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Should not a gun owner be responsible for its use?

Proposed: The owner of record is responsible for the harm done by any projectile leaving a muzzle. Those legally eligible can own any firearm they choose, but they assume all legal and financial risk for its use.

Every gun made is the responsibility of the maker. As it is sold, it is registered -- not with the government, we cannot have that -- but with the "National Firearms Association" or some such group. The 'NFA' collects a sample slug and casing (assuming that CSI stuff works in real life) for later comparisons. This forensic data is shared with law enforcement agencies. If a close match is found in a criminal investigation, the identity of the gun owner is produced, as required by court order.  

The 'NFA' has a business opportunity: sell liability to responsible gun owners, new or existing. They (or competitors) can determine, though their own wisdom and statistical analysis, who they will sell insurance to and for how much.  If they happen to think that Bushmasters with 100-shot magazines sold to 23-year-old's in high-crime neighborhoods are a worse risk than, say, over-and-under breech-loading shotguns sold to old duck hunters in northern Minnesota, they can set policy prices appropriately. If the maker/seller transfers the weapon to someone who does not obtain insurance, they retain liability. Makers have incentives to consider the sorts of products they wish to assume liability for, and where they go.

After the sale, the registered owner (or insurer) is deemed to be responsible for any crime or damage traced to that weapon. Period. The owners have every incentive to assure the gun is safely stored. If they choose to keep it loaded in the glove box or under the bed, that is their choice and their assumed risk. Again, if they sell it, their liability extends until it is re-registered with the NFA and insured by the new owner. If it is stolen, that is noted, but the buyer may still have some liability if they are found to have not stored the weapon appropriately, or to have not reported the loss. If a household member uses it for suicide or a crime, the owner is, at least, culpable for negligence.

There is no ban on weapons for law-abiding citizens. There is no government database of gun owners. There is a business opportunity for the 'NFA'. People have incentives to behave responsibly. There are free-market cost signals about risk and responsibility. As I understand the arguments of 2nd Amendment & free market proponents, they cannon object.

A frequent reader, infrequent comment-er, 1st time diarist. I welcome any discussion.
I am truly puzzled as to why I have not seen this idea stated before, or why it is not reasonable and attainable.

Originally posted to NorthSouth on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 08:37 PM PST.

Also republished by Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA) and Shut Down the NRA.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Interesting idea (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    but doesn't account for the mentally ill who commit the mass shootings that capture our attention.  Adam Lanza killed himself and thus will not suffer any penalties under your proposal.  Under your proposal, a great deal of liability would lie with Lanza's mother, since she was the actual owner of the guns he used.  But she's dead too.

  •  Assuaging the fears of gun owners is impossible. (6+ / 0-)

    No matter what. 'they just want to grab your gun'

    Or if you tell them about a fool proof way to keep a loaded gun at the ready, they say buy it for me.

    They are coddled. They think not being coddled is being infringed upon.

    Now they have the 2nd (safety net for sloppy) Amendment, and can't be infringed to actually treat their gun like a gun and not a video game controller.

    by 88kathy on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 10:00:40 PM PST

  •  registration (6+ / 0-)

    I don't think most gun owners' problems with registration have to do with the government being the custodian of such a register.  It's the need to record ownership, period, that is the problem, because it creates a record that could be one day used to track down and confiscate firearms.  If the NSA can see your cell phone call records, a private list of gun ownership seems pretty easy to read too.

  •  I favor an outright ban (12+ / 0-)

    but it boggles my mind that people that purchase guns are not accountable for the bloodshed.

    Thank you for your post.

  •  This idea has been discussed before. (5+ / 0-)

    Most commonly with the added requirement that gun owners buy liability insurance like you must do with cars.

    The trickiest aspect of this idea I suppose is how to treat stolen weapons. Even your proposal doesn't hold the owner fully liable for crimes committed with a stolen gun, and that's an easy out frankly.

    We were not ahead of our time, we led the way to our time.

    by i understand on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 10:37:03 PM PST

    •  I think that liability insurance should cover... (7+ / 0-)

      ...stolen guns.

