 
other slater spotted a v*a ma.ich- 
iwg the kidnaper's. M^rla 
jumped Into her ear and tailed 
the van. 

Soon, the- driver pulled over 
and waved her by. 

"Bui I fot out of the car with 
the (un In my pocket, and I 
walked up to the car," said 
Maria. 

-When I aaw Audrey. I didn't 
■ay anytiOnf. I juat pulled the 
run out and I cocked it and told 
him to yet out and told Mm to yet 
In front of the van and lie down." 

1 just held him there until the 
poUce c*me." Marl* aald. ■*When 
the police came. 1 lujt walked 
over to the car and nuyyed (the 
ylrl)." 

Copt (nbbed DonaJd Dale 
Lrerla, 17, on kidnaplnf and >ex- 
uaJ-aaaault charyes. Lewis, vho 
was on parole for sexxiaily abus- 
Iny a J-year-old. was held wilh- 
oui hall , 



The only ihinij between her chil- 
dren and ilic mun brcukinu into her 
.home wu.N a >ho(j:un. and a Flini. 
.Mtrh.. womun look full udv;inlai;i: ol 
the fact that .<hc war. uniifd. As the 
inirutlcr hn)k.e (hrDuyh ihc di>«)r. ihc 
woman hid her two children under j 
tabic, knell in front it. jiul when he 
cnicred ihc ajom. fired Neveral bla.vis 
from the pump gun. The wounclcd 
prison purolec fled, hui police appre- 
hended him by followini; u trail oi' 
bl'xjd. IThe JinirnuL Flint, Mieh.. 



As his father foucht for his life 
with a man accu.>;ed of murdering 
tuo men earlier. 15-year-old Mickey 
Sun ford poked a rifle through the 
uindow of the family's rural mobile 
home and killed the criminal with a 
single shoL authorities in Sumrall. 
Miss., sjid. Tammy Sanford. 
Mickey's mother, also armed herself 
and shot her husband's aswilani. 
William Sanrord suffered a wound 
from the slain man's handgun in (he 
sirugile. The dead man had been the 
objcVi of a week-long manhunt afier 
he allegedly kidnapped two school 
girl.s and then killed two men while 
stealing a truck near Seminary. Mi.s.s. 
[The CUiriiiii Lci/'^cr. Jack.son. Miss. 



85 

Senator SiMON. We thank you for your testimony. Did the person 
who came in with— was it a pickup truck, into the restaurant, or 
drove into the restaurant— did he have a criminal record? 

Dr. Gratia. No, sir, he did not. He had a— well, he had a mis- 
demeanor charge of marijuana possession from years earlier. There 
was really nothing that anybody could have held him on. It was 
simply somebody whose brains turned to worms. He ended up kill- 
ing 22 people that day. It was truly a war zone. I have never been 
around violence in my life. I grew up in a very upper middle-class 
neighborhood, and it opened my eyes. 

I would like to point this out because it is hard to brmg this 
home to people unless you have seen it. To me, putting up metal 
detectors in places amazes me. If I were a gunman who decided I 
wanted to kill a lot of people, am I going to go to an NRA conven- 
tion, or am I going to walk right through one of these metal detec- 
tors out here, blow away the two security guards in a second flat, 
and then start waltzing around in here killing people with relative 
immunity, knowing nobody in here has got a gun? 

As far as the number of bullets, people say, well, what about 
that? You know, he had a semiautomatic gun. I have got news for 
you. It doesn't matter if you have 1 bullet or 100 bullets in there. 
It takes one second for him to drop the clip out and pop one in, 
and I have seen people do that with revolvers as well. That is not 
an issue. Trust me, I have been there, and thank you for your time. 

Senator Simon. Thank you. 

Dr. Kellerman, Dr. Suter says as many as 75 lives are protected 
by a gun for every life lost to a gun. Does your study suggest that 
is an accurate figure? I gather the two of you are not in agreement 

here? . . 

Dr. Kellerman. Well, that figure has been quoted quite a bit in 
the past few months. I am a little surprised, given Dr. Suter's self- 
declared commitment to integrity in research findings, that he 
hadn't played around with a pocket calculator for about 5 minutes 
and looked at whether those numbers make sense or not. 

The 2.4 million figure is derived from a survey conducted by Pro- 
fessor Gary Kleck. I could be wrong, but I don't believe it has yet 
been published in a peer-reviewed journal or otherwise, but Profes- 
sor Kleck has given a number of interviews, one in the Orange 
County Register that was reprinted in the American Rifleman and 
the American Hunter that at least provides one with an oppor- 
tunity to look at what the figures say. 

Out of that 2.4-million figure, however creatively arrived upon, 
he says in 8 percent of those uses individual injured or killed the 
attacker. If you multiply 2.4 million times 8 percent, you come up 
with about 192,000 injuries from gunshots a year in self-defense. 
That is basically equal to the sum total of individuals treated in 
our Nation's emergency departments with gunshot wounds per 
year, self-inflected, assault-related, or unintentional. I guess they 
were all really shot in self-defense, according to Professor Kleck's 
figures. Nonetheless, that is what you arrive at. 

If you assume that five of those injuries resulted in one fatality, 
a ratio that is fairly consistent based on mortality and injury data 
and one that is backed up by local law enforcement statistics, it 
would suggest that some 38,000 bad guys a year are killed in self- 



86 

defense, again, using Professor Kleck's figure. That figure equals 
the total number of unintentional deaths, suicides, and homicides 
a year. 

I can only reach one of three conclusions. First, everybody that 
dies from a bullet every year is actually killed in self-defense. Sec- 
ond, if that is not true, then there are some 35,000 dead bad guys 
under the bushes of law-abiding citizens every year that nobody 
has found and taken to a medical examiner yet. Or, third, the fig- 
ures are off the wall. I think that Professor Suter, or Dr. Suter, as 
the case may be, could have arrived at the same assessment if he 
had bothered to run the numbers. 

Senator SiMON. I will ask Dr. Wheeler and Dr. Suter kind of a 
basic question. Why do you own guns? 

Dr. Suter. We haven't said we do. 

Senator Simon. Pardon? 

Dr. Suter. I said we haven't said we do. 

Senator Simon. I am sorry. I have a little bit of 

Dr. Suter. We haven't said we do own guns. 

Senator Simon. I am sorry. Dr. Wheeler, I guess you indicated 
you own guns? 

Dr. Wheeler. Yes, sir. Senator, I grew up on a farm in southern 
Illinois, God's country. 

Senator Simon. You have great roots. Dr. Wheeler. [Laughter.] 

Dr. Wheeler. It was on that farm that I first learned about 
guns. At about the age of 12 or 13, my father taught me how to 
shoot a .22 rifle, and I want to emphasize here that in southern 
Illinois at that time drugs, gangs, violence — these were not a part 
of it. In teaching me how to shoot a .22 rifle, my father taught me 
several vitally important things. He taught me, first of all, safety. 
Second, he taught me how to avoid hurting innocent human life. 
He taught me responsibility. 

In getting this start in learning about guns in my life, I believe 
I was given the best safety mechanism on my guns that I could 
ever have. I believe that if we teach children how to properly use 
guns, make them understand the safety requirements and give 
them a respect for innocent human life, we will be able to give 
them the best safety mechanism they could ever have. 

Senator SiMON. But what about Dr. Teret's suggestion for requir- 
ing child-proofing of guns that may be in a home? 

Dr. Wheeler. I think that it is an excellent concept, and there 
is no doubt that any firearm owner has an affirmative responsibil- 
ity to protect those under the umbrella of his protection, those in 
his family, those who are too young to understand the dangers and 
the risks. The teaching that I received in how to handle firearms 
included that. 

The teaching of one of the organizations I now belong to, the Na- 
tional Rifle Association, is for young children encountering a gun 
that they should learn the basics even at that early age — stop, 
don't touch, leave the area and tell an adult. So I agree fundamen- 
tally with Dr. Teret's idea. 

Senator Simon. Dr. Teret, you suggested regulating manufactur- 
ers. What about the importation of weapons? Is this something that 
we should address? Maybe, Mr. Aborn, you want to comment on 
that, too. 



87 

Mr. Teret. We have done something odd in this country. In 1968 
when the Gun Control Act was passed, we made it illegal to import 
certain weapons, Saturday night specials, and they were defined 
with detail so you would know what was a Saturday night special. 
We didn't make it illegal to produce them domestically. So, in es- 
sence, protectionist legislation was passed in 1968, and manufac- 
turers flourished in the United States that could produce Saturday 
night specials without any competition from imported guns, from 
foreign manufacturers. 

I believe that the rules that apply to foreign manufacturers 
should be the same rules that apply to domestic manufacturers. If 
a gun is dangerous, it is dangerous no matter whether it was made 
abroad or whether it was made here. 

If I may. Senator Simon, just address the prior question where 
Dr. Wheeler says that we are in agreement, I would like to say 
that we are in sharp disagreement. When you asked Dr. Wheeler 
about making manufacturers make guns that are child-proof, his 
answer was that parents have a responsibility to protect their chil- 
dren. They do have that responsibility, but unfortunately they 
often fail at that responsibility, and the fate of a child who is born 
to an irresponsible parent ought not to be a death sentence. 

We don't rely upon individuals in the field of public health and 
safety to always protect themselves. We fluoridate water supply on 
a community basis instead of telling each individual to put fluoride 
in his own water. We mandate regulations about motor vehicles in- 
stead of telling everybody to go out and buy an air bag and tr>' to 
install it in your car. We have to do the same thing with guns, 
which are a consumer product which are currently unregulated. 

Senator SiMON. I am not sure that you two are actually in dis- 
agreement. Dr. Wheeler, you are suggesting that you are in agree- 
ment, for example, that a weapon that is manufactured ought to 
be able to be child-proof. Is that correct? 

Dr. Wheeler. I believe we may have a difference of definitions 
here. Senator. Firearms are by their very nature capable of being 
used for the infliction of injury, whether accidental or intentional. 
Already, firearms are subject to a great number of safety mecha- 
nisms which have been built in even before the days when ruinous 
product liability litigation was driving the process. 

A great amount of research and development is these days put 
into creating safeties. An example would be the Glock pistol which 
has a three-tiered system of internal safeties. As a result of that, 
this firearm has been adopted by many police departments in this 
country as one of the very safest firearms to be used by them. 

I do not believe. Senator Simon — in concordance with your ear- 
lier remarks about the ingenuity of young children, I do not believe 
that we can completely child-proof guns. 

Senator SiMON. I agree with that. 

Dr. Wheeler. But we can do the reverse. We can make children 
conversant with guns. 

Senator SiMON. Dr. Suter, do you want to add something? 

Dr. Suter. I would. Safety is not a device. Safety is a mind set. 
There are so many difi'erent manufacturers whose difi'erent fire- 
arms design would require several different types of loading indica- 
tors and safety devices that it would be far more difficult to edu- 



88 

cate people to understanding the loading indicators than it is to 
utilize instruction in safe gun avoidance or safe gun handling. 

As Dr. Wheeler said, for children, stop, don't touch, leave the 
area, get an adult, teaching children gun avoidance. For adults, to 
teach adults, you don't point a gun at a person unless you mean 
to defend yourself. It is very important that while much of the im- 
agery has been focused on accidental children's deaths — and truly 
each one of those is tragic — we are talking about 120 innocent chil- 
dren per year killed by accidental gun deaths. Accidental gun 
deaths have been falling throughout the 20th century and are now 
hovering at their all-time low. We have to compare that cost to the 
cost of lives lost if good people are disarmed. 

Dr. Kellerman took issue with the 2.4 million protective uses of 
guns. Interestingly enough, there are approximately a dozen stud- 
ies on the protective uses of guns. Every one of those studies, in- 
cluding the low-ball estimate, which is the only one I have ever 
seen Dr. Kellerman quote in print, the National Crime Survey, 
finds that the protective uses of guns far exceed gun deaths. 

With the exception of that one low-ball estimate, all of the other 
studies far exceed gun deaths and gun injuries by many, many 
more times. The benefits of gun far outweigh their cost to society, 
whether we are talking about the human toll or the economic toll. 

Senator Simon. The Surgeon General's testimony was 1,520 acci- 
dental deaths by firearms. 

Mr. Aborn, Dr. Gratia has gone through a terrible experience, 
and people read and heard about these experiences and there is 
fear out there. What do you say to people who have fear who want 
to protect themselves? 

Mr. Aborn. I think the issue, if I can continue with this medical 
theme that has been discussed this morning, is really one of in- 
formed consent. I think one of the most important things that is 
going to happen under this legislation is that this whole issue 
about the prudence of carrying guns for self-defense will be ex- 
plored, and explored all across the country constantly. I suspect a 
lot more researchers will be getting into this, and that is very valu- 
able because our opponents have been saying for a long time that 
people are, in fact, much safer by having a gun. The reality is, and 
I think the data is beginning to indicate, that they are not and we 
are beginning to get that message out. 

