With all of the recent talk about gun control and gun rights following the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary, I - like many others - have been torn about how to limit or eliminate these deaths without an outright ban on all guns. With every possible solution proposed, others quickly point out the flaws in the system. Increased background checks? Many of these killers have no criminal history. Assault weapons ban? Loopholes. Mental health checks? Where do you draw the line?
I propose that rather than ban weapons or ban certain individuals from owning guns, we require that all gun owners obtain insurance for each of their guns. If the gun is used in a violent incident (whether intentional or accidental), the insurer would pay out to the victim. This would NOT eliminate the liability of the shooter, but would specifically apply to the gun (and gun owner). Possession of an uninsured firearm would result in steep penalties (in order to deter people going without the insurance and allow for the arrest of criminals possessing guns).
The beauty of this plan is that the free market would take ensure that premiums for low risk individuals and low risk guns were low, while keeping premiums for high risk individuals or high risk weapons high. Individuals could reduce their premium costs by, for example, taking gun safety courses, and storing the guns in a gun safe. Hunting rifles and shotguns would likely have lower premiums than hand guns which would be lower than assault rifles. Families with children in the house would likely pay more (due to possibility of accidents) . In other words the same principles that apply to car insurance would apply to gun insurance (ever check out the liability insurance on a red sports car compared to a blue minivan?)
What do you think?