How Much is a Human Life Worth?

CDC Executive Report 2015 – Written by

Many people love to recite the ‘Constitution’, particularly the part that highlights the right to bare arms (Second Amendment 1791). However, a better topic for our discussion today is “How Much Do We Value Human Life”; given the ubiquitous violent state we’re in worldwide. It’s a new age of mobile cyber attacks, bio-terrorism and high capacity weapons that can instantly wreak havoc in our communities. Everyday, we’re living with the potential risk it could all end. 

value of life

The total cost of gun violence annually for taxpayers is $229 Billion per year. Overall, we found 35% of Americans own a gun, that’s 43 million households. In total, 300 million privately owned guns exist in United States (PEW Data 2014). 


In the United States and in most other nations worldwide, it’s now an almost weekly event where mass shootings are occurring. Perhaps, we should intensify the conversation about “the right to bare arms” and the permanent impact it’s having on our quality of life in America; where you’re at least 4x more likely to die of gun violence than any other country. Violence costs BILLIONS annually.

“In debt over $19 Trillion, America can no longer afford the prolific costs of gun violence and loss of human life says author, James Dean @ A SMARTER national focus is on more affordable high quality education, rebuilding infrastructure, healthcare and economic policies that promote innovation. These challenges are more productive leading to a better life. It’s simply a matter of SMARTER economics now.”

Charismatic, Presidential candidates like Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina and Ted Cruz have highlighted the issue of abortion and the disturbing mistreatment of by Planned Parenthood of harvesting aborted fetuses for human organs. This terrifying “criminal” abuse of unborn children goes to the heart of human dignity.

Recent, medical research by Dr. Sripal Bangalore, who works at NYU Langone Medical Center, and Dr. Franz Messerli of St. Luke’s Medical Center studied the statistics of guns per capita and gun deaths. They used firearm injury data from the World Health Organization and guns per capita data from the Small Arms Survey to compile a list of 27 developed countries.

The two New York City cardiologists found that the U.S. has 88 guns per 100 people and 10 gun-related deaths per 100,000 people – far more than any of the other 27 developed countries they studied.

For example, Japan has only .6 guns per 100 people and .06 gun-related deaths per 100,000 people, making it the country with both the fewest guns per capita and the fewest gun-related deaths.

As we continue the national conversation about the use of deadly force among law enforcement and right to bare arms, it’s incumbent upon each of us to examine more deeply the modern day realities and the new world that we live-in.

Asking tough questions about old concepts (Const. 1791). Do they really apply in certain circumstances or do we need  some adjustment that reflects the greater good of our people today asks,  James Dean @

There’s a huge difference between target shooting sports and assault weaponry that’s sole purpose is to kill at high capacity. Although, the NRA is vocal with large money donations among politicians. The reality is that the majority of Americans support gun control, particularly the sentiment is overwhelming among younger age groups such as Millennials (PEW RESEARCH CENTER).

We all might consider the fact that America’s founders such as James Madison and Thomas Jefferson never envisioned a thirty round high capacity magazine used in automatic weapons like the Olympic Arms Plinker Plus; available for purchase $647 plus tax at your local Wal-Mart or the Bushmaster Carbon 15  @ Bass Pro Shop in Opry Mills Mall in Nashville, Tennessee.  

Most recently, we attended a briefing on growing network cyber attacks and the use of aerial drone strikes controlled through a smartphone mobile app, capable of video surveillance ie. spying and delivering severe financial loss, explosives and biochemical ordinance. It’s evident that we live in the age of high tech gadgets now for better or worse, posing an immediate security challenge says Mr. Dean. So the threats to preserve freedom that we face will not only come from the end of a gun, but rather the nature of our crowded worldwide.

Interesting legal cases like the Michael Brown in Ferguson MO; highlight the fact that an 18 year old boy was shot six times, dead, laying in the street for over four hours, and the grand jury was unable to reach a decision to file even a single charge. That does not reflect the better interests of our community and indicates the law must be upgraded to distribute justice equally among our people says James Dean. Likewise, we all witnessed the Trayvon Martin case in Florida. 

At the root of our national dilemma is the question, ‘How Much Do We Value Human Life”. Within the next ten years, we will have artificial intelligent robots (walking, talking, thinking … interacting with us daily). These machines although human-like, appearing perfect, comparably to humans thus changing the fabric of our lives and impact economic prosperity. As intelligent machines, keep in mind, they will duplicate our actions both good and bad, seeking a role model for patterns of behavior says Mr. Dean. How should we program human-like bots?

