Note: Out of respect to the Orlando victims, their families and friends, we have pulled the portion of this column that compared Donald Trump’s behavior with a profile of the Kansas delegation in Washington ‒ and found that Trump seemed a genius. The politics can wait. Meanwhile, let us hope. ‒ JM
In the wake of Orlando’s tragedy and its collateral pain and grief, we are in for another examination of America’s gunsmoke culture, another round of second amendment hysteria, another brief shower of promises to examine gun laws and, even, renewed discussions of the reach of international terrorism.
We can’t be so hardened to it all that mass murder matters only in the moment, but tragedy is now frequent enough and frustration so common, that all we seem able to do any more is get through another round of funerals and get on with life, or what’s left of it.
America, meanwhile, gets more dangerous. A lot of guns, a lot of murder by guns. A lot of talk about gun control for murder control. As we pull out of our sorrow, consider a fragment of this huge issue: Last October, we suggested that insurance should be brought into the discussion. By that, we said, Congress ought to require liability insurance for hand guns, or all guns for that matter. We could hand 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 should be invited 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 must buy the insurance. The details – coverage, premiums, duration and so forth – would 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 insurance premiums would be sure to reflect whether the policy-holder is trained or experienced in the use of firearms, or is prone to be triggerhappy. Premiums also would reflect whether the owner would think twice about loaning a gun to friends and relatives.
Would no-fault gun insurance be an option?
In a country with a passion for insuring nearly everything, it should