But at the heart of this legislation is not an effort to keep law- 
abiding citizens from getting guns. The heart of this legislation is 
an efibrt to reduce the amount of guns flowing into the illegal mar- 
ket and to keep criminals from getting guns. Somehow, the other 
side likes to posit this issue as a choice between either having guns 
or not having guns. That is not the issue. The issue is can we cut 
down the number of illegal guns going to the market and thereby 
reduce the amount of violence associated with crime. 

Senator Simon. Two more comments and then I am going to have 
to adjourn the hearing. Dr. Gratia? 

Dr. Gratia. I thought you might find this of interest. Two weeks 
ago, I was at a political meeting that had two died-in-the-wool gang 
members as speakers, I mean with the tatoos and the trappings, 
the whole nine yards. One of the questions thrown at one of the 
gang members was, how do you feel about gun control laws, and 



89 

he laughed and he said, man, you can pass all the laws you want; 
that doesn't make them any tougher to get; all it does is drive the 
price up and that means I have got to go rob somebody to get the 
money to get one. I thought to myself, here is this street kid that 
has got this concept down, and for some reason we miss that. 

Senator SiMON. I might add in that connection that there was a 
Roman Catholic chaplain at a State prison in California who had 
an op ed piece in the Los Angeles Times. He has a class of 40 
criminals, experts on crime, if you will. He asked them what should 
be done to reduce crime. Their number one suggestion was get jobs 
for people. Their number two suggestion was get rid of many of the 
guns in our society. 

Dr. Kellerman, you get the last word here and then we are going 
to have to adjourn. 

Dr. Kellerman. Senator Simon, I think you have seen today an 
example of the complexities of this issue. The fact that physicians 
and public health professionals have contributed information to 
help the public and help Members of Congress frame what we can 
do about gun violence in this country is a fundamental change in 
our understanding. This has been a very politicized issue; it will 
continue to be one. 

I grew up in a small town in east Tennessee. My daddy taught 
me to shoot. I taught riflery to kids in summer camp. Guns are not 
a foreign concept to me, but as an emergency physician I have seen 
the costs and the consequences of gun violence. As a public health 
professional, I am committed, as are my colleagues, to providing 
the public with the kind of information they need to make knowl- 
edgeable decisions. 

It is having an impact on the terms of this debate and it is, in 
turn, engendering some fairly well-orchestrated and fairly passion- 
ate efforts to project disinformation and to deceive the public and 
to prevent them from making informed, responsible decisions about 
what is best for them and their family. 

You and your colleagues are faced with an enormously complex 
issue. Violence has many factors and many causes. Firefighters will 
tell you, and I was a medical director for a fire department EMS 
service for 8 years, it takes three things for a fire — oxygen, fuel, 
and heat. If you can remove one, the fire will go out. In the case 
of violence, there are many factors that contribute to it and we 
have to target all of them for attention, but we as a society and 
as individuals would be remiss to ignore the role that guns play not 
in causing that violence but in dramatically amplifying its con- 
sequences. 

Senator Simon. I thank all of you very much. Our hearing stands 
adjourned. 

[Whereupon, at 12:48 p.m., the subcommittee was adjourned.] 



APPENDIX 



Questions and Answers 



ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS BY SENATOR HOWARD METZENBAUM FOR WITNESSES 
AT THE HEARING ON THE GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION ACT ON 3/23/94 

DR. ARTHUR KELLERMAN 

1. IN THE OCTOBER 7, 1993, NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE, 10 
PHYSICIANS AND MEDICAL RESEARCHERS, INCLUDING YOURSELF, STUDYING 
OVER 400 HOMICIDES IN THE HOMES OF VICTIMS REPORTED: "DESPITE THE 
WIDELY HELD BELIEF THAT GUNS ARE EFFECTIVE FOR PROTECTION, OUR 
RESULTS SUGGEST THAT THEY ACTUALLY POSE A SUBSTANTIAL THREAT TO 
MEMBERS OF THE HOUSEHOLD. ... A GUN KEPT IN THE HOME IS FAR 
MORE LIKELY TO BE INVOLVED IN THE DEATH OF A MEMBER OF THE 
HOUSEHOLD THAN IT IS TO BE USED IN SELF-DEFENSE." CAN YOU TELL 
US MORE ABOUT THE CONCLUSIONS OF THIS STUDY AND THE RESULTS OF 
OTHER STUDIES ON GUNS IN THE HOME? 

2. ASIDE FROM HOMICIDES, WHAT PERCENTAGE OF ACCIDENTS AND 
SUICIDES CAN BE ATTRIBUTED TO GUNS IN THE HOME? 

3 . ONE OF YOUR STUDIES CONCLUDES THAT HOMES WITH GUNS ARE 3 
TIMES MORE LIKELY TO BE THE SCENE OF A HOMICIDE THAN COMPARABLE 
HOMES WITHOUT GUNS. YET THE NRA AND OTHERS CLAIM THAT A GUN IS 
7 5 TIMES MORE LIKELY TO BE USED TO SAVE A LIFE THAN TO TAKE A 
LIFE AND THAT GUNS ARE USED FOR SELF-DEFENSE 2.4 MILLION TIMES A 
YEAR. HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN THOSE CLA.IMS? 

4. HOW CAN ADDRESSING THE CRISIS OF GUN VIOLENCE AS A PUBLIC 
HEALTH PROBLEM HELP IN SOLVING THE PROBLEM? 

5 . HOW EFFECTIVE DO YOU THINK TKAT THIS LEGISLATION WOULD BE IN 
CURBING GUN VIOLENCE? 



(91) 



92 



• :~ IiMOKY UNIVERSITY SCllOOl- Ol- PUBLIC: HILALTH 

j iind 

" / CENTER rOH INl EKNATIONAL lllv\LTH STUDIES 



Ci-nlct loi Iniuiy ( orilrol 



1462 c:lifton Road. N.B. 



Ailania. Georgia 30322 

(4041 7^7-f)'.)77 
l-AX (4()4I 727-7J(>l 



Howard M. Metzenbaum 
United States Senator 
c/o Committee on the Judiciary 
Washington, D.C., 20510-6275 



April 7, 1994 



Dear Senator Metzenbaum: 

Thank you for your kind letter of t^arch 28. I am sorry that you and your 
Republican collogues could not stay for the entire hearing. I understand that you were 
not feeling well. I appreciate the opportunity to contribute additional information to the 
record of this hearing. IViy answers to your questions follow: 

^) ...Can you tell us more about the conclusions of this (Oct 7 NEJM) study and the 
results of other studies of guns in the home? 

Many people who keep guns in their home do so at least in part for protection. 
This is especially true for owners of handguns. It's natural to want to do everything 
possible to insure the safety and security of your family. In a thunderstorm, its also 
natural to want to seek cover under the nearest tree. That doesn't mean its a good idea. 

The home can be a dangerous place, but the danger comes most often from within. 
Several years ago, Don Reay, the Chief Medical Examiner of King County WA and I 
identified all of the gunshot deaths that occurred in that county over a six year period. 
More than half (398) occurred in the home where the gun involved was kept. Nine cases 
involved the killing of an intruder or an attacker in self defense. During this same time 
period, guns in the home were involved in 12 unintentional gunshot deaths, 41 criminal 
homicides and 333 firearm suicides. Even after the suicides were excluded, we found 



THE ROt^EF^T W WOODRUFF HEALTH SCIENCES CENTER 



93 

that a gun in the home was 18 times more likely to be involved in the death of a member 
of the household than to be used to kill an intruder. 

Bobbie Lee of the University of Texas School of Nursing in Houston 
examined all gunshot injuries (nonfatal as well as fatal) that occurred in residences in 
Galveston Texas over a three year period of time. Only two firearm injunes were 
related to residential robbery or burglary. In one case, the resident was shot and killed 
by 'he burglar. In the other, a burglar was wounded by the homeowner. During this 
same time period, guns were involved in the death or injury of more 100 homeowners, 
family members, friends and acquaintances. 

Women may find keeping a gun in the home a particularly bad idea. Dr. Jim 
Mercy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and I analyzed 12 years of FBI 
homicide statistics for the entire United States and found that women are shot and killed 
by their husband or intimate acquaintance twice as often as women are killed by 
strangers using guns, knives or any other means. When a woman killed with a gun, the 
victim was five times more likely to be her husband, an intimate acquaintance o' a 
member of her family than to be a stranger or a person of uncetermined relationship. 

The report tjnat you quoted from the New England Journal of Medicine is based on 
the first large scale, "case-control" study of homicide in the home in relation to gun 
ownership. Researchers at three major Universities teamed up with local law 
enforcement agencies to conduct this research. For five consecutive years, we identified 
all homicides that occurred in the home of victims in King County, WA and Shelby County 
TN. During the last two and one-half years of the project, we also identified every case 
of homicide that occurred in the home of victims living in Cuyahoga County Ohio 
(Cleveland). Twenty four percent of the homicides that occurred in these three counties 
during the study interval took place in the home of the victim. 

From each of 388 households where a homicide occurred, we obtained detailed 
information about the victim, his (or her) family, and the home in which the homicide 
occurred. The characteristics of each of these "case" households was then compared to 
the characteristics of a randomly selected "control" household in the same neighborhood 
that was not the scene of a homicide. Each "control" household contained an individual of 
the same age range, sex, and race as the victim. 



94 

By comparing "case" households where a homicide occurred to "control" 
households where a homicide did not occur, we were able to identify factors that 
potentially increase (or decrease) a family's risk of homicide in the home. Some were 
no surprise. Households with a history of domestic violence, households where any 
far^ily member used illicit drugs, and households with a member who had ever been 
arir-sted were more likely to be the scene of a homicide than comparable households 
without one or more of these characteristics. However, even after taking these and two 
other risk factors into consideration, we found that the odds of a homicide occurring in a 
home with guns were almost three times greater than the odds of homicide in a 
comparable home without guns. All of this increased risk was due to an almost eight fold 
greater risk of homicide at the hands of a family member or intimate acquaintance. 

Guns in the home were linked to an increased risk of homicide among women as 
well as men. whites as well as blacks, and older as well as younger individuals. Guns 
were not found to afford substantial protection from homicide, even when we restricted 
our analysis to the small number of cases that followed forced entry into the home. 

These results do not mean that guns are never used to protect a family. It is 
evident, however, that the uncommon instances when guns are used for self defense are 
substantially outwejghed by the number of times guns are involved in tragedies in the 
home. The fact that an armed citizen occasionally uses a gun to stop a crime is all the 
encouragement many people need to keep a loaded pistol in their night stand. It's the 
same logic that sells millions of lottery tickets each year. Unfortunately, the rules of 
this game are different. If a state lottery gave one winner a week the jackpot but 
randomly selected three people for execution, I don't think they'd sell many tickets. 

2. Aside from homicides, what percentage of accidents and suicides can be attributed to 
guns in the home? 

Since our national sources of data are quite limited, I can only cite local 
statistics. One California study determined that approximately half of cases involving 
children shooting children occur when kids play with a loaded gun they have found in the 
home. My colleagues and I conducted a large scale case control study of suicide in the 
home in relation to gun ownership and observed that approximately 70 percent of 
suicides in two large metropolitan counties occurred in the home of the victim. After 
matching case and control households by victim age range, sex, race, and neighborhood. 



95 

and after taking the effects of six independent risk factors into consideration, we found 
that homes with guns were almost five times more likely to be the scene of a suicide than 
comparable homes without guns. 

3. One of your studies concludes that homes with guns are 3 times more likely to be the 
scene of a homicide than comparable homes without guns. Yet the NRA and others claim 
that a gun is 75 times more likely to be used to save a life than to take a life and that 
guns are used for self defense 2.4 million times each year. How do you explain those 
claims? 

The NRA's figures are based on the work of Professor Gary Kleck, a criminologist 
at Florida State who is a devoted advocate of guns for self defense. His findings were 
released shortly after publication of our study of guns and homicide in the home. To my 
knowledge, they have not been published in a peer reviewed journal. However, 
Professor Kleck has spoken freely about his findings to reporters. I've looked at Kleck's 
numbers, and they simply don't add up. 

If you believe Kleck and the NRA, then you must conclude that approximately 
192,000 people are being shot in self-defense each year. That's roughly equal to the 
total number of gurishot cases treated in all of our nation's emergency departments. If 
one out of every five dies (a reasonable estimate, based on local police statistics) then 
38,400 people die each year after being shot by a gun owner in self-defense. This 
figure is roughly equal to all of the gun suicides, homicides and accidental deaths that 
occur in the U.S. each year. 

