Monday, November 21, 2011

The Hidden Cost of Gun Violence

For every gun-related death in Oakland each year, there are five or more cases of survival. From 2006 to 2010, Alameda County Emergency Medical Services transported 2,486 survivors of gunshot wounds, an average of 487 per year. However, hundreds more are taken to hospitals by friends, drive themselves or seek treatment elsewhere, making an exact countywide tally difficult to determine. Dr. Greg Victorino, head of Highland's Surgical Trauma Center, said that of the 3,829 cases of gunshot wounds seen at Highland from July 2001 to July 2011, 3,298 survived -- roughly 86 percent.

The majority of these cases involve the uninsured, which means tens of millions of dollars of medical bills are being passed on to the taxpayer year after year in the county and across the East Bay.
We've posted previously about this, here and here, but I think it continues to be an overlooked part of the picture.

What's your opinion? Is the awareness of this aspect of gun violence still a bit too low? This article mentions "tens of millions of dollars," but according to some other reports it's much higher than that.

What do you think?  Please leave a comment.


  1. Yes, the cost to society from gun injuries is far too unknown in the debate. Especially how much it drains on the budget.

    That is a highly important aspect to the debate, but the "debate" is incredily skewed toward the concept of gun rights.

    To soceity's detriment.

  2. I thought you all wanted society to pay for medical care?

  3. Laci The Dog:

    Look, there is a solution for this.

    You may be aware of the brilliant, logical and humane initiative of the SKKKrtoalMerKKKinPatriotiKKK Front's congressional representatives to allow free medical services to 100% of the welfare frauds, leaches and malingerers who sup at the gummint trough. Some folks say it's just drug testing, but I say, "Hey, ya never know when they're gonna find a cure for laziness.".

    Anyhoo, why stop there. I think it would be a good idea to require that allathem bums be given eyetests and the one's that ain't legally blind? they get some gunz. The funding mechanism is child's play. They already get a huge check from the gummint, so just take a couple of them checks and issue each recipient a nice, new Glock, S&W or other suitable "societal equalization device", 2 boxes of 9mm Luger Hornady Critical Defense 115 Grain rounds and a nice CCW rig.

    It'll cut down on innocent folks gettin' all shot up. It'll give them same folks a sense of empowerment they could never get from having a decent job or gaining functional literacy skills and it'll make the NIOA* and the NAoIOM** happy, due to increasing membership and revenues. It's a win-win-win-win***.

    And, hey, it they "lose" teh gunz, we'll just figger out a way to get them another one, they're only inanimate objects, after all.

    * National Inanimate Object Association

    ** National Association of Inanimate Object Manufacturers

    *** That is NOT a fully automatic "win". You will notice that there is a dash between each "win" indicating that each one required re-loading and pushing the keys to make the next win. If it WAS a fully automatic win, it would have gone, like, "win,win,win,win,win,win...".

  4. Democommie, I've got to hand it to you. I've never seen a punctuation explanation for the difference between a semi- and a fully automatic firearm. Funny.