Gun Violence: The Real Costs


Until now researchers have assessed the burden imposed by gunshot injuries and deaths in terms of medical costs and lost productivity. Here, the chapters widen the lens, developing a framework to calculate the full costs borne by Americans in a society where both gun violence and its ever-present threat mandate responses that touch every aspect of our lives. All Americans share the costs of gun violence. Whether waiting in line to pass through airport security or paying taxes for the protection of public officials; whether buying a transparent book-bag for their children to meet their school's post-Columbine regulations or subsidizing an urban trauma center, the steps taken are many and the expenditures enormous. The chapters reveal that investments in prevention, avoidance, and harm reduction, both public and private, constitute a far greater share of the gun-violence burden than previously recognized. They also employ extensive survey data to measure the subjective costs of living in a society where there is risk of being shot or losing a loved one or neighbor to gunfire. At the same time, they demonstrate that the problem of gun violence is not intractable. The review of the available evidence suggests that there are both additional gun regulations and targeted law enforcement measures that will help. This book moves the debate over gun violence past symbolic politics to a direct engagement with the costs and benefits of policies that hold promise for reducing gun violence and may even pay for themselves.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Cook, PJ; Ludwig, J

Published Date

  • March 22, 2012

Start / End Page

  • 1 - 256

International Standard Book Number 10 (ISBN-10)

  • 0195137930

International Standard Book Number 13 (ISBN-13)

  • 9780195153842

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195153842.001.0001

Citation Source

  • Scopus