As low wage human labor continues to disappear, replaced by robotic automation and touch-screen servicing in places like McDonald’s, Macy’s and banks. Most corporations gain productivity through automation leaving average working class people unable to maintain a historic standards of living due to declining income vs rising costs for food, clean water and energy resources.

Sure enough, greater civil unrest will follow ie violence, should there be no alternative course implemented to maintain self-worth and dignity among working class people. With the population explosion reaching 9 Billion people by 2045; comes more demand for resources in India, China, Africa and South America. Without the ability to prosper, global civil unrest will proliferate.

Collaborating with scientists like Ben Goertzel PhD says James Dean; we’ve already achieved mobile nano-technologies AI (artificial intelligence) that simulate human THINKING in lab tests. The AI technology is not fantasy, out of some sci-fi movie, its reality now. The future is here already, but are we prepared? In fact, we’re already implementing large-scale automation everywhere that displace human labor changing our daily purpose.

Companies like Google / Alphabet, Honda, and Novamente LLC are leading the effort to create AI … thinking, OpenCog bots. Watch video Ray Kurzweil, GOOGLE R&D


So, how much is a single human life worth? If you were to place a hard number on it, the (EPA) Environmental Protection Agency calculates a human life is worth about $7.4 million on-average per individual (READ ANALYSIS).

The value of an individual human life, although seemingly a foreign concept to most people, is a daily question for nurses, medical workers in our chronic patient hospital wards and health care insurance businesses making tough decisions. The cost to society of a single human life will become a more mainstream discussion in the coming years, as 75 million aging baby boomers need expensive treatment, so we should begin the national conversation now. 

Together, we need to wrap our ‘arms’ around this difficult ethical and financial issue, creating an open dialogue that goes to the root of it all comments Mr. Dean.

Question : How Much Do We Value Human Life? 

Better defining the cost of handgun violence and injuries related to firearms; according to the CDC and other researchers, the cost of gun violence is about $174 Billion with 52,000 injuries annually in the United States. Lethal weapon violence and related injuries is a rising cost that America cannot sustain. Therefore, practical changes must be made to alter the course.

Recent legal cases  such as the Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown tragedies highlight the ‘deadly force’ dilemma that Americans are awakening to find. Many believe even patrol ‘beat’ cops should be restricted now from the use of deadly firearms.

What’s the Answer to Lethal Weapons?

First, we must change our perception of ‘deadly weapons’ which can no longer be confined to handguns with the advent of vicious drone technologies, cyber and biochemical technologies that pose serious risk to U.S. national security comments James Dean @

Lethal weapons can be defined as ‘any item which inherently has the capability without any significant alterations to maim or kill at least two or more people within a short or rapid timeframe that may not allow for sufficient or rational decision making processes to transpire’ often within seconds. 

At the estimated 140 foot distance that Michael Brown was shot, either a ‘sponge grenade’ and/or liquid filled ‘pepper spray’ ball would have incapacitated him for at least ten minutes, enough for backup officers to arrive. There would have been no need to shoot the young man six times. Also note excessive force was used with two shots to the head of Mike Brown by Officer Darren Wilson on August 9, 2014.

Is our solution to kill a delinquent teenager acting out? What message does this teach others about the value of human life? Is it a good leadership position?

During the days after the Mike Brown shooting, we recall a quote from the police Chief of Ferguson, MO stating; “We are well prepared having ‘several days of training’ … said Chief, Thomas Jackson.  

Is several days of training considered adequate in U.S. law enforcement. Each police officers deal with the unpredictable circumstances on the job and determine the finality of a person’s entire life based on a split second decisions.  Was the 28-year-old officer, germane to the Micheal Brown case qualified to make a fatal decision that ended a young mans life?   

With the advent of modern technology like stun guns, smart handguns and non-lethal weapons, many affordable options exist to disable someone temporarily says Mr. Dean.  There is no longer a need to use deadly force in dealing with the typical daily duties of policing. In fact, many would argue the option of having the capability of deadly force is a major liability which has created a mistrust in the community. The community alert, legal and medical costs are unsustainable.

The fact is that Michael Brown, the 18-year-old young black man from Ferguson, Missouri would still be alive today if Officer Darren Wilson only had access to a stun gun. A non-lethal weapon could have incapacitated the suspect during a moment of poor choices that does not constitute a death sentence.

