There has been a stream of media articles and blog posts calling for mandatory gun insurance since Newtown. Many of them point out the desirability to have the market weigh the risks of different styles of gun ownership and price accordingly. Almost all have an underlying concern about Second Amendment issues with such a requirement but try to state bravely that it won’t ultimately win out. Here are some interesting recent ones.
Jordan Weissmann at the Atlantic ‘A Smart Way to Control Guns: Force Owners to Buy Insurance for Them’ Weissmann discusses the effect of making insurance more expensive for those ‘likely to be caught up in some sort of violence.’ He gives links to the major early articles since Newtown. His article does worry about the constitutionality of burdening a right with the costs. He links to the very interesting Bloomberg article by Henry Goldman about the cost of Shootings.
Jean Ann Esselink in the New Civil Rights Movement ‘Mandatory Gun Insurance – A Practical Plan To Change America’s Cowboy Gun Culture’ advocates strongly for making insurance mandatory. She mentions insurance companies possibly wanting ballistic signatures on guns insured. She also mentions constitutionality but doesn’t think it will b a problem.
Robert Prather in Outside the Beltway ‘Liability Insurance for Guns’ gives snippets of older calls from several sources one stating in bold type ‘The biggest legal obstacle to gun regulation is the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment.’ There are good but short examinations of reasons and market effects of mandatory insurance.
The Economist: Democracy in America ‘Gun control: Insurance policy’ mentions earlier articles and the NRA’s program of ‘excess personal liability and self-defense’ coverage but does not mention that the NRA insurance protects only the owner and not the person injured. It states insurance isn’t a substitute for other measures but states could start passing bills right away.
I’ve seen very little from those who would oppose requiring insurance but I expect it will be coming soon. I do have one example:
Scotty Starnes in the Politically Incorrect Conservative blog ‘Lefties Now Calling for Gun Control Insurance: Want Law-Abiding Citizens to Pay to Insure Their Firearms’ says “Do these idiots seriously think that criminals will insure their illegal/stolen firearms?” and quotes from the Economist article above.