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“Over the past two decades, the National Rifle Association and the Republican party have won a series of spectacular Second Amendment gains, rolling back regulations, reaffirming rights, and removing the tentacles of the state from an area in which they do not belong. This renewal has been electric to watch, but there will be no excuse if these victories provoke a perversion, by which “leave us alone” is transformed by routine success into “do as we wish.” The Right’s attitude toward firearms can serve as a helpful illustration of its stance toward liberty writ large. If it becomes aggressive in victory, it will squander a vital opportunity and lose its soul in the bargain.” – Charles C.W. Cook in How the Right Could Lose Its Way on Guns [at nationalreview.com]

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99 Responses to Quote of the Day: Turnabout Isn’t Fair Play Edition

  1. The individual has the right to keep and bear arms, or not. The individual also has the right to be an arrogant as*hole while doing so. Freedom is messy.

    Most will exercise their freedom in a responsible fashion. And pro 2a people will have to go a long way to be near as intrusive and anti freedom as kapo bloomberg and crew.

    • Having the “right” to do something doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.

      And exercising the “right” to be an “a$$hole” is almost never, ever a good idea.

      Winning graciously is the best way to win — always.

      Keep in mind that there are still about a 2/5th of the people in this country that are on the fence about guns. When something bad happens, they start wanting to ban stuff. When nothing happens, they don’t care.

      And many of them vote when given cartons of cigarettes and bussed to the polling stations.

      • “Having the “right” to do something doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.”

        This kind of statement is generally accompanied by some sort of judgment regarding what someone should and should not do. To which I like the reply given in the OP:

        “Freedom is messy.”

        In other words, your idea of something being a “good idea” is, quite frankly, irrelevant in a free society dominated by responsible people. “Right” and “wrong” have nothing to do with your judgment or approval of another person’s behavior.

        • If we don’t recognize that all rights come with responsibilities, then we will lose them.

          Your right to free speech, to association, to KABA is accompanied with your responsibility to not act like an “a$$hole”

          What that means is situational. Smart people will figure it out.

          The dumbasses won’t and they’ll ruin the whole thing for all of us.

          YMMV

        • people act like a$$holes all the time, whether exercising a Constitutional right or not. Trying to eliminate a$$holiness is about as futile as eliminating racism and gun control.

        • Your right to free speech, to association, to KABA is accompanied with your responsibility to not act like an “a$$hole”

          Let me know when he actually starts breaking laws. Until then, he’s free to act as he wishes.

        • @Jack.
          “If we don’t recognize that all rights come with responsibilities, then we will lose them.”
          Bulls**t. Another Left construct.
          Rights are not conditional that’s why they are called natural rights. What you may want to say is that they come with personal accountability. Which is a different POV. We are all accountable for our deeds.

        • @AnonInWA,

          “responsibility” vs. “accountability”

          An important distinction to keep in mind!

          Sometimes, “responsible” IS used in the sense of “accountable” (as in, “you are responsible for the results of your actions”) but it also gets used in the sense of “obligated” and that conflation is what nannies of every politcal stripe (not just the left) use. Rights come with accountability-responsibilities, not obligation-responsibilities.

        • @AnonInWA,

          “responsibility” vs. “accountability”

          An important distinction to keep in mind!

          Sometimes, “responsible” IS used in the sense of “accountable” (as in, “you are responsible for the results of your actions”) but it also gets used in the sense of “obligated” and that conflation is what nannies of every politcal stripe (not just the left) use. Rights come with accountability-responsibilities, not obligation-responsibilities.

        • If something can be taken away as a result of using, it was never a right. F*** being polite to those who seek to enslave us. I’m about 20 years and 19 days past compromising any further with these people.

      • Not only is it prudent to exercise your rights, it’s absolutely essential. The difference in being an ass or not is a choice. I’ll take that choice over being forced to be pleasant any day

        Do you vote on something based on how the win will be celebrated? When we expand or restore rights to everybody why shouldn’t it be celebrated loudly with zeal? It benefits everybody.

        Even though people may not understand why a vote against rights negatively impacts all citizens, no one ever said, “Yay, we have fewer rights.”

        • On the contrary, many were cheering in the past when the right to keep and bear arms appeared to have been converted to a conditional privilege by a piece of legislation or a state court decision.

          You can see the same pattern with the right to free speech, which has been converted in some states to a privilege to say things your university approves of. Many do cheer the de facto and/or de jure conversion of rights into mere privileges.

    • I get the distinct impression from reading JwM’s comment, and the replies, that people think this is about open carry demonstrations.

      Nope.

