Monday, January 17, 2011

Require Gunloons to be Insured

Commenter Microdot has a great idea:
For the sake of argument, here's an interesting proposal and maybe you can figure out how you can get in on the bottom floor, because the equation is Guns and Greed divided by The Insurance Industry with a nice lobbyist payoff to the Republicans which might just = bypassing gun control legislation and making the NRA redundant.
John Gear:

Rather than trying to limit access to or take guns away from law-abiding adults, we must instead insist that the adult responsible for a gun at anyinstant (maker, seller, or buyer) have enough liability insurance to coverthe harm that could result if that adult misuses it or lets it reach the wrong hands.

Who gets the insurance proceeds, and for what? The state crime victims' compensation fund, whenever a crime involving guns is committed or a gun mishap occurs. The more victims, the bigger the payout. The greater thedamage (from intimidation to multiple murders and permanent crippling), thegreater the payout. The insurers will also pay the fund for other claims,such as when a minor commits suicide by gun or accidentally kills a playmate with Daddy's pistol. This will reduce such mishaps. Insurance is very effective in getting people to adopt safe practices in return forlower premiums.
When a crime involving a gun occurs, the firm who insured it pays the claim. If the gun is not found or is uninsured (and there will still be many of these at first) then every fund will pay a pro-rated share of the damages, based on the number of guns they insure. This will motivate insurance firms--and legitimate gun owners--to treat uninsured guns as poison, instead of as an unavoidable byproduct of the Second Amendment.Thus, insurance will unite the interests of all law-abiding citizens, gunowners and others, against the real problem with guns: guns in the hands of criminals, the reckless, the untrained, and juveniles.


  1. Most homeowner's policies already cover you for liability.

  2. Ok, but let's up the ante a bit. Let's make towns with strict no handgun laws libel for any innocent injured by a gun at the hands of a criminal. Even better, let's also make any store owner that does not allow a person with a concealed weapons permit to enter their store to be libel for the safety of that person against illegal activity while they are in the store. By your logic, the lawyers should jump at the chance and since less guns by your thinking makes us safer, there is no down side. Agreed?

  3. So long as the government pays for that insurance, sure. It would be like ObamaCare for guns.

  4. No way Aztec Red. This is a case of that famous conservative accountability that gets such a lot of talk but so very little 'walk'.

    If you choose to own a gun, then you must have liability insurance. Not everyone who owns a gun has a homeowners policy (and believe me, not all of those have that coverage). It is not a standard part of renters or other property insurance either.

    It should be like car insurance - you want to own a car, and drive it, you insure it. You want to own a gun, you must have liability insurance for each and every firearm.

    Health care is less of an option. You are a living breathing person, you will at some time in your life either be ill or injured, or be at risk for it. No one escapes some kind of health issue in life, including the problems of aging. That puts health care and health insurance in a different category than a vehicle, or a gun, which are optional, if common. Driving is a privilege and a choice, exercising 2nd Amendment rights is a choice.

    Living and consuming health care over the course of our lives is a necessity. Addressing this reality, and the way it differs from the other issues is essential.

    I like this idea of mandatory gun insurance - it should involve some kind of medical payout to any gun violence victim.... I like it very much.

    While conservatives will hate it, this accountability / responsibility angle is pure gold.

    Brilliant, positively brilliant!

    I love this cartoon by Ed Stein, that presents a similar contrast...

  5. I think the car insurance/gun insurance comparison is very hard to discredit. It's a matter of taking personal responsibility for a choice which you choose to make.
    To compare car insurance/gun insurance in any way to health insurance is faulty logic and morality.

  6. I'm willing to abandon. at least temporarily, my distrust of gun/car comparisons. Microdot is absolutely right. This comparison works.

  7. Since you like the gun/car insurance then this is how it would work.

    You only have to have liability insurance if you carry the gun in public, not just own a gun. You do not have to have liability insurance for all of your guns you buy and keep at home and just shoot at home or at a private range.

    You only have to carry liability insurance on a car you intend to register and drive on public roads.

    Not only do you not have to carry insurance on cars you do own but do not drive on public streets, you do not have to by license plates for them either so you could carry your silly registration schemes the same way since I have heard many of you claim that "you have to register a car so what is wrong with registering your guns". So, using the car analogy, you only have to register your carry gun. All others that you leave at home or take to a private range do not need registered.

  8. What other rights protected by the Constitution require you to pay a fee before exercising them? Maybe people who choose to petition the government should have to show proof of liability insurance in case they start a riot with their proposal? Perhaps a registration fee before going to church? How about a poll tax and manadatory requirement to vote in all elections?

  9. Are you going to require the thugs that rob people to carry insurance?

    Are you going to require the muggers and rapist to carry some form of insurance also?

    It's not just the people with firearms that can hurt you.

  10. FWM: Actually, it doesn't. But the point is to have universal gun coverage.

    Jim: Guess what? You already do. You pay taxes when you purchase a gun and on ammo. You may pay fees in certain locales for CCW or hunting licenses. Your argument doesn't make any sense since the Constitution clearly gives the Govt. authority to levey taxes, tariffs, fees on all kinds of activity and commerce.

