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Monday, January 14, 2013

Researcher: Guns in house far more likely to kill member of household than intruder

How can blocking research make sense, on any level?

Lack of up-to-date research complicates gun debate

From the piece:

Art Kellermann was raised in eastern Tennessee, where his father taught him how to shoot a long gun when he was 10 years old. Kellermann grew up to become an emergency room doctor — and a target for gun-rights groups when he started asking questions like, "If a gun kept in a home was used, who did it shoot, and what were the consequences?"

Kellermann found people turned those guns on themselves and others in the house far more often than on intruders. "In other words, a gun kept in the home was 43 times more likely to be involved in the death of a member of the household than to be used in self-defense," he says.

Kellermann says the National Rifle Association and other Second Amendment advocates leaned on his then-employer, Emory University, to stop the research. That didn't work.

So, he says, "they turned to a softer target, which was the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention], the organization that was funding much of this work. And although gun injury prevention research was never more than a tiny percentage of the CDC's research budget, it was enough to bring them under the fire of the NRA."

... In 2003, Rep. Todd Tiahrt, a Republican from Kansas, added language to the Justice Department's annual spending bill. It says the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives can't release information used to trace guns involved in crime to researchers and members of the public. It also requires the FBI to destroy records on people approved to buy guns within 24 hours.

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