This leads to one of three conclusions: 1) every person who died of a gunshot 
wound in 1993 (whether due to suicide, homicide or accident) was really shot in self 
defense, or 2) Approximately 35,000 dead bad guys are left under the bushes of law- 
abiding gun owners each year, or 3) Kleck and the NRA are wrong. 

The 75-to-one ratio is even harder to figure out. I think it's based on the 
assumption that every one of Kleck's mythical self defense uses saved a life. Data from 
the much larger (and far more scientific) National Crime Victimization Survey suggests 
that guns are used in self defense about 78,000 times each year- a total that is 1/30 the 
size of Kleck's estimate. This number pales in comparison to the costs of gun violence- 



96 

approximately 35,000 deaths, 198,000 injuries and more than 800,000 gun related 
crimes each year. 

4. How can addressing the crisis of gun violence as a public health problem help in 
solving the problem? 

Firearm related injuries are a leading cause of premature death, disability, and 
health care costs in United States. A teenager in America today is more likely to die of a 
gunshot wound than all "natural" causes of death combined . There are several reasons 
why public health can compliment the traditional strategies of criminal justice to 
address this crisis: public health researchers have access to data and research 
techniques that are outside the domain of criminal justice. Public health emphasizes 
prevention rather than reacting to events after they occur. Public health looks at every 
possible angle to prevent illnesses and injuries, and frequently determines that a 
combination of strategies is far more effective than any single approach alone. Public 
health's focus on protecting and enhancing the quality of life for the victims of gun 
violence compliments criminal justice's efforts to deter, incapacitate or rehabilitate 
offenders. Finally, it is important to realize that a minority of episodes of gun violence 
involve "gun crime" in the traditional criminal justice sense. More people die from gun 
suicides than gun hjomicides. Gun accidents account for a small percentage of gun deaths, 
but a larger percentage of gun related injuries. A minority of gun homicides occur in the 
context of another felony, such as robbery or sexual assault, t^ost gun homicides occur 
in the context of an altercation among family members, friends or acquaintances. In the 
heat of a dispute, few individuals carefully weigh the legal consequences of their actions. 
They're too busy reaching for the most effective weapon readily at hand. If that weapon 
happens to be a gun, a death or serious injury is more likely to occur. 

5. How effective do you think this legislation would be in curbing gun violence? 

If this legislation is enacted, it will be extremely important to formally evaluate 
its impact. There are several reasons to believe, however, that it will be very effective 
at reducing gun violence; 1) It will expand the list of persons excluded from purchasing 
firearms to include violent criminals that plea bargain to misdemeanors; 2) It will 
make gun running from permissive jurisdictions to more restrictive ones far more 
difficult; 3) It will dramatically reduce the number of kitchen table gun dealers and 
improve oversight of those that remain; 4) It will regulate secondary transfers of 



97 

guns, currently the most common way guns get into the hands of juveniles and criminals; 
5) It will ban production of weapons that threaten the lives of our police officers and 
citizens while serving little or no sporting purpose , and 6) It will bring gun 
manufacturers into the loop of public accountability. 

Thank you again for inviting me to participate in this hearing. I hope my 
information will be helpful to you and your fellow Senators as you proceed with this 
important and necessary legislation. 




'^.'{A4i?HAv, — 



Arthur L. Kellermann. M.D., M.P.H. 
Associate Professor and Director 
Emory Center for Injury Control 



2l-.%6 n - Q"^ 



98 

ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS BY SENATOR METZENBAUM AT THE HEARING ON THE 
GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION ACT, ON 3/23/94 FOR DR. EDGAR SUTER ; 

1 . YOU HAVE ARGUED THAT PEOPLE HAVE THE RIGHT TO DEFEND 
THEMSELVES AGAINST CRIMINALS. DO ALL PEOPLE HAVE THIS RIGHT? DO 
YOU AGREE THAT FELONS, MENTALLY DEFECTIVES, AND THOSE PRONE TO 
VIOLENCE SHOULD NOT HAVE GUNS? IF SO, HOW DO YOU THINK SUCH 
PERSONS SHOULD BE PREVENTED FROM BUYING GUNS? 

2. YOU DISAGREE WITH DR. KELLERMAN AND OTHERS ABOUT THE 
CONNECTION BETWEEN GUN ACCIDENTS AND GUNS IN THE HOME. OTHER 
THAN YOUR OWN OPINION, WHAT EMPIRICAL, PEER-REVIEWED STUDIES HAVE 
YOU PUBLISHED IN MEDICAL JOURNALS THAT SUPPORT YOUR OPINION? 

3. PLEASE LIST ALL OF YOUR PUBLISHED ARTICLES. 

4. HOW MANY MEMBERS ARE IN THE ORGANIZATION "DOCTORS FOR 
INTEGRITY IN RESEARCH & PUBLIC POLICY"? WHO CONSTITUTES THE 
ORGANIZATION'S LEADERSHIP? WHEN WAS THE ORGANIZATION F0RM:ED? 
HOW WERE YOU CHOSEN NATIONAL CHAIR? HAVE YOU EVER HAD AN 
AGREEMENT OR UNDERSTANDING WITH ANY INDIVIDUAL OR ENTITY 
REGARDING PAYMENT OR REIMBURSEMENT OF YOUR EXPENSES IN CONNECTION 
WITH APPEARING BEFORE THIS SUBCOMMITTEE? IF SO, WITH WHOM? 

5. EXPLAIN THE BASIS OF YOUR CLAIMS THAT 2.4 MILLION AMERICANS 
USE GUNS TO PROTECT THEMSELVES AND THEIR FAMILIES AND THAT 75 
LIVES ARE PROTECTED BY A GUN FOR EVERY LIFE LOST TO A GUN. 

6 . DO YOU THINK THAT CHILDREN SHOULD CARRY GUNS FOR THEIR 
PROTECTION? SHOULD THEY BE ABLE TO TAKE GUNS TO SCHOOL? 

7 . SHOULD MANUFACTURERS BE REQUIRED TO ADD SAFETY DEVICES TO 
GUNS IN ORDER TO PREVENT ACCIDENTS? IF NOT, WHY NOT? 

8. DO YOU THINK PEOPLE HAVE THE RIGHT TO HAVE ANY GUN FOR THEIR 
PROTECTION? 

9 . IS THERE ANY FIREARM THAT YOU THINK PEOPLE DO NOT HAVE THE 
RIGHT TO OWN? 

10 DO PEOPLE HAVE THE RIGHT TO OWN AN UNLIMITED NUMBER OF 
FIREARMS? 

11. ARE YOU A MEMBER OF THE NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION? 






99 

5201 Norrls Canvon Rood • Suit* 140 

Doctors for Integrity in Reseorch & Public Policy Son Romon, Cfl 94583 USB 

€dQQr fl. Suur MD, Choir « 510«£77»0333 

FAX 510»277«1283 



April 13, 1994 

Sen. Howard Metzenbaum 
Subcommittee on the Constitution 
Committee on the Judiciary 
US Senate - Dirksen Office Bldg., Room 524 
Washington DC 20510-6280 

Re: Requested supplemental testimony on S. 1882 

Dear Sen. Metzenbaum, 

Below please find my responses to your interrogatories. In the interest of saving time, I am 
transmitting these responses by facsimile. Originals will follow by express mail. I would 
add that I find some of your, or perhaps some of your staff's, questions to be objectionable 
since there seems to be no nexus between certain inquiries and the substance of the 
Subcommittee's subject matter. Specifically I am referring to the question asked in item 12 
regarding membership in a national civil rights advocacy organization and the questions 
asked in item 4. The Subcommittee is, of course, entitled to examine and weigh the 
credibility of its witnesses and to factor in its deliberations the bias, if emy, that each 
witness brings with their testimony. 

Nonetheless, I had imagined that some years ago this nation had dispensed with 
questioning by public officials of perceived or real associations with organizations that, 
standing alone, were irrelevant to the public policy issues and discourse at hand. I have 
answered your questions pertinent to the discourse. I have even answered your questions 
about my background, associations, and beliefs. There is nothing remarkable about my 
background, associations, or the beliefs that I share with millions of other Americans. 

Herewith are the responses to your supplemental interrogatories : 

1. You have argued that people have the right to defend themselves against criminals. 

Do all people have this right? Do you agree that felons, mental defectives, and those prone to 
violence should not have guns? If so, how do you think such persons should be prevented 
from buying guns? 

The right of self-defense is a separate issue albeit related issue to what means one 
may use to defend oneself Starting first with that right, all citizens, of course, have 
the right to defend themselves from anyone who would attack or harm them without 
legal justification or with unlawful force. The question of whether the right is 
wrongfully or correctly asserted must be assessed on a case-by-case basis under the 
law of the prevailing jurisdiction. The right of self-defense, however, is a 
fundamental right, so, regardless of one's "status" in society, a person has the right 
to defend themselves if unlawful force is used against them. No one can properly 
dispute that point, even in such a situation as where a convicted and incarcerated 
felon defends himself (or herself) from a brutal and unjustified attack. 



100 

Re : Requested supplemental testimony on S. 1882 page 2 

From: Edgar A. Suter MD, Chair, Doctors for Integrity in Research & Public Policy 



Consistent with the intent of the Bill of Rights Framers and interpretation by the US 
Supreme Court, I believe that gun ownership in a free and democratic society is a 
fundamental, inherent, and irrevocable individual right that has been specifically 
enumerated for protection in the Second Amendment of the US Constitution. Denial 
of gun ownership for mental or criminal reasons may be appropriate and, as you 
know, present federal law makes that clear. 

However, federal law also provides for relief from firearms disabilities. 
18 U.S.C. §925(c) states in part: 

A person who is prohibited from possessing, shipping, transporting, or 
receiving firearms or ammunition may make application to the Secretary 
for relief of the disabilities imposed by Federal laws with respect to the 
acquisition, receipt, transfer, shipment, transportation, or possession of 
firearms, and the Secretary may grant such relief if it is established to his 
satisfaction that the circumstances regarding the disability, and the 
applicant's record and reputation, are such that the applicant will not be 
likely to act in a manner dangerous to public safety and that the granting of 
the relief would not be contrary to the public interest. 

I strongly believe that this is appropriate public policy. For example, a felon who has 
paid his (or her) debt to society, as in the case of a "white collar" felon whose conduct 
did not involve violence, would probably be a good candidate for relief from 
disability. Most such "white collar" felons have no proclivity to violence and may 
be safely entrusted with guns. 

Analogously, "mental defectives" are often passive, rather than aggressive. In 
fact, on April 8, 1994 Northwestern University released a six year study that showed 
mentally ill inmates are no more likely to commit a violent crime after being 
released than those with no disorder. Unless mentally and emotionally challenged 
individuals have been adjudicated a violent threat to public safety or demonstrably 
so intellectually impaired that they cannot safely handle a gun, I do not believe that 
public policy should impede their ability to own a firearm or to seek relief from a 
firearms disability if they are in remission from a mental disease or defect that 
previously disqualified them from owning a firearm. 

A "Prone to violence" test for disqualifying an individual from owning a gun is 
far too subjective a criterion. Some researchers have proposed investigating a 
genetic link to violence. A tremendous furor arose because some felt this might 
have racial implications that could be used against African-American citizens. 
Since American jurisprudence operates, at least theoretically, on the "innocent 
until proven guilty" principle, whether or not one is "prone" to violence is 
irrelevant, whether or not one inappropriately and overtly acts violently is 
relevant. Denying a citizen their civil rights for being "prone to violence" without 
any overt action, or without an adjudication of a mental disease or defect showmg 
that person to be a danger to themselves or the community, would be punishing 
someone for their mere status, and not for any misconduct. 



101 



Re: Requested supplemental testimony on S. 1882 page 3 

From: Edgar A. Suter MD, Chair, Doctors for Integrity in Research & Public Policy 



As for those individuals who are disqualified under present law from owning guns 
or possessing guns, some interesting approaches to alerting dealers and those 
engaged in private sales might be tried. Marking drivers' licenses and other 
identification with a disqualifying notice, like some states have done for those 
under the legal drinking age, might be considered. As is the case now, 
transactions should be denied - and unlawful - if the transferee suffers a 
disqualifying impediment. Such a system places legal impediments only in the 
path of those properly denied gun ownership, rather than the current system 
("Brady Bill," etc.) that places impediments in the path of good citizens- 

No system of such checks is infallible, however, the estimated 2.5 million 
protective uses if guns each year represents a net benefit to society notwithstanding 
exaggerated claims of guns' detriment to our society. Any system of checks must 
ensure the continuing protective benefits of guns and, so, be weighted to protect the 
civil rights of good citizens. We must not approach intrusive restrictions, 
particularly when the overwhelming preponderance of competent research shows 
that gun control disproportionately disarms good citizens having little, if any, 
effect in decreasing criminal gun use and access. The only measures that 
consistently reduce violence are measures that inescapably punish violent crime, 
regardless of instrumentality. Of course, plea bargaining can cause those benefits 
to evaporate. 