There’s a true cost for ‘Right to Bare Arms’ which is being challenged increasing as population pressures build up, our human condition is put to the stress test.

As humans, we are currently imperfect each with genetic flaws. It raises the percentage of probability that we will make mistakes. But in the case of ‘Deadly Force’, there is no going back to that split second decision. Its fatal i.e. final never to be changed, so a buffer i.e. non-lethal measures would need to be built into the system as a stop-gap measure to intense, high stress incidents. Such safety options better reflect the capabilities of human decision-making during split second events particularly among police officers in their daily routines.

Gun owners must also take on the responsibility or as many refer to it, the liability of securing a weapon either at a local gun club or in the home. Either place, the weapon exists, therefore at risk of being taken by a mentally ill person such as Adam Lanza in the Newtown, Connecticut school shootings which cost the lives of 26 people (many just kids age 7 – 13 years old).

Is there A Better Way of Life than Deadly Force?

For the past forty five years, the United States has been at war, since 1968 Vietnam, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and now ISIS in Syria. We must also be cognizant of the 25 million people in those foreign countries that have been displaced from their homes. Although, protecting America is a primary goal … lengthy occupation of foreign cultures and lands can no longer be viewed as economically sustainable; therefore a more rigid set of parameters must be embedded into U.S. policy. A foreign policy that drives “RAPID” crisis solutions.

The fact is President Bush made a historic costly mistake by removing Saddam Hussein, Iraq’s past leader; who was a stout enemy of Iran. As it stands now, Iraq will be split into several different countries based on religious groups.

Over the past, forty years the United States has created in many respects a misguided culture of violence which has been ingrained in our children for decades through our own actions and mischievous online gaming exploits. Although, profit from this commercial glorification of violence is attractive for business, it’s stymied the maturity of our young people leading to poor thinking. 

If America really wanted to send a message to the world; why not use devastating “RAPID CRISIS” solutions, like hydrogen and nuclear weapons that could eliminate lengthy occupation costs saving the U.S. taxpayer billions. 

Alternative to Violent and Lengthy Occupation in U.S. Foreign Policy

Take for example, a ‘religious group’ of thugs (ISIS), funded by oil money, running around in the desert decapitating American citizens and foreign nationals. ISIS, an extreme Muslim religious group will not stop until they face overwhelming force i.e. the devastating nuclear and/or hydrogen bomb attacks by allied forces on their Syrian capital of Raqqa. This is the most cost-effective way to bring them to the negotiating table for peace resolution. Overwhelming force can save U.S. lives and Billions for American taxpayers.  

For example, the average expense of a U.S. nuclear missile strike is just $10 billion versus ten years of occupying Iraq / Afghanistan costing $2.5 Trillion. Economically, let’s draw a ‘red line’ in the sand, warning ISIS and other terrorists not to cross or devastating force will result. A far more efficient way to protect U.S. citizens. It certainly beats chasing terrorist around the desert for decades with poor results as experienced in Afghanistan and the Middle East.

Yes, some innocent lives will be lost in a more decisive U.S. bomb attack, but our primary concern is to protect American taxpayers and hold accountable people in foreign countries to adhere to a responsible leadership standards.

So, if the people of Syria are allowing ‘terrorist’ to control oil reserves and parts of their country as a base for violent operations than any ‘collateral damage’ is the result of their own irresponsible actions. The lessons of IRAQ, highlights the need to re-examine a misguided policy to remove “Bashar Assad”, as leader. 

Undoubtedly, most state department officials agree that Iraq as it sits today, must be split up into three separate countries based on religious and demographics boundaries. So our efforts to ‘Free Iraq’, ultimately were seriously misguided according to most military experts in hindsight. 

Yet despite the trillions of dollars being spent on violent wars, more pressing challenges remain at home in the U.S. like our public school system which ranks poorly at 25th in the world behind Estonia and most other developed countries. So, we reap what we sow in the final analysis.

Rebuilding our infrastructure, affordable health care for the 75 million retiring baby boomers and better high wage job opportunities must be the U.S. strategic plan says Mr. Dean. As tax revenue continues to decline, U.S. resources have become limited. Investing in U.S. infrastructure modernization is desperately needed.

A new corporate tax structure like Donald Trump’s plan could drive millions of new jobs and return the over $2.5 Trillion in capital now held overseas by businesses like Apple, General Electric and Intel.  

