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Old February 6 2013, 09:20 PM   #1
billcosby
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Liability insurance for their firearms - USA's solution?

I find this fascinating... is this the 'answer' to America's problem?
http://www.addictinginfo.org/2013/02...gun-insurance/

Here's the broad strokes:
Seven states – California, New York, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Colorado – have, in the past month, introduced bills to have gun owners put their money where their mouth is: liability insurance for their firearms, codifying that responsibility if their firearms are used incorrectly – used by children who find them, by criminals who easily steal them; by people to whom they sell them without requiring a background check.

....
the goal is making the gun owner fully responsible for his firearms, making sure they are always properly locked away.....

Sam Paredes, executive director of Gun Owners of California, questioned whether it is constitutional to require someone to buy insurance to exercise a constitutional right.

Robert Frank, professor of economics at Cornell University, counters:
“Nothing in the constitution grants people the right to expose others to serious risk without compensation.”
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Old February 7 2013, 11:57 AM   #2
Rhubarbodendron
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Re: Liability insurance for their firearms - USA's solution?

basically a good idea, but where would you draw the line? Many people are killed with cars (insured) and common kitchen knifes (not insured). There are precedences both for and against such a law.
At any rate it would make people more careful and hide their weapons better. That in itself would already be a big step forward.
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Old February 7 2013, 12:29 PM   #3
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Re: Liability insurance for their firearms - USA's solution?

Whilst an interesting idea, I don't think it'll work in practice. Things to consider, how much revenue will any insurance charge generate and will that be more than any payments made against such insurance, and where will any short fall come from? Because insurance companies are a business and like any buisness they want to make a profit.
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Old February 7 2013, 01:45 PM   #4
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Re: Liability insurance for their firearms - USA's solution?

Rhubarbodendron wrote: View Post
basically a good idea, but where would you draw the line? Many people are killed with cars (insured) and common kitchen knifes (not insured). There are precedences both for and against such a law.
At any rate it would make people more careful and hide their weapons better. That in itself would already be a big step forward.
A common kitchen knife is not deadly during its typical method of use. Cars are. Guns are. Insurance is about risk. The relative risk of injury or death in the presence of a gun (or a car) is orders of magnitude higher than in the presence of a kitchen knife.
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Old February 7 2013, 02:09 PM   #5
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Re: Liability insurance for their firearms - USA's solution?

Nor is a car deadly during is intended method of use (sure it can cause death and injury but most of those are accidental, very few car releated deaths are due to someone delibertly trying to run someone down).
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Old February 7 2013, 02:37 PM   #6
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Re: Liability insurance for their firearms - USA's solution?

MacLeod wrote: View Post
Nor is a car deadly during is intended method of use (sure it can cause death and injury but most of those are accidental, very few car releated deaths are due to someone delibertly trying to run someone down).
Cars can kill or cause serious injury with just a moment's carelessness. Guns can, too.

Why should we hold car owners responsible for accidental or criminal misuse, but not gun owners?
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Old February 7 2013, 03:52 PM   #7
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Re: Liability insurance for their firearms - USA's solution?

I kind of doubt that all the gang and drug related killers in Chicago, which are all usig guns that are illegal to possess in Chicago, would bother getting insurance policies for the illegal guns that they use to kill other gang bangers.

As for the rest of the folks, NRA membership already comes with three or four different kinds of accident insurance.
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Old February 7 2013, 08:52 PM   #8
Locutus of Bored
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Re: Liability insurance for their firearms - USA's solution?

gturner wrote: View Post
I kind of doubt that all the gang and drug related killers in Chicago, which are all usig guns that are illegal to possess in Chicago, would bother getting insurance policies for the illegal guns that they use to kill other gang bangers.
You've profoundly missed the point of this legislation and gotten its purpose complete backward.

They're not expecting gangbangers, drug dealers, and junkies robbing liquor stores or homes or cars to voluntarily insure their weapons. They're holding the legal federal firearms licensees from gun shops and gun shows and the legal private gun owners who are the source for the vast majority of the guns used in street crime responsible for the illegal sales they make to underage kids, felons, the mentally ill, people seeking to avoid background checks and get a gun immediately, people who are obviously buying the weapons for someone else, etc.

Most illegally acquired or irresponsibly used guns are purchased or taken from legal gun owners and licensees, and a smaller (but still large) number are stolen from them. This puts some liability on the gun owners who are deliberately reselling or giving out their guns illegally or those who are extremely careless with their legal guns, rather than only prosecuting the criminals who commit the final crime.