In summary, victim disarmament is mi. a policy that saves lives. 

2. You disagree with Dr. Kellermann and others about the connection between gun 

accidents and guns in the home. Other than you own opinion, what empirical, peer- 
reviewed studies have you published in medical journals that support your opinion. 

Actually, Dr. Kellermann has said very little about gun accidents specifically. I 
take this question, therefore, as related to Kellermann's theories regarding 
homicide and suicide. 

Further, in view of question (3), I am uncertain whether you mean to ask me for a 
list of articles that I have published or whether you mean to ask me for a list of all 
materials published in medical journals that support my opinion. All of my 
articles published in the medical literature are listed in my response to your 
question (3). 

In my most recent article on the subject, "Guns in the Medical Literature - A 
Failure of Peer Review" (Journal of the Medical Association of Georgia. March 
1994: 133^8), I cite the sources that support my contentions and my testimony to this 
Subcommittee. Among these sources are: 

Kleck G. Point Blank: Guns and Violence in America. New York: Aldine 
deGruyter. 1991. 

Fackler ML, MaHnowski JA, Hoxie SW, and Jason A. "Wounding Effects 
of the AK-47 Rifle Used by Patrick Purdy in the Stockton, California, 



102 

Re: Requested supplemental testimony on S. 1882 page 4 

From: Edgar A. Suter MD, Chair, Doctors for Integrity in Research & Public Policy 



Schoolyard Shooting of January 17, 1989." Am J Forensic Medicine and 
Path. 1990: 11(3): 185-90. 

Fackler ML. "Wound Ballistics: A Review of Common Misconceptions." 
JAMA. 1988; 259: 2730-6. 

Fackler ML. "Wound Ballistics." in Trunkey DD and Lewis FR, editors. 
Current Therapy of Trauma, vol 2. Philadelphia: BC Decker Inc. 1986. pp. 
94-101. 

National Safety Council. Accident Facts 1991. Chicago: National Safety 
Council. 1991. 

World Health Organization. World Health Statistics 1989. Geneva, 
Switzerland: World Health Organization. 1989. 

FBI. Uniform Crime Reports Crime in the United States 1976. 1977. 
Washington DC: US Grovemment Printing Office. 

FBI. Uniform Crime Reports Crime in the United States 1987 1988. 
Washington DC: US Government Printing Office. 

FBI. Uniform Crime Reports Crime in the United States 1991. 1992 
Washington DC: US Government Printing Office. 

US Department of Commerce. Statistical Abstract of the US. - 96th. Edition. 
1976. Washington DC: US Government Printing Office. 

Fingerhut LA, Ingram DD, Feldman JJ. "Firearm Homicide Among 
Black Teenage Males in Metropolitan Counties: Comparison of Death 
Rates in Two Periods, 1983 through 1985 and 1987 through 1989." JAMA. 
1992; 267:3054-8. 

Hammett M, Powell KE, O'Carroll PW, Clanton ST. "Homicide 
Surveillance - United States, 1987 through 1989." MMWR. 41/SS-3. May 
29,1992. 

National Center for Health Statistics. Vital Statistics of the United States. 
Washington, DC: US Govt. Printing Office. 1976 through 1990. 

Centerwall, BS Homicide and the Prevalence of Handguns: Canada and 
the United States, 1976 to 1980. Am J. Epidemiol 1991; 134: 1245-1260 

Mundt RJ. Gun Control and Rates of Firearms Violence in Canada and the 
United States." Can J Crim. Jan 1990: 137-54. 

Mauser GA. "Evaluating the 1977 Canadian Firearms Control Legislation: 
An Econometric Approach." a paper presented to the American Society of 
Criminology. San Francisco, CA, November 1991. 



103 

Re: Requested supplemental testimony on S. 1882 page 5 

From: Edgar A. Suter MD, Chair, Doctors for Integrity in Research & Public Policy 



Meek G. "Interrupted Time Series Designs: Time for a Reevaluation." a 
paper presented to the American Society of Criminology annual meeting. 
New Orleans, LA. November 5, 1992. 

Kopel DB. Children and Guns. Sensible Solutions. Gk)!den CO: 
Independence Institute. 1993. 

Kopel DB. Why Gun Waiting Periods Threaten Public Safety. Golden CO: 
dependence Institute. 1993. 

Kopel DB. The Samurai, The Mountie, and the Cowboy: Should America 
Adopt the Gun Controls of Other Democracies? New York: Prometheus 
Press. 1992. 

Kates DB. Guns, Murders, and the Constitution: A Realistic Assessment of 
Gun Control. San Francisco: Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy. 
1990. 

Suter E. "Assault Weapons" Revisited - An Analysis of the AMA Report. 
Journal of the Medical Association of Georgia. May 1994. 

Cramer C and Kopel D. Concealed Handgun Permits for Licensed Trained 
Citizens: A Policy that is Saving Lives. Golden CO: Independence Institute 
Issue Paper #14-93. 1993. 

Suter E. Guns in the Medical Literature - A Failure of Peer Review. 
Journal of the Medical Association of Georgia. May 1994: 133-48. 

Tonso WR. "Social Science and Sagecrafl in the Debate over Gun Control." 
5 Law & Policy Quarterly 3; 1983: 325:43. 

Kates DB, Lattimer JK, and Cottrol RJ. "Public Health Literature on 
Firearms - A Critique of Overt Mendacity " a paper presented to the 
American Society of Criminology annual meeting. New Orleans, LA. 
November 5, 1992. 

Blackman PH. Criminology's Astrology: The Center for Disease Control 
Approach to Public Health Research on Firearms and Violence, a paper 
presented to the American Society of Criminology. Baltimore, MD 
November 7-10, 1990. 

Blackman PH. Children and Firearms: Lies the CDC Loves, a paper 
presented to the American Society of Criminology. New Orleans, LA. 
November 4-7, 1992. 

Blackman PH. The Federal Factoid Factory on Firearms and Violence: A 
Review of CDC Research and Politics, a paper presented to the Academy of 
Criminal Justice Sciences. Chicago IL. March 8-12, 1994. 



104 

Re: Requested supplemental testimony on S. 1882 page 6 

From: Edgar A. Suter MD, Chair, Doctors for Integrity in Research & Public Policy 



Kleck G. "Guns and Self-Protection." Journal of the Medical Association of 
Georgia. January 1994: 

Kates DB. "Bigotry, Symbolism and Ideology in the Battle over Gun 
Control" in Eastland, T. The Public Interest Law Review 1992. Carolina 
Academic Press. 1992. 

Centerwall BS. "Television Euid Violence: The Scale of the Problem and 
Where to Go FVom Here." JAMA. 1992; 267: 3059-63. 

Centerwall BS. "Exposure to Television as a Risk Factor for Violence." 
Am. J. Epidemiology. 1989; 129: 643-52. 

Centerwall BS 'Toung Adult Suicide and Exposure to Television." Soc. 
Psy. and Psychiatric Epid. 1990; 25:121. 

Wright JD. and Rossi PH. Weapons, Crime, and Violence in America: 
Executive Summary. Washington, DC: US Dept. of Justice, National 
Institute of Justice. 1981. 

Wright JD and Rossi PH. Armed and Considered Dangerous: A Survey of 
Felons and Their Firearms. Hawthorne, NY: Aldine de Gruyter. 1986. 

Firearms Related Deaths." Correspondence. N Engl J. Med 1986; 315:1483- 
5. 

Suter E. "A Deceptive Contrivance." Arch Neurol. 1993; 50:345-46. 

Guns and Homicide in the Home." Correspondence. N Engl J Med. 1994; 
330(5): 365-68. 

Martin MJ. The Cost of Hospitalization for Firearm Injuries." JAMA. 
260:3048-50. 

Max W and Rice DP. "Shooting in the Dark: Estimating the Cost of 
Firearm Injuries." Health Affairs. 12(4): 171-85. 

Zedlewski EW. Making Confinement Decisions - Research in Brief. 
Washington DC: National Institute of Justice, US Department of Justice. 
July 1987. 

McGonigal MD, Cole J, Schwab W, Kauder DR, Rotondo MF, and Angood 
PB. "Urban Firearms Deaths: A Five-Year Perspective." J Trauma. 1993; 
35(4): 532-36. 

Hutson HR, Anglin D, and Pratss MJ. "Adolescents and Children Injured 
or Killed in Drive-By Shootings in Los Angeles." N Engl J Med. 1994; 330: 
324-27. 

Snyder JR. "A Nation of Cowards." The Public Interest. Fall 1993: 40-55. 



105 

Re: Requested supplemental testimony on S. 1882 page 7 

From: Edgar A. Suter MD, Chair, Doctors for Integrity in Research & Public Policy 



Roth RR, Porter PJ, Bisbey GR, and May CR. "The Attitudes of Family 
Physicians Toward the Peer Review Process." Arch. Family Medicine. 
1993;2:1271-75. 

References most germane to the "assault weapon" issue: 

Johnson TD. Report on a Survey of the Use of "Assault Weapons" in 
California in 1990. Office of the Attorney General, California Department 
of Justice. September 26, 1991. 

Florida Assault Weapons Commission. Assault Weapons/Crime Survey 
in Florida For Years 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989. Tallahassee, FL: May 18, 1990. 

Bea K. "CRS Report for Congress - 'Assault Weapons': Military-Style 
Semiautomatic Firearms Facts and Issues." Washington DC: 
Congressional Research Service, The Library of Congress; May 13, 1992 
(Technical Revisions, June 4, 1992). Appendix B. pp. 65-76. 

Helsley SC, Acting Assistant Director, Investigation and Enforcement 
Branch, California Department of Justice, memorandum to GW demons, 
Director, Division of Law Enforcement, California Department of Justice. 
October 31, 1988. 

Ezell EC. Small Arms of the World. Harrisburg, PA: Stackpole Books. 
1983. p. 515. 

Cerar JC, Captain and Commanding Officer, New York City Police 
Academy, Firearms and Tactics Section, New York City Police 
Department. 1989 Firearms Discharge Assault Report. New York City 
Police Department. 1990. p. 2. 

Cerar JC, Deputy Inspector and Commanding Officer, New York City 
Police Academy, Firearms and Tactics Section, New York City Police 
Department. 1992 Firearms Discharge Assault Report. New York City 
Police Department. 1993. p. 7. 

McGonigal MD, Cole J, Schwab W, Kauder DR, Rotondo MF, and Angood 
PB. "Urban Firearms Deaths: A Five-Year Perspective." J Trauma. 1993; 
35(4): 532-36. 

Trahin J, Detective, Firearms/Ballistics Unit, Los Angeles Pohce 
Department, testimony before the US Senate. Hearings on S386 and S747 
Before the Subcommittee on the Constitution of the Committee on the 
Judiciary. 101st Congress, 1st Session. May 5, 1989. Washington, DC: US 
Government Printing Office. 



106 

Re: Requested supplemental testimony on S. 1882 page 8 

From: Edgar A. Suter MD, Chair, Doctors for Integrity in Research & Public Policy 



Assault Rifle Fact Sheet 2 Quantities of Semi-automatic "Assault Rifles' 
Owned in the United States. Washington, DC: Institute for Research on 
Small Arms in International Security; March 24, 1989. 

Hearings on HR1154 Before the Subcommittee on Trade of the House 
Committee on Ways and Means. 101st Congress, 1st Session. April 10, 1989. 
Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, p. 114-5. 

Baltimore Police Department. Firearms Submissions. 1990. 

DiMaio V, Chief Medical Examiner, Bexar County, TX. and Kalousdian S 
and Loeb JM, American Medical Association. Letters: Assault Weapons as 
a Public Health Hazard. JAMA 1992; 268: 3073-4. 

Simkin JE. "Control Criminals, Not Guns." Wall Street Journal. March 
25, 1991. 

Mericle JG. "Weapons seized during drug warrant executions and 
arrests." unpublished report derived from files of Metropolitan Area 
Narcotics Squad, Will and Grundy Counties, IL. 1989. in Kleck G. Point 
Blank: Guns and Violence in America. New York: Aldine de Gruyter. 
1991. Chap. 2. 

Kirschner KH, Major, Commanding Officer, Bureau of Police Support, 
Connecticut State Police. Letter to Moore GH, Lt. Col., Commanding 
Officer, Office of Administrative Services, Connecticut State Police. March 
11, 1993. 

