Published on February 4, 2010 at 1:59 AM
"Taxpayers often bear a large percentage of these financial burdens," according to the authors. Other costs show up in the form of increased insurance premiums. Gun violence costs the U.S. criminal justice system approximately $2.4 billion per year—nearly equal to all other crimes put together.
Despite these high costs, "[F]irearms remain so much a part of our culture that gun-related violence and legal expenses are routinely accepted as a normal part of our life," Dr. Lippmann and colleagues write. "Politically, gun control remains unpopular, but raising awareness among doctors about the relationship between firearms, the rates of violence, and expenses involved may have an impact on their thinking."
In publishing the review, the editors of SMJ hope to promote a conversation within the medical profession about the health, economic, and social consequences of guns in the United States. In an editorial in the same issue, Editor-in-Chief Dr. Ronald C. Hamdy writes, "Our goal…is to provide solid, scientific evidence regarding these often controversial topics, in an attempt to avoid the personal and emotional quagmire which is so easily adopted in issues such as these." The SMJ website features a podcast in which Dr. Lippmann discusses his findings.
Source: Southern Medical Association