I was reading over the new gun control proposals from California, and the one that stuck out to me as the most infuriating was the requirement for all firearms owners to carry liability insurance. “Car owners carry insurance, why not gun owners?” was the refrain from the gun control advocates. It’s one of those analogies that seems to make sense on the surface, but once you understand what’s really going on it makes you want to kick the whoever’s saying it in the family jewels . . .
First, let’s understand how car insurance works. Not everyone gets the same quote for the same level of coverage. Some people pay more based on the risk they pose. And to illustrate that, let’s look at two situations for the exact same vehicle. Say, a new Ford Focus SE.
Person #1 lives in the suburbs, owns a home in a safe neighborhood and has a garage. They use the car to commute to work, and have no criminal history or accidents in their past. They’ve never been late with their mortgage payments and have no outstanding debt.
Person #2 lives in the inner city, in a rather bad part of town. They park their car on the street. They rent an apartment, and have been late in paying the rent a couple times. They have some outstanding debts and they’ve been in a couple car accidents.
From the insurance company’s perspective, one of these car owners is a safer bet than the other. That is, the probability that the insurance company will need to pay out for an accident or theft for Person #1’s car is drastically lower than Person #2. They can do the math using something called the “annualized loss expectancy” which is how much money they expect to pay per year based on a given person and car, and then calculate the rate accordingly. In order to make money, they’ll need to take in more money than they pay out, so using the ALE as a baseline they can calculate how much each person is going to have to pay the insurance company. That becomes their annual rate for car insurance.
For the exact same level of coverage, person #1 pays a little. Person #2 pays a LOT. The reason is that person #2 is more likely to be involved in an accident or the victim of a crime involving their car. So therefore, since Person #2’s ALE is higher, their annual rate is also through the roof.
For firearms insurance, it will be calculated the same way. Those more likely to be involved in a firearms related incident will pay more. In other words, those more likely to need a firearm will be charged more. Poor people. Statistically speaking, Blacks and Hispanics living in high crime areas. The same people that need firearms for self defense the most will not be able to own a firearm because they are more likely to need it (and therefore need to pay more money).
Its quite possibly the clearest example of a catch 22 I’ve ever seen in real life. Since you are more likely to need a gun to defend yourself, you need to pay more insurance. And since you live in a high crime area you’re probably not going to be able to afford the insurance to defend yourself from criminals and thus lower the crime rate. Its a closed, positive feedback loop with no way to improve the situation.
Even if we assume that the government sets a mandatory maximum on the amount of money that can be charged for firearms insurance, we’re talking about a country that is clawing its way back from a recession (if not full-blown depression). A recent survey found that something like 40% of Americans are living on the brink of bankruptcy. “One financial issue and four weeks away” I believe was the phrase they used. And the government wants to force those people to pay more money to a 3rd party, a private insurance company, in order to exercise a Constitutionally protected right.
When the choice is eating for the week or paying your firearms insurance premiums, I’m willing to bet that disarmament is the option people would be most likely to take. And I’m willing to bet that the politicians see it that way too.
Here’s another issue with fixed cost firearms insurance: I sincerely doubt any insurance company would be willing to make such a thing available. When a single civil suit can bring millions of dollars in damages, it would take similarly millions of paying customers to pay that single case of damages and remain financially stable. Two or three claims in a year could bankrupt a company. Its too risky. And so if no one is offering insurance, no one can buy insurance. And therefore, no one would be able to own a gun.
This is one of the ways in which the Democrats are trying to keep the concentration of firearms in the hands of the upper class. Its an idea that seems logical on the surface, but when you look at how it would be implemented (even in the BEST case scenario) it would concentrate firearms ownership to those with money, while leaving those who need to defend themselves the most defenseless. Therefore, since white people only account for less than 10% of those living below the poverty line, firearms insurance is inherently racist.
Yep. The very same politicians that argue for equality for everyone, for giving a helping hand to those in need through welfare and other social programs, want to restrict rights based on people’s socio-economic status. They want only the wealthy in America to own guns and be able to defend themselves.
I’m sure David Gregory would approve.