Reply Brief of State of Colorado, Robertson, et al. plaintiffs. State of 
Colorado, plaintiff-intervenor v. City and Country of Denver. # 90CV603 
(Colorado District Court), p. 13-15. in Morgan, Eric and Kopel, David. The 
Assault Weapons Panic: "Political Correctness" Takes Aim at the 
Constitution. Independence Issue Paper No. 12-91. Golden, CO: 
Independence Institute. October 10, 1991. 

Boston Globe. March 26, 1989. p. 12. in Kleck G. Point Blank: Guns and 
Violence in America. New York: Aldine de Gruyter. 1991. 

Arnold M, Massachusetts State Police, Firearms Identification Section. 
Massachusetts State Police Ballistics Records. March 14, 1990 and April 11, 
1991. 

Constance J, Deputy Chief, Trenton, NJ Police Department, testimony 
before the Maryland Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee. March 7, 
1991. p. 3. 



I 






107 

Re: Requested supplemental testimony on S. 1882 page 9 

From: Edgar A. Suter MD, Chair, Doctors for Integrity in Research & Public Policy 



Moran, Lieutenant, New York City Police Ballistics Unit, in White Plains 
Reporter-Dispatch. March 27, 1989. 

Zien R, Sergeant, Weapons Unit, Homicide Section, Oakland Police 
Department. Year End Report 1990: Homicide Section Weapons Unit. 
Oakland Police Department. 1991. 

Oakland Police Department. Supplementary Homicide Reports. Oakland 
CA: Oakland Police Department. 1991. 

San Diego Union. "Smaller Guns are 'Big Shots' with the Hoods." 
(reporting a study by the city's firearms examiner). August 29, 1991. 

Wilson GR, Chief, Firearms Section, Metropolitan Police Department. 
Wall Street Journal. April 7, 1989. p. A-12, col. 3. and New York Times. 
Apr. 3, 1989. p. A14. 

Wilson GR, Chief, Firearms Section, Metropolitan Police Department. 
January 21, 1992. in Bea K. CRS Report for Congress - 'Assault Weapons': 
Military-Style Semiautomatic Firearms Facts and Issues. Washington 
DC: Congressional Research Service, The Library of Congress; May 13, 
1992 (Technical Revisions, June 4, 1992). Table 5. p. 18. 

US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics. Survey of State 
Prison Inmates, 1991. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office; 
March 1993. p. 19. 

Mohr C. "House Panel Issue: Can Gun Ban Work." New York Times. 
April 7, 1989. P. A- 15. 

At the nexus of public health, public policy, and the constitution, my references are: 

US Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution. The Right to Keep and Bear 
Arms: Report of the Subcommittee on the Constitution of the Committee on 
the Judiciary. United States Congress. 97th. Congress. 2nd. Session. 
February 1982. 

Van Alstyne W. "The Second Amendment and the Personal Right to 
Arms." Duke Law Journal. 1994; 43: 6. 

Malcolm JL. To Keep and Bear Arms: The Origins of an Anglo-American 
Right. Cambridge MA: Harvard U. Press. 1994. 

Amar AR. "The Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment." Yale Law 
Journal. 1992; 101: 1193-1284.; Winter 1992; 9: 87-104. 



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From: Edgar A. Suter MD, Chair, Doctors for Integrity in Research & Public Policy 



Cottrol RJ and Diamond RT. "The Second Amendment: Toward an Afro- 
Americanist Reconsideration." The Georgetown Law Journal. Decembei 
1991: 80; 309-61. 

Amar AR. The Bill of Rights as a Constitution" Yale Law Journal. 1991; 
100(5): 1131-1210. 

Levinson S. "The Embarrassing Second Amendment" Yale Law Journal. 
1989; 99:637-659. 

Johnson NJ. "Beyond the Second Amendment: An Individual Right to 
Arms Viewed through the Ninth Amendment." Rutgers Law Journal. Fall 
1992; 24 (1): 1-8L 

Kates D. "The Second Amendment and the Ideology of Self-Protection." 
Constitutional Commentary. Winter 1992; 9: 87-104. 

Cottrol R. Gun Control and the Constitution (3 volume set). New York City: 
Garland. 1993. 

Cottrol R and Diamond R. "Public Safety and the Right to Bear Arms" in 
Bodenhamer D and Ely J. After 200 Years; The Bill of Rights in Modern 
America. Indiana U. Press. 1993.; Oxford Companion to the United States 
Supreme Court. Oxford U. Press. 1992. (entry on the Second Amendment) 

Foner E and Garrity J. Reader's Companion to American History. 
Houghton Miflnin. 1991. 477-78. (entry on "Guns and Gun Control") 

Kates D. "Minimalist Interpretation of the Second Amendment" in E. 
Hickok (ed.), The Bill of Rights: Original Meaning and Current 
Understanding. Univ. Virginia Press. 1991. 

Halbrook S. "The Original Understanding of the Second Amendment." in 
Hickok E (editor) The Bill of Rights: Original Meaning and Current 
Understanding. Charlottesville: U. Press of Virginia. 1991. 117-129. 

Fields WS and Hardy DT. "The Militia and the Constitution: A Legal 
History." Military Law Review. Spring 1992; 136: 1-42. 

Young DE. The Origin of the Second Amendment. Golden Oak Books. 
1991. 

Halbrook S. A Right to Bear Arms: State and Federal Bills of Rights and 
Constitutional Guarantees. Greenwood. 1989.; Levy L. Original Intent and 
the Framers' Constitution. Macmillan. 1988. 

Hardy D. Origins and Development of the Second Amendment. 
Blacksmith. 1986. 



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ll 






Levy LW, Karst KL, and Mahoney DJ. Encyclopedia of the American 
Constitution. New York: Macmillan. 1986. (entry on the Second 
Amendment) 

Halbrook S. That Every Man Be Armed: The Evolution of a Constitutional 
Right. Albuquerque, NM: U. New Mexico Press. 1984. 

Marina. "Weapons, Technology and Legitimacy: The Second Amendment 
in Global Perspective." and Halbrook S. "The Second Amendment as a 
Phenomenon of Classical Political Philosophy." — both in Kates D (ed.). 
Firearms and Violence. San Francisco: Pacific Research Institute. 1984. 

Caplan D. "Weapons Control Laws: Gateways to Genocide" in Sank D & 
Caplan D. To Be a Victim. London: Insight. 1991. 

Scarry E. "War and the Social Contract: The Right to Bear Arms." Univ. 
Penn. Law Rev. 1991; 139(5): 1257-1316. 

Williams DL. "Civic Republicanism and the Citizen Militia: The 
Terrifying Second Amendment" Yale Law Journal. 1991; 101:551-616. 

Kates D. "The Second Amendment: A Dialogue." Law and Contemporary 
Problems. 1986; 49:143. 

Malcolm JL. Essay Review. George Washington U. Law Review. 1986; 54: 
452-464. 

Fussner FS. Essay Review. Constitutional Commentary. 1986; 3: 582-8. 

Shalhope R. "The Armed Citizen in the Early Republic." Law and 
Contemporary Problems. 1986; 49:125-141. 

Halbrook S. "What the Framers Intended: A Linguistic Interpretation of 
the Second Amendment." Law and Contemporary Problems. 1986; 49:151- 
162. 

Kates D. "Handgun Prohibition and the Original Meaning of the Second 
Amendment." Michigan Law Review. 1983; 82:203. 

Halbrook S. "The Right to Bear Arms in the First State Bills of Rights: 
Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Vermont, and Massachusetts." Vermont 
Law Review 1985; 10: 255-320. 

Halbrook S. "The Right of the People or the Power of the State: Bearing 
Arms, Arming Militias, and the Second Amendment." Valparaiso Law 
Review. 1991;26:131-207. 

Tahmassebi SB. "Gun Control and Racism." George Mason Univ. Civil 
Rights Law Journal. Winter 1991; 2(l):67-99. 



110 

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From: Edgar A. Suter MD, Chair, Doctors for Integrity in Research & Public Policy 



Reynolds. "The Right to Keep and Bear Arms Under the Tennessee 
Constitution." Tennessee Law Review. Winter 1994; 61:2. 

Bordenet TM. The Right to Possess Arms: the Intent of the Framers of the 
Second Amendment." U.W.L.A. L. Review. 1990; 21:1.-30. 

Moncure T. "Who is the Militia - The Virginia Ratifying Convention and 
the Right to Bear Arms." Lincoln Law Review. 1990; 19:1-25. 

Lund N. "The Second Amendment, Political Liberty and the Right to Self- 
Preservation." Alabama Law Review 1987; 39:103.-130. 

Morgan E "Assault Rifle Legislation: Unwise and Unconstitutional." 
American Journal of Criminal Law. 1990; 17:143-174. 

Dowlut, R. "Federal and State Constitutional Guarantees to Arms." Univ. 
Dayton Law Review. 1989.; 15(l):59-89. 

Halbrook SP. "Encroachments of the Crown on the Liberty of the Subject: 
Prc-Revolutionary Origins of the Second Amendment." Univ. Dayton Law 
Review. 1989; 15(1):91-124. 

Hardy DT. "The Second Amendment and the Historiography of the Bill of 
Rights." Journal of Law and PoHtics. Summer 1987; 4(l):l-62. 

Hardy DT. "Armed Citizens, Citizen Armies: Toward a Jurisprudence of 
the Second Amendment." Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy. 1986; 
9:559-638. 

Dowlut R. "The Current Relevancy of Keeping and Bearing Arms." Univ. 
Baltimore Law Forum. 1984; 15:30-32. 

Malcolm JL. "The Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms: The Common 
Law Tradition." Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly. Winter 1983; 
10(2):285-314. 

Dowlut R. "The Right to Arms: Does the Constitution or the Predilection of 
Judges Reign?" Oklahoma Law Review. 1983; 36:65-105. 

Caplan DI. "The Right of the Individual to Keep and Bear Arms: A Recent 
Judicial Trend." Detroit College of Law Review. 1982; 789-823. 

Halbrook SP. "To Keep and Bear 'Their Private Arms" Northern 
Kentucky Law Review. 1982; 10(l):13-39. 

Gottlieb A. "Gun Ownership: A Constitutional Right." Northern Kentucky 
Law Review 1982; 10:113-40. 

Gardiner R. "To Preserve Liberty - A Look at the Right to Keep and Bear 
Arms." Northern Kentucky Law Review. 1982; 10(l):63-96. 



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Re: Requested supplemental testimony on S. 1882 page 13 

From: Edgar A. Suter MD, Chair, Doctors for Integrity in Research & Public Policy 



Kluin KF. Note. "Gun Control: Is It A Legal and Effective Means of 
Controlling Firearms in the United States?" Washburn Law Journal 1982; 
21:244-264. 

Halbrook S. The Jurisprudence of the Second and Fourteenth 
Amendments." George Mason U. Civil Rights Law Review. 1981; 4:1-69. 

US V. Verdugo-Urquidez. 494 US 259 (1990). 

US Constitution, Article 1, Section 8 (11-16). 

Miller v. US. 307 US 174 (1938). 

House Report No. 141, 73rd. Congress, 1st. Session. 1933. pp. 2-5. 

Perpich v. Department of Defense. 110 S.Ct. 2418 (1990). 

Patsone v. Pennsylvania 232 US 138, 143 (1914). 

Hartzler v. City of San Jose, App., 120 Cal. Rptr. 5 (1975). 

Warren v. District of Columbia, D.C. App., 444 A.2d. 1 (1981). 

California Government Code § 845. "Failure to provide police protection - 

Neither a public entity nor a public employee is liable for failure to 
establish a police department or otherwise provide police protection 
service or, if police protection service is provided, for failure to 
provide sufficient police protection service." 

South v. Maryland, 59 US (HOW) 396, 15 L.Ed., 433 (1856) 

Bowers v. DeVito, US Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit, 686F.2d. 616 (1882). 

Kates DB. "Toward a History of Handgun Prohibition in the United 
States." in Kates, DB, Editor. Restricting Handguns: The Liberal Skeptics 
Speak Out. North River Press. 1979. 

Kessler RG. "Gun Control and Political Power." Law & Policy Quarterly. 
July 1983: Vol. 5, #3; 381-400. 

Stark R. Police Riots. Belmont CA: Wadsworth Publishing Co. 1972. 

Simkin J and Zelman A. "'Gun Control' - Gateway to Tyranny: The Nazi 
Weapons Law, 18 March 1938." Milwaukee WI: Jews for the Preservation of 
Firearms Ownership. 1992. 

New York v. United States. 112 Sup.Ct.Rptr. 2408 (1992). 

Sheriff Jay Printz v. United States. US District Court, District of Montana. 
Copmplaint filed March 4, 1994. 