      Whether or not the (previous) owner should be held liable for damages against a civil suit brought by the insurance company might very depend on whether or not the theft was reported, but the insurance company should most certainly be liable for damages due to a stolen gun.

      The premiums were paid, and the insurance company is most certainly responsible for how the gun is used.


    •  Insurance for Stolen Guns (5+ / 0-)

      The way to get insurance to cover stolen guns is to start with the manufacturer and make the insurance apply until another insurer takes over with no exceptions.  You don't have to track the owners that way to guarantee insurance is in place, the insurers can do it or just stay on the hook.  

      Mandatory Gun Insurance would provide for victims, encourage safety and not be an excessive burden on gun owners. How to do it at Gun Insurance Blog. I also make posts at Huffington as Tom Harvey.

      by guninsuranceblog on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 04:38:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Roughly 500,000 stolen guns/year in US. (5+ / 0-)

      I've seen various estimates (340,000 etc).

      500,000 is from a Johns Hopkins School of Public Health study (PDF):

      1.4 million in six years (230,000/year) taken during household burglaries alone:

      30,000 stolen from the 9.3% of FFL's examined by ATF in 2007; 600,000 stolen each year from private homes:  Etc.

      Gun theft is not a small problem.

      The paranoia about registration or "seizing our guns" only makes sense to me in the context of castration anxiety.

      The idea of holding off some tyrannical takeover of the US government by armed private citizens is pure fiction. There's already a registry of our cars, and in the fictional event our country is taken over, I'd rather have my car than a gun. (In this fictional dystopia, with gun registration, our self-declared good-guys-with-guns would presumably inform the local police that their weapon had been "stolen." So much for the registry.)

      •  Actually it makes sense in the context of reality (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FrankRose, rduran, KVoimakas, IndieGuy
        The paranoia about registration or "seizing our guns" only makes sense to me in the context of castration anxiety.
        The countries with gun control that is closest to the sort the extreme advocates in the US want (places like England and Australia) did use gun registries as the source of information for confiscation.

        As far as to whether that is actually the desire of gun control advocates in the United States, you have the comments of Duckmg above calling for an outright ban at the low level (also rduran and numerous other Kossacks), and at the higher level we have:

        If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright ban, picking up every one of them...Mr. and Mrs. America, turn 'em all in, I would have done it." - Dianne Feinstein
        If US gun control advocates would distance themselves from authoritarians like that, and disavow the policies of countries that did use registries to confiscate guns, instead of embracing the policies of these countries and holding them up as an ideal for the US to follow, then the justifiable concern (not paranoia) of gun rights advocates would not be necessary.
        •  FTR...Dianne Feinstein never said she wanted (4+ / 0-)

          to ban all guns...please stop spreading RW gun nut lies about are only adding to the justifiable concern paranoia of gun rights advocates when you repeat that lie.

          We are not broke, we are being robbed. ~Shop Kos Katalogue~

          by Glen The Plumber on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 06:30:42 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  UK, Australia r not tyrannies. & still have guns. (4+ / 0-)

          Last I checked, our Union Jacky friends are not tyrannies. They did not undergo a tyrannical takeover. There is widespread democratic support for their guns laws (which have been proven to lower gun violence). And private citizens can still own guns in both countries. Therefore your 'analysis' fails on two counts.

          Some pro-gun extremists (including some on DailyKos) want no limits at all on the kinds of weapons they can legally own (and carry in public). Scalia's whacked interpretation of 2A might support this (although his rulings in Heller & McDonald do not yet). But most Americans don't object to special restrictions (including registration and licensing) on e.g. machine-guns or explosive ordnance.

          For owners who lack the proper permits, "seizing" such machine-guns or bombs is supported by most Americans. Do you also support this? If so, then you, too, support "banning (some) guns." If not, then your views are so outside the mainstream as to be politically irrelevant (and especially so on a progressive website devoted to electing Democrats).