      It’s about the very point I got pilloried for trying to make a few days ago. Businesses have the right to conduct themselves as they see fit, and for conservatives to complain about health insurance mandates while welcoming government forcing businesses to adopt policies on guns in the workplace (or carry by customers, for that matter) is hypocritical.

      READ the actual article. The man is spot on. (Note-the link goes to page 2 of the article.)

      • While I completely agree with your view that businesses and property owners have the right to act as they please, our progressive government changes have allowed monopolies to form in these types of businesses (insurance companies in this case.) Now that the entire market share is owned by extremely few, previous government picked, hands, they are allowed to discriminate under false pretenses.

        IF things worked how they should, and how you want them to, work, small businesses should start to pop up and undercut the existing corporations with better prices, quality, and policies. But this industry has so much government influence that a small business would likely be quashed before it ever opened its doors to customers.

        So now, we have a state government willing to step in and say, “If you are all going to work on a lie, and not allow the market to work freely, we are going to write a law that forces you to do what you won’t allow others to.”

        Now, if there were real studies, that actually quantified the risks due to having: A gun, a knife, a rope, rat poison, a baseball bat, that were peer reviewed and consistent, and those quantifiable risk factors were used by insurance companies to asses your premiums, then there would be no problems here. But when 85% of the united states is believing BS like “Having a gun in your home makes you 20 times more likely to die,” then no, lying corporations need a dose of their own medicine.

        I am a proponent of a truly free market as well, but I am willing to work within the system to screw over the worst.

      • Two things: 1 Thanks for the reminder to read the article. 2. I don’t always agree with Steve, but I think he’s right here. Our rights per the BOR are limitations on the State, not on other private parties.

      • What if you are not a Conservative, and not a Liberal? If those labels follow party lines, then there is a large group that is not represented, or has crossover beliefs. CT for example has 917,000 “Unaffiliated”, followed by 798,000 Democrats, and 436,000 Republicans. Seems that the Democrat and Republican party are minor parties and by extension, Conservative and Liberal are labels that are becoming more icons than representative of individuals.

        • Well. based on electoral trends in CT, a lot of those “unaffiliated” are Dems who just don’t like to wear the “Dem” label.

      • While I agree with the sentiment about taking government out of the control loop of business to some extent, I have to disagree that the bill was wrong (not that it was right either…). Considering that DGUs outnumber gun related crime and accidents, you could argue that insurance companies should give you a discount for being a gun owner especially when age, gender, and geographical location is considered. A young, attractive female living in a criminally risky area might reduce their risks of violence/death with a gun. As would an elder or handicapped person. Certainly CCW holders are safer than the general public and police. In other words insurance companies need to make sure that the risk/reward matrix has more than just risk in it and I doubt they could quantify that correctly. Not sure is this bill was proactive or if there really were insurance companies engaging in this practice but considering accident/death by gun is a rounding error when compared to other forms of death I would think that this would be nothing more than padding for their other liabilities. It too could be the Obamacare of gun rights in the opposite extreme.

      • I like the California approach. Here, private “no guns” signs have no force of law. We treat it the same as “No outside Food or Drink” signs at theaters. If caught, the owner call tell you to GTFO, and can have you arrested for trespassing if you refuse.

        The private property owner’s right to set the policies he pleases is preserved, my right to carry is preserved, and the state isn’t co-opted into enforcing company policies.

        Simply put:

        *I have a right to carry
        *my employer has a right to set the policies he sees fit in his workplace, including no gun policies
        *I can choose to ignore that policy without criminal consequence
        *my boss can choose to fire me for any policies i break without the state getting in the way

    • Just because you can “stand your ground” doesn’t mean that standing your ground in a particular case is a smart idea. Freedom is indeed messy but it can be made less messy by exercise something called judgement.

    • “…do as we wish” is not part of that equation for law-abiding gun owners in the wake of any gains in protecting their Second Amendment ‘rights’.

      Where I live as a rule law-abiding gun owners, especially conservatives, don’t flaunt their liberties, often hard defended against state restrictions, under the protections of the second Amendment. That’s not their style. Most gun owners I know are low profile under the radar types who have no desire to attract unnecessary attention from…anyone.

      And yes, that’s quite unlike the oppressive, arrogant, extremist shrill Bloomberg- Watts crowd.

      ‘Course, I live in CA, albeit San Diego County, which, though not pro-gun, is less oppressive than the more ‘enlightened’ ‘utopian’ ‘La-la Land’ metropolitan areas further north.

  2. 1. The biggest gains have been without or even despite the NRA.

    2. We have not yet begun to fight.

    3. Fading away never works. We can’t keep accepting encroachments forever without ever taking back what has been taken already, and that won’t happen without a fight.

