In US, Gunshots will kill more than car accidents soon

A recent joint investigation by Mother Jones and Ted Miller, an economist at the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation on the societal effects of gun violence brought to light some shattering statistics. According to the research, guns kill 33,000 Americans and injure 80,000 people every year, leading to a price tag of at least $229 billion annually. Out of this, the direct cost of gun violence amounts to $8.6 billion including emergency care and other medical expenses whereas $221 billion is indirect cost of gun violence which includes impact on productivity and quality of life for victims and their community.

The financial impact of gun violence is immense. In December 2012, when a gunman shot two people, wounded another before taking his own life at the Clackamas Town Center forced investigation which involved 150 officers from at least 13 local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. Furthermore, the shopping complex was shut for three days during the holiday season hitting the revenues of local businesses severely. Each gun death averages about $6 million in total costs.

So, every time a bullet is fired and hits someone in our country, the costs are massive and about 87 percent of these costs fall on the shoulders of taxpayers. This means that taxpayers have to shell out an average of $400,000 for a single gun homicide. And there are 32 such cases happening every day in our country. The highest gun homicide rate in the country is observed in Louisiana costing the state more than $1300 per capita whereas Illinois incurs $750 in costs per person, in line with the national average. Wyoming has the nation’s highest rate of gun deaths whereas Hawaii has the lowest rate of gun deaths since 2012.

Owing to the multiple recent cases, it shouldn’t come as a shock that 57% of gun homicide are black. Here’s one more stat which is startling yet expected enough — Black men are 10 times more likely to be shot and killed than white men.