Prudential Insurance Co. v. Cheek. 259 US 530, 543 (1922). 



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From: Edgar A. Suter MD, Chair, Doctors for Integrity in Research & Public Policy 



Dred Scott v. Sandford 60 US (19 How.) 393 (1857). 

Laws of Mississippi, 1865, at 165 (29 Nov. 1865); 1 Documentary History of 
Reconstruction 289-90 (W. Fleming ed. 1906). J. Burgess, Reconstruction 
and the Constitution, 1866-1876, 47, 51-52 (1902) states of the Mississippi Act. 
in Halbrook S. That Every Man Be Armed: The Evolution of a 
Constitutional Right. Albuquerque, NM: U. New Mexico Press. 1984. p. 108. 

Bruce-Biggs B. "The Great American Gun War." The Public Interest. 
1976; 45: 37-62. 

US V. Cruickshank. 92 US 542 (1876). 

Presser v. Illinois. 116 US 252 (1886). 



A copy of my articles are appended for inclusion with my testimony. "Guns in the 
Medical Literature - A Failure of Peer Review" (Journal of the Medical Association 
of (Georgia. March 1994: 133-48) extensively discusses the deceptive "factoids," 
fraudulent claims, and biased and seriously flawed research on guns - most of 
which has been funded by tax dollars through the Centers for Disease Control. 
Included in the article are a discussion of the deceptive and fraudulent claims 
regarding gun accidents. 



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Additionally, even in testimony before your committee regarding S. 1882, incorrect 

claims have been made about gun accidents. Regrettably, other business took you 

away from the hearing before I delivered my testimony, but in that presentation I || 

mentioned that Dr. Wright, the representative of the American Academy of 

Pediatrics, in a departure from his written remarks, testified that "There are 7,000 

unintentional gun deaths of children every year." Dr. Wright's statement was a 

35-fold exaggeration. When I noted this to Sen. Simon, he consulted a staffer and 

then noted, "Surgeon General Elders says the number is 1,200." Actually annual 

gun accidents average about 1,400 per year for all ages. The National Safety 

Council data shows that, for children ages 0-14, an average of about 200-250 child 

accidental gim deaths occur annually. Each of those deaths is tragic, but the 

magnitude is nowhere near the 35-fold exaggeration given by the American 

Academy of Pediatrics representative and others. 

Please list all your published articles. 

The following are articles published in the medical literature: 

Suter E.. A Deceptive Contrivance. Archives of Neurology, 1993; 50/4: 345-6. 

Suter E. "Guns in the Medical Literature - A Failure of Peer Review" 
Journal of the Medical Association of Georgia, March 1994. 133-48, 

Suter E. "'Assault Weapons' Revisited - An Analysis of the AMA Report" 
Journal of the Medical Association of Georgia, May 1994. 



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Re- Requested supplemental testimony on S. 1882 page 15 

From: Edgar A. Suter MD, Chair, Doctors for Integrity in Research & Public Policy 



Suter E, Morgan R, Cottrol R, and Kates DB. "The Right to Keep and Bear 
Arms - A Primer for Physicians" Journal of the Medical Association of 
Georgia, June 1994. 

Suter E. Letters to the Editor. American Medical News July 1, 1991 

Suter E. Letters to the Editor. New England Journal of Medicine. 1992; 
326:1159-60. 

Debate with George Lundberg, MD, Editor in Chief of Journal of the 
American Medical Association, on Physicians' Journal Update, Lifetime 
Medical Television, August 23, 1992. Transcript available form the 
producer. 

This list does not include numerous publications in the lay press. 

4. How many members are in the organization "Doctors for Integrity in Research & 

Public Policy"? Who constitutes the organization's leadership? When was the 
organization formed? How were you chosen national chair? Have you ever had an 
agreement with any individual or entity regarding payment or reimbursement of your 
expenses in connection with appearing before this subcoirmittee? If so, with whom? 

Doctors for Integrity in Research & Public Policy (DIRPP) was organized two 
years ago in California by a group of physicians. DIRPP was founded as a national 
"think tank'' of medical school professors, researchers, and clinicians who wish to 
bring scientific accuracy and balance to public policy matters, including 
particularly questions concerning firearms control policies, The organization is 
also active in challenging the recent efforts by some in the public health 
community who wish to promote their "public health" gun ban and prohibition 
agenda (gun bans, Hcensing, registration, confiscatory taxation, etc.) by 
justifying their actions on the basis of biased research studies. DIRPP presently 
has several hundred members. 

Among the founding principals of the organization's working group, there was a 
consensus for me to serve as chair. The organization is still relatively new and, 
upon its formation, immediately began to focus on the public policy issues at hand. 
Since internal organization issues have been of limited concern, the organization 
will settle upon a permanent leadership and succession process in the future. 

I personally paid for all my expenses connected with testifying before this 
subcommittee. Based on contact with subcommittee staff, I am told that I might be 
reimbursed by your subcommittee, just as Dr. Wheeler's expenses were 
reimbursed. Should I not be reimbursed by the subcommittee, the expenses will 
continue to be borne solely by myself or DIRPP. 

5. Explain the basis of your claims that 2.4 million Americans use guns to protect 

themselves and their families and that 75 lives are protected by a gun for every life lost to a 
gun. 



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From: Edgar A. Suter MD, Chair, Doctors for Integrity in Research & Public Policy 



To suggest that science has proven that defending oneself or one's family with a 
gun is dangerous, gun prohibitionists often claim: "a gun owner is 43 times more 
likely to kill a family member than an intruder." This is Kellermann and Reay's 
flawed risk -benefit ratio for gun ownership,^ heavily criticized for its deceptive 
approach and its non-sequitur logic.^ ,^A Clouding the public debate, this fallacy is 
one of the most misused slogans of the anti-self-defense lobby. 

The true measure of tfie protective benefits of guns are the lives saved, the injuries 

prevented, the medical costs saved, and the property protected - not the criminal 

count. Since only about 0.1% — 1-in-a-thousand — of defensive gun usage involves 

the death of the criminal,^ any study, such as this, that counts criminal deaths as 

the only measure of the protective benefits of guns will expectedly underestimate the 

benefits of firearms by a factor of 1,000. | 

Interestingly, Kellermann and his co-authors themselves described, but did not 
use, the correct methodology. They acknowledged that a true risk-benefit 
consideration of guns in the home should (but did not in their "calculations") 
include "cases in which burglars or intruders are wounded or frightened away by 
the use or display of a firearm [and] cases in which would-be intruders may have 
purposely avoided a house known to be armed.. ."^ 

Kellermann and Reay had repeated the harshly criticized folly of Rushforth^ from 
a decade earlier. In 1976 Bruce-Biggs criticized Rushforth noting that the protective 
benefits of giins are the lives saved and the property protected, not the burglar body 
count." Kellermann and Reay would have done well to heed that simple caveat. 
Objective analysis, even by their own standards, shows the "more likely to kill a 
family member than intruder" comparison to be deceptively appealing. However, 
Kellermann and Reay's contrivance is even more readily seen to be an illusory 
argument when compared to the real issues and concerns that law abiding 
Americans must weigh in their risk analysis when deciding how they should 
provide for the personal security of themselves and their families. 

Caveats about earlier estimates of 1 million protective uses of guns each year^ have 
led Kleck to perform the largest scale, national, and methodologically sound study 
of the protective uses of guns suggesting between 800,000 and 2.4 million protective 
uses of guns each year' - not quite as "intangible" as Kassirer, the editor of the 
New England Journal of Medicine, claimed." As Kleck concluded, as many as 75 
lives are protected by a gun for every life lost to a gun, as many as 5 lives protected 
per minute. Guns not only repel crime, guns deter crime as is shown by repeated 
National Institute of Justice surveys of criminals."- 1*^ These are the benefits of 
guns overlooked by scientists whose politics overshadow their objectivity. 

Objective researchers agree, perfect data on the frequency of protective uses of guns 
is not available, however, the best available data from nearly a dozen concordant 
studies'^ suggests that every year as many as 2.5 million good Americans use guns 
to protect themselves and their families. In about l/6th of these cases, the defenders 



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From: Edgar A. Suter MD, Chair, Doctors for Integrity in Research & Public Policy 



believe that they would almost certainly have lost their lives if they did not have a 
gun. 

Of those dozen studies of the protective uses of guns, all but one agree on the 
approximate frequency (generally 1 to 2.5 million per year) of protective uses of 
guns by good Americans. This is not surprising since 99% of all American guns in 
circulation do not have to be used for anything other than sporting, collecting, or 
hunting each year. The only study to find otherwise is the only study upon which 
Kellermann relies, the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS). The NCVS 
has several methodological weaknesses. NCVS screening questions disallow 
counting one of the most common protective uses of guns, shopkeepers defending 
against armed robbery and similar attacks. It is also cletir that the NCVS 
undercounts another of the most frequent protective uses of guns, the use of guns by 
women to defend against domestic attacks on themselves and their children. The 
NCVS also undercounts the less frequent, but important, use of guns to repel rapists. 

There are additional important sources of NCVS sampling error. Even to 
anonymous inquiry, many are ujiwilling to be forthcoming about their gun 
ownership or their use of guns. Prudently, many survey respondents deny their 
gun ownership to avoid becoming a target of theft. In some urban jurisdictions, like 
Washington DC, the mere ownership of certain guns (like handguns) is a "crime." 
Importantly, since the NCVS is a survey conducted by law enforcement, it is 
unlikely that such urban respondents would incriminate themselves of the 
victimless "crime" of requiring or using self-protection. 

Kleck's data is recent, so it has yet to be published in the peer-reviewed literature. 
Because sound public policy demands an honest measurement of the protective uses 
of guns, Kleck has generously and publicly shared his data set Kleck himself has 
noted and explained the unexpectedly high percentage of defensive shootings 
discovered by the survey. Kleck's recent study is the largest scale methodologically 
sound study to date and the sample size of 5,000 (compared to the usual 1,000 for most 
national surveys) allows a high level of confidence in the total protective uses of 
guns. The infrequency of protective shootings, however, makes any survey 
susceptible to sample artefact - a difference of a few shootings in a sample of 5,000 
can affect the estimated percentage of defensive shootings. It appears that the 
unexpected 8% shooting rate in Kleck's recent study is such a sample artefact. 
Generally about 2% of defensive uses involves shooting the assailant and about 
0.1% of defensive uses involve /afa/Zy shooting the assailant. 

Until "perfect" data is available and in view of the flaws in the NCVS data, most 
will trust the dozen studies that agree, rather than the aberrant NCVS study. 

At his presentation to the October 17, 1993 Handgun Epidemic Lowering Program 
conference. Dr. Kellermann emotionally admitted his anti-gun bias, a bias 
evident in the pattern of his "research." Having admittf>d his lack of objectivity. 
Dr. Kellermflnn continues to Rcrent tax dollar s for research on this subject ■ This. 
of course, raises questions about the obiectivitv and reliahilitv of his work. 



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Re: Requested supplemental testimony on S. 1882 page 18 

From; Edgar A. Suter MD, Chair, Doctors for Integrity in Research & Public Policy 



Oiir OTYaniy-ation rails upon this siihmmmittf>e tn nromnte oversight of the 
onmrx't/'nce and integrity of research funded hv t^x dollars. 

It is also worth reviewing the inflated claims of the economic costs of guns. 
Medicine's politicians have exaggerated the human and economic costs of gun 
violence and underestimated, even totally denied, the protective benefits of guns. 
They look to tap honest, tax-paying gun owners for a new source of revenue, just as 
inner-city hospitals have been hit with budgetary constraints. 

The real cost of medical care for gun violence is approximately $1.5 billion per 
year^l - less than 0.2% of America's $800 billion annual health care costs. To 
exaggerate the costs of gun violence, medicine's gun prohibitionists are fond of 
including estimates of lost lifetime eamings^^ . assuming that "gang bangers" 
and rapists would be as socially productive as teachers, factory workers, and other 
good Americans - to generate the assorted, inconsistent, and inflated claims of $20, 
$40, or $80 bilHon in "costs." 

In fact, it has been estimated that active criminals cost society untold human 
suffering and an economic toll of as much as $400,000 per year while "on the street' 
and $25,000 per year while incarcerated. ^^ It has also been noted that about three- 
fourths of gun death victims are involved with drug trafficking or use.^'*'^^ 
Though DIRPP deems any death is tragic, regardless of instrumentality, some 
analysts have argued that the gun deaths of predators and misfits actually 
represent a net savings to society in both human and economic terms. 



6. Do you think that children should carry guns for their protection? Should they be 

able to take guns to school? 