    4. Being a wall flower never got anyone anywhere.

  3. “Guns play the exact same role in shootings that camera’s do in child pornography.
    Only a special kind of stupid would try to stop child porn by going after cameras.”

    In the comments after the article. I’m going to steal that one.

  4. This is how the left kicks our butts so often. Conservatives are too freakin’ nice. They want to ‘play fair’. Sometimes they don’t even want to use their most legitimate weapons to win. Meanwhile the left gets down and dirty with every dirty trick they have. If we want to retain our rights let alone get the stolen ones back, we can’t let fear of the other side’s perceptions get in the way. Lord knows they don’t care how WE feel.

  5. Judge Bork pointed this out 25 years ago. We conservatives wail when liberal judges make law, but then can’t wait to get “our” judges on the court who will make law with a rightward bent. As Cooke and Bork say, both are wrong. The law is to provide equal justice for all, then let the chips fall where they may. If you don’t like it, vote, run for office, or help someone you favor run.

  6. The florida bill, and others like it, were written to prevent the grabbers from using insurance mandates as an end run around the 2a. How this guy can call that “obamacare for guns” I have no clue.

    • Having the government force a private individual/entity to perform commerce against their will is the issue. That is exactly the same thing as Obamacare. It is antithetical to liberty.

    • By changing the common, culturally accepted definition of “freedom.”

      Control language and you control people.

    • OK, I’ll give you an example “ripped from the headlines”

      Gays win (in court, not at a ballot box) the “right” to marry.

      They then patronize a business owner to make them a wedding cake with a top piece of two men or two women, which the baker refuses to do.

      They go to court and get a decision that forces the owner, who has a right to free exercise of religion, to do their bidding.

      There’s your example.

      If those sorts of decisions are allowed to stand, I believe RKBA advocates should use them as case law to force businesses who want to ban guns on their grounds to be forced to recognize the individual’s right to bear arms exceeds the business owner’s property rights to control access to their property. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander here, and the left looooves to not think about the unintended consequences of their case law.

      I’m also of a mind that case law against waiting periods for abortions should be used to litigate against waiting periods for gun purchases. What’s that the lefties used to like to say? “A right delayed is a right denied.”

      • So, just to make sure I understand you correctly …

        Because one couple got the court to do wrong (coerce a business owner to serve customers he did not wish to serve), we should also use the court to commit a wrong (coerce businesses into serving us the way we want).

        Coercion by proxy isn’t right. It’s wrong when others do it and it’s wrong if we do it. We should not copy bad behavior. We should overturn the bad decision.

        (And BTW, marriage shouldn’t be under the control of government at all … but as long as it is, it’s effectively a legal contact – and allowing a man & woman to be legally married but not a same sex couple is gender discrimination by the government … which should not be the case).

        • I’m past the point of worrying about the Constitution. We’re at a point in the US now where it is too late for the rule of law and other high-minded ideals – mostly because we’re rapidly becoming a third world nation due to being overrun by ignorant third worlders and a political class of self-dealers and grifters.

          It is also still a tad too early to start simply shooting people.

          So in this in-between time, the best we can do is cram the unintended results and knock-on effects of stupid ideas back down the throats of those who fielded them in first place.

          I’m now of a school of thought that there are some people who deserve what they claim they want, and they should get it nice and hard.

  7. So basically, he is saying he will lose because we want to be too free.

    The statist is strong with this one.

    • Respectfully, no–He is saying we want to be free as against the State, not as against other private parties acting within their proper sphere. I no more want the government telling me I have to sell my product to gun owners than I want it to tell me I have to sell my product to anyone else-women, racial minorities, transgendered Muslims, anyone. If it’s my business and my product, the decision as to who to sell it to and how much to sell it for should be mine, in a free society.

  8. F- Cook, and all his bottle-washers. The attitude of “leave us alone” is transformed by routine success into “do as we wish.” has been status quo in government for too long. If the push-back on your nosy self-important neighbors who need jobs a/k/a “the U.S. government” [not to say that there isn’t a job needing done, it’s just that the job does not seek these no-talent-ass-clowns to fill them] is 105% every now and then, it is what will prevent the push-back of 1000%.

    And . . . CA you stupid pieces of cr_p, you suck.
    (sorry, that last bit was just venting from something else I saw on the news this morning).

    CA is the Communist Suck, all you CA a-holes ought to go rent “The Pianist” and then go back to your strangubation.

  9. Public opinion matters. If that has to be explained it’s probably b/c you don’t want to understand. The higher our profile the better we need to be with public relations, screaming about 2A rights is not enough since there are so many who don’t care.

