Pain, grief and emotional loss follow mass shootings, and there are also other costs that constitute violence’s financial toll. Ted Miller, a health economist with the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, tells NPR that when then-U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-AZ) was shot in a 2011 incident that left six people dead and 13 injured, her medical costs alone were over $500,000. Each death was worth $7 million, he says, saying he analyzes how much people say they would pay to reduce their chance of being killed or injured in a violent incident.
Miller says, “We’re looking at the value of a human life, not the cost of a human life. We look at the wage loss, we look at the household work loss, we look at the value people place on their pain and suffering, loss, quality of life. Fatality is a lot cheaper, medically, than surviving. Makes a real difference if you have insurance.” Miller estimates the cost of the massacre in San Bernardino as $125 million. Says Miller: “Perhaps more telling is the total cost of firearm injury is $235 billion a year. So $125 million is less than a day’s firearm injuries on average.”