By Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County
This blog originally appeared here in the Public Health - Seattle & King County blog Public Health Insider
Firearm-related injury and death, from suicide to accidental injury and homicide – is a major public health problem and a leading cause of premature death in King County and nationally. In 2016, 663 adults and 20 children died from a firearm injury in Washington state, including 144 adults and 7 children from King County.
Firearm-related injuries have very high personal and financial costs to individuals, families and society – and that’s why prevention is essential. In 2015, the cost of firearm fatalities alone (not counting non-fatal injuries) in King County was almost $200 million from medical costs and lost productivity, and nationally the cost is in the hundreds of billions of dollars each year.