    • “Public opinion matters.”

      Public opinion matters to high school girls that want to be “popular.”

      It darn sure does not matter to free men and women in standing up for their natural (ie, above government) rights.

        • What point is that?

          That you are defeatist and only stand up for something when it is “popular” and you sense momentum favors your “position” on an issue?

          I’m saying I don’t give a rats behind if you (rhetorical) agree with me on iota. Life is not a popularity contest.

      • You may not like the fact that you live in a universal suffrage democracy–I surely don’t–but the fact of the matter is that you do. If you don’t think that public opinion matters to your freedoms, just go take a swing through California. It’s not pretty.

        • “If you don’t think that public opinion matters to your freedoms, just go take a swing through California. It’s not pretty.”

          There is nothing in California that stops me from exercising my rights as a free man.

          There may be some socially sanctioned consequence for that exercise, but ultimately the decision to “obey” or “not to obey” is mine and mine alone.

          Plurality, or lack of it, at the polls does not change that.

        • So a prison stint wouldn’t stop you from exercising your rights as a free man?

          Some of us would like to be actually free rather than just free in our own minds. Free to, you know, watch our kids grow up and go get some range time in and stuff like that.

    • Public opinion matters.

      Membership in advocacy groups normally represents a small percentage of people sympathetic to the cause being advocated. The largest grassroots advocacy group in the US is the NRA, which has five million members.

      There are 11-12 million people who carry daily, and 100 million people who own firearms.

      Why are you so concerned about “public opinion”?

  10. I get his point, but it is premised on the opinion the Insurance Companies assessment that gun carrying in the workplace is an increased risk, therefore, premiums should reflect that. I disagree with that premise and I think most everyone here would disagree, as well. Rather, I think a workplace that does not allow employees to carry (IF they so choose) is more vulnerable to random violence and, therefore, a higher risk. To wit, the recent Jihadi Attack at Vaughn Foods in Moore,OK, could have been far worse if there was no armed person in the workplace to stop that lunatic terrorist.
    His charge that continued successes in reversing Second Amendment infringements runs the risk of transforming “leave us alone” to “do as we wish” (arrogance) seems to be based on the premise that “Republicans” and POTG are expecting to EXCEED the natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. We are seeking to undo, repeal and reverse infringements on the right, but he seems to think we want to dictate that guns should be everywhere all-the-time. Maybe I am alone on this, but I thought the goal was to guarantee, not mandate, choice. It’s a tricky proposition to be sure, but no “right” has any value at all without choice, so there’s no substantive difference between mandating “Gun Free Zones” and “Gun Mandatory Zones”. Freedom is only served by “Gun Optional Zones”…AND there has to be room for those who privately want to dictate either extreme. The objective being to prevent a tyranny of the Majority over the Minority, but as with many people today, he has got that reversed, as well.
    I think he’s trying to be helpful, but some of his key suppositions are just plain wrong.

    • You might be missing the point.

      It may or may not be the case that guns in the workplace make them safer, not more dangerous. I’d tend to agree with you on this.

      The point is that some pro gun people are supporting mandating that insurance companies go against their own judgement and research as to which is true, should they happen to disagee with us. That’s an infringement on their rights.

      • Suppose that the insurance companies find that respect for free speech leads to more work-place fights, and therefore justifies higher premiums. Will your view be the same? What if it turns out to be a fact that diverse workplaces experience more violence than homogeneous ones?

        • “Will your view be the same?”

          In the unlikely event that those two factors make a place less safe (which I really doubt), they should charge more when they are present.

          And yes a workplace can curtail your free speech under certain circumstances, already (like when you are speaking for the company).

          The fact of the matter is that charging more for a diverse workplace is probably illegal.

      • “The point is that some pro gun people are supporting mandating that insurance companies go against their own judgement and research…”

        Yes, and I object to pro gun people mandating anything beyond what the Constitution says, which is what I was saying in my second paragraph. Not so sure I can get too concerned about the “rights” of an insurance company (a legally created, but artificial entity) trumping the rights of real people by choosing an assessment driven by the insurance company’s monetary bottom line. However, in the convoluted reality we deal with nowadays, I acknowledge that is likely the case and won’t change because I don’t like it.

        • The point is that some pro gun people are supporting mandating that insurance companies go against their own judgement and research…

          Please point to the text of the bill that accomplishes such a mandate.

        • There’s no “Bill” involved…that is a quote from another person’s comment. You might want to re-read the series of comments.

        • There’s no “Bill” involved…that is a quote from another person’s comment. You might want to re-read the series of comments.

