By MARC McDONALD
Since the story of Dick Cheney shooting and wounding a man is dominating the current news cycle, I thought it'd be helpful to take a look at how all American taxpayers are forced to cough up the staggering costs of gunshot injuries in the U.S.
The fact is, U.S. taxpayers are forced to pay at least 80 percent of the annual $14 billion costs of gunshot injuries, according to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Needless to say, in the vast majority of gunshot injury cases, the victims aren't covered by insurance.
Gun injuries are the second leading cause of injury death in the U.S. and have killed more than 30,000 Americans every year since 1972, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
An insurance analysis published in the publication Accident Analysis and Prevention estimates that the mean medical cost per non-fatal gunshot injury is about $17,000.
Gun rights supporters invariably portray themselves as good, law-abiding citizens who want nothing more than the right to keep their precious guns. "We're not hurting anybody, so leave us and our guns alone," is their message.
But of course, it's not that simple. The fact is, we all pay heavily in countless ways for gun violence in this country.
The Brady Campaign estimates that that the total direct and indirect costs of gun violence in America amounts to a staggering $100 billion per year.
If you'd like to learn how to stop the insanity of gun violence in America, check out these Web sites: