Firstly, I’d like to give my heartfelt condolences to all those who were hurt or lost loved ones in horrible mass shootings. To date there were 22 mass shootings in the US since 1990. That doesn’t include non-mass homicide incidents. What I’m going to suggest is somewhat unsympathetic, but effective.
The way you attack a problem is to first understand the parts. Our economy, political system, and even personal and religious beliefs are influenced by the almighty dollar. Politicians aren’t necessarily afraid of the NRA, they are afraid of the threat of the NRA. If a politician even hints at ‘Gun Control’ they can expect an advertising backlash. The NRA isn’t that powerful, but the threat of the NRA is overwhelming.
If you look at the campaign contributions in 2010, you can see that Gun Rights contributions totaled over $22.4 million and Gun Control contributions totaled over $1.8 million. It seems daunting and even somewhat sad that the NRA represents a small group of gun enthusiasts. I’m not talking about 50% of households that have a gun; I’m talking about the people who own massive arsenals.
What I want to do is to change the dialogue. As it is, people are talking about limiting guns in the country. While an honorable task, there is no profit in that. Rather that talk about common sense or the visceral reaction to horrible incidents, let’s just talk about the money.
The question we should be all asking is “Who is financially responsible for a shooting?” The answer seems quite simple; the shooter! In our country unless you have unlimited funds to cover liability we get insurance.
Anything and everything is our country, that could potentially harm us, is always operated by a skilled person who pays insurance. Doctors, Lawyers, Real Estate Brokers, Airline Pilots, Car Drivers, Truck Drivers, Policemen, Firemen, and so on are all heavily insured. How is it that people who operate firearms, invented to harm and destroy, aren’t liable for firing a weapon?
If a policeman opens fire, justly, he still has to account for every bullet. If a stray hits a home, a car, damages any property, harms, or kills a person who pays? The city of New York would be liable. They would pay for repairs, hospital bills, therapy, and even lost income.
Let’s look at the most recent incident in Colorado. Financially, what kind of damage did this person cause? ? There are 12 dead. Who pays death benefits for these individuals? Then there were 58 people injured. Who pays for their healthcare costs? How about time lost at work? How much money did that theatre lose due to this traumatic event? Then you have countless people who will need mental health care. Who pays?
GivingFirst.org has collected donations to help ease the financial burden for the victims. Thank you for that. Essentially, the victims and whatever insurance policy that they have pays for the damages. One person can cause millions of dollars’ worth of damage, and not be held financially responsible. Am I supposed to just trust that someone with a gun won’t shoot me?
What keeps oncoming traffic from plowing into me while I’m driving? Is it that the lines painted into the asphalt have magic properties? Am I naïve to trust that people won’t cross that line? It’s not just trust involved. When I get into my car, I know that other car drivers went through the rigorous process that I went through. I had an eye exam, written exam, a driving test, had to produce multiple forms of identification, required to pay insurance on my car, and I need to maintain active registration and much much more. In actuality, I’m secretly wishing for someone to hit my car. I want a new one!
How then do you beat the NRA? Pit them against a bigger bully, the Insurance Industry! All Insurance comprises of at least 25% of the GDP. The gun debate shouldn’t be about control, it should be about financial responsibility. There are people in America with an arsenal to take over a small town!
Guns shouldn’t be banned; they should be treated just like cars. Every gun should be registered with the state’s Department of Firearms. Each gun should be fired and the bullet’s striations should be recorded in a national database. People should have eye exams, written exams, and an actual test on handling firearms. Most importantly, firearms and ammunition should all have an insurance value. If an insurance company doesn’t provide coverage then that person shouldn’t have that gun.
Let’s change the dialogue. Let’s talk about Gun Responsibility.
Daniel Gray (256)