Read this for the legal sources of most of the illegally used guns on the streets:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontl...ocon/guns.html

I think it has a good chance of being effective at reducing overall gun violence rather than (or preferably in addition to) laws which specifically target weapons typically used in mass shootings which are a very small portion of total gun violence deaths (despite their horrific nature). They also need to increase the budget, manpower, and research capabilities of the ATF which have been limited by special interests and some in Congress.

Chicago and other cities can have strict gun bans within their city limits all they want, but it won't be effective as long as anyone can just drive outside the city limits and illegally purchase a gun from a legal (but corrupt) firearms dealer or relative any time they want.
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Old February 7 2013, 08:53 PM   #9
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Re: Liability insurance for their firearms - USA's solution?

On a bizarre note, the LA cop who is currently on a killing rampage strenuously supports an assault weapons ban and tightening gun restrictions. Where are we, as a society, when the latest psycho killer terrorizing an entire city is ranting against the last psycho killing?

Wayne LaPierre, President of the NRA, you're a vile and inhumane piece of shit. You never even showed 30 seconds of empathy for the children, teachers, and families of Sandy Hook. You deflected any type of blame/responsibility and directed it toward the influence of movies and the media. You are a failure of a human being. May all of your immediate and distant family die horrific deaths in front of you.
And then he goes on to voice his strident opposition to the idea of extending the Hangover series of movies past Hangover III, lest it take away "the originality of its foundation."

You couldn't make this stuff up.
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Old February 7 2013, 08:55 PM   #10
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Re: Liability insurance for their firearms - USA's solution?

It's a good idea. Our German neighbors recently sentenced the father of a kid that ran amok with his gun which he didn't lock up properly.

And of course you can draw a clear line. It's all about the purpose. Cars are for transportation. Kitchen knifes are for cutting food. Chain saws are for cutting trees. Guns are for killing.


There should be major restrictions for buying weapons. And if after a crime the gun can be traced back to an arms dealer who didn't make sure to check the buyer thoroughly and to follow the laws, then the dealer should get punished as well.
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Old February 7 2013, 10:00 PM   #11
gturner
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Re: Liability insurance for their firearms - USA's solution?

Well, the humorous part of all this is that most insurers already provide firearms coverage, usually as part of standard homeowner policies, covering theft, damage, liability, accidental use, and wrongful death. You can save some on premiums by having a nice gun safe. As I mentioned, the NRA and many other firearms organizations also provide coverage.

To go further than that would require some rough hurdles. One would be a jury that would find someone liable for something like having a gun stolen because a newspaper published the home address for every gun-stealing criminal to read, this after the government provided a list of gun addresses via a FOIA request, as just happened in New York. Another would be a jury that would find someone liable even though they sold a gun to someone in a completely legal transaction, just as you could sell your car to someone. If that person then gets a DUI years later, why would a jury find you responsible and financially liable for having sold them a car?

About 40% of guns used in crime come from the streets and another 40% come from family members. (Bureau of Justice Statistics link) Among other sources, background checks are required and would absolve the seller of legal liability because they'd done due dilligence. So this boils down to family transactions - in families full of criminals.

If you try to find a family member legally liable (which you would if you want to make the insurance company's high-priced legal team to pay out) then you'd also be in effect charging them with the crime of providing a gun illegally to a criminal. Why you'd waive charging them criminally is beyond me, as is why you'd want to call down the attack dogs from a major insurance company instead of letting the family member depend on the skills of a public defender (a gang member's relatives are probably also very poor).

So I'm at a loss as to why these state legislators would think that requiring something that gun owners already make use of would somehow reduce crime. I wonder if they've heard of safeties (common on guns for centuries now), combination safes, or anything else, either?

Strangely enough, it's only now that we're even requiring police to run background checks on the murderers they freely auction off guns to. Up to now the police were prohibited from actually checking their line of gun customers for criminal records. Of course we also have BATF directors selling illegally purchased personal guns to random drug lords on the Internet, but they're probably covered from civil suits under sovereign immunity and wouldn't have to pay for additional homeowners insurance.
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Old February 7 2013, 10:20 PM   #12
Locutus of Bored
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Re: Liability insurance for their firearms - USA's solution?

gturner wrote: View Post
On a bizarre note, the LA cop who is currently on a killing rampage strenuously supports an assault weapons ban and tightening gun restrictions. Where are we, as a society, when the latest psycho killer terrorizing an entire city is ranting against the last psycho killing?