          And you might want to re-read the original post, and the editorial from which it was derived.

          Your comment:

          “The point is that some pro gun people are supporting mandating that insurance companies go against their own judgement and research…”

          What is the vehicle of that mandate, if not SB 242, the passage and signing of which created such consternation for Mr. Cook that he wrote an editorial about how pro-gun people are pushing things too far?

        • The quote you are asking me about is original with “SteveinCO” in response to another comment I made. I see no claim he made it is from SB 242, and it may be a reference to what Cook wrote in the article, but you’d have to ask “SteveinCO”, since the verbiage is his not mine.
          My original comment referred only to what Cook wrote in his article. Subsequent comments referred to what other TTAG people wrote in response to that comment. If you have a comment about my original comment, please feel free to make it. I will be absent for a bit, so take your time.

        • If you have a comment about my original comment, please feel free to make it.

          My point is that what is being debated is moot, because it’s not actually being implemented. Insurance companies are not being prohibited from factoring firearm ownership into their actuarial calculations.

    • Derry,

      Employers, especially large ones with big legal departments, prohibit firearms because of the potential liability if the SHTF. They don’t care who gets shot, as long as they don’t get sued afterwards. They willingly sacrifice the safety of their employees and customers to protect their bottom line.

      I sound like a liberal here, lamenting evil corporations. I don’t usually take this attitude toward corporate America, but I’ve listened to the actual attorneys making the actual arguments. It’s nauseating.

      • Yeah it’s nauseating for sure. You sell your time and skills to a Company, and they include your safety and life by fiat of “Company Policy”.

    • It’s not necessarily “his” suppositions, it is the suppositions he is alleging the inscos make when they set rates. And he’s saying it is not the government’s proper function to decide for the inscos which suppositions are correct and which are not. And he is right, those decisions are for the inscos make, and the market will decide whether they are correct or not. Or should, anyway.

      • The inscos will generally agree on the same assessment to protect their interests and competitive position, so the market represents no real option to decide if their chosen assessment is correct. I agree the Government has no place “deciding” for the inscos (and would screw it all up anyway). In the end the Citizen/Employee gets his/her rights infringed either way it goes because Heaven forbid we would just abide by what the Constitution says.
        Not striking at you, just trying to illustrate that the matter is practicably unresolvable.

    • Having had some time to review this matter I find the Bill in question is Florida SB 424 which has been passed and signed into law in that State. This bill does specifically forbid insurance companies from charging discriminatory premiums based on personal firearms/ammunition ownership or possession.

      https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2014/0424/BillText/__/PDF

      This subsection on page three describes the Government mandate contained in the Law.

      “4. For a personal lines property or personal lines automobile insurer to:
      a. Refuse to issue, reissue, or renew a policy; cancel or otherwise terminate a policy; or charge an unfairly discriminatory rate in this state based on the lawful use, possession, or ownership of a firearm by the insurance applicant, insured, or a household member of the applicant or insured..
      b. Disclose the lawful ownership or possession of firearms of an insurance applicant, insured, or household member of the applicant or insured to a third party or an affiliated entity of the insurer unless the insurer discloses to the applicant or insured the specific need to disclose.”

      This specifies “Personal Lines Property” or “Personal Lines Automobile” which applies to individual persons and households as opposed to Insurance, which is usually issued to Companies to cover premises (workplace), operations, bodily injury, product liability and so forth.

      Basically, then, this Law does create a Government mandate that Insurers cannot discriminate against persons and households in Florida because they own/possess firearms and ammunition in their residence and while in their automobiles. it does not affect how insurers might assess the risk of employees possessing firearms in the workplace, nor mandate how the insurer may set premiums based on the presence of firearms in a Company’s workplace.

      So, in my initial comment, I put the focus on the workplace quite mistakenly and kicked-off some interesting discussion about firearms in the workplace and what insurers should or should not be able to do. Interesting, but not applicable to Mr Cook’s article. I thank those who commented and apologize for wasting your time (if you felt that way), but appreciate your efforts to point out my mistake.

      In the second paragraph of my initial comment I focused on the question of the value of a “right” if no choice is permitted and objected to pro gun people “exceeding” the Constitution by getting laws (such as SB424) enacted. I will still stand-by that opinion, as it is clear to me that a “right” without choice has no value.

