Guns and Safety

Authors: Ronald Hamdy, MD


In this issue of the SMJ, we are pleased to publish the article “Do Guns Provide Safety? At What Cost?,” written by Drs. Narang, Paladugu, Manda, Smock, Lippman and Ms. Cosnay, RN. This article evaluates the statistics regarding the easy accessibility of guns in the United States and its relationship to gun-related violence in the setting of healthcare costs. The numbers are frightening; in 2005, 30,000 Americans died of gunshot wounds and nearly 70,000 received emergency medical treatment for nonfatal wounds. Medical care for gunshot victims in the United States costs around $4 billion annually, and legal costs are approximately $2.4 billion per year.1

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1.Narang P, Paladugu A, Manda SR, et al. Do Guns provide safety? At what cost? South Med J 2010;103:151–153.