Paying for Gun Violence

Over 30,000 citizens in the US are killed annually from gun violence.  In addition, over 75,000 citizens a year are injured due to guns.  The reality is no one is safe from gun violence in the US.  Yours or my grandchildren, children or any other family member or friend can be affected by gun violence at any time. This is unacceptable to me.  

Something else which is unacceptable to me is the costs of gun violence for which, I along with other citizens, are absorbing all the costs.  In essence, myself and every other tax payer is subsidizing the gun industry.   

Each time there is a mass shooting there is a National cry or more accurately, plea for gun control.  The plea is lost after a few days until the next mass shooting.  Gun control is a very important discussion and will take time, if ever, to pass effective legislation.  

But what can take place immediately, with what I believe can be overall support from citizens and the National political parties, is the gun industry should be totally financially responsible for all gun related costs.  

A recent study indicated the total annual cost of gun violence in the US exceeds $229 billion dollars which includes medical treatments, emergency services, police investigations, legal fees, long term prison costs, long term medical and health expenses, mental health care, and security enhancements.  If you do not believe this, Google "the annual cost of gun violence in America".  You will find a number of studies conducted by independent reliable sources.

Currently, millions of Americans like myself are subsidizing the few Americans who own guns which contribute to the majority of gun related costs in the US.  I would suggest the gun industry, manufactures, wholesale distributors, retail distributors and owners pay for the cost of gun violence on a pro-rata basis. For example, a firearm which only minimally or does not contribute to the cost of gun violence would pay a minimal if any fee.  Firearms which contribute greatly to the cost of gun violence would pay higher fees.  

In addition to the direct economic cost, I would suggest there indirect costs.  If, due to fear, the number of citizens going to bars, restaurants, nightclubs, concerts, malls, etc decreases, this would likely have a negative affect on the economy.  Also, if there is an increased use of security at public places, for example, schools, this is also a drain on economic resources.  I suspect we can all agree, educational institutions spending increased money on security is not a good use of public educational resources.

Bottom line, the gun industry should pay all costs related to gun violence in the US.  This should not be controversial, in fact, simply makes good sense.  For example, think of gas taxes and park fees to name a few.  It can be done by local, state and federal legislators passing legislation which assess fees and taxes in an appropriate manner.  This is not gun control, but simply requires the financial costs be absorbed by the users.  It would seem to me all sides of the political spectrum can agree on this.  Our country can no longer pay for the costs of gun violence.