Thursday, December 20, 2012

White House Petition on Gun-Owner Insurance

Please sign a White House petition to President Obama

 cross posted from Penigma

I did something useful this afternoon; I went to the white house gov petitions site, and not only signed ALL of the petitions to ban assault style weapons and expanded capacity magazines and to proactively enact and promote safer gun laws - there are approximately 166 possible petitions to sign (and a lot of them are seeking to put guns in schools, and armed veterans in schools); I also started a petition of my own, because I didn't see anything similar.

My petition is one I hope will be reviewed by Vice President Biden, and incorporated in the recommendations he makes to Congress.  My petition was that all gun owners must carry liability insurance on every gun they own, lease, or use.

To be seen among the 166 petitions, I have to first have 150 people sign that petition. So I would like to start with all of you, and have you share it with your friends and family.

Liability insurance would be like car insurance; it would mean that those who are harmed by someone's gun, whether they use it or it is used by someone else (with or without their permission) could expect to be compensated for their medical bills, for pain and suffering, for lost wages.  In the event of fatalities, that could mean paying for the very expensive costs of a funeral.  In the event of property damage, it could mean reimbursement for loss or damage.

Firearms use causes a lot of expense, and too often the victim has to bear that burden, or the taxpayers, or a mix of both.  In this respect we should not be treating guns any different than automobiles.

Please sign, and please ask others to sign.  I have only 30 days to get 25,000 signatures.  The sooner the petition has 150, the sooner other people can see it easily on the white house gov web site. Thank you.

The petition is available here.


  1. Mike,

    I'm sure you know how expensive this proposition would be, and how it would make gun ownership, of even a single gun, too expensive for many people. I am guessing that this may be a feature instead of a bug, though I could be wrong.

    If your goal is to ensure that victims are compensated rather than merely reduce gun ownership, I would suggest a better solution: a push for a renewed emphasis on compensatory damages and for compulsory measures to enforce payment. That is, push for a reform that requires a person with a judgment against them to pay it off either through wage garnishment, or working it off, perhaps fixing our damaged infrastructure.

    Such a push would remove the scourge of "judgment proof" defendants who can injure others with impunity whether with a gun, a knife, or a car.

    This solution would help victims of all kinds of accidents and recklessness, not just those injured by guns. As for the insurance you want--it might just become popular on its own since people wouldn't want to be stuck on a paving crew, etc.

    (And before someone tosses a red herring, I'm not suggesting this as a backdoor to eliminating union roadworkers, etc. These work crews would need experienced workers to supervise them and show them how to do the work.)

    1. Remember the D.C. v. Heller majority opinion decision stated that firearms (handguns) rely on their ubiquitous adoption for their constitutional protection. Any "uncommon" or "unusual" form of firearm would not be protected.

      If, firearms, due to their expense caused by such liability insurance, lose their constitutional protection, their would be no limit as to what restrictions may be implemented against the possession and proliferation of such deadly devices.

    2. I'm sure you know how expensive this proposition would be

      Well, the cost to society of gun ownership is pretty huge--estimated at $100 billion annually. Much of that cost, most of it, is born by the taxpayer and so it is quite a reasonable question--why should the taxpayer shoulder that cost? Why not gun owners?

      If you divide that total cost by the number of firearms in America, that number is indeed quite high--about $444 per firearm per year. If you prefer to pay by round of ammunition, that is about $8.62 per round.

      However, if we are thinking of insurance more along the lines of what we do for automobiles--say a 'no fault' type of required insurance where anyone injured or killed by a firearm could file a claim and claims would be about the size they are for motor vehicle injuries and deaths--then the cost is quite a lot more reasonable. It comes to about $44 per firearm per year or $0.82 per round of ammo.

      See analysis and details here:

    3. Thanks Brent. I didn't think it would have to be exorbitant. The gun-rights guys say the same thing about making private sales go through an FFL guy. But there's no reason that would have to be too high to afford either.

    4. "Well, the cost to society of gun ownership is pretty huge--estimated at $100 billion annually. Much of that cost, most of it, is born by the taxpayer and so it is quite a reasonable question--why should the taxpayer shoulder that cost? Why not gun owners?"

