A Different Approach to Gun Control
I would like to propose a different approach to the Gun Control issue. No, my proposal will not prevent all the mass shooting events but it might make a dent in the frequency of such events, especially if combined with other measures.
What I propose is that every gun owner must purchase Liability insurance for ever gun they own. This is very similar to required liability insurance many states require for every car. Guns are every bit as dangerous as vehicles. Owning a gun without liability insurance would be made a felony criminal offense. States would have to pass new laws both the implement the required liability insurance as well as the laws to criminalize those without the insurance. Expect a tooth and nail fight by gun owners and the NRA but I think making the relationship between guns and cars will resonate with the majority of people.
If common sense people think about the alternatives, hardening schools with metal detectors, armed security and/or teachers, outlawing AR-15’s etc, requiring liability insurance for guns seem like a smarter alternative. The key driver of this approach is that insurance companies will start providing the kind of background checking that will truly focus on high risk gun owners. Just like insuring a car, teen drivers are a higher risk so premiums are high. Owning a Corvette is obviously a higher risk than a mini-van so premiums are higher.
So an ordinary 22 rifle gets a low premium and an AR-15 gets a high premium, Handguns would probably have higher premiums than an old hunting rifle. A 50 year old married woman gets a lower premium than a 19 year old single man. Similarly an 18 year old who has been thrown out of schools for fighting and who has been seeing a mental health counselor might not be able to get insurance.
The liability insurance proceeds that are paid out to survivors of any inappropriate use of the gun are a minor part of this scheme but probably welcome by the survivor. It’s main purpose is to keep guns out of the hands of unstable people with insurance company investigations and inhibit collecting a huge arsenal of weapons since the total insurance costs would be too high.
Guns would have to be registered with the state, just like cars. When renewing, the gun owner must verify insurance coverage just like cars. The Feds would NOT be allowed access to the gun registration information to keep the conspiracy nuts from going crazy about a government takeover of citizens. As far as I can tell this state by state approach to laws would not infringe on the 2nd amendment and even if not adopted by every state (think Texas) it will make a dent in our American violence. No it will not prevent the kind of street killings prevalent in our large urban areas but nonetheless is a step in the right direction.
I propose each gun be covered by a $500,000 Liability policy which for a 22 rifle might cost $20/year and an AR-15 might cost $300/year and most handguns in the $200/year range and a regular 306 hunting rifle maybe $50/year. With 300 million guns in the U.S., total premiums might be as high as $15 billion/year – enough to make this business worthwhile to enter.