          I can't speak for Duckmg or rduran, I don't know what policies they support, and I don't want to underestimate their effectiveness, but if they are the biggest threat you fear then I think your anxieties can be calmed.

          •  They also don't have the freedom to vote for their (0+ / 1-)
            Recommended by:
            Hidden by:
            i saw an old tree today

            Head of State.

            I prefer the greater freedoms we have here in the USA.

            Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

            by FrankRose on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 12:07:33 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Parliamentary systems aren't free? (3+ / 0-)

              Tell that to Freedom House (see map, PDF linked):, 202-296-5101.

              Among the world's parliamentary systems are: Germany, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Ireland, Iceland, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Hungary, Greece, Italy, Japan, India, Belgium, Netherlands, Finland, Poland, Czech Republic, Spain, Austria, Israel, South Africa, Canada. Australia even has Single Transferable Vote, a form of proportional representation, in the Senate.

              Among the world's presidential systems (winner-take-all, first-past-the-post) are: Afghanistan, Angola, Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Myanmar, Paraguay, Turkmenistan, United States, Venezuela, Zimbabwe.

              Nice red herring, btw!

              Let's focus here on this diary, and its modest proposal on guns, shall we?

              Roughly 500,000 guns/year are stolen in the US.

              The idea of holding off some tyrannical takeover of the US government by armed private citizens is pure fiction. There's already a registry of our cars, and in the fictional event our country is taken over, I'd rather have my car than a gun. (In this fictional dystopia, with gun registration, our self-declared good-guys-with-guns would presumably inform the local police that their weapon had been "stolen." So much for the registry.)
              If gun-nuts don't really mean resisting a tyrannical takeover, but instead they're advocating armed resistance against the freedom of the democratic processes and the laws adopted by our representative government, that's a different story -- one that deserves being reported to the FBI and drummed out of DailyKos.
              •  I have no idea what you are ranting about. (0+ / 0-)

                I prefer the greater freedom in the USA, including the Right to keep & bear arms, and the Right to vote for my Head of State.

                Quite frankly, I find such a system as GB & Australia to be primitive & overbearing.
                I much prefer the more liberal outlook the US has on both these subjects.

                Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

                by FrankRose on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 01:24:30 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Anyone got a donut? FrankRose is asking for one. (2+ / 0-)
                  what you are ranting about.
                  Disrespectful, ad hominem.
                  •  That is not an 'ad hominem'. (0+ / 0-)

                    An 'ad hominem' would be, for instance, if I completely disregarded anything you said & simply stated "ZOMG!! NRA talking point!!1!".
                    I, OTOH, am saying that I have no idea what your comment is trying to state.
                    I'm not saying "you are wrong". I am saying "I cannot understand your comment".

                    Further, if you are going argue someone else is being 'disrespectful', may I suggest you steer clear of insulting words such as 'gun nut'?
                    Otherwise you are being 'hypocritical'.

                    Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

                    by FrankRose on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 03:57:52 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

              •  You do vote for head of state in parliamentary (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Sharon Wraight

                elections, what's really great is you get to then rank order

                The head of state in Australia is the PM, same as in Britain, but we've been through that before with F Rose -- that is one of the troll behaviors, repeated falsehoods and misdirection


                So yes, I do have a donut

                And what's fascinating is that voting is required, but of course I speak from experience and knowledge, not simply opinion

                Good job, Sharon

          •  Close enough. (0+ / 0-)

            Couple of nitpicks, though:

            1. I still haven't come across a member of RKBA or a sympathizer for arguing for "no limits at all on the kinds of weapons they can legally own (and carry in public)."  The most extreme position I've seen so far is that any limit must withstand judicial strict scrutiny under an individual right interpretation.  That's actually somewhat elegant from where I stand, as I'm very uncomfortable with the complicated, capricious specificity of our gun laws.  I don't think legislatures should be wasting time trying account for a particular weapons, technical configurations, carry and use practices, and storage requirements.  Instead, we should institute and empower competent agencies and courts of administrative law to make rules and adjudicate with greater agility and competence than Congress and the general judiciary.  