      As to Mr. Cook’s concern that “leave us alone” is transforming into “do as we wish” owing to pro gun successes, he thinks he has a valid concern, and this Florida Law constitutes evidence supporting that concern to his mind. The Tampa Tribune article found at:

      http://tbo.com/news/politics/house-clears-bill-to-ban-insurers-from-gun-based-premiums-20140422/

      cites criticism of the law based on a lack of evidence that insurers take firearms ownership into account when insuring private persons and households property and automobiles. The Legislators who supported the Law seem to see it as a sort of preemptive strike in support of gun ownership, and I think Cook’s concern is about pro gun people adopting this as a standard tactic which would eventually begin to smack of excess, even tyranny. I think POTG are more fair-minded than that. I hope that after enduring years of tyranny over Second Amendment rights we have learned better than that. Cook’s concern remains to be proven as valid or invalid.

  11. Same could be said of the LGBT community. Not bashing LBGT’s at all here, just saying I’ve personally seen people in that group where I live made some very political moves to push people into accepting them at large. Political correctness at it’s worse.

    • Yes, but they have both popular support, MSM support, and their members are generally more outspoken due to that support (well, the ones who have come to terms with who they are). They can generally get away with a more aggressive stance, and the media in its never-ending quest for sweet ratings calls people out who don’t support LGBTs.

      RKBA, I would say, doesn’t have as quite as much popular support and definitely does NOT have the backing of MSM. The more aggressive we become, the more likely it is that we will be called out on it. Just look at the stuff Open Carry Texas. MSM and gun control groups jump right on the slightest thing we do wrong (including stuff we don’t consider wrong). LGBT doesn’t get that kind of scrutiny.

      That being said, I skimmed through the article linked, and its generally a gun-grabber article in fairly poor disguise. I wouldn’t put too much stock into it. While I think there is a point that we will need to slow down to avoid alienating the fence sitters, I don’t think we’ve reached that point.

  12. If insurance rates are set by actual factual actuarial data, I say let the chips fall where they may.

    The Florida bill is as much a distortion of insurance as the ACA’s requirement for insurance companies to be play ignorant in regards to pre-existing conditions when writing policies. Neither fully reflects and bends insurance into a political and populist tool as opposed to a risk sharing vehicle.

    if something is backed by actually provable facts, fine; if it’s distorted by political effects, I’m not good with it on principle. Finding out where that dividing line really is can be a challenge so nothing is perfect.

    • +1

      I do believe that if the insurance companies are wrong about this, they will eventually figure it out. It’s in their own best interest to charge higher rates for higher risk, and competition will force them to charge lower rates for lower risk. The first insurance company that figures out it can cut its payouts (and hence its rates) for businesses that encourage carry by employees will get a lot more business from such firms; the firms in turn will realize they can cut their insurance costs by dropping their “no guns” policies.

      Thus I’m not too concerned about this in the long term–it’s in the insurance companies’ own interest to know the truth about this; and anyone who sticks with the wrong decision for political reasons will get their lunch eaten by those that don’t.

  13. The quote comes in the context of Florida passing a law prohibiting the increase of insurance premiums due to gun ownership. That’s what Cook is all lathered up about.

    FTA:

    If the actuarial evidence reveals that homes with firearms are riskier than homes without, premiums paid by gun owners should reflect that fact.

    Except that no such actuarial evidence exists. To whatever extent that firearms in homes pose some sort of risk, that risk is minuscule compared to the risk of other ordinary household items. The point of the bill, I presume, is to prevent the use of home insurance premiums as a backdoor means to impose a firearm-ownership “poll tax”.

    Instead, they instructed private insurance companies to ignore any increased risks that they were taking on, thereby making it illegal for those companies to cover their costs.

    Except that, insurance companies don’t take on any additional cost as a result of firearm ownership. Any premium increase would be disproportionate with respect to any measured risk, and policy holders would have no recourse to challenge that increase.

    The effect of this was to privilege one set of citizens over another and, by pushing the costs onto everybody in the state, to transmute a private choice into a public liability.

    And the alternative would be to impose an unjustified cost on firearm owners, which would likewise privilege one set of citizens over another, and would force firearm owners to subsidize the costs incurred by risks other than firearm ownership.

    One wonders how many of those championing the bill recognize that, by forcing insurers to ignore their data in the name of suspect social engineering, they have effectively instituted Obamacare for weapons.

    Exactly backwards. Forcing firearm owners to subsidize non-firearm-related risks is directly analogous to ObamaCare forcing healthy twenty-somethings to subsidize the healthcare costs of higher-risk demographic groups.

    • All of your points are predicated on the presumption that fireamrs in the workplace are NOT an additional risk; indeed you are presuming they lower risk. You’re blasting them for assuming they are a risk on the basis of no evidence, but aren’t you assuming the opposite? Or do you have real citable evidence that it costs less to insure a business that allows the employees to be armed?

