Tags: gun | insurance | church shooting | victims

Latest Loony Idea: Mandatory Gun Insurance

By Friday, 26 June 2015 07:50 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Before Charleston even had time to bury its church shooting victims, politicians and pundits from President Barack Obama on down were calling for more gun controls. “We have to do something,” they said.

I’ll agree with the president on one point: something obviously is wrong in any country where mass shootings occur with the frequency we see here.

The question is whether different public policies will make them less frequent.

I seriously doubt that part. Our problem is more moral than legal.

Nevertheless, people keep thinking government can save them. Some want to ban guns completely. That won’t happen — and not because the NRA is so powerful. The Supreme Court confirmed within the last decade that the Second Amendment protects the right to own guns for self-defense.

“If we can’t ban guns,” the left reasons, “let’s make them really expensive.”

The newest idea: require gun owners to purchase liability insurance, much like car owners. In this way, Washington will enlist the financial services industry to accomplish what the government can’t do itself.

If I were an insurance executive, I would absolutely LOVE this idea. I would have my lobbyists begin pushing Congress to do it immediately. A staggering amount of money is at stake.

Insurance is all about probability. The odds that any given firearm will be used in a crime are microscopically low. They are so tiny, in fact, that the claims ratio would be a small fraction of 1 percent.

Competition would normally push the price of such insurance very low. In this case, however, government coercion would set the price punitively high.

How high would rates have to go before people stop owning guns? I don’t know, but certainly hundreds of dollars per gun, per year. You do the math.

That means the premiums from gun owners would be almost pure profit for the insurers. They could gladly give multi-million dollar payouts to murder victims’ families and then sob all the way to the bank.

Aside from enriching insurers, would such a regime make any difference in crime rates? Would it stop mass shootings like Charleston and Sandy Hook? No, and it would probably have the opposite effect, preventing less-than-wealthy Americans from owning the best means of self-defense. They would become even more vulnerable to crime than they are now.

The Charleston murders, like all others, were an outrage. Dylann Roof will richly deserve his punishment. His violent bigotry should disgust all Americans. He bears the blame for what he did.

Any murder weapon is simply an object, neither good nor evil. We can take some common sense measures to keep guns from falling into evil hands. Forced insurance is not such a measure.

Buying insurance won’t change anyone’s heart, and that’s where the true problem lies.

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Before Charleston even had time to bury its church shooting victims, politicians and pundits from President Obama on down were calling for more gun controls. “We have to do something,” they said.
gun, insurance, church shooting, victims
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2015-50-26
Friday, 26 June 2015 07:50 PM
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