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Technical Report

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Abstract or Description

A front-page Wall Street Journal article entitled “Armed Force” by Erik Larson (2/4/93) on Paxton Quigley’s personal protection course for women, cites the world’s most notorious “statistic” regarding guns in the home: SA pioneering study of residential gunshot deaths in King County, Washington, found that a gun in the home was 43 times more likely to be used to kill its owner, spouse, a friend or child than to kill an intruder.” The ”43 times” stat is everywhere these days; it has grown in media lore like the proverbial urban myth: it was inflated by one pugilistic talk-show pundit to “93." Given the shock value of the finding, the conclusion of the 1986 New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) study is remarkably understated: “The advisability of keeping firearms in the home for protection must be questioned.9

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