A modest proposal to make gun ownership safer

I have this proposal, one I’ve brought up before and I still think it’s a great idea. Here it is: If you own a handgun, you have to own gun insurance.

Handguns cause untold damage to other human beings, mostly because that’s what they’re designed to do. And since craven politicians won’t offend the NRA by talking sense, I say it’s time to get the insurance lobby involved. (After all, they’re always looking for a new revenue stream!)

If you have a history of violence or other anti-social behavior, your premium will reflect that higher risk. If you keep your guns in a locked gun cabinet, have approved triggers locks and have taken a gun safety class, your premium will reflect responsible gun ownership.

Oh, and just like when you buy a car, you can’t walk out of a gun dealer’s without showing proof of insurance.

It’s legal, it rewards people who are careful with their handguns — and it makes it a lot more expensive for those who aren’t. What’s not to like?

A federal judge this week tossed out a lawsuit filed by the National Rifle Association challenging the constitutionality of a federal law prohibiting the sale of handguns to people under 21 years of age.

The suit is one of two filed by the National Rifle Association challenging state and federal laws regarding the purchase and carry of firearms by young adults.

Because, as we all know, young people will certainly exhibit the same self-control and restraint on the use of guns as they display with the use of alcohol, motor vehicles and baseball bats!

U.S. District Judge Sam Cummings on Thursday dismissed the suit challenging a federal ban on the sale of handguns to people age 18-20, writing that precedent shows restrictions on the sale of firearms do not violate the U.S. Constitution.

The suit against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and others was filed by the NRA on behalf of the organization and three young adults, including Lubbock resident Andrew Payne, who claim they are harmed by the ban.

The plaintiffs claim the ban violates the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment.

[…] Although the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2008 in District of Columbia v. Heller that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to possess and carry weapons, the high court held that laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of firearms is constitutional.

This post is written as part of the Media Matters Gun Facts fellowship. The purpose of the fellowship is to further Media Matters’ mission to comprehensively monitor, analyze, and correct conservative misinformation in the U.S. media. Some of the worst misinformation occurs around the issue of guns, gun violence, and extremism, the fellowship program is designed to fight this misinformation with facts.

6 Responses to A modest proposal to make gun ownership safer

  1. Imhotep October 24, 2011 at 9:38 am #

    Excellent post.

  2. Dan Lynch October 24, 2011 at 12:44 pm #

    According to Suzie’s plan, Anders Breivik, the Nazi who killed 77 people in Norway, would have had no problem obtaining handgun insurance at the very best rates, since he had a clean record and was well funded.

    On the other hand, poor people living in high crime areas, where a handgun might be desired for protection, would be financially burdened by Suzie’s proposed law.

    Suzie, if your objective is to lower crime, why don’t you consider the two things that studies have shown correlate to crime — drugs, and income inequality ?

    There is no correlation between owning a gun and crime. None. My state (Idaho) has one of the highest gun ownership rates in the country, the loosest gun laws, yet one of the lowest homicide rates. Meanwhile, there are cities in Canada, which has very restrictive gun laws, that have far higher homicide rates than Idaho.

    But, if you want to drive millions of gun owners away from liberal politics, just keep attacking guns.

  3. Izquierdo October 24, 2011 at 2:46 pm #

    Dan, the topic here is not gun ownership and crime, it’s gun ownership and firearms safety. Not really the same.

    Also, comparing cities to rural areas is not a plausible comparison.

  4. Ron October 24, 2011 at 6:33 pm #

    Including a personal injury clause for those who get shot with them.

  5. Ron October 24, 2011 at 6:40 pm #

    And actually we’re talking America, not Norway. I own several guns and don’t have a problem with this idea, per se. What rankles is the knee-jerk reaction to any discussion of guns in the US.

  6. susie October 24, 2011 at 8:12 pm #

    I’m not attacking guns. I am proposing that we put a system in place that makes people less careless with them by rewarding them with lower insurance rates. I’m more concerned about some kid finding a gun in his house and deciding to play shoot ’em up. At least the victims of such carelessness will be able to put in a claim.

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