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There are 300 million privately owned guns in the United States. Advocates argue that it's people with guns, not guns themselves, that cause violence. But how much does that violence cost, and when guns are used for self-defense, how much do they save?

Also, EU leaders are meeting in the wake of this weekend's deadly migrant boat wreck. On today's Talking Point, the FDA is taking another look at regulating homeopathic medicine.

Photo: Elvert Barnes

EU Leaders Meeting in Wake of Deadly Migrant Boat Wreck 6 MIN, 30 SEC

Estimates of deaths range from 700 to 900 in the latest shipwreck of African migrants trying to reach Europe by crossing the Mediterranean Sea. At least 17 vessels are still searching for survivors about 70 miles from Libya. James Mackenzie, Reuters senior correspondent in Italy, is in the Sicilian port of Catania.

James Mackenzie, Reuters (@Reuters)

What's the Real Cost of Gun Violence in America? 33 MIN, 19 SEC

Debate over gun ownership and the Second Amendment never ends, but seldom discussed are the unintended consequences of 300 million privately owned guns. The NRA and other gun advocates have discouraged research into the cost of gun violence, but some numbers are available: $229 billion taxpayer dollars for law enforcement, medical bills and beyond — $700 for every man, woman and child. Is that the whole story behind one of America’s most polarizing controversies?

In 2012, the massacre at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado killed 12 people and left 58 injured. The trial of James Holmes is scheduled to start on Monday. After the incident, Mother Jones magazine wanted to know how much care survivors and victims’ families would need. How far would the costs ripple into the broader community? Those questions started years of research.

Mark Follman, Mother Jones (@markfollman)
Timothy Wheeler, Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership (@DRGOSAF)
Mark Rosenberg, Task Force for Global Health (@TFGHer)
Jennifer Carlson, University of Toronto (@jdawncarlson)

Mother Jones report, 'What Does Gun Violence Really Cost? '
DRGO on whether 'gun violence' can be addressed a public health issue
Wright and Rossi's 'Armed and Considered Dangerous'
Gun violence research and the history of the federal funding freeze
NEJM on gun ownership as a risk factor for homicide in the home
Gallup poll on guns making homes safer
Pew Research Center on public attitudes toward gun control
Carlson on how the NRA resonates because it taps into people's fears


Jennifer Carlson

Should Homeopathic Remedies Be Regulated? 10 MIN, 2 SEC

Americans who distrust pharmaceutical companies have helped make homeopathic remedies a multi-billion-dollar industry, but critics say it needs more oversight. So-called "natural remedies" are hugely profitable due to increasing popularity. Before hearings began today, the FDA was flooded with public comments. The Center for Inquiry is a nonprofit advocacy group that's pushing the FDA for stricter regulation. Michael De Dora is Director of Public Policy, and he testified at today's first of two sessions.

Rob Stein, correspondent and senior editor on NPR's science desk, has been covering this issue.

Michael De Dora, Center for Inquiry (@mdedora)
Rob Stein, NPR (@robsteinnews)

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