Self-defense this, constitutional rights that, the Urban Institute's most recent study on gun violence and its cost to society brings one of the most tangible and clearest pieces of evidence to the gun debate.
While the study spends time looking at cost trends across 6 states, it arrives at the ultimate conclusion that:
Nationwide, the total hospital costs from gun assault injuries amounted to $670 million.As one senior fellow tells the Washington Post:
"The purpose of this study was to dive into six rather different states and see if the pattern was there in all of those very diverse states," said Embry Howell, a senior Health Policy fellow at The Urban Institute. "And it was. While there's a range, it's actually a pretty tight range. Most of the costs are coming straight out of state Medicaid budgets, or even local hospital budgets."What's more disturbing is that a majority of these costs aren't shouldered by the perpetrators or even insurance companies, they come out of the pockets of taxpayers.
For all six states, the share of public insurance and uninsured firearm-assault-injury costs combined is over 60 percent (table 5 and figure 4). California has the lowest percentage (64.8); Arizona has the highest (85.0).And what's even more disturbing is that, as the Urban Institute acknowledges, these costs don't account for anything beyond associated hospital visits. The Pacific Institute finds that the far-reaching repercussions of gun assault on its victims costs the public nearly $170 billion annually.
If anything, even amid controversy over whether or not gun control will effectively solve the issue and amid the fact that our policymakers can't bring themselves to discuss this issue unless a mass shooting arises, maybe money, something our politicians should care about, should spur dialogue on the issue of firearms in America.