The Business Case For Reducing Gun Violence

Toll of US firearms injuries in billions of dollars annually, research says

illustration of a business person tossing money away
Image: Nuthawut Somsuk/iStock/Getty Images Plus

 

While gun violence in the United States continues to claim lives at an alarming rate, it is also taking a quiet toll on the U.S. economy, according to new research by Zirui Song, associate professor of health care policy in the Blavatnik Institute at Harvard Medical School and associate professor of medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital.

In 2020, according to a PEW Research Center analysis of data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 45,222 people died from gun-related injuries in the United States — more than any other year on record.

Get more HMS news here

Another study found that the United States accounted for 73 percent of mass shootings and 62 percent of related fatalities in developed countries between 1998 and 2019.

Song’s work has focused on the somewhat hidden aspects of firearm injuries, revealing that the cost of gun violence is far greater than the loss of human life alone. Earlier this year, he and colleagues delved into the long-term repercussions of firearm injuries for those who survive them.

The overall economic cost of firearm injuries in the United States has been estimated at $557 billion annually.