Monday, July 30, 2012
Gun Control That Works
For the entirety of my adult life, gun control has been a political hot button that has been kicked around and made difficult. Thus we have no working system whatsoever. My contention is that this is easily resolved and certainly not by any of the methods that have been dabbled in. In Canada we had the long gun registry which evolved into a bureaucratic boondoggle for a decade before it was recently put out of its misery.
All programs suffered from been excuses for run away government aggrandizement.
The natural solution is to establish an insurance mandate and simply allow private industry run wild. The risks are completely measurable and fundable.
1 Start with mandatory insurance coverage for every firearm privately owned.
2 That coverage includes a $1,000,000 payment to the estate of anyone killed and full medical in event of injury. Even make it no fault. This is similar to auto insurance.
3 Establish gun dealers as agents to sell the product and administer it.
4 liability is not escaped in the case of theft. Nonpayment of insurance is possible if the weapon is put directly into police storage or equivalent. Liability from theft can only be extinguished in a similar facility.
5 Then consider establishing liability back to the last owner as the gold standard for the system thus making the manufacturers the first owner. There is a lot of fuss out there in terms of present ownership, but all these aspects can be insured and should be.
Thus the industry has their industry but is forced to establish an economic system of ultimate responsibility that offsets the true costs of the industry. I personally think that the industry itself will turn all this into a profit center and become marvelous at driving down the costs of doing business until death by gunshot becomes rare. Even better, the government is out of game and storage becomes a local problem.
It also provides an avenue to pursue weapons that have disappeared as the risk to former owners is not zero. In the meantime, we have an insurance scheme in which insured weapons cover the costs of uninsured weapons to society which really motivates the industry to run down every such weapon in order to reduce claims.
Since the total homicides per year in the USA happens to be around 15,000, the actual annual claim level for this form of insurance will run at about fifteen to thirty billion dollars. Since this will be covered by around 50,000,000 households, the insurance bill per household should run around $500 on average per year with a wide range of adjustments with few breaks for collections. Farmers will naturally have their own much cheaper class as an example of an obvious break.
Perhaps the gun industry itself would love to foot this bill? It is long past time that society stopped paying for reckless or criminal behavior in gun handling.
I would also cause uninsured weapons to be stored against a minimal storage fee that can accumulate to half the assessed value of the weapon and be automatically collected whenever the weapon comes out of storage. They are easy enough to store and such a system makes storage the preferred option to collectors and most owners.
In the end, I do expect that insurance companies will be way more circumspect regarding who gets to own a gun than anyone presently in the loop. It still will never stop a dedicated nut case, but no gun control system will ever do that anyway. However someone buying multiple weapons requiring multiple policies should at least attract a visit from his agent.