The debate on the economic implication of Gun controls has beenongoing for some time, and the public seems to be convinced that thebooming gun industry in America is beneficial to the economy.However, while the industry contributes huge amounts of money to theeconomy in terms of gun purchases, tax, insurance and employment,much more money is lost in terms of deaths and injuries brought bythe increase in guns in the country. It is, therefore, important thata cost-benefit analysis is conducted on the economic benefit broughtby the guns compared to the loss the economy suffers as a result oftheir increase. This paper holds that gun control will help theeconomy.
While the gun industry contributes billion dollars to the economy,more money is lost on the medical cost and the total income as aresult of deaths resulting from gun injuries. According to thewebsite truecostblog.com in an article, True Cost-Analyzing ourEconomy, Government Policy, and Society through Cost-Benefit, about$29billions is generated from the booming gun industry every year asper the CDC statistics. On the other hand, the same website cites theresearch findings from the CDC that holds that the guns from the samerevenue generating industry are claiming 31,000 deaths every year.The deaths take the form of accidents, suicides and homicides.Additionally, the number of the injuries resulting from the gunviolence in the country stands at 70,000 every year. This means thatwhile the industry brings forth $29 billion, it cost the economyabout $43 Billions in terms of the total income lost as a result ofthe deaths and injuries according to the same website. According tothe National Bureau of Economic Research in the article, Few GunsMean Fewer Gun Homicides, between 1993 and 1998, there was a 36% dropin gun homicides in the country. During this period, the householdswith guns reduced from 42% to 35%. This means that despite peopleclaiming that owning gun increase household`s safety, statisticsreveals the contrary. A research conducted in 1994 by JAMA, revealedthat medical cost as a result of gun injuries cost an addition $2.3 Baccording to the website truecostblog.com. This is about 11 years agowhich means that factoring in the inflation rate, the $2.3 B in 1994is the same as $ 4B today. Thus, if one adds the loss of income fromthe gun injuries and the resulting deaths to the medical cost, thegun industry cost the economy about $47 billion annually. If acost-benefit analysis is done on the gun industry, a loss of $15billion is experienced which means that the sector is indeed harmfulto the economic growth of the country.
Additionally, the amount of money spent buying the guns which havenegative impacts on the economy could be introduced into the economythrough public expenditure and investments. In America, depending onthe type of rifle, a person has to part with over $100 to acquire agun not counting the amount this individual spends on tax andinsurance. This is unnecessary expenditure, as according to NationalBureau of Economic Research, guns are not purchased after an increasein crimes but prior, which means that it is not a necessity as thosewho oppose gun control tend to make people believe. Furthermore, whena group of people purchase guns their actions have an indirect effecton the net cost of the entire society. According to Brad Plumer inthe article, The Economics of Gun Control, two economists Duke Cookand Georgetown Ludwig in their research of the cost the gun ownersimpose to the entire society found that the act of an averagehousehold of buying a gun has the effect of imposing a net cost ofbetween $100 and $ 1,800 annually. The average household does nothave to spend this huge amount to respond to a need that isperceived. It would be necessary to acquire a gun in case there is asudden increase in crime, but this is usually not the case inAmerican according to research. The amount of money the middle andlow-class households invest in acquiring a gun can be investedelsewhere in income generating projects that will not only offset theeffects gun control will have on the firearm industry, but will go along way in securing the country.
In conclusion, the opponents of gun control have argued that theremany jobs, income, revenue and taxes that will be lost in case thebooming gun industry is limited. On the contrary, the gun industrycost the economy billion dollars every year in terms of the lost ofproduction income from the 31,000 lives lost and 70,000 injuries as aresult of the gun injuries. Furthermore, the gun injuries cost thegovernment and individual’s huge amount of money in terms ofmedical cost. Lastly, the action of acquiring guns by the averagehouseholds cultivates a spending culture to the lower class as thelatter end up spending money acquiring guns they do not necessarilyneed. This amount of money spent on guns could be introduced into theeconomy through expenditure and investment which will positivelyimpact the economy.
Plumer, Brad. “The Economies of Gun Control.” 2012. Retrieved onMarch 22, 2016.https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2012/12/28/the-economics-of-gun-control/
The National Bureau of Economic Research. “Few Guns Means Fewer GunHomicides.” 2016. Retrieved on March 22, 2016.http://www.nber.org/digest/feb01/w7967.html
True Cost. “True Cost-Analyzing our Economy, Government Policy, andSociety through the lens of Cost-Benefit”.2009. Retrieved on March22, 2016.http://truecostblog.com/2009/04/26/the-true-cost-of-gun-ownership/