No, but I do not think that children's safety should be threatened to the degree that 
compels many children to believe that they should "carry guns for their 
protection." I believe that there are certain extraordinary situations where a person 
normally not allowed access to firearms may use them to defend themselves. You 
are aware of Senator Kohl's amendment to the Senate crime bill which specifies 
when children can have access to firearms. One of these circumstances is the use of 
a firearm in the home for self-defense purposes. 

I hope that Sen. Metzenbaum would not deny access to the safest and most effective 
means of protection if a child is threatened with serious violence or unlawful force. 
For instance, when a 14 year old girl who might be home alone when a rapist 
attacks, she, like every human being, should be able to protect herself This, of 
course, assumes that she knows how to do so and, certainly, firearms safety 
training is readily available to children of this age group. 

The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics has shown that guns are the safest and most 
effective means of protection for oneself or ones ftunily.^ Defense with a gun 



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Re: Requested supplemental testimony on S. 1882 page 19 

From: Edgar A. Suter MD, Chair, Doctors for Integrity in Research & Public Policy 



results in fewer injuries to the defender than resisting with less powerful means 
and in fewer injuries than not resisting at all. The fact that guns are the safest and 
most effective means of protection is particularly important to women, children, the 
elderly, and the physically challenged - those most vulnerable to vicious 
predators. The fact that we have public policy reasons why we deny one of the 
mentioned groups, children, routine access to firearms does not mean that we must 
lose all common sense and have the law deny them access in specific situations 
where they are threatened. 

7. Should manufacturers be required to add safety devices to guns in order to prevent 

accidents? If not, why not? 

The question should really be phrased with the word "more" included - "maiS. safety 
devices." In fact, for liability and other reasons, most modem firearms are 
manufactured with a variety of safety devices. It is likely that gun accidents would 
INCREASE if even more safety devices were required on newly manufactured 
guns. 

A false sense of security would develop and a reliance upon a device rather than 
upon safe gun handling habits, would result. Those not properly trained in safe 
gun handling might assume that every gun would be "accident prooP when, in fact, 
no such gun could be designed or manufactured and remain functional for the 
purposes intended - whether self-protection or sport. 

For example, S. 1882 proposes to make a gun inoperable by a child of less than 7 
years of age. Such a policy would make such a gun also inoperable by some adults - 
the frail, the elderly, and some small women. Making a trigger difficult to operate 
also increases the chance that a gun will, in pulling a heavy trigger in self-defense 
or the defense of one's children, be thrown off Urget, increasing the chance of 
missing the assailant and injuring innocent bystanders. 

Gun safety is not a device, it is a mind-set of safe handling practices that prevent 
accidental injuries: 

1. Treat every gun as if it is loaded 

2. Never point a gun at anyone or anything unless you intend to shoot that 
object or person. 

3. Keep your finger off the trigger until you are on target. 

Additionally it is a much simpler proposition to teach those simple rules, than it 
would be to educate 120 million gun-owning Americans to the intricacies of the 
different safeties and chamber-loaded indicators required by the endless variety of 
manufactured firearms. Because guns are different, their safeties will be 
different. 

It is much simpler to teach children: 

l.Stop 



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Re: Requested supplemental testimony on S. 1882 page 20 

From: Edgar A. Suter MD, Chair, Doctors for Integrity in Research & Public Policy 



2. Don't touch 

3. Leave the area 

4. Tell an adult 

These safety instructions are fool-proof and simpler than attempting to teach 
children about an endless variety of confusing devices. Tiiese simple rules are the 
entire substance of the NRA's Eddie Eagle safety program. The model of gun 
safety training for children. 

8. Do you think that people have the right to have anv gun for their protection? 

Yes, but a distinction needs to be drawn between ownership and the regulatory 
pathway to ownership. This discussion is also pertinent to question (9) following. 
True military arms like fully automatic weapons and destructive devices are 
already heavily regulated by the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA). 

For all small arms, including weapons known by the misnomer "assault 
weapons," checks of the type discussed in my response to question (1) are 
appropriate. I need not repeat that discussion here. 

DIRPFs general approach on this issue is extensively discussed in my articles: 

Suter E. "'Assault Weapons' Revisited - An Analysis of the AMA Report" 
Journal of the Medical Association of Georgia, May 1994. 

Suter E, Morgan R, Cottrol R, and Kates DB. "The Right to Keep and Bear 
Arms - A Primer for Physicians" Journal of the Medical Association of 
Georgia, June 1994. 

A manuscript of those articles are enclosed for inclusion as part of this testimony. 

The responsible ownership of any kind of firearm causes no social ill and leaves 
no victims. Guns' protective uses overwhelmingly outweigh criminal gun use and 
accidental gun injury. Whether one uses a human or economic measure, the 
protective benefits far outweigh the costs of guns to society. Guns offer a net benefit 
to society. Guns have benefits with which good Americans can LIVE! 

9. Is there any firearm that you think people do not have the right to own? 

No, but see also the comments I have made in response to question (8). 

I have included a manuscript of my article "Assault weapons' Revisited - An 
Analysis of the AMA Report" for inclusion as part of this testimony. That article 
discusses over two dozen studies that show "assault weapons" are a barely 
measurable fraction of crime giuis. The article also exposes the false imagery 
being uses to fuel the hysteria against "assault weapons," the current bogeymen of 
violence. 



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Re: Requested supplemental testimony on S. 1882 page 21 

From: Edgar A. Suter MD, Chair, Doctors for Integrity in Research & Public Policy 



The Journal of the American Medical Association published an American Medical 
Association (AMA) position paper on military "look alike" guns, the buzzword 
named "assault weapons." That position paper was based on a single flawed study 
of gun traces. Since gun trace data are mL representative and are noL an accurate 
sample of crime guns, the Congressional Research Service (CRS), the Bureau of 
Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation 
(FBI) have explained that gun TRACE data cannot be used for statistical purposes, 
and therefore cannot be used for developing sound public policy. 

In fact, over two dozen studies ignored by the AMA show that these "assault 
weapons" represent a barely measurable fraction of crime guns. In the worst areas 
of drug and violent crime, so-called "assault weapons" represent from zero to 3% of 
crime guns. Best current evidence suggests that, overall, these false symbols of 
violence represent a minuscule fraction of American crime guns; nothing like the 
nightmare suggested by the imagery of gun prohibitionists. 

The editor of the New England Journal of Medicine has stated in print that he 
needs no data because he finds these guns abhorrent. He describes all guns' 
benefits as "intangible" though there the 2.5 million good Americans protected by 
guns annually would disagree with him, including the good citizens and 
shopkeepers who used these "black guns" to protect themselves, their families, and 
their livelihoods from gang and mob violence in the Los Angeles Riots, Hurricane 
Hugo, and Hurricane Andrew. As this subcommittee has heard , good citizens use 
these guns for protection of themselves and their children. 

It is this kind of "science" that allows the AMA and even members of Congress to 
cite a single flawed study in the face of over two dozen contradicting studies. We 
are pummeled incessantly by flawed studies and sensationalized imagery. Each 
rare "assault weapon" tragedy is newsworthy for months precisely because such 
incidents are rare. 

10. Do people have the right to own an unlimited number of firearms? 

Yes, and ammunition as well. There are already regulatory checks in place. For 
instance, gun dealers, under current law, must report multiple handgun sales to 
the BATF. This calls BATF attention to the possibility of interstate gun trafficking 
without interfering with the civil liberties of good citizens. 

Contrast this approach with the S. 1882 provision limiting a law-abiding citizen to 
one handgun purchase per month when that citizen has already cleared a 
background check. The notion that such a one-gun-per-month limit will actually 
affect criminals, reduce gun-related crime, or reduce gun trafficking is 
completely unfounded. In fact, the S. 1882 provisions will only impede the ability of 
good citizens to exercise their own freedoms. 

11. Are you a member of the National Rifle Association? 

Yes, I am a member of the oldest (123 years) and largest (3.4 million dues-paying 
members) civil rights group in America. Mere membership in this or any other 



120 



Re; Requested supplemental testimony on S. 1882 page 22 

From: Edgar A. Suter MD, Chair, Doctors for Integrity in Research & Public Policy 



group has no nexus with the objective public policy implications of S. 1882 - except 
perhaps in theey»-ef^TJueslTon?r-flttempting to determine whether or not my views 
are "pplitrtally correct," rather than scientifically correct. 

fully submitted, 

Cdgar A. Suter MD, CljaifTDoctors for Integrity in Research & Public Policy 

4^ 



1 Kfillermann AL. and Reay DT. "Protection or Peril? An Analysis of Firearms- 
Related Deaths in the Home." N Engl J. Med 1986. 314: 1557-60. 

2 Kleck G. Point Blank: Guns and Violence in America. New York: Aldine de 
Gruyter. 1991. 

3 "Firearms Related Deaths." Correspondence. N Engl J. Med 1986; 315:1483-5. 

4 Suter E. "A Deceptive Contrivance." Arch Neurol. 1993; 50:345-46. 

5 Rushforth NB, Hirsch CS, Ford AB, and Adelson L. "Accidental Firearm Fatalities 
in a Metropolitan County (1958-74)." Am. J. Epidemiology. 1975; 100: 499-505. 

6 Bruce-Biggs B. "The Great American Gun War." The Public Interest. 1976; 45: 37- 
62. 

■^ Kleck G. "Q&A: Guns, Crime, and Self-defense." Orange County Register. 
September 19, 1993. p. C-3. 

8 Kflssirer JP. "Firearms and the Killing Threshold." N. Engl. J. Med. 1991; 325: 
1647-50. 

9 Wright JD. and Rossi PH. Weapons, Crime, and Violence in America: Executive 
Summary. Washington, DC: US Dept. of Justice, National Institute of Justice. 1981. 

10 Wright JD and Rossi PH. Armed and Considered Dangerous: A Survey of Felons 
and Their Firearms. Hawthorne, NY: Aldine de Gruyter. 1986. 

11 Martin MJ. "The Cost of Hospitalization for Firearm Injuries." JAMA. 260:3048-50. 

12 Max W and Rice DP. "Shooting in the Dark: Estimating the Cost of Firearm 
Injuries." Health Affairs. 12(4): 171-85. 

13 Zedlewski EW. Making Confinement Decisions - Research in Brief. Washington 
DC: National Institute of Justice, US Department of Justice. July 1987. 

14 McGonigal MD, Cole J, Schwab W, Kauder DR, Rotondo MF, and Angood PB. 
"Urban Firearms Deaths: A Five-Year Perspective." J Trauma. 1993; 35(4): 532-36. 

15 Hutson HR, Anglin D, and Pratss MJ. "Adolescents and Children Injured or Killed 
in Drive-By Shootings in Los Angeles." N Engl J Med. 1994; 330: 324-27. 



121 

THK ANSWERS TO THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS BY SENATOR METX.ENBAUM HAD NOT BKKN 
RECKTVKl) AT PRKSS TIME: 



ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS BY SENATOR METZENBAUM AT THE HEARING ON THE 
GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION ACT. ON 3/23/94, FOR D R. STEPHEN TERET; 

1. WHEN PEOPLE LIKE YOU ADVOCATE THAT I4ANUFACTURERS SHOULD BE 
REQUIRED TO ADD CERTAIN CHILD-PROOF AND OTHER SAFETY DEVICES TO 
GUNS, MANUFACTURERS DISMISS SUCH PROPOSALS AS IGNORING THE 
RESPONSIBILITY THAT EACH PURCHASER MUST BEAR FOR HIS OWN SAFETY. 
FOR EXAMPLE, THE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR FOR SMITH & WESSON 
RECENTLY SAID: "IF PEOPLE ARE GOING TO BUY A WEAPON, THEY HAVE TO 
LEARN TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR IT." WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE 
MANUFACTURERS' POSITION? WHY DO YOU THINK MANUFACTURERS HAVE 
CHOSEN NOT TO MAKE HANDGUNS SAFER? 

2. GUN MANUFACTURERS ALSO CLAIM THAT GUNS DO NOT INCREASE THE 
THREAT OF INJURY AND ACTUALLY ARE AN ASSET TO POTENTIAL CRIME 
VICTIMS. HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO THOSE CLAIMS? 

3. HOW CAN ADDRESSING THE CRISIS OF GUN VIOLENCE AS A PUBLIC 
HEALTH PROBLEM HELP IN SOLVING THE PROBLEM? 



ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS BY SENATOR METZENBAUM AT THE HEARING ON THE 
GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION ACT. ON 3/23/94 FOR RICHARD ABORN; 

1 . HOW EFFECTIVE WOULD THE GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION ACT BE IN 
FIGHTING GUN VIOLENCE? 

2. HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO CLAIMS THAT MEASURES LIKE LICENSING 
AND BANS ON CERTAIN WEAPONS THAT POSE A SPECIAL DANGER TO SOCIETY 
WOULD SIMPLY PUSH THE GUN TRADE INTO THE BLACK MARKET? 