Looking back, it all comes down to the question “How Much Do we Value Human Life”? For example, Michael Brown, a black teen that stole a box of cigarillos, using brute force, intimidating a local store clerk does not justify his killing.

Only moments later officer, 28 year old, Officer Darren Wilson fatally shot Michael Brown during a violent tussle (hitting the teen six times with hand gun shots) in broad daylight on the street of Ferguson MO, as his body lay in the street for over four hours. That’s not a message of human dignity, we except. 

Social and environmental conditions also played a significant role in this tragic incident such as; the fact is jobless rates in many Ferguson Missouri black neighborhoods are between 20% and 40% unemployed according to the Brookings Institute Analysis 2014.

Schools in Ferguson, MO rank among the poorest in America writes reporter, Diane Ravitch. “The grinding poverty in Mike’s world only allowed Normandy High School to acquire two graduation gowns to be shared by the entire class. The students passed a gown from one to the other. Each put the gown on, in turn, and sat before the camera to have their graduation photographs taken. Until it was Mike’s turn. 

“What kind of American school would have to share robes across the entire senior class?”

“This district was created by merging two of the poorest, most heavily minority districts around St. Louis—Normandy and Wellston.

The poverty rate for families sending their kids to Normandy Schools is 92 percent. At local Wellston School District, the poverty rate was 98 percent. Every single student in the Wellston district was African American.

Leveling the playing field … Better Solutions

The first step to solving the epidemic of violence in America is removing the lethal weapons capable of mass killing from society, among citizens and law enforcement (accept for a local quick strike ie. SWAT team used only in rapid deployment and emergency incidents that require deadly force), non lethal weapons such as hand guns, deadly drones, cyber bots, explosives and biochemical materials would be illegal. Advanced training is a high priority. 

Each county throughout America would maintain a ‘SWAT’ team with years of training to inflict deadly force on behalf of citizens in emergency incidents. Patrol Officers on daily rounds would no longer carry lethal weapons. Citizens of America would no longer carry lethal weapons except to sport shooting clubs and such. It’s a more cost-effective plan that maintains, freedom to bare arms. 

Step number two, refocus America on education and innovation changing the cost structure of tuition for advanced studies in college and universities.

Innovation is America has always been our greatest strength i.e. weapon. But somehow, this genuine strength was perverted over the years, twisted by poor leadership, misguided by greed and corruption among politicians in Washington DC into a quagmire of violence, a vicious cycle of waste says author, James Dean @

We propose a new SMARTER path from the past 50 years of America being at war and glorifying violent means to solve disputes. This policy shift also better reflects the mentality of new generation Millennials and Gen Xers which grew-up in the global social media age of digital economics and connected networks.

A national urgency that places emphasis on technical skills and career training available to everyone without the burden of expensive tuition is necessary. Perhaps, we could develop the ‘Education Exchange’; where colleges compete for students based on affordable prices and high quality personal development services. So, the incentive to be a good student becomes a financial benefit. 

Step three, improve local Church organizations, mentoring and extracurricular activities for kids and young adults. A stable community and family unit creates a better person. Creating higher quality people, requires better parenting by us all.

Step four, reduce government expenses, intrusive regulations preventing job growth and reform the tax code to bring more businesses back to America.

This will increase jobs opportunities and provide better financial incentives for companies to invest in local community organizations that help families succeed. We must focus on creating new jobs both at the low and high wage levels.

Ultimately, it’s a matter of choice for each American to decide says Mr. Dean. Today, we live a modern society where the need to hunt livestock to feed our families is no longer a concern for most. Laws and order (s) are set in place for changing poor leadership, so there’s no real threat to our overall freedom.

America is now a mature country, no longer a colony of settlers that just arrived. Our country sets the standard for modern civilization, freedom and human dignity worldwide. Widespread gun ownership has become a liability, we can no longer afford in the United States. Let’s modify the definition of gun ownership, to save lives and reduce costs associated with gun violence. 

Our message on the issues of violence, human life and deadly force?

So the question remains simply for each of us. Do we value the RIGHT to bare arms ie. lethal weapons used with deadly force, more than human life?

Should we accept the loss of human life casually, in our daily lives?

Do we accept the undignified slaughter of unborn children like Planned Parenthood?

How can we take care of our fellow citizens at home before looking overseas?

Perhaps, it will not be an easy path for America to reach a national consensus. The core issue, “How Much is a Human Life Worth”. It’s a question, each American must answer before the next national tragedy hits your community.