(This is a re-post of an entry I put up in December 2012 on what I’m afraid is an evergreen topic.)
In the wake of these tragic mass murders, firearm advocates, reacting to calls for gun bans, point out that lots of things kill people. Cars, for example, kill lots of people.
We mandate liability insurance for cars. Why not for firearms? Bring market forces to bear on this issue. More firearms make things safer? Insurance rates will go down (if true).
Anyway, what I envision is a requirement that a firearm owner obtain liability insurance that covers injuries caused by that particular firearm. (Runs with the weapon – provides an incentive for people to secure the weapon in a way that ensures, for example, kids don’t have access to the weapon.) I would also envision a policy surcharge used to subsidize coverage for uninsured losses, treatment of mental illness, enforcement of existing regulations, and safety education efforts.
Firearm advocates promote guns as critical for liberty and personal safety. Seems like the price of an insurance policy is a small price to pay for life and liberty. If, on the other hand, your attachment to your guns is more of a cultural affectation, the cost may make you re-evaluate your priorities.
It won’t happen, but it struck me as a compromise position that avoids confiscating weapons on the one hand or continuing, on the other hand, to sit on our hands while mass murderers with firearms gun down the innocent as we idly wonder why this keeps happening to us.
(An additional idea, not in the 2012 entry, is some kind of dealer’s experience account where the dealer has to pay in a certain percentage of the sale. The percentage goes into a firearm victim compensation fund which would pay out some capped amount for individuals injured by firearms. The amount of the percentage for any particular dealer would go up when the dealer’s firearm is found to have injured someone and go down when they have a below average incident-to-transaction ratio. The idea being to create a market incentive for dealers to sell responsibly and penalize those dealers whose transactions are most likely to lead to firearm injuries.)