Skip to main content

People are required to insure cars, boats and motorcycles for liability. Why? Because they may do harm to others.

Guns should be required to carry liability insurance as well.  I confess I had never thought of this before, until Nada Lemming suggested it in another diary. The more I think about it, the more I like the idea.

Gun owners want to make the case that guns are just another recreational item. As one puts it in today's New York Times article "Many Owners Say Semiautomatic Weapons Are Just Another Hobby,"

“Some people crochet, some people shop, some people shoot guns.”

The difference, of course, is that guns are made to kill, as I argued the other day in another diary. Entire laboratories devote their energies to making bullets more deadly, sights more accurate, and the weapons themselves lighter and easier to carry.

We're not going to get to serious gun control measures until we deal with the reality that the gun industry has successfully, over roughly two decades, managed to convince society that semiautomatic handguns and rifles are mere "toys." And clearly they are not toys.

Here's where liability insurance comes in. We all know that cars are consumer items, with lots of great features and often fun to drive. But they are heavy projectiles that can, in the wrong hands, do a lot of damage. Liability insurance makes car owners more careful about who drives their car, and when and in what condition.

Requiring separate liability insurance for each gun, at the point of purchase, will hold gun owners responsible for where their gun is and who is using it. (I'm talking about a policy that covers weapons specifically, rather than merely grouping them under umbrella insurance). It will encourage owners to buy safety locks, and to stow their weapons carefully, and probably separately from their ammunition. It may also slow the stockpiling of weapons, which has been a frightening development in recent years.

Gun ownership may be a recreational thing. As one gun owner put it in the Times article,

“It’s a challenge to see how well you can do....It’s like bowling or any other kind of sport. You want to see if you can do it better the next time.”
I see the appeal of target shooting. I get it. I don't want to deny anyone a challenge or a way to relieve stress. But if liability insurance will make it harder for that gun to get into someone else's hands, I'm all for it.

6:19 AM PT: Thanks for the rec list and for the great comments and debate below.  And hat tip to cosmic debris for links to articles on the subject that I hadn’t seen:

Congress Should Push For Mandatory Gun Insurance

Newtowns new reality: Using liability insurance to reduce gun deaths

Is Gun Liability Insurance the Next Big Thing?

Originally posted to political junquie on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 04:28 AM PST.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Joe Bob, dwellscho, hester, dalemac, TechBob, Debby, cotterperson, mslat27, Pompatus, Rachael7, freelunch, exNYinTX, jancw, expat germany, bookbear, TrueBlueDem, madhaus, hestal, 88kathy, cyberKosFan, whenwego, ask, cosmic debris, mrblifil, Iberian, wader, Texknight, dustbin, jaywillie, duncanidaho, yet another liberal, Black Maned Pensator, RuralLiberal, wordwraith, Wayward Wind, FlyingToaster, mungley, WisVoter, sawgrass727, Tamifah, Kevskos, CyberDem, Eric K, PinHole, LivesInAShoe, Gallatin, kkjohnson, Oye Sancho, bently, martini, Nance, BachFan, cybersaur, Mr Bojangles, profundo, tonyahky, sleipner, Lefty Coaster, megisi, Ashaman, vivian darkbloom, SingerInTheChoir, doingbusinessas, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, BB10, fiddlingnero, MadMs, kurious, Eikyu Saha, One Pissed Off Liberal, Sapere aude, marykk, fisheye, asilomar, Loudoun County Dem, gloriana, Matt Z, vikingrob, cyncynical, GeorgeXVIII, fallina7, mathGuyNTulsa, MKinTN, scooter in brooklyn, mamamedusa, zashvil, grumpelstillchen, Buckeye Nut Schell, jamess, RandomNonviolence, triplepoint, brasilaaron, MalachiConstant, dmhlt 66, Bule Betawi, J M F, greengemini, Zotz, DefendOurConstitution, histOries Marko, icemilkcoffee, eXtina, estreya, fidellio, stunzeed, Anima, eb23, Lost and Found, Kristina40, DiegoUK, science nerd, Maximilien Robespierre, redlum jak, coquiero, slowbutsure, MaryinHammondsport, jakewaters, Lusty, muddy boots, Miggles, allergywoman, canoedog, nellgwen, Lonely Texan, 2thanks, doroma, Buckeye54, tytalus, Glen The Plumber, dotdash2u, Marjmar, TheLawnRanger, mygreekamphora, SwedishJewfish, klondikepm, ZenManProject, Dewstino, Smoh, Hey338Too, rigcath, Gary of Austin, sfinx, eagleray

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site