December 29th, 2012

What about gun insurance?

Megan Mcardle mulls over the proposal to make gun owners buy gun liability insurance, and finds it wanting for a host of reasons.

Most of her arguments make sense to me, although I disagree with this particular point of hers:

[Reason] [n]umber one [posited for the proposal, to make gun ownership more expensive], is unfair to advocates of stronger gun control, most of whom say that they do not want to take all guns away from law abiding citizens. I see no reason to doubt them, and so I’m basically discounting any interpretation of this proposal that seems like it would just raise the cost of guns until they were unaffordable for all but the very wealthy.

She sees no reason to doubt them? I see plenty of reasons to doubt a great many of them.

23 Responses to “What about gun insurance?”

  1. vanderleun Says:

    That’s the slippage in the gears that makes the liberal mind so unsound.

    Kurt Vonnegut had something to say about that:

    ” The dismaying thing about the classic totalitarian mind is that any given gear, though mutilated, will have at its circumference unbroken sequences of teeth that are immaculately maintained, that are exquisitely machined.

    Hence the cuckoo clock in Hell—keeping perfect time for eight minutes and thirty-three seconds, jumping ahead fourteen minutes, keeping perfect time for two hours and one second, then jumping ahead a year.

    The missing teeth, of course, are simple, obvious truths, truths available and comprehensible even to ten-year-olds, in most case.

    The willful filing off gear teeth, the willful doing without certain obvious pieces of information…. “

  2. Mr. Frank Says:

    Insurance would provide the government with a list of gun owners and their addresses. That would be a big issue.

  3. Occam's Beard Says:

    most of whom say that they do not want to take all guns away from law abiding citizens …


  4. Charles Says:

    ” . . . most of whom say that they do not want to take all guns away from law abiding citizens.”

    Ha! That line is quite laughable if it weren’t so naive.

    Most gun-control advocates want to take guns away from everyone but themselves.

    No guns for thee, but plenty for me!

    As far as “gun liability insurance” cutting down on gun violence . . . just how is that different from saying that automobile liablity will cut down on auto accidents?

  5. Sam L. Says:

    You say naive, I say stupid.

  6. Occam's Beard Says:

    You say naive, I say stupid.

    I say neither naive nor stupid, but rather disingenuous.

    Sure, your garden variety liberal soccer mom with duck feathers for brains believes that agitprop, but the ones driving the bus – the hard-core Reds – know that an armed populace will have the means (and the will) to resist them. For that reason they have to chip away slowly, instead of simply seizing power, which is what they really want to do.

    I don’t see the Second Amendment as intended to provide for self-defense by individuals, but rather as self-defense by the populace against an overweening government, i.e., as another facet of the checks and balances written into the Constitution. From this perspective, the Second Amendment is by far the most important Amendment in the Bill of Rights, because it makes the other Amendments operative.

  7. M J R Says:

    “She sees no reason to doubt them? I see plenty of reasons to doubt a great many of them.”

    Yes, naive (as others are pointing out).

    So-o-o-o many on our side have yet to have their eyes opened to the relentless insidiousness of what the enemy ^really^ has in mind.

    Meanwhile, that naivete hurts our cause a great deal. Knives to a gun fight and all that.

  8. M J R Says:

    Occam’s Beard, 2:09 pm — “I say neither naive nor stupid, but rather disingenuous.”

    Disingenuous on the part of the hard core, definitely. For “your garden variety liberal soccer mom,” naive.


  9. n.n Says:

    There was no reason to doubt them when they made energy unaffordable; automobiles unaffordable; housing unaffordable; education unaffordable; medical care unaffordable… There is a latent pattern of abuse which emerges with “good intentions”

  10. Occam's Beard Says:

    For “your garden variety liberal soccer mom,” naive.

    Naive and stupid. Or naive, and therefore stupid?

  11. Steve Says:

    Mr Frank says, “Insurance would provide the government with a list of gun owners and their addresses. That would be a big issue.”

    A silver lining of the NY Journal News publishing the names and addresses of registered gun owners is that the push for gun registration is now a dead letter. I am sure Sen. Feinstein will have a hard time convincing anyone that registration info will not be misused.

  12. parker Says:

    The whole concept of liability insurance for those who possess firearms legally is just another means to register firearms/owners leading to the forced surrender of firearms. It would serve no other purpose. If I misuse a legally purchased firearm I am instantly responsible for the consequences of my action in criminal and civil courts.

