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Aug 29, 2023

Over the weekend, a racially motivated mass shooting occurred, this time in Jacksonville, Florida. Three black people were murdered before the white gunman turned one of his guns on himself. The 21-year-old legally purchased both the handgun and AR-15 style rifle he used. 

It’s these regularly horrific events that bring out statements from local leaders, advocacy groups of all kinds, governors and presidents. Those statements are then followed by media scrutiny until the next horrific shooting occurs. It’s a feature of America’s policies on guns, not a bug. It is predictable and no matter what words are used in the heartfelt statements given in response, it will continue.

What is missing from the cycle is important: we don’t ever talk about what it all costs. No, in most circles, it doesn’t get a mention. An accounting of the cost of guns is rarely undertaken, and when it is, the numbers are so shocking and enormous, the study usually falls victim to the post-truth era in which we live. 

In March of 2022, Indiana passed its law eliminating the need for a gun permit. The year before, the Indiana General Assembly had made the permit free of charge. The policy reasoning behind these moves in consecutive years is grounded in the mantra of “why should people have to pay for something that is a constitutional right?”

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