      It would certainly be wrong (and bad business sense) for an insurance company to subsidize one risk pool at the expense of another. You make this very point. But let’s first make sure that’s what they are really doing in this instance!

      It would be wrong for the government to FORCE them to do such a subsidy (which is a large part of what’s wrong with the concept of Obamacare). And it would be totally unecessary for government to force them not to do it, because the first company that does the right thing will beat its competitors. Either way, government had no business whatsoever dictating to insurace companies what they may or may not base their rate structures on.

      • Or do you have real citable evidence that it costs less to insure a business that allows the employees to be armed?

        Unless I’m misreading the article, you’re conflating the two issues Cook addressed: “bring your gun to work” laws and homeowner’s insurance.

        Following the links, here’s what the bill actually addresses:

        The bill would apply to property and automobile insurers and add language to part of state law that deals with “unfair discrimination.” As an example, the bill would seek to block insurers from refusing to issue policies because of customers’ lawful ownership or possession of firearms. Similarly, it would bar them from charging “unfairly discriminatory” rates based on gun ownership or possession.

        (According to that summary, the bill merely prohibits “unfairly discriminatory” premium rates, and is not a blanket prohibition on premium increases. So, Cook’s admonishment appears all the more unfounded.)

        Do I have real, citable evidence that homeowner firearm ownership does not increase insurable risk? Yeah, I’m pretty confident that I can defend that position, using nothing more than CDC mortality data. Especially when the bill (apparently) sill provides for justifiable premium increases.

        • +1000 Chip. In another life I sold insurance. If this is some kind of slippery slope I don’t see. I wish my crappy state of Illinois protected me like Florida. And yeah I get the irony. We get a crumb-the left gets the bone…

      • “You’re blasting them for assuming they are a risk on the basis of no evidence, but aren’t you assuming the opposite? Or do you have real citable evidence that it costs less to insure a business that allows the employees to be armed?”
        While I don’t think such evidence exists at a cost level, a strong correlation could be made at the risk level by comparing the the number of DGUs to the number gun related crimes/accidents. In the big picture guns are supposed to reduce our risk – thats the whole premise of the 2A and why there are so many supporters. Hard to image that 100,000,000 people could have it all wrong.

    • Chip, you may indeed be factually correct. That’s not the point. The point is that it is not government’s proper function to make that call for the inscos. Even if it happens (this time) to be the factually correct call. It is government’s business to step aside and let the inscos, and any other privately-owned business, make the factually wrong call if they choose to do so, and suffer the consequences.

  14. I tend to agree with the article. The Fla. law is wrong. Government should regulate lightly in all areas, including insurance.

  15. ‘If the actuarial evidence reveals that homes with firearms are riskier than homes without, premiums paid by gun owners should reflect that fact.’

    This is where he lost me. First, we live in a world where ‘actuarial evidence’ can be concocted out of thin air. There are a lot of bogus studies on firearms safety. Second, he’s assuming that insurance companies won’t use these bogus studies to gouge their gun owning customers. Remember back in the day when you had to go to a store to buy your music? The CDs always cost 50% more than tapes, yet the production cost were the same. The only difference is that people were willing to pay more for the better quality CDs gave. I don’t see why insurance companies would behave any differently than recording companies. Given free license to gouge they will charge whatever the market will bear, not whatever the risk merits.

    Beyond that, what if the ‘actuarial evidence’ reveals that interracial or same sex couples constitute a higher risk? What if there’s a study that says Jews constitute a higher risk? He says there’s nothing ‘conservative’ about this idea, but I think he means there’s nothing ‘libertarian’ about this idea. Conservatives believe in small government and limited intrusion into business affairs, not absolute laissez faire. Considering how much state and federal regulation is thrust upon the insurance industry already, there is nothing anti-conservative about this idea.

    • I think what he’s saying is that conservatives lost their way on this law and used increased government regulation to favor their own policy agendas when there was no apparent need for the regulation in the first place, just like liberals would do.

      A conservative should use increased regulation as a last resort and only to address problems that actually exist.

      • If no insurance company is or ever has claimed that the ‘actuarial evidence’ shows gun owners to be an increased risk, then the law would be unnecessary. But if the claim has been made there are three ways of dealing with it. You can do nothing and let 40% of the population be cheated. You can tackle it in civil court. Or you can pass a law. If the civil courts are used it could lead to a massive class action settlement leaving the insurance companies on the hook for billions of dollars that will have already been paid out to shareholders. So if the law is necessary I don’t see anything anti-conservative about it. In a perfect world the markets would always take care of themselves. But conservatives don’t believe in utopia. How many of us have ever read an entire insurance contract? Some regulation is necessary.

