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.