As if Our Nation’s Capitol doesn’t already place enough roadblocks in the way of the right to keep and bear arms, “a D.C. Councilwoman has introduced legislation that could make the District the nation’s first jurisdiction to require gun owners to buy liability insurance.” Given that the freedom to own and carry the weapon of your choice is a natural, fundamental, and inalienable human, individual, civil and Constitutional right — subject neither to the democratic process nor to arguments grounded in social utility, I’m not sure an insurance requirement is really Constitutional. But just for the sake of argument, let’s say that it is. How are you going to figure the cost? Allow me . . .
Basic coverage on my car runs about $45/month and I drive it an average of two hours every day, so that’s $0.75 per hour of operation. I’m willing to pony up $0.75 a year to cover a gun that I might shoot (outside of practice) once every 50 years.
But I’m sure people will think that’s a ludicrously low number, so how about another calculation: According to famous anti-gun researchers Drs. Philip Cook and Jens Ludwig, in 2000 “gun violence” cost the US about $100 Billion a year. So if you divide that by 100 million gun owners they should pay $1,000 a year.
Oh, but what about the benefit side of this cost-benefit analysis? According to a study published in 1997 by those same researchers, Drs. Cook and Ludwig, there are about 1.46 million defensive gun uses a year. If even 1 in 100 of those DGUs saves a life, then that’s 14,600 lives saved by guns each year and I would imagine a proportionate number of injuries are prevented as well.
According to the CDC in 2000 there were 10,801 gun-related homicides which, according to Jens and Phil, cost $100 Billion (yeah, I’m ignoring injuries because, again, they’ll be roughly proportional) for a total of about $9.25 million per life. But guns in the hands of the law-abiding saved 3,799 more lives than those lost to criminals.
Which means that there’s a net benefit to owning a firearm. So let’s see…carry the six…I guess that means that, in order to reflect the ‘cost’ to society of gun ownership, the Gun Control Industrial Complex owes each of us $351.73 a year. I don’t know about you, but I prefer cash.