As audacious as this sounds, I have a solution. It’s not often one can say that, maybe just once your life, but I really have come on a plan that will ultimately lower the proliferation of firearms in our society.
Ready? Every gun must be insured, just like we do for our cars. Let’s explore the genius of this proposal.
First, it doesn’t infringe on anyone’s 2nd amendment rights. You can own as many guns as you can pay the insurance premium on. Second, there will be some financial accountability for the random violence that a laissez faire gun ownership policy allows. Third, it will impose some order on a situation that is clearly headed towards the old west with permitless open carry popping up everywhere. Insurance companies will bring order and no politician has to take the hit for being “soft on guns”.
Am I overstating the problem? Not in the least. When it is more likely to be a victim of gun violence if you are an elementary school child than a police officer on duty, we have gone down the rabbit hole.
The Gun Violence Archive tracks deaths by gun of all types across the United States. The statistics are just staggering. Look at the numbers posted each year for children 0-11 and police. The numbers are far too close for what we as a society should expect. The police have a dangerous job, which, in my opinion, would be helped by some form of gun control. Elementary school kids are just trying to go to school. Do ads for bulletproof backpacks not scream enough is enough?
Why the insurance companies? Because the federal government won’t do it and the insurance companies are the only industry big enough to take on the gun industry.
Think about the industries that insurance companies have moderated in society. Automobiles and tobacco are a couple of huge, huge industries that were made to modify their behavior because of the insurance industry. All cars are tested now for crash-worthiness. Smokers pay higher premiums and are actively encouraged to quit by PSAs. What if gun owners had to at least buy liability insurance in the amount of one million dollars for each gun they own?
Obviously there would be a sliding scale on the weapons. The premium for an AR15 with extra magazine would be significantly higher than a 410 shotgun. Just like an 18 year old driving a Corvette paying more than a 35 year old driving a Honda CR-V, the insurance companies will develop the strategies that will keep them from paying out rewards. We can trust the actuaries to work it out, they’re good at that stuff. It worked for cars and tobacco.
Let’s talk about the upside for state and local governments. Just like proof of ownership and liability insurance for cars is required by law, so would gun ownership. Thinking about walking around downtown with your Uzie, fine. The police have the right to ask you for your registration and insurance. No insurance, no problem. Big fine and confiscation until proof of insurance is secured. Just like with your car.
Want to buy a gun because you’re really ticked off at your neighbor and something needs to be done? No problem, you can pick up the gun when your insurance has been secured. Society will rely on the insurance companies to do their due diligence and your neighbor will be happy they did.
Is my proposal crazy and farfetched? No. The city of San Jose, California has already enacted such a plan. I’m not going to quibble with them over who thought of what first. “There’s no good idea that can’t be improved on”.
One would think that the state of Alaska would want to be one of the first to jump on the bandwagon. They lead the country in firearm mortality according to the CDC. Of course the south comes in a close second. We do love our guns. I just hope we love our children more.