DR. KASSIRER ANSWERS CRITICISM

2/16/99

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Dr. Kassirer replied, in part, "Reports on studies of violence submitted to the New England Journal of Medicine are put through the same scrutiny in our peer-review process as all other epidemiologic studies....Though none of the studies on violence are perfect, each adds to the cumulative evidence that guns yield greater risk.  They are all in the public domain for anyone to evaluate for themselves."

The problem might be that the few peers who do the review know nothing about guns or their use.  Maybe they're all anti-gun.  The nejm does not allow outsiders to know who the reviewers are or what there qualifications are.  Note that Kassirer incorrectly thinks that the "risk" their studies find is an indication that guns cause violence.  Note, too, that the data used in the studies had, at the time, never been provided to criminological researchers even upon specific request, and that the published reports have been available only by paying the nejm for them.  So, the studies were hardly in the public domain.

Kassirer then went on with a paragraph trying to discredit the two doctor organizations by pointing out that the organizations advertise in publications of the "evil NRA" and that the NRA uses info developed by the organizations.  Like the organizations should not try to obtain support from gun owners, and the NRA should not use information that comes to light in support of their view that gun controls being advanced by people who know nothing of guns and their use do nothing to reduce crime or violence.  The many organizations advocating gun control certainly cooperate with each other extensively.