            2.  While I hope no one is against seizing weapons from people who clearly are a danger to themselves and others, "seizure" is an operational concern.  Scale, circumstance, and intelligence matter.  Take California and Connecticut for example.  California can go after 20,000 gun owners with disqualifying events on their records because 1) the cops know who those people are, and 2) law enforcement is smart enough to simply take the guns and leave it at that.  Connecticut, on the other hand, largely created 20,000 (maybe up to 100,000) felons through poor planning, and there is no registry for their offending firearms and magazines.  Personally, I never understood the reason for making felony (or even misdemeanor) cases out of first time non-use weapon violations.  The objective is to clear the guns out of unqualified hands; the penalties attached to these violations,  driven solely by a need to punish, actually frustrate this goal by pushing violators deeper underground.

            •  Disingenuous (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              FrankRose, Kasoru

              Since your stated position (from a month ago) is that you want all guns confiscated from private hands:

              question: So, the eventual purpose is confiscation.
              your answer: Yes. That's why you don't pursue confiscation until the political atmosphere is correct.
              So, any attempt to portray yourself as merely being concerned about "people who are a danger to themselves and others" is not being totally honest. To be more clear, it is exactly as honest as the Texas legislature passing new laws for abortion clinics for the stated reason of "making abortions safer". This may be technically accurate, but it is a long way from being the full story.

              If your position ever changes from this, be sure to let me know so that I remain accurate when I remind people what your views are.

              •  Oh for Chrissakes (0+ / 0-)

                I haven't backed off a millimeter from that position, and nothing I've written suggests otherwise.  I do suspect we all agree that it's proper to confiscate weapons discovered while executing a search, during a probation visit, or through simple chicanery against...say...a suspect with a felony record.

                So don't worry.  You never have to assume I'm attempting to disguise my position.

      •  The registered owner or their insurer (4+ / 0-)

        should remain financially responsible for a weapon. If it was stolen they might escape criminal charges if they can demonstrate that it had been stored properly, say locked up or with at least a trigger lock. Maybe the insurers together form a reinsurance pool to cover uninsured weapons.

        •  Does that work for any other object? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Last I checked the victim of a crime isn't responsible if a thief steals a car & gets into an accident.

          Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

          by FrankRose on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 06:53:35 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The car owner or their liability insurer (4+ / 0-)

            is liable for damages from a stolen car. The gun owner or their insurer must cover damages from a stolen gun.  

            The responsible gun owner who keeps his weapon from being stolen has no problem. All owners have every incentive to keep all their weapons appropriately secured.

            The thief is criminally responsible and financially responsible, but if they fail to pay, the owner or insurer of record on that weapon is next in line.

            The whole point of the idea is simple.  Your freedom to own a weapon comes with total responsibility for the damage caused by that weapon.  Same as a car. If that is expensive or inconvenient, that is the way of the world.  Those who choose to have guns should pay for the damages caused by those guns.

            •  Incorrect. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Crashed while Stolen: If your car is stolen, and the person who stole it causes an accident, it is unlikely that you will be held responsible for any damages to other people, or to property, but even if the thief is insured, you probably will have to pay for damages to your own car via your collision coverage. The average thief, however, isn't likely to have insurance, and even if they do, their insurance won't pay for an accident caused during a criminal act.

              Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

              by FrankRose on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 08:10:05 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Except during negligent 'storage' of the car (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Sharon Wraight, Glen The Plumber


                No person driving or in charge of a motor vehicle shall permit it to stand unattended without first stopping the engine, locking the ignition, removing the key from the vehicle, and effectively setting the brake thereon and, when standing upon any grade, turning the front wheels to the curb or side of the highway, provided, however, the provision for removing the key from the vehicle shall not require the removal of keys hidden from sight about the vehicle for convenience or emergency.
                Even though the theft of a motor vehicle is nonpermissive and Section 388 does not apply, New York courts have found that a violation of New York Vehicle and Traffic law Section 1210(a) can result in liability to the driver or person in charge of the motor vehicle if it is stolen and this section is violated.
                Which, of course, is exactly what people are proposing for guns.
                •  If a loaded gun was left unattended in a public (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  place the owner can be held civilly liable as well.

