Another Idiot Demanding Insurance for Gun Owners

ref: https://www.wired.com/story/how-ai-driven-insurance-could-reduce-gun-violence

I have tried a few times to comment there, and somehow my post always gets marked as spam. Gee… I wonder why? Here’s what I tried to post:

Through suggesting compulsory gun owner insurance, the premises of the article are:

  • Directing corporations to do the government’s dirty work as a way of circumventing federal law is acceptable
  • Influencing market factors to control social dynamics is an appropriate economic discrimination tactic
  • Reducing legal gun ownership will reduce illegal gun use (e.g., “fewer guns means fewer gun crimes”)

These range from deeply unethical to plainly incorrect.

Let’s ask the direct question – what specific problem does this proposed solution address? If it’s gun violence, then the solution is absurdly off base. Demanding insurance is effectively a ‘trickle-down’ approach that ultimately can not be measured, and would be entirely useless in deterring crime. Those who obtain guns with the intent of committing crime would not voluntarily pay for insurance themselves, as noted in the article. You can’t enforce insurance subscriptions if you don’t know who owns guns, so this relies on voluntary disclosure. Attempting to demand proof at the point of sale just drives the market to use subversion, thus creating a criminal class by moralizing (much like prohibition did) and not to the benefit of society in any way.

Yes, I just said lawful gun owners are likely to violate the law in order to protest that law being unjust. Don’t even try to equivocate and claim that proves gun owners are just criminals waiting to happen; liberals constantly decry laws they feel are unjust and encourage people to break them, such as in places where abortions are illegal.

So if you perceive the problem to simply be magnitude of ownership, you’ve got other issues, such as the statistical reality of legal gun owners not being the problem, and not having legal obligation or force to influence those who are the problem. This is not an exercise in cultural dynamics where lawful owners can brow-beat unlawful users into compliance or good behavior. That means the influence of demanding a premium creates malum prohibitum, when your fundamental view is that guns should be considered malum in se. In other words, there are over eighty million gun owners not committing crime every single day, explicitly demonstrating that simple ownership is not the evil you would love to believe it is. Creating a de facto prohibition or restriction does not in any way imply the act or object is inherently bad; just that you don’t like it.

Worst of all, there is no credible scenario under current provisions that would cause an insurance company to pay out for negligent or criminal acts. Most accidental damage would be covered through other means already. And addressing the estimated $230 billion annually in collective expenses from various gun damages would be laughable – you’re just funneling money to private corporations for exactly zero social or legal benefit. There is no remedy to victims, there is no actual influence on crime, there is no net decrease in total ownership, only a shift in economic distribution. Low income people who are not prohibited would simply buy privately, so that means you’d have to pass a concurrent law restricting private sales AND believe that there would be sufficient compliance.

Think about this: if the intent is to reduce gun ownership, what rate do you need to charge in order to affect market change? How do you justify a fee that is not tied to the market, but to inferred behavior? Who is most affected? Is the insurance industry expected to dump their profits from gun owner policies into the public coffers?

If you charge a high enough rate to affect market penetration, you’re just preventing low income people from exercising their rights through what becomes a de facto tax. That tells this group of people that rights are something you have to be able to afford, or you’re not really a free citizen. Oh, and if they become victims of gun crime, too bad; the insurance companies are not going to pay them for suffering or medical expenses because the person who shot them wasn’t insured while committing a criminal act.

Finally, the reality is that fewer *crime* guns means fewer gun crimes. This is crystal clear when you review the use rates of legally owned weapons in crime as a percentage of gun homicide, or gun crime in general. If that’s not compelling enough, it’s easy enough to see that firearms sales have continued to climb while gun homicides and gun crimes in general have declined over the same period.

There is no correlation between private ownership and rate of illegal gun use.

What all this boils down to is a pathetic attempt to punish the wrong segment of society in a vapid display of contempt for law that goes against your “feelings”. Why bother pushing for an action that won’t have any actual effect on crime? Demanding insurance does not relate to any current gun problem, not even covering costs due to related emergency services.

You could be advocating for solutions that require far less cost and restriction that have direct impact on criminal gun use without infringing any rights or trying get corporations to do what government shouldn’t. By proposing insurance requirements, you’re very clearly stating that you don’t care about body count, only controlling lawful citizens.

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