How Do We Know if More Guns Increases the Risk of Danger?
As a solution to our gun violence problems, many people base their entire proposal on the dogmatic pro gun cliche, "more guns, less crime." Is that true? How do we justify that reasoning? Is it possible to justify the reasoning?
During the health care debates, we were often told that the insurance companies should be allowed to do what they want, because it's an open market, and the market should decide those costs, not the government.
We heard that quite a bit out of the mouths of GOP and their base of enabling AM radio chuckleheads. So I thought, we should apply their reasoning to the issue of gun violence.
Can the Insurance Market Assess this Risk?
Let's let the market determine whether or not guns increase the risk of violence.
Insurance companies are in the business of assessing risk. They do it, and they make an incredible amount of money doing it.
In fact, I spoke with a professor from the University of Washington who works on climate issues. His data is used by local municipalities to determine their insurance liabilities. In other words, global warming increases the financial risk for municipalities.
The market has determined that global warming is a valid and real threat.
What would happen if we let the market determine the actual increase in risk that comes with such widespread gun ownership.
To do that, we have to ask the question: Does having a gun increase your liability insurance rates?
IAMNIA (I am not an insurance agent), but when I search the internet for firearms liability insurance, it appears that traditional insurance companies are frequently in the business of avoiding coverage for activities or incidents involving firearms. There is the simple idea that you need extra coverage to guard against theft or damage of the guns.
There is also the idea that if you have guns in your home, your risk of financial liability as a result of gun violence in your home increases.
It's clear that the insurance industry regards more guns in the home as something that could lead to increased risk of payout.
That would mean...
The insurance market recognizes that more guns in a home increases risk from gun violence.
Traditional insurance companies are, now more than ever, avoiding coverage for activities or incidents involving firearms. They define these activities as extreme in nature, allowing them to be excluded from coverage – usually in the fine print.In other words, the market has determined that the NRA, Gun Owners of America, and others are wrong when they say that more guns increases safety.
What Insurance Company Would Provide Liability Insurance for a School District that Armed its Teachers?
Now imagine if the extreme pro gun faction were to get their way and we were to see more staff at schools carrying weapons. If having an extra gun or two in your home with children is enough to increase the risk of insurance to the point where insurance agents will tell you to contact a different insurer (not your homeowners' insurance agent), then can you imagine what the insurance industry would say to a school district who decided that its teachers should carry firearms which would presumably be loaded during the day?
Can you imagine the first time a gun accidentally discharged in a classroom without injury? How about the first time a teacher needs to fire the weapon, but the bullet passes through the classroom wall into the next room? Imagine your kindergarten teacher bending over with a firearm just two inches away from a child.
Or, how about the first time a gun is seized from a teacher in the classroom by an 18 year old high school student?
More guns increases those risks.