                  However if a car or firearm is stolen from ones home then they aren't held civilly liable. Not even in the same state that brought us stop and frisk.

                  Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

                  by FrankRose on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 09:35:17 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Did you see the word 'public' (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Glen The Plumber, Sharon Wraight

                    in the legislation? This applies even if your car was in your driveway if you left the keys in it. There are several states where this invokes negligence on the part of the car owner, and some states it's even against the law to leave your keys in the ignition, unattended.

                    How many guns do you think are stolen out of unlocked cars each year?

                    •  In the court case YOUR LINK provided: (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      For instance, in Merchants Insurance Group v. Haskins, the Appellate Division found that the driver and person in charge of a van was liable for the injuries caused by a thief where the van was left parked on a public roadway with the keys clearly visible on the dashboard. The court stated that this “precipitat[ed] the theft, and the resulting injuries to the claimant.”

                      Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

                      by FrankRose on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 09:54:28 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  *sigh* (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Glen The Plumber, Sharon Wraight

                        The law encompasses more than the finding of just one case.


                        Leaving a key in the ignition of an unattended automobile in an area where the public has access, be it public or private property, could be found by a reasonable jury to be negligent, whether or not a prohibitory statute is involved.
                        It has to do with the 'foresee-ability' of the theft, as is often the case with negligence. Read more if you're interested.
                        •  Feel free to provide some court cases, (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:

                          because the owners of stolen objects being held civilly liable is extraordinarily rare.

                          Loyola Law Professor Blaine LeCesne

                          Under the legal doctrine of proximate cause, LeCesne said the act of stealing the car and the recklessness or negligence involved in hitting or injuring another victim would supersede the car owner's negligence in leaving the car unsecured. He didn't know of any cases in which a car owner had been sued or found civilly liable for injuries resulting from a stolen car.

                          LeCesne called it a big stretch. "It might set a bad precedent if every car owner who has their car stolen (because they absently-mindedly left the keys in the car) is potentially, civilly liable if the thief happens to injure someone," he said. "It would make insurance rates go through the roof. I can't imagine that happening."

                          But the case of the gun stolen from an unlocked car is a tad more nuanced. LeCesne said it's theoretically possible for someone to be held liable. But it depends on what is done with the weapon after it's stolen.

                          Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

                          by FrankRose on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 10:49:39 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  You mean other than the court case (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Sharon Wraight

                            that I just linked, which was a ruling by an appeals court?

                            Did you really just use 'argument by ignorance' where just because one guy doesn't know of a case, the principle doesn't exist? Despite the fact that the previous case I linked regarding the stolen van explicitly contradicts his ignorance?

                            Just curious, do you bother to actually click through and read when people provide links, because it sure seems like you don't. In which case, I could stop linking and wasting my time.

                          •  You mean the Loyola Law Professor? (0+ / 0-)

                            Again, if what you claim isn't something that is so increadibly rare that a Professor of law was hardpressed to think of a single case, where are the court cases?

                            Don't forget to link!

                            Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

                            by FrankRose on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 11:26:29 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  ? (0+ / 0-)

                            I linked to two cases contradicting his statement already, the van case and the appeals court case.

                            The first case you even commented on, repeating the verdict finding negligence.

                            What is wrong with you? Are you trying to solicit insults by appearing to just ignore everything that is posted in response? Seriously dude, if you have some sort of condition that makes it difficult for you to incorporate new information, please let me know so I can try to accommodate it.

                            Because it's pretty frustrating to give you information that you ignore, especially when you go on to demand that exact information that I already just gave you.

                          •  TWO CASES!!?!! (0+ / 0-)

                            That settles it. Not extraordinarily rare at all.

