America stands as a dangerous place. A lot of guns, a lot of murder by guns. A lot of talk about gun control for murder control.
What hasn’t been discussed lately is insurance. If Congress were to require liability insurance for hand guns, or all guns for that matter, we’d turn the matter of gun mayhem to those most adept at dealing with it – the insurance companies.
If the Congress won’t deal with this, the states are welcome to try. We embrace insurance for cars, buildings, corporations, even individuals; liability insurance for guns is not a trip through virgin territory. (Imagine the flood of actuarials!)
You buy a gun, you buy the insurance. The details – coverage, premiums, duration and so forth – will be left to the gun and insurance lobbies. Rates would vary depending on the type and firepower of the gun.
Given how finicky insurance companies can be, gun premiums are sure to reflect whether the policy-holder is trained or experienced in the use of firearms, or is likely to be triggerhappy.
Premiums also would reflect whether the owner would think twice about loaning a gun to friends and relatives. Or would Kansas simply offer no-fault gun insurance? In a country with a passion for insuring nearly everything, it should be no problem to include guns.
Additionally, guns could then be traced through their insurance policies. If a gun is used to cause injury or death, insurance companies will be added to list of concerned entities. Insurance may not solve the problem, but it would provide the gun issue a new dimension, with new players and uncharted consequences.
Guns don’t murder, as the NRA is fond of saying, but the premium for that new pistol could be a killer.