As a UC Berkeley-trained demographer and epidemiologist, I look at the total cost of any event, not just the immediate dollar price. In recent years the total cost of gun violence has not been well documented because of action by Congress.
I applaud President Obama for suggesting that comprehensive public health studies be conducted to estimate the actual cost of our gun policies. I would guess that gun-related violence costs us billions of dollars every year. Consider the cost of emergency room services, long-term care, rehabilitation and medical and mental consequences. Add to this the cost of police, fire and other emergency services and the future earnings of those who die or become seriously disabled.
Finally someone is taking a rational approach to an irrational situation.
On Dec. 22, 2001, while aboard an airplane from Paris to Miami, Richard Reid attempted to light a fuse attached to his shoe in which explosives were hidden. Since then, all passengers boarding airplanes in the U.S. are required to take off their shoes and have them X-rayed.