Hardly a week passes without someone being shot in Providence, and things are not getting better in Rhode Island's largest city, which has a growing gang problem and increasing poverty, says the Providence Journal. As of Oct. 8, 88 people had been shot in 2013, compared with 87 shot this time last year. Most are not random victims; they know who shot them or what group was seeking revenge. The shootings and trips to emergency rooms have become so commonplace that most people pay little attention. The cost of the violence is high, affecting residents statewide. They help foot medical expenses, with many victims having no insurance. They pay for help to people and families affected by violence. There are the costs of prosecution and incarceration.
The Children's Safety Network and Urban Institute in Washington, D.C., provide staggering numbers about gun violence. The cost of each fatal shooting as of 2010 is $5,094,980; more than $3 million of that from changes in “quality of life,” and $1.5 million the income each victim would have earned during his or her life. Medical care and criminal justice costs were placed at some $423,962. Each shooting victim who survives costs an average of $432,813, mostly in lost “quality of life.” Ted Miller, who compiled the data, said the pain and suffering includes the “lost quality of life” for the dead shooting victim as well as the family and friends of the deceased. A wounded victim's quality of life also suffers and the survivor must deal with “functional and psychological impairments.”