  16. For me, a right not exercised a right surrendered. But the very notion of natural rights seems to inherently carry the notion of choice. That I would not presume to make another’s choice for them, neither will I give up my own to an increasingly thuggish, contemptuous and contemptible government.

  17. Motor vehicle insurance is a creature of statute. It’s required as matter of public policy, to the great benefit of the insurance companies that profit by it so much that Warren Buffet owes a great deal of his personal billions to GEICO.

    The FL law Cook complains of is pretty simple: gun ownership can’t be used as a factor in risk-rating insurance premiums. The argument that insurance companies should be able to set their own rules fails when we understand that motor vehicle insurance is a legal requirement, the minimum amount of insurance is set by law and that most people, rightly or wrongly, would choose not to have it. If the G has a right to require insurance in specific amounts, then it has the right to set the terms.

    Homeowners insurance works similarly. There’s no law that says you have to have it, but no mortgage lender will fund a home loan without insurance. Not only is that prudent policy on the part of the banks, but it is also a requirement to be able to securitize or sell the mortgage in the secondary market. The FHA and VA also require insurance. Homeowners have no choice in the matter.

    Since most consumers buy auto or home insurance with a gun to their head, it would seem that state governments must protect them against insurance company overreaching.

    Either Cook doesn’t know these truths, or he’s just a lying sack of Fudd.

  18. I’m curious if anyone has actually read the bill being discussed? In relevant part, it adds the following text to the list of prohibited “discriminatory” practices:

    For a personal lines property or personal lines automobile insurer to:
    a. Refuse to issue, reissue, or renew a policy; cancel or otherwise terminate a policy; or charge an unfairly discriminatory rate in this state based on the lawful use, possession, or ownership of a firearm by the insurance applicant, insured, or a household member of the applicant or insured.

    https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2014/0424/BillText/__/PDF

    So, most of the complaints are specious. The bill doesn’t say that insurance companies can’t make reasonable actuarial decisions based on lawful firearm ownership; only that they cannot charge unfairly discriminatory rates.

    Pretty much everything that Cook said about the bill is wrong, since his analysis is based on a misinterpretation of the bill.

    • Why shouldn’t the insurance company be able to charge more to companies that make their employees wear red uniforms? I would consider that perfectly unreasonable, but I would never advocate for the force of government to compell the company not to do that.

      • Why shouldn’t the insurance company be able to charge more to companies that make their employees wear red uniforms? I would consider that perfectly unreasonable, but I would never advocate for the force of government to compell the company not to do that.

        As someone else stated: being a conservative does not mean that no government regulation is allowable. The insurance company and the insured are not equitable parties in the contractual relationship; where necessary, it is appropriate for the government to define reasonable bounds.

        • There is (or was in Florida before Citizen’s) a robust market for property and liability insurance, what is to prevent a company/individual from purchasing insurance from a provider that isn’t adverse to firearms?

        • …what is to prevent a company/individual from purchasing insurance from a provider that isn’t adverse to firearms?

          Lack of variation of actuarial calculations WRT firearm ownership?

        • So in that case the market would have an opening for a company with a different actuarial model favorable to firearms to enter. Capitalism.
          I really just can’t see how regulating in this regard is any different from mandating coverage of abortion, gender reassignment, etc in the health insurance marketplace.
          Government mandates are the tyranny of the majority.

  19. I had started a longer preamble but, basically, it boils down to this: don’t piss people off. Bikers are a good example. For a very long time bikers were regarded as a cultural blight. They were threatening. Their presence made people nervous. Cops watched them carefully. Over time the image of biker underwent a profound change. Nowadays, bikers are regarded as a cultural treasure. Instead of hiding their kids when bikers are around, moms ask if their toddlers can sit on the bike for a photo. How did this happen? Bikers changed their public image by working very hard at letting the public know that crazies are not part of their tribe. Are you listening Chipotle ninjas?

  20. In no case is compelling another free individual to do something against their will a “right”.

    The defenders of this law in these comments have good intentions- historically, most tyranny is rooted in good intentions.

    • “In no case is compelling another free individual to do something against their will a “right”.”

      If only more people understood this. It would knock down Obamacare, having to bake cakes whether you want to or not, and a whole host of other Liberal things. But it also knocks down a few things (many) Conservatives would like.

  21. There is no right to coerce others into behaving the way you want them to (despite what some courts have said). There is only a right to use violence to stop it from being used against you or others.

    Others have manipulated the law and the courts to say that coercion is perfectly acceptable to use against someone who doesn’t behave as you’d like them to. They are wrong to do so. And we are wrong if we copy their ways.

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