Wayne LaPierre, President of the NRA, you're a vile and inhumane piece of shit. You never even showed 30 seconds of empathy for the children, teachers, and families of Sandy Hook. You deflected any type of blame/responsibility and directed it toward the influence of movies and the media. You are a failure of a human being. May all of your immediate and distant family die horrific deaths in front of you.
And then he goes on to voice his strident opposition to the idea of extending the Hangover series of movies past Hangover III, lest it take away "the originality of its foundation."

You couldn't make this stuff up.
Actually, you can make this stuff up, because crazy as his manifesto and motivations for revenge against people unrelated to his grievance are, there is no mention of LaPierre, assault weapons, or The Hangover anywhere in it (use the search function). Why you, or whomever you got that quote from felt the need to add that to it is beyond me (though I suppose the Wayne LaPierre part could be an attempt at discrediting legitimate gun control advocates), and since it has nothing to do with this topic, I'll ask you to stop. If this is just your weird sense of humor again, stop that too.

And, for those unfamiliar with the case, here's some background:

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-...-lapd-officer/

http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?se...nty&id=8983500

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/07/christopher-dorner-manifesto-ramblings_n_2639141.htm
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Old February 7 2013, 10:22 PM   #13
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Re: Liability insurance for their firearms - USA's solution?

Locutus of Bored wrote: View Post
gturner wrote: View Post
On a bizarre note, the LA cop who is currently on a killing rampage strenuously supports an assault weapons ban and tightening gun restrictions. Where are we, as a society, when the latest psycho killer terrorizing an entire city is ranting against the last psycho killing?

Wayne LaPierre, President of the NRA, you're a vile and inhumane piece of shit. You never even showed 30 seconds of empathy for the children, teachers, and families of Sandy Hook. You deflected any type of blame/responsibility and directed it toward the influence of movies and the media. You are a failure of a human being. May all of your immediate and distant family die horrific deaths in front of you.
And then he goes on to voice his strident opposition to the idea of extending the Hangover series of movies past Hangover III, lest it take away "the originality of its foundation."

You couldn't make this stuff up.
Actually, you can make this stuff up, because crazy as his manifesto and motivations for revenge against people unrelated to his grievance are, there is no mention of LaPierre, assault weapons, or The Hangover anywhere in it (use the search function). Why you, or whomever you got that quote from felt the need to add that to it is beyond me (though I suppose the Wayne LaPierre part could be an attempt at discrediting legitimate gun control advocates), and since it has nothing to do with this topic, I'll ask you to stop. If this is just your weird sense of humor again, stop that too.

And, for those unfamiliar with the case, here's some background:

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-...-lapd-officer/

http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?se...nty&id=8983500

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/0...n_2639141.html
He actually didn't make it up. Gawker posted the shooter's manifesto. LaPierre and The Hangover are in Part 2. Link to Part 1.
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Old February 7 2013, 10:27 PM   #14
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Re: Liability insurance for their firearms - USA's solution?

My apologies then for contradicting your post, gturner. I guess they just posted the first part of the manifesto on HuffPo and Scribd.
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Old February 8 2013, 12:18 AM   #15
gturner
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Re: Liability insurance for their firearms - USA's solution?

For some reason most news outlets just posted 11 of the 22 pages, perhaps because he was fawning all over their anchors and giving them advice or something, or perhaps because it's hard to seriously argue that the news media doesn't influence some of these shooters when a manifesto reads like it was penned by a expert news media critic. It gets a little surrea in placesl, like he's having a friendly chat with Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper.

I also felt like he was covering every random topic (Jennifer Biel, Chris Christie, Charlie Sheen, Larry David, and about a hundred other personalities) that a cop might discuss with his partner during an eight hour shift in a squad car. Is the guy off his rocker or completely normal (aside from the well-thought out murderous rampage/assassination bit)?

If the LAPD can't stop this guy and he starts fighting crime and corruption from outside the law then the story is going to get really crazy, in a Hollywood/Dark Knight kind of way.

ETA: He's a staunch supporter of Obama and George HW Bush, and badly wants Chris Christie or Hillary Clinton in 2016. Who does that?! Is that where the train left the tracks?
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