The magazine Mother Jones
is conducting an on-going investigation on how much money gun violence is costing the country. The say the U.S. spends about $229 billion a year (a compilation of healthcare for shooting survivors, criminal trial costs, prison costs, etc.) in dealing with the aftermaths of homicides, suicide and mass shootings.
Arizona is near the top—number 19 on the list. Per capita, the state spends about $831, according to 2012 data.
Wyoming takes the cake—although expenses total $805,592,000, per capita the number is $1,397. The report summarizes findings from other states:
Louisiana has the highest gun homicide rate in the nation, with costs per capita of more than $1,300. Among the four most populous states, the costs per capita in the gun rights strongholds of Florida and Texas outpace those in more strictly regulated California and New York. Hawaii and Massachusetts, with their relatively low gun ownership rates and tight gun laws, have the lowest gun death rates, and costs per capita roughly a fifth as much as those of the states that pay the most.
From the special investigation
by Jones' Mark Follman, Julia Lurie, Jaeah Lee and James West:
To begin to get a grasp on the economic toll, Mother Jones turned to Ted Miller at the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, an independent nonprofit that studies public health, education, and safety issues. Miller has been one of the few researchers to delve deeply into guns, going back to the late 1980s when he began analyzing societal costs from violence, injury, and substance abuse, as well as the savings from prevention. Most of his 30-plus years of research has been funded by government grants and contracts; his work on guns in recent years has either been tucked into broader projects or done on the side. "I never take positions on legislation," he notes. "Instead, I provide numbers to inform decision making."