  13. parker Says:

    “… most of whom say that they do not want to take all guns away from law abiding citizens. I see no reason to doubt them…”

    This is an insult to anyone with an IQ above normal body temperature.

  14. M J R Says:

    parker, 11:44 pm — “This is an insult to anyone with an IQ above normal body temperature.”

    If the IQ distribution curves are to be believed (bell-shaped, with 100 as mean), and if Fahrenheit degrees are used, . . .

    then just under half of the “anyone”s in the USA are at or below normal body temperature.

    Append to these the intellectual devotees of ideological leftism, and voila! —

    We have an aggregate that ^exceeds^ half of the “anyone”s in the population.

    In fact, the aggregate approximately equals the 2012 presidential popular vote for the incumbent in early November.

    Hmmm . . . .

  15. Occam's Beard Says:

    Megan McArdle is the thinking man’s Ann Althouse.

    Or vice versa.

  16. rickl Says:

    “… most of whom say that they do not want to take all guns away from law abiding citizens.”

    But if you disobey the proposed new law, you’re no longer a law abiding citizen. Presto.

    Nice catch, that Catch-22…

  17. RigelDog Says:

    IME the average person who says they are for “common sense” gun control is NOT consciously in favor of a complete ban, let alone wanting to have control of all the guns for themselves. They think guns are icky and that only a very small subset of people would want or “need” a handgun. They truly think that having a handgun if you do not “need” one is a sign of suspect tendencies…the same way that they reflexively equate anything outside of the current approved list of liberal positions as, of course, an extremist far-right and illegitimate one.

  18. Ryan Says:

    Insurance for something that is a right. Makes sense in liberal circles, I guess.. Ugh.

  19. parker Says:

    How about requiring insurance to check Mein Kampf or The Communist Manifesto or Quotations of Chairman Mao from the local library? Or a license, after a background check and fingerprinting, to buy these dangerous publications from a bookstore? Let’s shred the 1st along with the 2nd. That should appease our progressive wannabe masters.

  20. DonS Says:

    I believe that the key driving force behind gun control is in fact, people control. It isn’t so much that gun banners fear an armed uprising, IMO, rather it is the inherent virtue of lawful gun ownership: a society of citizens who are independent and self reliant.

    The left wants weak, dependent subjects.

    As a side point, do any of you listen to the US language Mexican radio stations? They play Mexican government announcements that are funny, and scary, as hell. Lecturing the Mexican people on any number of subjects, like a nation of children. No wonder the left is OK with illegal immigration.

  21. Jimbo Says:

    As a gun owner, I am automatically suspicous of any such ideas but I may like this one if we can use it work out a compromise that has Congress make a law that is strongly supportive of the 2nd amendment assuring that the individual right to bear arms is not infringed otherwise.

    Such coverage would be cheap because legally-owned guns rarely end up being used to kill or damage. This would give all liberals a false sense of security that enables them to think they have done something real to limit guns. That’s fine, let them go on thinking that. Of course, in about 10 years, they would eventually figure out that criminals won’t get insurance anyway and continue to committ crimes with guns. By then they will realize that they will need to get a majority of both houses and a president to reverse the compromise and then get the Supreme Court to reverse at least two decisions. By then, with the help of things like 3D printing, gun ownership will go from 47% to over 75%.

    In any event, I am perfectly willing to have Congress waste several years crafting such a bill while the rest of us buy as many guns as we can to get grandfathered. This is a good time to buy stock in gun manufacturing companies.

  22. Tom Harvey Says:

    @guninsurblog Effective gun insurance that will protect everyone and be a minimal burden on gun owners is possible. The detailed article quoted above is discussed at length at It will require designing a system with care but the insurance industry has done that many times.

  23. Ryan Says:

    I’m definitely skeptical of requiring insurance for something that’s a right, but if the following took place, I could go for it.

    First, many current gun laws and restrictions in place would have to be lifted. These include magazine restrictions in several states (like California’s 10-round cap) and things like the “bullet button.” Hey, if you’re going to require insurance, I want the weapon as it was intended. Oh, and there should be no restrictions on the number of weapons purchased and the amount of ammo purchased.

    Second, the cost should be reasonable.

    If the above two were good to go, I am even fine with background checks and a waiting period (like California’s 10 day) so long as Congress then strongly supports the 2nd Amendment as Jimbo says.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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