AP - Antoine Rosenbaum, shot in the back by a stranger and paralyzed from the chest down, carries a heavy load for someone just 25.
More than 12,000 homicides by gun were reported in the United States in 2005. But the number who are wounded and survive gunshot assaults is much greater — nearly 53,000 were treated in emergency rooms in 2006, the same federal database shows.
A report in the journal Spinal Cord a decade ago estimated the direct lifetime charges for every shooting victim at $600,000, or nearly $800,000 in today's dollars. Some estimates put the indirect costs, including lost wages and productivity, at double that amount.
In a 1999 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Cook and his colleagues concluded that gunshot injuries in the U.S. in 1994 produced $2.3 billion in lifetime medical costs. Taxpayers footed half of that through Medicaid, Medicare, workers' compensation and other government programs.
In a follow-up book, "Gun Violence: The Real Costs," published in 2000, Cook and Jens Ludwig estimated that gun violence costs the nation $100 billion a year, with medical costs only a small part of that.
RLCC: It is important to understand that the reason to be non-violent goes way beyond matters of dollars. People should not respond to this issue on a purely dollars-and-cents level. That would be highly selfish. Selfishness will never solve the underlying problem. Appealing to and falling for selfishness is exactly what causes the problem. Feeling for everyone involved is the only right reaction. Living consistently is the only right behavior. It is a matter of the Golden Rule as taught by Jesus.
from on February 26, 2008, 1:18pm