Monday, January 17, 2011

A Job-Creating Gun Insurance Bill

Cars can kill. To be on the road, a car has to be licensed, inspected, and insured. Guns can kill. They should also be insured.


Suppose every gun owner were required to have gun insurance?

Suppose insurers had to pay out whenever any firearm in the country injured or killed someone other than the owner?

This is the simplest, most rational, idea for curing firearm misuse that I have found. It would create a new kind of insurance for a presently uninsured market, helping to manage risk by giving it a cost. It could mean many new jobs for Connecticut insurers, and new income for any agent who sells gun insurance. Just as the AARP sells Medigap insurance, the National Rifle Association might find it to its benefit to see that its own members are covered.

Not every state would want the law. Some might want to license and insure handguns, but not rifles or shotguns. These states could get victim coverage for handgun violence but not for hunting mishaps.

Receiving payouts for victims could be a carrot that would make a state want to take part in the program.  A federal law could require states to license and insure their guns, else lose participation in the payout program.

Possibly some politician in Connecticut, where America's biggest insurers tend to hang their hats, could invite their donors to contemplate the cash flow they could bring in by insuring America's overarmed populace?  Here's a market, all you capitalists!

We can change the ground the problem stands on. Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, and a lot of other politicians in Connecticut know the insurance honchos. They know people. Here's a new market for the insurance companies. Does anyone know Barney or Chris?

For some, this may seem like using evil to fight evil, but if we can turn evil against itself, then it nulls itself out. The cost of insurance - and the more stable society that insurance produces - would lead more and more people to let go of their guns, and the gun insurance market would create its own dwindling.

I suspect that every governor would want to have a program like this for their state. Nobody would want to live in an "uncompensated victims" state.

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