Even if your gut tells you guns cost society far more than you thought, these numbers will shock you.
In collaboration with Miller, Mother Jones crunched data from 2012 and found that the annual cost of gun violence in America exceeds $229 billion. Direct costs account for $8.6 billion—including long-term prison costs for people who commit assault and homicide using guns, which at $5.2 billion a year is the largest direct expense. Even before accounting for the more intangible costs of the violence, in other words, the average cost to taxpayers for a single gun homicide in America is nearly $400,000. And we pay for 32 of them every single day.
Indirect costs amount to at least $221 billion, about $169 billion of which comes from what researchers consider to be the impact on victims' quality of life. Victims' lost wages, which account for $49 billion annually, are the other major factor. Miller's calculation for indirect costs, based on jury awards, values the average "statistical life" harmed by gun violence at about $6.2 million. That's toward the lower end of the range for this analytical method, which is used widely by industry and government. (The EPA, for example, currently values a statistical life at $7.9 million, and the DOT uses $9.2 million.)
Just for perspective, those numbers place the cost of "liberty" above what the Affordable Care Act costs on an annual basis. Granted, the ACA is hard costs and much of what's been calculated here includes indirect costs. But the odds are that those costs are underestimated.
Read the entire article and then share it with everyone you know. Because really, it's time to start holding these politicians' feet to the fire when they say this country can't afford health care or SNAP or Medicaid costs.
It's way past time to stop letting these gun nuts run roughshod over this place. And no, I'm not saying guns should be banned. I am saying that they should be regulated, and much more carefully monitored with regard to sales and licensing.