eLetters

167 e-Letters

  • Response from the Authors
    William V. Fabricius

    Dear Editor

    Our critics argue two points. First, they argue that newspapers are an inappropriate source of data on defensive gun use (DGU) because editors routinely and deliberately suppress stories of legitimate DGU that involve killing or wounding or firing at an adversary. (Some of these writers also argue that brandishing a gun in self-defense is even less likely to be reported in the newspaper because these...

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  • IP is lacking objectivity
    Avery Burdett

    Dear Editor

    IP is gaining a reputation in the cycling community as a journal lacking in objectivity when it concerns the effectiveness of bicycle helmets. Its past zealous defence of flaws found in helmet research that IP has published gives cause for concern.

    Its latest silence over the identification of a serious calculation error (Annan [1]) raises serious ethical questions as well as doubts about...

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  • Unwarranted Assumptions about FARS data
    Joseph Carra

    Dear Editor

    I read with interest the article by Whitfield and Whitefield that recently appeared in Injury Prevention.[1] I share their concern in identifying traffic safety issues as early as possible. Unfortunately the authors have made some unwarranted assumptions about the FARS data system and analysis based on it.

    We do not find any problem with the statistics on tire problems or fires that were repo...

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  • The value of news reports for injury surveillance
    Anara S Guard

    Dear Editor

    I find it no coincidence that the letters so far [1-4] are taking issue with the methodology of Denton and Fabricius,[5] rather than the subject, even though several of the letter-writers are on record elsewhere as opposing gun control in many forms. (For example, see optometrist Gallant’s comments on gun safety at:
    http://i2i.org...

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  • Reality Check for the Publisher
    Michael A. Feiertag, M.D.

    Dear Editor

    It is understandable that a high school student can survey local newspaper articles and some associated police reports and get school credit for a project that has no scientific validity or value. It is disappointing but not surprising that the student's local newspaper published a story about the invalid project. It is shocking that a purportedly scholarly journal (Injury Prevention) accepted the no...

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  • Gun Truths seldom told
    Thomas LaQuey

    Dear Editor

    I personally understand the consternation of people regarding guns and gun use. Many people, never having had guns in their lives don't understand the benefits to people (of sound mind) and wish to cast all gun owners as criminals or just 'unintelligent'.

    I grew up with guns in the home. All of my friends around the US have as well. I have never known any of these people to have anything but the...

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  • Re: Handheld vs Handsfree
    Jon Gardner

    Dear Editor

    The study of the effects of using a mobile phone while driving may reveal interesting socioeconomic and traffic data, and may be perfectly worthwhile as a scientific pursuit.[1] Using this data as a basis for legislation, however, is a bad idea. Common sense tells us that doing anything while driving, be it talking on the phone, applying makeup, operating the radio, or carrying on a conversation wit...

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  • Wrong variable measured
    Barry B. Bean

    Dear Editor

    Denton and Fabricius make a number of errors in their recent study,[1] but perhaps the most sigificant error is their base assumption that measuring any given phenomenon through newspaper reporting gives an accurate measure of that phenomenon. What Denton and Fabricius have actualy measured is coverage of gun use in the Tribune during a non- randomly selected 103 days. Whether or not this has a correla...

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  • Fundamental error in "Trends in serious head injuries..." Cook and Sheikh 2003
    James D Annan

    Dear Editor

    The main conclusion of Cook and Sheikh,[1] that a bicycle helmet prevents 60% of head injuries, is incorrect due to a fundamental error in the way they have treated their percentages. A correct analysis demonstrates unequivocally that there must be major confounding factors in their data set that they have failed to take into account, and therefore any estimate of helmet effectiveness is purely speculat...

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  • The DGU Controversy
    Paul Gallant

    Dear Editor

    We were dismayed to read the recent article by Denton and Fabricius in which they gleaned the magnitude of annual defensive gun use (DGU) from local newspaper accounts.[1] We find the authors’ method of determining DGUs, and their suggestion for a new way to use firearms for self-defense, seriously flawed.

    The authors used the Tribune (Tempe, AZ) as a "daily survey of several million people...

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