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Monday, January 7, 2013

NRA’s open gun culture costs U.S. $174 billion

The NRA takes millions from weapons manufacturers to promote more guns, resulting in increased violence on the streets.  It is time for the public to turn their attention to one of the major culprits in the gun violence issue, the companies that produce these firearms.  Some of these include Bushmaster Firearms, the rifle used in the Newtown Sandy Hook massacre, Colt Manufacturing, Remington, Magnum, Smith & Wesson and Springfield.

There is a complete list of gun manufacturers here, with their locations, so you might want to write to these companies and let them know what you think of the NRA’s stand for loose guns throughout the U.S.

Wayne LaPierre and his National Rifle Assn. (NRA) minions should understand the monetary side of gun violence and the fact that it cost the U.S. $174 billion in 2010.  Since 2005, according to the Violence Policy Center, gun manufacturers have contributed around $39 million to the NRA allowing them to do their dirty work.  Some of that goes into paying LaPierre’s hefty annual salary of $970,300 and the rest goes for other NRA execs., and pushing more guns on the street.   

All of this loose gun utopia came to a head with the shooting of 20 little children, ages 6 and 7, and 6 educators in Newtown, CT at the Sandy Hook Elementary School , plus the shooter’s mother, on December 14, 2012.  The gunman, Adam Lanza, did it with an assault type weapon that the NRA fights to keep legal.  You can see a list of mass shootings documented by Mother Jones here, which is really only the tip of the iceberg in total gun violence.

The real figure is the fact that there have been about 11,000 homicides by firearms a year with an additional 18,000 that commit suicide using a gun.  As an example, this is compared to 550 homicides a year in the UK where gun control laws are much tougher.  Even the double-digit IQs in the NRA should be able to understand these numbers.  In total there are some 310 million nonmilitary firearms in the US.  The gun culture is out of control and the public knows it

This $174 billion includes work lost, medical care, insurance, criminal-justice expenses and pain and suffering.  This number is even higher than for automobile crashes in the U.S. that are alcohol-related at $129.7 billion.  The Bloomberg report by Henry Goldman breaks down the average cost of just one gun homicide and it is an unbelievable $5 million.

He says, “That includes $1.6 million in lost work; $29,000 in medical care; $11,000 on surviving families’ mental-health treatment; $397,000 in criminal-justice, incarceration and police expenses; $9,000 in employer losses; and $3 million in pain, suffering and lost quality of life.”

Philip Cook of Duke U. and Jens Ludwig from Georgetown U. published “Gun Violence: The Real Costs,” claiming “It’s an economic cost in that it’s a reduction in the standard of living and quality of life in the same way that having dirty air or traffic congestion can be translated into an economic cost.”  The question the American public has to answer now is whether they are willing to pay this high price just so LaPierre and gun manufacturers can continue to get rich.

The most recent CDC data from 2010 reported 105,177 shootings resulting in injury including 31,672 who died by homicide, suicide, law-enforcement action or accident.  If all these numbers aren’t enough to convince the Congress and the American public that guns must be regulated strenuously and now, then there are more double-digit IQs out there than I had thought.

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