The Tragic Bang For Your Buck: The Business Of Guns In The US… By The Numbers

April 22, 2014  |  
A still from the new Moguldom Studios documentary “Gunland.”

The firearms industry makes a killing (yes, pun intended) off selling guns — most times at the expense of someone’s death or critical injuries. But did you ever think about who, besides the victim, pays for those bullet wounds? You do! Yes you. American taxpayers cover 80 percent of gun violence-related hospital costs.

The cost of treating a firearm assault injury in a US hospital will take your breath away — $432,000, according to Forbes. More than 50 percent of firearm injuries are publicly funded through Medicaid; another 28 percent of gunshot victims are uninsured. “The government issues payments to hospitals for uncompensated care when the uninsured can’t or don’t pay,” the National Journal reports.

Let’s break it down —  by the numbers — how much gun violence costs the government, as reported by USA Today:

– Tax Revenue Because of Lost Work – $5.4 billion

– Court Costs – $4.7 billion

– Medicaid/Medicare Costs – $180 million

– Insurance Claims Processing – $180 million

– Responding to Gunshot Injuries – $133 million

In total, according to the latest data from 2010, the US spends $630 million on firearm injuries. More than half of those who are injured live in low-income areas; the average household income is less than $41,000. Young men make up nearly 91 percent of the total gun-related injuries in America. If you think that demographic is bad, listen to this: 7,500 kids are sent to the hospital annually for gunshot wounds.

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