                            Just like these legal gems

                            In your two examples an owner of a gun could be also found civilly liable in a similarly rare case.
                            In fact it is so extremely rare that a simple google search of "is the owner of a stolen car liable for crimes committed by the thief?" gives page after page of "LOL No".
                            Your examples are hardly 'in most cases' as per the original comment I responded to.
                            You are presenting 'man bites dog' cases that are hardly emblematic of the vast majority of cases & trying to present these extraordinarily rare cases as anything but.

                            Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

                            by FrankRose on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 12:04:10 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Two cases (0+ / 0-)

                            that I linked to. Which I had linked to before.

                            So why did you ask for them again?

                            Especially when it's made clear that these are cases where the car owner is negligent, so of course most stolen car cases do not fall under this type.

                            Nor should they.

                            Because most car owners don't leave their keys sitting in the ignition, just like most gun owners don't negligently store their guns.

                            Right? So of course it's rare.

                            Don't you think holding negligent gun owners responsible would be equally rare? Or are they just a whole lot more negligent in general?

                            If it's so rare in the case of stolen cars, then what's your beef applying the same metric to gun owners?

                          •  There are far more cases of a car stolen with keys (0+ / 0-)

                            in the ignition than 'two'.
                            Finding the owner liable in the case of a car being stolen is what is extraordinarily rare.
                            Not a stolen car.

                            If it's so rare in the case of stolen cars, then what's your beef applying the same metric to gun owners?
                            It already is.
                            What is your beef in trying to apply a different metric to firearms?

                            Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

                            by FrankRose on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 01:37:45 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I'm sure there are (0+ / 0-)

                            but you have to add in a car stolen with keys in the ignition that then goes on to cause a crash or property damage.

                            Which increases the rarity.

                            And then you have to realize that two cases were provided demonstrating the principle which you seemed to have trouble accepting as possible.

                            Now you seem to be switching your objection from 'that doesn't happen' to 'only two cases?!', which of course is bullshit since I'm under no obligation to find each and every single time a car owner has been successfully found negligent.

                            If you don't have a problem with a gun owner liikewise being held liable if they are found negligent in securing their weapon, then we are in agreement.

                            Perhaps we are only in disagreement as to how rare an event this would be.

                          •  Those scenarios happen far more often than 'two' (0+ / 0-)

                            These are man-bites-dog civil cases.

                            There is a reason why a professor of law was hard-pressed to come up with a single instance.
                            There is a reason why a simple Google search confirms this same sentiment.

                            In all but the rarest of civil cases the victim of a crime is not held liable. Period. The end.

                            Not for cars, not for knives, not for guns.

                            So, you are in luck.
                            All these objects are held to the same liability.

                            Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

                            by FrankRose on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 02:08:00 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

        •  First cover any injuries and penalities that may (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Glen The Plumber, Sharon Wraight

          occur, albeit from firearm or ammunition, technical issues easily solved  

          That's why we carry car insurance, firstly, to cover injury -- right?

          In Britain & Australia they have 'third party car insurance' administered in part by the government because it's required of every car driver, to cover firstly injury and then damage from any uninsured motorist (and the government offers a variety)

          People pay enough on this that its polite to ask, who are you insured with ...

          Well that's why I carry the car insurance I do, I'm way more worried about the people than the property

    •  We already have a number, $645 per gun per year (5+ / 0-)


      Firearm injuries cost $174 billion in the United States in 2010 and the government's firearm injury bill alone exceeded $12 billion. PIRE researcher Ted Miller estimates annual firearm injury costs average $645 per gun in America.
      Of course maybe someone would want to tack on death. I wonder how much more it would be to cover that too.

      Now they have the 2nd (safety net for sloppy) Amendment, and can't be infringed to actually treat their gun like a gun and not a video game controller.

      by 88kathy on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 05:28:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  You know (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blackhand, IndieGuy

    it would be more productive if you just came out in favor of banning firearms instead of dreaming up inventive ways of punishing people.  All this sort of thing does is piss people off.

    •  I an OK with various gun control efforts. (2+ / 0-)

      But a constitutional amendment is not going to pass in two-thirds of these United States anytime soon.  Maybe a future supreme court will restore rational limits but I won't hold my breath.  I do not see the point of launching that fight which will not be won.  The good is not the enemy of the perfect.

