Thursday, February 19, 2009

Staring Down the Barrel of a Gun

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

--2nd Amendment to the Constitution of the United States

In Illinois, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, is about to be egregiously infringed.

The bill seeks not to ban guns, but to make it virtually impossible to be eligible to own one.
Provides that any person who owns a firearm in this State shall maintain a policy of liability insurance in the amount of at least $1,000,000 specifically covering any damages resulting from negligent or willful acts involving the use of such firearm while it is owned by such person.
The question of whether or not an gun owner ought to have insurance on his or her gun is, I think, probably a good one. However the issue here is the size of the policy in comparison to the cost of owning a gun. As a comparison, a car costs, say $20,000, and minimum liability insurance only, no collision, probably runs around $500/year. A $1,000,000 insurance policy for the privelege of even owning a gun in the first place, would probably cost on the line of $1,000 per year if not more, compared to the purchase cost of a gun of about, say $500.

The amount of insurance required in this bill is completely disproportionate to the value of the goods. One could easily make the argument that we're effectively talking about injuries and deaths and property damages, but one could make that same argument about driving vehicles, as well.

Ultimately, the main problem with a value like this, is that it's going to be a gigantic punishment to gun owners that are responsible. Chicago has a ban on guns but maintains the highest rate of gun violence and the highest murder rate in the country. Washington, D.C. is in a similar position. If these two cities, and the history of prohibition of alcohol have taught us nothing, it is that when people want to do something, they're going to do it whether the activity is legal or not.

Responsible gun owners learn gun safety, and utilize their guns, when not hunting, only as a last resort in self defense. This bill will only limit the actions of the people who are capable of being responsible gun owners to those levels of economic success who can afford the insurance. Further, the bill goes on to hold said responsible gun owners liable no matter what accidents may befall them:
Provides that a person shall be deemed the owner of a firearm after the firearm is lost or stolen until such loss or theft is reported to the police department or sheriff of the jurisdiction in which the owner resides.
This means that if you're away on vacation, and somebody breaks into your house and steals your gun, then robs a liquor store and kills the manager, guess who's liable for the costs? Congratulations, you and your previously hefty, now mountainous insurance premiums! Genius!
Provides that the Department of State Police shall revoke and seize a Firearm Owner's Identification Card previously issued under this Act if the Department finds that the person to whom such card was issued possesses or acquires a firearm and does not submit evidence to the Department of State Police that he or she has been issued in his or her name a liability insurance policy in the amount of at least $1,000,000 specifically covering any damages resulting from negligent or willful acts involving the use of such firearm while it is owned by such person.
Since they don't want to go directly after guns, because that would too easily infringe on the 2nd Amendment, they go after the regulations on being allowed to own a gun. If you can't prove you have the insurance, you can't have the license, hence you can't have the gun.

But how about those gun bans in Chicago and D.C. again? Obviously there are a lot of people that have guns that aren't "allowed" to have them. This bill, again, will not stop those people from getting their hands on those guns.

Insurance sure as hell would not stop me from obtaining an illegal gun if I wanted to.

This bill is nothing more than yet another way for the government to reach into our pockets and steal more of our money, increasing revenues to the government, to the insurance companies and to the lawyers.

If this bill were to pass, your desire to own a gun would require that you stare one down the barrel first.


  1. The $500 you're paying in insurance isn't coving the cost of the car, it's covering the potential damage you could do with it. Going in and robbing a bank, or shooting up a school will cost the insurance company a bit more than $500 over the life of the gun

  2. I understand that. I did not reference possible damages to the value of the items purchased, but discussed the disproportionate value of insurance versus initial cost versus potential damage in a worst case.

    Both a car and a gun, and, for that matter, a kitchen knife or a screwdriver can result in injury or death. You don't see insurance forced for the purchase of the latter two.

    The point remains the same, and stands firm.

    This is unnecessary overreaching by the government for no other reason than to create revenues for itself.

  3. a gun is made with the intent to harm and/or kill things. Screwdrivers are made to build things, knives made to cut, and cars made to transport you to places. So you can't compare cars and guns, because when you use a car the way it was intended, people don't lose their lives.

  4. Military and Police notwithstanding, when you use a gun the way it is intended, people don't lose their lives, either.