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View Diary: Center for American Progress issues 13 recommendations for 'Preventing Gun Violence in Our Nation' (205 comments)

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  •  A different thought on Gun Control (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jessical, Laconic Lib

    Requiring guns to be insured in case of illegal use could be more effective in ensuring public safety than any other form of politically acceptable gun regulation.   At the same time gun rights advocates should find the ability to chose an insurance company less intrusive than government regulation.  We require all automobiles to be insured.  If each gun death cost an insurance company say one million dollars they would require very substantial premiums for the kinds of guns designed to kill the roughly 30,000 people who die each year from firearms in the USA.

    While many of our impulses are to make illegal the kind of assault weapon used by Adam Lanza at Sandy Hook, often market based solutions are more effective.  Adam Lanza could not pass the background check but he simply took his mother’s guns.  She passed the background check.  We don’t prevent someone from having a car if someone in their family has a bad driving record, because the law can’t really stop people from exercising a right because of the problems of someone else they know.  But insurance does go up for the whole family when a teenage son gets a license.   Gun manufacturers made weapons very similar to Lanza’s while we had an assault weapons ban in place.  The differences between weapons can be made subtle enough to get past the legalistic wording of a ban.  But insurance companies charge premiums based on individual model of car so premiums can be charged based on those subtleties.

    Each death deprives us of a precious soul, but it also hurts the economy.  Statistically an insurance company can assess the likelihood that a new weapon when it is sold will be used to kill someone.  There is no reason the purchaser should not pay for the probable cost of their purchase to society just as we insist cars have insurance.  The presence of guns in my neighbor’s house and the possibility they may be stolen increases the costs of police protection in my town.  Why should the gun owner get a free ride and not have to pay for their expenses to the country?

    Administering such a system is easy.  A gun should be insured when bought for it’s lifetime.  If there is no obvious estate to pay, the insurance company should pay the town or state the victim lived in.   An insurance company can chose to charge on an annual basis plus sell theft insurance.    To lower the cost of theft insurance they will probably insist the owner take common sense precautions to prevent theft.  The nation’s stockpile of existing weapons will diminish over time if it becomes illegal to purchase ammunition for a gun without insurance or for that matter to use one in a firing range or to have one repaired.  Gun barrels can be marked so that if they are recovered after being used for a crime the insurance company will be billed for the crime.  There could be a standard schedule for the hurt done by a gun, starting with one million dollars for a death.  Thieves, or for that matter owners, have no incentive to remove the marks as the insurance company is the one that pays, so permanent marks on the gun are not difficult to make.  The cost of a rifle designed for hunting should be quite affordable as those are not usually used in crimes, but weapons designed for hunting people will cost much more.

    Any gun control legislation should include a requirement that guns be insured as one of it’s predominant features.  

    •  And I am sure that (0+ / 0-)

      every gang member, every armed robber, every rapist ... is going to run out and purchase insurance.  Right after they get done removing all the serial numbers (which they currently do).

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