In Reply.—The week I received Dr Hollingsworth's letter dismissing the threat of firearms, five children, aged 3 to 13 years, were injured by firearms in Houston (Houston Chronicle, June 22, 1987). Other areas of the country are also reporting unintentional deaths resulting from children shooting themselves or other children.1
The majority of unintentional deaths by firearms occur in the home.2 A recent study3 found that 53.6% of firearms-related deaths occurred in the home where the firearm was kept. Of these 398 deaths, only two cases (0.5%) involved an intruder being shot during an attempted entry.
I am not sure that Dr Hollingsworth can substantiate his statement that "a gun in a child's environment is not as dangerous as an automobile." Neither object should be used by children or any person who has not been properly trained to use it without endangering his or her own life