Report: Oregon gun violence costs $2.6 billion a year

Report: Oregon gun violence costs $2.6 billion a year

Supporters of Initiative Petition 43 gather to drop off more than 3,000 signatures to be verified. The initiative would restrict the sale, production and ownership of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. ANNA REED / Statesman Journal Every year, about 63 gun-related homicides, 378 gun-related suicides, 160 nonfatal shootings and 138 unintentional shootings happen all over Oregon. The gun violence carries a heavy price tag, tallying up to an annual grand total of $2.6 billion, according to a report by the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. "We often hear about the heartbreak and physical pain these shootings cause, but there is another aspect of the gun violence epidemic that doesn’t receive as much attention: the overwhelming financial cost," report authors said. The organization, formed in 1993 after a mass shooting in California, joined forces with former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in 2016 to research gun violence, draft gun policy and defend gun laws. The cost estimate includes $891 million in directly measurable costs, including $36 million in health care costs, $820 million in lost income and $30 million in law enforcement expenses. Using nationwide models for calculating "pain and suffering," researchers determined gun violence caused an additional $1.7 billion in reduced quality of life. They noted that even though the $2.6 billion price tag is "staggering," it is still a low-ball estimate because it doesn’t include hard-to-measure costs like lowered property values and lost business opportunities. “Guns are a tool of violence, not the violence itself, and we have […]

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