      Why not the CRIMINALS? You commit a criminal act with a gun, you have to work for the rest of your life to pay it back. Hard labor too

    5. Actually, whenever you have a lot of people participate, it shouldn't be prohibitively expensive. But I suppose if you find yourself with a bad track record, or illegal sanctions, you could expect those costs of being high risk to go up.

      It would tend to separate out the responsible from the irresponsible. And it is fair the same way that given the high costs of automobile ownership and automobile accidents are expensive, that the owners pay those costs.

      More to the point - fairness and owner responsibility trumps whether or not you like it or it costs more. It costs more now - it's just not the owners who are paying for it.

      Remember - although a knife incident - the judgment against OJ Simpson for wrongful death? He got cleaned out, and still owed more. This way the gun owner has some support for paying a judgment, and the victims wouldn't be victimized twice over - first for the injury, loss or damage, and second for being stiffed on any compensation.

      You are right mikeb - several states, like Colorado, require guns show background checks for example. It is not costly, didn't take an unreasonable amount of time either. It works. A lot of the hand ringing pissing and moaning about background checks for all transactions is just one more teapot tempest of stupid.

      If there is too much objection to taking responsibility, then it is time to ban all guns, because gun owners won't do what they need to do to really own their weapons in every sense of the word.

    6. When you require insurance for blog posts and reading books, you'll at least be consistent.

    7. Brent, Mike, and Dog Gone (or anyone else who wants to answer),

      As actuarial work is not my specialty, I am not going to argue with your number. I will note that even at $44 per gun, that price could get pretty onerous per year if you have someone who is a serious hunter. Poor people in my area hunt for meat still, and to hunt for the most kinds of meat, this means several guns. E.g. a shorter length shotgun for home defense or hunting deer in thickets (not sawed off--usually 18.5 inch barrel), Long barreled shotgun for ducks, muzzle loading firearm for one deer season, bolt action or semi auto rifle for another deer season--typically large caliber, and small caliber rifle for small game/shooting pests. The $220 per year could be better spent on paying off a safe or paying for extra ammo for practice so that they hit the animal they aim at, and so that it doesn't suffer unnecessarily.

      Also, this small "arsenal" doesn't include granddad's old rifle, etc. which one often finds.

      Finally, I'd like to ask you: Why do you prefer to put this cost off on all of the owners in the country when the majority of owners do not cause the damages you are talking about. Why not reform the judicial system to require that the criminal, or the negligent party, actually pay for their criminal or negligent action? This is the person who caused the victim's harm and who should be paying the victim for the damage.

      Dog Gone, even though you were supporting Mike's requirement to buy insurance, your explanation in paragraphs 2 and 4 fleshes out the reasonable argument for owners ensuring that they have such coverage (whether in an individual policy, or as part of their umbrella coverage). There would be even more incentive under the policy I proposed wherein a person could not avoid paying their victim.

    8. Common civilians, who convey no public authority bear no legitimate interest in the proliferation and possession of weaponry. Therefore the reduction of such a practice through means of imposing burdensome costs, would eventually serve to give State actors a monopoly on the lawful use of arms, therefore empowering the State to ensure the subjugation and safety of all citizens.

      Unlike semi-literate rednecks such as yourself, Tennesseean, those endowed with the capability for rational thought do not kowtow to the pretentious notion of the "law abiding gun owner". Most "law abiding" Americans, are simply criminals who have yet to be convicted.

  2. Proof positive that MikeB302000 uses moderation on this blog. Dog Gone is shown to be dishonest, and poof there goes the post.

    I guess we're exposing all kinds of hypocrites today.

    1. Exactly so. But I'm not forgetting.

    2. Actually there are only two reasons I delete comments. One is the really vulgar kind and the other is the ones that use people's real names if those folks don't like it. If either of these begins to happen too frequently, I'll put the moderation on like I've done at times in the past.

      You guys should spend less time on the personal attacking and more time on the argument.

    3. Did you expect otherwise? Have you ever known me NOT to have Laci's back?

      Don't be a pair of asses. Campy was a bad boy who broke the rules, despite those rules having been explained here clearly, and more than once. The rules here are pretty much the same terms of service used on word press - a word to the wise.

