Letter: Gun control laws can benefit healthcare expenses, communities - East Valley Tribune: Letters To The Editor

Letter: Gun control laws can benefit healthcare expenses, communities

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Posted: Thursday, June 27, 2013 4:25 pm

 

Senator Flake is on record as being reluctant to consider common sense gun reforms out of concerns for the costs and inconveniences associated with such measures whilst ignoring the human toll. Arizona

Department of Health Services reports that in 2011 (the last year for which complete data is available) hospital stays for the treatment of gunshot wounds topped more than $57 million dollars. AHCCCS paid $25.9 million. Emergency room charges were nearly $7 million, with AHCCCS paying $2.3 million.

These numbers do not account for the ongoing costs associated with gun violence, including the substantial lifetime costs of those permanently disabled by gun violence. Nor does this consider the costs and “inconveniences” associated with burying those killed by gun violence or the taxpayer dollars spent on law enforcement, court costs and incarceration.

In 2011, there were 931 gun-related fatalities in Arizona, including 23 children.

The costs of gun violence impact our communities in real dollars and in soft costs like diminished property values, loss of productivity and social supports for those unable to care for themselves as a result of gun violence.

Sensible gun reforms to curb violence, coupled with improved access to mental health services, protect and strengthen our communities. The time is now. Our children and our neighborhoods are worth the effort.

Jennifer Longdon

Phoenix

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