Follow the Data Podcast: The Economic Cost of Gun Violence in America
Over the past year, the United States has seen the rise of two major public health epidemics: the coronavirus and gun violence.
When we talk about gun violence, we rightly talk about the lives lost. The pandemic has accelerated an austere fiscal environment, where every level of government is straining to maintain critical services like sanitation, public transportation, and education. At a time when every dollar counts, our colleagues at Everytown for Gun Safety researched how much gun violence is costing us – and it’s a staggering $280 billion each year.
This $280 billion figure represents the lifetime costs associated with gun violence, including immediate costs starting at the time of an incident, subsequent costs such as treatment, long-term physical and mental health care, forgone earnings, criminal justice costs, and cost estimates of quality-of-life over a victim’s lifespan.
Everytown for Gun Safety was formed in 2014, when Mayors Against Illegal Guns – a coalition co-founded by Mike Bloomberg during his mayoralty – merged with Moms Demand Action to create the largest gun violence prevention organization in America. Everytown President John Feinblatt and Everytown’s Director of Research, Sarah Burd-Sharps, joined the podcast to tell us more about how their team calculated the economic cost of gun violence, why good storytelling is critical in the fight for gun sense action, and how Everytown is working to prevent gun violence at the federal, state, and local levels.
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