Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Arthur L. Kellermann, M.D., M.P.H. is Professor and Chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine and Director of the Center for Injury Control of the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University School of Medicine, as well as co-chair of the Committee on the Consequences of Uninsurance of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. Since arriving at Emory University, Dr. Kellermann established the identity of the Center for Injury Control and built strong links with various organizations and government agencies throughout Georgia. He has published over 50 papers on various aspects of emergency cardiac care , health services research and the role of emergency departments in the provision of health care to the poor.
However, Kellermann is best known for his landmark research on the epidemiology of firearm related injuries and deaths , which has generated a firestorm of criticism from firearm rights activists, much of it personally directed rather than professionally valid, and ended with the Center for Disease Control having its funding cut by Congressmen friendly to the National Rifle Association until they got the message that this subject was taboo.
Even though Kellermann is not personally an anti-gun zealot ("I grew up around guns," he says. "My dad taught me how to shoot when I was eleven or twelve years old. Firearms are fascinating pieces of equipment. I enjoy the sport of shooting , although I rarely shoot anymore."), his studies have earned him the wrath of the National Rifle Association and other gun-friendly organizations and individuals because they have consistently found a strong link between guns and violent death . "However, as a clinician , as someone who is committed to emergency medicine, it is equally evident to me that firearm violence is wreaking havoc on public health", he concluded. For example:
In a 1986 study that examined gunshot deaths in Seattle over a six-year period, he found that "even after the exclusion of firearm-related suicides, guns kept at home were involved in the death of a member of the household eighteen times more often than in the death of an intruder."
In 1986, Kellermann and several colleagues published a study that compared handgun regulations and handgun homicide and assault in Vancouver, Canada, a city that had adopted "a more restrictive approach to the regulation of handguns ," and Seattle. The study found that "the rate of assaults involving firearms was seven times higher in Seattle than in Vancouver."
In 1993, Kellermann was the lead investigator in a case-control study that looked at all homicides occurring in the victims' homes in Cleveland, Memphis, and Seattle, over five years. The results showed that such homicides occurred nearly three times more often in homes where guns were kept than in otherwise comparable control homes where there was no gun.
Both the methodology of these studies and the bias of the author have been criticized by advocates of gun rights.
- Kellermann AL. and Reay DT. "Protection or Peril? An Analysis of Firearms-Related Deaths in the Home." N Engl J. Med 1986. 314: 1557-60.
- Kellermann AL, Rivara FP, Rushforth NB et al. "Gun ownership as a risk factor for homicide in the home." N Engl J Med. 1993; 329(15): 1084-91.
- Sloan JH, Kellermann AL, Reay DT, et al. "Handgun Regulations, Crime, Assaults, and Homicide: A Tale of Two Cities." N Engl J Med 1988; 319: 1256-62.
- Kellermann AL, Rivara FP, Somes G, et al. Suicide in the Home in Relationship to Gun Ownership. N Engl J Med. 1992; 327: 467-72.
- Kellermann AL and Mercy JA. "Men, Women, and Murder: Gender-specific Differences in Rates of Fatal Violence and Victimization." J Trauma. 1992; 33:1-5.
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