3. SOME PEOPLE POINT OUT THAT WE CAN NEVER PREVENT CRAZY PEOPLE 
FROM GETTING GUNS AND GOING ON A SHOOTING SPREE. HOW DO YOU 
RESPOND TO THE CLAIMS BY SOME PEOPLE THAT THEY SHOULD BE ABLE TO 
CARRY A GUN WHEREVER THEY GO SO THAT THEY CAN PROTECT THEMSELVES 
AND OTHERS IN CASE THEY ARE CAUGHT IN SUCH A SITUATION? 

4. MANY PEOPLE ARE CONCERNED ABOUT THE FACT THAT THE SAFETY OF 
GUNS IS COMPLETELY UNREGULATED. "60 MINUTES" DID A PIECE ON 
DEFECTIVE GUNS AND ACCIDENTAL SHOOTINGS THIS PAST SUNDAY. ONE OF 
THE PRIMARY GOALS OF THIS LEGISLATION IS TO IMPROVE GUN SAFETY, 
TO REQUIRE GUN MANUFACTURERS TO MAKE SAFER GUNS. WHY HAVEN'T 
I-IANUFACTURERS BEEN MORE DILIGENT ABOUT PRODUCING SAFER GUNS? 

5. HOW IMPORTANT IS IT THAT COMPREHENSIVE FIREARM LEGISLATION 
BE CONSIDERED AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL? 

6 . THE CENTER TO PREVENT HANDGUN VIOLENCE HAS PARTICIPATED IN A 
NUMBER OF LEGAL SUITS INVOLVING THE ILLEGAL OR NEGLIGENT SALE OF 
GUNS TO FELONS AND OTHER PROHIBITED BUYERS BY LICENSED GUN 
DEALERS. DO YOU SEE ANY NEED FOR FEDERAL LEGISLATION WITH 
RESPECT TO THE LIABILITY OF GUN DEALERS FOR DAMAGES RESULTING 
FROM VIOLATIONS OF THE FEDERAL FIREARMS LAWS? 



122 

ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS BY SENATOR METZENBAUM AT THE HEARING ON THE 
GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION ACT, ON 3/23/94 FOR DR. TIM WHEELER ; 

1 . YOU HAVE ARGUED THAT PEOPLE HAVE THE RIGHT TO DEFEND 
THEMSELVES AGAINST CRIMINALS. DO ALL PEOPLE HAVE THIS RIGHT? DO 
YOU AGREE THAT FELONS, MENTALLY DEFECTIVES, AND THOSE PRONE TO 
VIOLENCE SHOULD NOT HAVE GUNS? IF SO, HOW DO YOU THINK SUCH 
PERSONS SHOULD BE PREVENTED FROM BUYING GUNS? 

2. YOU APPEAR TO DISAGREE WITH DR. KELLERMAN AND OTHERS ABOUT 
THE CONNECTION BETWEEN GUN ACCIDENTS AND GUNS IN THE HOME. OTHER 
THAN YOUR OWN OPINION, WHAT EMPIRICAL, PEER-REVIEWED STUDIES HAVE 
YOU PUBLISHED IN INDEPENDENT MEDICAL JOURNALS THAT SUPPORT YOUR 
OPINION? 

3. PLEASE LIST ALL OF YOUR PUBLISHED ARTICLES. 

4. HOW MANY MEMBERS ARE IN THE ORGANIZATION "DOCTORS FOR 
RESPONSIBLE GUN OWNERSHIP"? WHO CONSTITUTES THE ORGANIZATION'S 
LEADERSHIP? WHEN WAS THE ORGANIZATION FORMED? HOW WERE YOU 
CHOSEN CHAIR? HAVE YOU EVER HAD AN AGREEMENT OR UNDERSTANDING 
WITH ANY INDIVIDUAL OR ENTITY REGARDING PAYMENT OR REIMBURSEMENT 
OF YOUR EXPENSES IN CONNECTION WITH APPEARING BEFORE THIS 
SUBCOMMITTEE? IF SO, WITH WHOM? 

5. YOUR TESTIMONY REFERS TO DR. GARY KLECK'S FINDING THAT THERE 
ARE 2.4 MILLION DEFENSIVE GUN USES PER YEAR. HAVE YOU PERFORMED 
ANY INDEPENDENT RESEARCH THAT CONFIRMS THIS FIGURE? IF SO, 
PLEASE EXPLAIN SUCH RESEARCH. 

6 . DO YOU THINK THAT CHILDREN SHOULD CARRY GUNS FOR THEIR 
PROTECTION? SHOULD THEY BE ABLE TO TAKE GUNS TO SCHOOL? 

7 . SHOULD MANUFACTURERS BE REQUIRED TO ADD SAFETY DEVICES TO 
GUNS IN ORDER TO PREVENT ACCIDENTS? IF NOT, WHY NOT? 

8 . DO YOU THINK PEOPLE HAVE THE RIGHT TO HAVE ANY GUN FOR THEIR 
PROTECTION? 

9 . IS THERE ANY FIREARM THAT YOU THINK PEOPLE DO NOT HAVE THE 
RIGHT TO OWN? 

10. DO PEOPLE HAVE THE RIGHT TO OWN AN UNLIMITED NUMBER OF 
FIREARMS? 



123 
ADDITIONAL SUBMISSIONS FOR THE RECORD 



she 



PAGE 
4TH STORY of Level 1 printed in FULL format. 

Copyright 1994 The Courier-Journal 
The Courier-Journal 

April 10, 1994, Sunday - METRO Edition 
SECTION: NEWS; Pg . IIB 
LENGTH: 34 7 words 

HEADLINE: DANCER KILLED WHEN HANDGUN ACCIDENTALLY DISCHARGES 
BYLINE: CHRISTI POOLE 
KEYWORD: KENTUCKY; INDIANA; FATALITY; SHOOTING; ACCIDENT WEAPONS 

BODY: 

A 27-year-old Hardinsburg, Ind., woman died early yesterday after a gun 
was carrying accidentally discharged Friday night at a Shepherdsville bar, 
police said. 

Martha Ann Winkle Lee arrived for her job as a dancer at Shanes Lounge in 
Shepherdsville about 11 p.m. Friday. She threw her leather vest on a table in a 
dressing room. The .38-caliber derringer in a vest pocket discharged, hitting 
her in the chest, said Shepherdsville Police Chief Joe Rogers. 

Lee was taken by ambulance to University of Louisville Hospital, where she 
died about 1:30 a.m. during surgery, said Jefferson County Deputy Coroner Sam 
Weakley. 

No one else was in the dressing room when the gun discharged, said Rogers, 
and no foul play is suspected. The gun was still in the vest pocket after it 
discharged. 

Lee was a member of the National Rifle Association and the Kentuclcy Bikers 
Association . 

Survivors include her husband, Lowell Lee; her mother, Margaret A. Hamilton; 
her father, Charles P. Winkle; two sisters, Patricia G. Oshner of Sutton, Neb., 
and Amanda L. Winkle; and five brothers, Michael McDaniel of Sellersburg, Ind., 
and Charles T. , Joseph A., James E. and Daniel P. Winkle. 

The funeral will be at 1 p.m. Tuesday at Arch L. Heady Southern Funeral Home, 
3601 Taylor Blvd., with burial in Pennsylvania Run Cemetery. Visitation will be 
from 6 to 9 p.m. today, 1 to 9 p.m. tomorrow and after 9 a.m. Tuesday. 

LANGUAGE: English 

TYPE: OBITS 

LOAD-DATE-MDC: April 12, 1994 



124 

PAGE 
llOTH STORY of Level 1 printed in FULL format. 

Copyright 1993 Sentinel Communications Co. 
THE ORLANDO SENTINEL 

December 29, 1993 Wednesday, 3 STAR 

SECTION: A SECTION; Pg . A12 

LENGTH: 102 words 

HEADLINE: MAN MAY HAVE KILLED WIFE IN HIS SLEEP, CORONER SAYS 

DATELINE: SARVER , PA. 

BODY: 

A man charged with killing his wife claims he was awakened by a shot and 
realized he was holding the gun' she kept in their waterbed for protection. Th' 
slaying may well have been accidental, said Butler County Coroner William 
Young. Michael T. Ricksgers, 37, of Buffalo Township, said he and his wife, 
Janet, had gone to bed after enjoying Christmas Day with relatives. Young said. 
Ricksgers said he woke up about an hour later and discovered that his 
31-year-old wife had been shot in the back. The gun was in his hand, but the 
coroner said he believed the gun was flat on the bed when it was fired. 

LANGUAGE: ENGLISH 

COLUMN: OTHER NEWS TO NOTE 

NORTHEAST 

LOAD-DATE-MDC: December 3 0, 1993 



PAGE 
125TH STORY of Level 1 printed in FULL format. 

Copyright 1993 Reuters, Limited 
The Reuter Library Report 

December 11, 1993, Saturday, BC cycle 

LENGTH: 9 5 words 

HEADLINE: PARENTS' GUN KILLS BOY SEARCHING FOR PRESENTS 

DATELINE: DALLAS 

BODY: 

A 12-year-old boy who may have been searching for Christmas presents in hi.s 
parents' bedroom found a gun instead and died after accidentally shooting 
himself in the head, police said on Thursday. ' 

The accident occurred when the boy was left at home while nis father went ti: 
pick up his mother from work. 

Detective Kevin Navarro said it was unlike the boy to go into his parents' 
bedroom and he may have been looking for Christmas presents. 

The handgun was so old and rusty it was a surprise it even fired, Navarro 
said. ''I don't think it'll ever fire again.'' 

LANGUAGE: ENGLISH 

TYPE: International news, analysis, profiles 

LOAD-DATE-MDC: December 11, 1993 



125 

PAGE 
134TH STORY of Level 1 printed in FULL format. 

Copyright 1993 Toronto Star Newspapers, Ltd. 
The Toronto Star 

December 8, 1993, Wednesday, FINAL EDITION 
SECTION: NEWS; Pg • A29 
LENGTH: 218 words 

HEADLINE: Sentence suspended in teen's fatal gun accident 
BYLINE: BY WENDY DARROCH TORONTO STAR 

BODY: 

A young man who accidentally killed his best friend as a teenager was given 

a suspended sentence yesterday. 

Jason Ball was 18 when he and Cedric Anthony King, 19, were playing with a 
new .22-calibre rifle in the basement of Ball's Orton Park Rd . home in 
Scarborough. 

The g>in accidentally went off, with the shot ripping through King's temple. 

Ball ran screaming up the stairs for his father and out into the cold night 
in his shorts and a T-shirt waving frantically for the ambulance attendants, the 
Ontario Court, general division, jury was told. 

"I've shot him in the head. I didn't mean to do it. Oh, my God, I've killed 
my friend," Ball was quoted as saying when police arrived after the shooting on 
Jan. 5, 1991. 

He was frantic, officers testified. 

King of Prudential Dr., Scarborough, died after 36 hours in Centenary 
Hospital . 

Ball's father Thomas, 46, told court his son was excited about the rifle and 
wanted to buy it from a friend. 

Ball, now 21, pleaded not guilty to manslaughter. At first, the jury of sever, 
women and five men told Mr. Justice Peter Grossi that they could not reach a 
unanimous decision in the case. 

After being urged to try a little harder so both families could put the 
tragedy behind them, they returned with a verdict of guilty as charged. 

LANGUAGE: ENGLISH 

LOAD-DATE-MDC: December 9, 1993 



BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY 

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PAGE 
196TH STORY of Level 1 printed in FULL format. 

Copyright 1993 The Chronicle Publishing Co. 
The San Francisco Chronicle 

OCTOBER 23, 1993, SATURDAY, FINAL EDITION 

SECTION: NEWS; Pg . A21; BAY AREA REPORT 

LENGTH: 101 words 

HEADLINE: EAST BAY 

Apparent Gun Accident Kills Woman on Couch 

BODY : , 1 , J u 

Blackhawk -- A woman described as a ''caring grandmother'' was killed as shr 

sat on her couch when her husband's gun accidentally discharged, authorities 
said . 

Carol Lamantia, 51, died shortly before midnight Wednesday, said Contra Cost.; 
County sheriff's Sergeant Richard Weckel. 

Homicide investigators determined that the shooting was accidental, he said. 

Lorenzio Lamantia was sitting on the couch with his wife taking apart a 
20-gauge shotgun when it went off, Weckel said. 

He said that the case was submitted to the district attorney's office but 
that charges are unlikely. 

LANGUAGE: ENGLISH 

LOAD-DATE-MDC: October 24, 1993 



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ISBN 0-16-052115-7 




9 '7801 60"521 157 



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