OUR VIEW: Survivors of gun violence should not have to pay a cent for medical, therapy costs

Published 7:05 am Friday, June 3, 2022

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While discussing whether reoccurring mass shootings are a people or a weapon issue, one thing is very evident: those left alive from the incident – children, teachers and parents – will have a long road to recovery.

This may include physical injuries and the mental trauma survivors will face.

Following the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, Texas last month, reports surfaced from student survivors who described the scene inside the fatal school. One student said they rubbed a classmate’s blood on their face so the gunman would overlook them. Another, shot in the thigh, pretended to be dead. Others hid as the gunman shot and killed their classmates and teachers.

One can only imagine the road to recovery for these children—the nightmares, the constant feeling of being unsafe in a classroom.

No doubt, these survivors will need mental and physical therapy. But who will flip the bill for an expense none of these people asked for?

The blame could be shifted towards insurance companies or even hospitals and their already exorbitant costs.

Following other mass shooting incidents like the 2017 country music festival in Las Vegas, Nevada, survivors faced as much as $100,000 in medical debt. This number is expected to be higher in terms of medical aftercare like therapy.

In the wake of these tragedies, families, community members and even complete strangers have reportedly raised millions through platforms like GoFundMe. These funds have not gone towards hospital bills, funeral and living expenses for the families left behind. It’s a stopgap measure that gives survivors the treatment they need, but nonetheless a touching one.

However, it still raises the question if the concept of universal healthcare in America should be implemented to address the mental health aspect of this issue until a proper decision on gun responsibility is found.

One may also ask, how much longer can gun violence victims and survivors rely on the kindness of strangers?