      If this continues to be a problem, point your smelly little blame finger at Campy.

      I haven't been dishonest at all; if you look at my blog it clearly indicates the petition is cross posted from face book. Last I checked it was cross posted in somewhere between 8-12 different sites.

      Try remembering the important stuff Campy - like the rules. You guys whine like toddlers who missed their nap time: Blah blah blah...waaaah waaaaaah waaaaaaaaah

    4. FYI - there are a number of states where gun deaths have now exceeded automobile deaths.

      I'm having a guest author on penigma soon who goes into greater detail on how gun liability insurance would work. (Thanks Mikeb for helping make that connection.)

    5. The problem, Dog Gone, is that you come here with your high-and-mighty attitude, dismissing anyone who disagrees with you, but you've never offered us any justification for your supposed superiority. You're a humbug. And now you've revealed something that you didn't mean to reveal.

    6. The concept of mandating the purchase of liability of civil liability insurance as a condition of the lawful possession of a firearm will serve a higher goal than simply reducing damage. Such a policy if reinforced with punitive taxes, would make individual firearm ownership prohibitively expensive, and therefore achieve the Constitutionally required State monopoly on the lawful use of coercive power.

      The main objective of any proper small arms policy, is the general reduction of the ownership of weapons by the mere individual and subsequent punishment violations to such a policy. While expensive and burdensome requirements for licences, insurance, taxation (preferably over 2,500 U.S. dollars), and registration requirements would serve to weed out the most obviously irresponsible and dangerous of the armed civilians, their primary goal ought to be focused on the reduction of gun ownership in order to transform it fro, a right into a punishable offence.

      Under the stringent penalty of law, all will comply.

      Anyone who (genuinely, and not for the sake of political expediency) disagrees with the objectives of arms control ought to be treated with the disdain befitting of such idiocy.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Any chance of giving a credit after some creep is stopped by a citizen?

    Property cost savings should be relatively easy for some account genius to do.

    Now calculating the cost saved when people don't get raped or beaten or killed is much harder. I guess the majority of those cost would be hospital care that didn't have to occur.

    And then there is no lost productivity at work. How in the world do you calculate that?

    But the really really hard part is figuring out how much is saved when the next crime by the same perp is prevented. That one is really going to bake your noodle.

  5. And Mikeb, I've talked about this before, but if you're worried about personal attacks, you need to discuss that with your side much more than with mine. I have no problem with keeping things civil, but as with many other matters, I'm not disarming first. When Laci, Dog Gone, Democommie, E.N., Black Cap, and the Anonymous host treat me and my side with the respect that all human beings deserve and when they address arguments in detail with facts, logic, and values, I'll do the same. My comments primarily use those things already.

  6. Your comments do not use logic. They use delusional assumptions.

    You repeat the same old worn and weathered failed arguments.

    It gets pretty tedious after a while.

    Beyond that, after your comment (dunh dunh dunhhhh DUNNHHHHHHH) 'you were going to remember', oh please, could you be more darkly melodramatic (strike a macho, sinister pose).

    Are you claiming you DON'T know the rules about writing people's names (or misinforming people by claiming a wrong name)? Keep practicing, you might get better at feigning surprise and pouty indignation.

    In the list of people you complain about, you forgot Jade.

    Frilly Liberty, there is an entire sub-industry of actuaries who do nothing but come up with formulas to measure risk and savings, etc etc, and then factor in costs.

    As to stats on people getting raped or killed - or when the numbers drop and they don't - the CDC does a brilliant job of that. As to analyzing how and why those reductions occur, there is another field of expertise, criminology, that does that very well. Your side's heroes like Lott, et al aren't very good at it.

    Productivity is wonderfully analyzed - both absentee-ism and the costs of less productivity from people who work sick or injured. It's called presenteeism.

    The biggest savings would no doubt come from insurers requiring those who take out a policy not to engage in risky behavior, requiring gun safes be used, and not sleeping with them on your nightstand (lol) and other reasonable safety measures.

    If you can't afford what is required to own a car, then you can't own a car. If you can't afford what is required to own a gun, then you can't own a gun.