      This proposal harnesses the fabled invisible hand of the market for sensible, voluntary change in the acquisition, storage, and use of deadly weapons.  Persons who want weapons must convince a seller or insurer that they are a good risk, that they will behave responsibly. The provider of a weapon to a criminal shares the responsibility for the weapon, so they might be a bit pickier who they provide a gun to. If the cost of owning weapons becomes prohibitive because the liability insurance cost is too high, how is that a  problem? How is that unfair? Should not gun owners, as a class, bear the costs imposed on society by guns which are used irresponsibly?

    •  My thought after reading the diary was SSDF (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rduran, IndieGuy, FrankRose

      SSDF: "Same shit different flies".  The thought was in response to

      I welcome any discussion.  I am truly puzzled as to why I have not seen this idea stated before, or why it is not reasonable and attainable.
      The insurance and registration is old news and will not gain traction outside of a small minority (as in size, not race).  There is also the issue that the objective is to make gun ownership unaffordable, which will not pass the legal hurdle.  

      "It's not surveillance, it's data collection to keep you safe"

      by blackhand on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 07:55:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Legal hurdle aside (0+ / 0-)

        It's a political dead end anywhere outside of states that are already hostile to gun ownership.  And by the time AB 231 reached Governor Brown's desk, the mandatory insurance requirement was gone.

        We're not going to pass a $174 billion a year insurance premium or even tax on gun owners, so let's try something else.

        •  Why is the cost of gun violence (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          foisted non non-gun owners? If the true cost of guns to society is $174 billion a year, and I find that number difficult to accept, who should pay it? There is no reason not to have rates for different owners of different types of weapon. If huge-clip assault weapons represent a much larger risk to society than single-shot 22's, the policies can be priced accordingly, just as Corvettes are more expensive to insure than hatchbacks.

          Own guns if you want. Just do not expect the rest of us to pay for the damages caused by your dangerous personal property or failure to keep it under your control.  A lot fewer guns would be stolen if owners and their insurers had this incentive to keep them safely. If there needs to be an uninsured-firearm insurance pool, again, gun owners and makers should fund it.

          As an aside, I do not see the legal hurdle.  A political one, maybe, but but it is not unconstitutional to hold people responsible for the damage they or their weapon cause.

          If the true cost to society, in the form of your insurance bill, is more than your gun is worth to you, you should not have it, or accept the responsibility.

          •  For the same reason we bear the cost (0+ / 0-)

            of roads evenly (well, within a progressive rate structure).  

            I do expect all of us to support a universal healthcare system, not one in which costs are balkanized for no other purpose than schadenfreude.  And ultimately, for something to pass, you're going to need the cooperation of people who aren't driven by vindictive need to hold specific classes of people responsible for crime.

            Instead of coming up with complicated ways to entrap gun owners, why not push for a system where you can't even take possession of a gun until you've met certain storage requirements?  That's how Japan does it.

      •  The objective is not (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        to make gun ownership unaffordable; the clear purpose of this idea is simply to hold the owners of weapons responsible for the damage those weapons cause. If that cost is so high that some cannot afford it, they should not have guns, just as someone who cannot afford car insurance should not drive a car.

        Also, every possible incentive should be created to minimize the instances of unauthorized users accessing powerful weapons, to get the cost under control. Free people need to behave responsibly or suffer the consequences.  

        Regarding the numbers above, $174 billion a year is about $5000 per year for every American.  There is way too much gun-related damage in the US, but I find that number preposterous.    Also, a half million stolen guns every year? Oregon is a pretty much average-sized state.  One 50-th of half million a year is 10,000. I would be shocked if guns in Oregon were disappearing at the rate of 30 on an average day.  

  •  Laws aplenty exist... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...holding the shooter of said bullets accountable for the damage done by said bullets. Enforce those. Problem solved.

  •  Registration? I'll pass. (0+ / 0-)

    Thanks for the ideas though.

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