Giffords Report Claims Gun Violence In Arizona Costs State Billions

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Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Gilbert, is flanked by supporters and opponents of gun control bills at a Republican rally outside the Capitol in support of the Second Amendment on Wednesday. (Photo by Wissam Melhem/Cronkite News)

By Wissam Melhem

WASHINGTON – A new report claims that Arizona loses as much as $1.9 billion every year to costs directly associated with gun violence, from lost wages to expenses on everything from health care to police and criminal justice.

That number balloons to $5.4 billion when indirect costs, such as the “reduced quality of life attributable to pain and suffering,” are factored in for the state, according to the study by the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. The state-by-state report said gun violence nationwide costs the economy $229 billion a year in direct and indirect costs.

The report was part of a day of partisan skirmishing across Capitol Hill that saw Democrats and Republicans holding competing press conferences and a House committee voting – along party lines – for a bill directing the Department of Education to better track and report on school shootings.

Speaking Wednesday afternoon in front of the Capitol with a group of fellow Republicans, Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Gilbert, said that recent mass shootings should be blamed on the evil of the shooter and not the guns they use.

“You know what drives the evil and the mass killings that we see from time to time in this country?” Biggs asked. “It isn’t the instrumentality, it is evil in the heart of somebody.”

But Rep.Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y, said earlier in the day that the U.S. is “standing alone” when it comes to the number of deaths caused by guns, citing statistics that show Americans are 25 times more likely to die from gun violence than residents of such nations as France, Canada and Germany.

“Shame on us for not acting to protect our people,” Maloney said. “More people have died from gun violence than World War II in recent years because of the mass shootings.”

Her comments came at a news conference during which the Giffords report was released, claiming to show the economic impact of gun violence on every state, as well as the number of homicides, suicides, non-fatal shootings and accidental shootings each year.

The study said that nearly 71% of Arizona gun deaths were suicides and more than 57% of all suicide deaths in the state involved firearms.

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Maloney said gun control laws can be effective, pointing to her home state of New York, where just 0.3% of the state GDP is affected by gun violence, compared to 1.5% in Arizona, according to the report. Maloney attributes New York’s low rate to the state’s strict gun laws.

Across the Hill, House Republicans pushed back hard against the notion that gun control works, saying they infringe on Americans’ constitutional rights.

Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., who was wounded in a 2017 attack at a baseball practice in Virginia with other Republicans, criticized Democrats who rush to “find a microphone, not to pray for the victims but to promote their own gun control agenda” after a shooting.

“There are people who use guns legally every single day to protect themselves from criminals and we ought to fight to protect the rights of those law abiding citizens,” Scalise told the crowd at the Tea Party Patriots event. “These are not rights that Congress gave, these are enshrined in our Constitution.”

A popular target for Republicans was former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who said at a recent Democratic presidential primary debate that he would take away people’s military-style AR-15 and AK-47 rifles. Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., said O’Rourke was only saying what those who claim to support “common-sense” gun control are thinking.

“They would prefer to take every single gun back,” Massie said. “That is a recipe for destroying this country … Beto’s proposition is the first step in a full confiscation.”

 

The GOP rally came shortly after the House Education and Labor Committee voted on a bill that would direct the Department of Education to annually track statistics pertaining to school shootings. It would also create a federal definition of “mass shooting” and “school shooting.”

The bill passed on a party-line vote as House Democrats said it would lay the necessary groundwork to find efficient solutions for the “epidemic” facing the country. Republicans on the committee tried unsuccessfully to amend the bill but did not otherwise debate it before voting against it as a bloc.

While the House goes back and forth, the GOP-controlled Senate has yet to take action on gun control bills passed by the House earlier this year, including one bill from February that would expand the types of gun sales requiring background checks on the buyers. The vote for that bill also fell mostly along party lines.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he does not see a point in bringing up bills that will be vetoed by President Donald Trump, and he told reporters earlier this week that he is still waiting for word from the administration on which path the president would like to take.

“I still await guidance from the White House as to what (Trump) thinks he’s comfortable signing,” McConnell said. “If and when that happens, then we’ll have a real possibility of actually changing the law and hopefully making some progress.”

13 Comments

  1. Billions? hahaha… why that’s taking food out of the liberal mouths.

    “Shame on us for not acting to protect our people,” Maloney said. – Right, and taking away guns away from law-abiding citizens will correct that, Dufus Maloney

  2. If Giffords wanted to share some impressive numbers, she could start with how much it cost taxpayers to clean up her family legacy of ElCampo’a tire lot at 22nd street and I-10.
    As for the story content “More people have died from gun violence than World War II” said Maloney. WOW what an idiot, back to kindercare in hopes off getting a clue.
    Oh no, not more facts, liberals hate facts…

    The Oracle

  3. So all those gun related suicides wouldn’t happen if they couldn’t get guns? Or will they just try to next ban pills, rope, blades, plastic bags, bridges …………….?

  4. The key to the gun control debate is the fact that nobody is proposing to take the governments gun’s away. It would make us “we the sheeple”.

  5. Rather than promoting sanctuary city status, we should be enforcing our laws. they were written for a reason.

  6. Use the same voodoo math and see how much the drug cartel costs Mexico?
    Take guns away from good people and we will all pay the price.
    Total BS and lies. Its a shame any journalism outlet would even print this propaganda..

  7. More of the typical BS pounded out by the idiots with gun control groups. They will say and do things just to try and make points and most of the stuff they say is made up to justify their ludicrous positions.

    They claim all kinds of stuff to try and PUNISH lawful gun owners yet FAIL to go after the ones that actually cause gun issues. Gangs, mentally disturbed people who were put out into the streets by the democraps back in the 80’s in their push to say they care! Yes they care, for themselves only but they like to set themselves up as really caring for the little guy. And it is sad that many but not all believe them.

    The princess is doing all that pelousey told her to do to get her husband elected and this is just another example of the push. I read an article from 1934 on ‘gun control’ and why it would not work back then and why it will not work now. There are fed laws for using a weapon in committing a crime. West virginia or virginia enforced the usage of the measures and had good results. The democrap held localities REFUSE to use these measures and you can see that every major city they control is a garbage heap of violence and corruption. And it appears theat this area will also become one when the democraps get elected again. How many years will the good people allow this to continue. Reduced police and emergency services add to the problem and these are places that the local pols love to cut back on, and BTW who are the local pols that do this? Thats right the democraps!

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