    The guy writing in the next day or so wants people to have to show an insurance card for the gun involve before they can buy ammo, and some other interesting provisions that I think are very well reasoned, and which could work well to make it harder for illegal gun owners, and to keep prohibited people from getting guns in the first place.

    1. Dog Gone, I have given you facts and logic repeatedly. You never address any of it. If you're willing to do so now, we can try again.

    2. I get a laugh every time I check out the nonsense at the PENIMA blog. For example, today there was the statement by someone named John Oliver who says there have been "31 school shootings since Columbine". That may or may not be true. Then, in the next post by my beloved DG from PENIMA she states, "Since the Columbine tragedy, there have been a total of 14 mass shootings in schools world wide, compared to 31 mass shootings in schools in the US this year..."
      So, Penima, which is it? 31 school shootings since Columbine or 31 MASS SHOOTINGS IN SCHOOLS IN THE US THIS YEAR.

      On any given day you can see this kind of toro caca at PENIMA and get a laugh or two, but more likely three gut busters.

      Today we read that the Chinese said that US citizens should be disarmed. Jeepers, guess whose side that puts Mikeb, PENIMA, Jadegold, Pooch and the rest of these gun control freaks on, the Chinese Communists. Awesome!

      I encourage everyone to visit PENIMA for a study in illogical nonsense, laughs and pukes.

      orlin sellers.

    3. Dog Gone,

      One reason the courts have allowed the insurance requirement on car ownership is because they have ruled that car ownership is not a right since you can exercise your right of travel in some other way. Same justification used for no-fly list, TSA grope searches, etc. Frankly, I think this is an infringement of the right to travel, but the court says it isn't.

      When it comes to guns, the courts say there is an individual right to own them, so within that framework, I don't see how this requirement could fly without the court re-working the standing precedent.

      Now, please understand that while I have just indicated that I think that the insurance requirement should not be a prerequisite of owning a gun or a car, this does not mean that I do not want to have them--required or not, I want coverage because I'm not an idiot. I keep my car insured, and when I became an adult and moved out, taking my personal guns with me, I called my insurance salesman to see if there was any type of coverage available. Turns out my renter's policy had me covered for accidents and negligence--it even covers every concealed carrier's worst nightmare: you are attacked, and in defending yourself accidentally wound a bystander. (And to be clear, the nightmare is not about the financial repercussions, but because of the pain and suffering caused. This fear is also why every carrier I know buys ammo in bulk online so that they can burn through 100+ rounds a time in several practice sessions a year.)

      Now, the place my coverage stops is if I were to Willfully try to kill people with my gun. Victim is SOL, and I'm stuck paying the judgment myself. Good for the insurance company since they don't have to pay for my choice to do something evil; Bad for the victim if I am a deadbeat who can't pay.

      This is likely to stay the case unless you make legal provisions to force insurance companies to pay crime victims for the deliberate criminal actions of the insured. Therefore, the crime victim would still likely get screwed twice as you discussed at the top of this thread.

      This is why I originally suggested that we work to reform the legal system for guns, cars, lawnmowers...everything, so that the person with a judgment against them MUST pay the judgment either with money or through court ordered labor. This way, the victim is made whole, regardless of whether they were harmed by another person's negligence, recklessness, or even deliberately criminal action.

      People would have incentive to buy insurance, but a mandate wouldn't be needed because the free-riders wouldn't get a free ride--they'd be sentenced to working off their debt.

      Would this be an acceptable alternative? If not, why not. I've tried to point out the gaps I see in your plan; point out any gaps you perceive in mine, and maybe we can come up with something solid and workable.

  7. It will do nothing to stop crime. Criminals don't follow the law. Do you really think that the cops will help you if you call 911? The courts have ruled that the police have no duty to stop crime, only to take the report. I hope that someday you or one of your love ones are injured, raped or killed. Then you will find out how important a firearm is.....

    1. Your short-sighted, self-serving claim that criminals don't follow the law, which is one of the main platforms of the NRA resistance to reasonable gun control, is laughable because criminals get all their guns from lawful sources. We don't need criminals to follow the laws in order to diminish the availability by proper laws AIMED AT THE LAW ABIDING.