    Anon: The beauty of this initiative is that it will severely limit guns ggetting into criminals hands.

  11. Jade: “The beauty of this initiative is that it will severely limit guns ggetting into criminals hands.”

    And this gets accomplished by severely limiting the amount of guns that get into law-abiding hands by limiting who can afford guns, and how many. It is well know that all crime guns start off legally owned, so you have to cut it off at the source.

  12. Jadegold,

    Exactly how will an insurance coverage requirement keep firearms out of the hands of criminals?

    Sure hasn't worked in the automotive field has it?

    Nationally, about one in seven go without car insurance, according to data compiled over the past decade by the Insurance Research Council (IRC).

    About 14% or more

    How are you going to require felons who have guns to carry insurance?
    They aren't even required to register their firearms since that would be self incrimination.

    So - how exactly would it work?

  13. TS: Playing Little Sisters of the Poor really doesn't work. Most gunloons sink a lot of money into getting multiple firearms and enough ammo to outfit a small army. And let's face it--gunloonery is expensive--a Glock 19 used by NRA hero Jared Loughner runs around $600.

    This initiative does go to the source--it would mean that every firearm that's sold is insured. As such, it would allow gunloons to self-regulate via the market.

  14. Jadegold,

    You are leaving out a few steps.

    There are 280,000,000 plus firearms in America.

    Are you trying to claim that criminals do not have a single one of those firearms?

    Are you saying that all 80,000,000 firearm owners are so law abiding that if there was a requirement to check for insurance, they would instantly do that?

    How about the requirements for the purchaser not to buy without insurance?

    Think that is going to work better than the laws against straw purchasing, felons in possesion, eh.

    A quick check of shows several going between 415 and 530.

    Guess you don't know firearms either eh?

    No there is a requirement that people do not drive without insurance.

    Given that 14% of the people disobey that, what makes you think there would be any better odds on firearm insurance?

  15. Anon: No plan will ensure 100% compliance--particularly at the beginning.

    Using your auto example, do you suspect there'd be many more uninsured vehicles if there were no insurance requirements? Again, your analogy fails because guns aren't cars. The reason uninsured drivers are uninsured is because of cost--they need to drive but can't afford the coverage. OTOH, gunloons don't need guns--or at least, multiple guns.

    Additionally, uninsured drivers are a product of enforcement. Some states do a very good job of enforcing compulsory insurance. States like UT, NC and LA have low rates of uninsured. In fact, in LA, your vehicle can be impounded if you're uninsured. Other states like TX, OK, NM simply have little enforcement and drive up the rates.

  16. Anon: Read the Gear article--it addresses many of your arguments.

    Yes, criminals do have many guns. No, I don't expect a lot of them to insure their weapons. But what of the new guns coming into the population? Are you content for the status quo to permit these weapons getting into their hands? It seems so. OTOH, an insurance requirement wouldn't limit law-abiding citizens and would prevent at least new guns from going to criminals.

    Re Glock 19 prices, the model used by NRA hero, Jared Loughner, retails for between $575-$645. So, my $600 figure was just fine.

  17. Probably the most redundant phrase I read in this thread is "It would severely limit the amount of guns getting into law abiding hands"
    I suppose, that is the point. How many guns do law abiding hands think they need?

  18. Microdot,

    How many books do you think you need?
    How many times do you think you need to speak?

    How many church/religious service do you need to attend?

    How many times do you need to assemble with your friends or family?

    If we are going to put a need based requirement on one right; shouldn't we put it on all rights?

  19. Anon: Guns aren't books and books aren't religious services.

    The fact is an insurance requirement wouldn't restrict any law-abiding citizen to own as many or as few guns as they please. This is in the Gear article you refuse to read.

  20. "The fact is an insurance requirement wouldn't restrict any law-abiding citizen to own as many or as few guns as they please. "

    And poll taxes didn't restrict any citizen from voting, yet they were found unconstitutional.

  21. "Health care is less of an option. You are a living breathing person, you will at some time in your life either be ill or injured, or be at risk for it. No one escapes some kind of health issue in life, including the problems of aging. That puts health care and health insurance in a different category than a vehicle, or a gun, which are optional, if common."

    No it doesn't. Healthcare and health insurance are just as optional as gun insurance, because everyone has the option of dying. There is no law that says one must live as long as possible, even if they can't afford it.

    Therefore, if we're going to mandate that those who can't afford health insurance will have it provided by the government, then we can do the same for gun insurance.

  22. AzRed is wrong as usual. Currently, we all pay for healthcare for the uninsured. When somebody is sick, injured, dying, etc. and they show up at an ER--they're provided healthcare whether they're insured or not. Those costs are passed on to the rest of us.

  23. I don't see how i'm wrong considering you just said what I said.

    My point still stands. If we can make the government pay for the healthcare of those who can't afford it, then we can make the government pay for the gun insurance of those who can't afford it.

  24. I like what Bill Maher said last week. Stop justifying your gun ownership (Jim) with references to the Constitution. The truth is you just like guns. Admit it like you would admit any other vice, drinking or smoking and the like. And like those other vices, we should tax the shit out of guns and ammo.