Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
A dish best served not.

idea: add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random

meta: news, help, about, links, report a problem

account: browse anonymously, or get an account and write.



Firearms Liability Insurance

US Law to require proof of insurance to buy ammunition
  (+6, -4)
(+6, -4)
  [vote for,

US Law to require proof of insurance to buy ammunition:

Avoiding conflict with the 2nd Amendment right to "keep and bear arms," anyone who wishes to buy ammunition or ammunition making supplies must show at point-of- sale that they have a valid Firearms Liability Insurance policy. They may possess as many firearms as they wish and use them for any lawful purpose, but convicted felons and persons determined by a psychiatrist and/or a judge to be mentally incompetent to possess or use firearms, or anyone having been served with a restraining order for violence, shall be excluded from acquiring said insurance. A policy shall be void during such time as the policyholder is under such restraining order; it shall be at the insurers discretion to reinstate such insurance once a restraining order is cancelled or expires.

The issuing insurance company would have the authority to investigate the policyholder's background including criminal or mental health history, and to keep track of the policyholder's firearms and ammunition purchase history, determine limits of ammunition purchase type and amounts, and approve or deny an application for insurance based on results of the applicant's background checks.

The policyholder would be protected from lawsuits arising from shooting incidents or accidents, as well as being protected from lawsuits arising from misuse of his weapons if they fall into the wrong hands, provided the theft or loss of said firearms are reported to law enforcement and the insured's insurance provider in a reasonable timeframe (30 days or as required by local laws and insurance company rules). If (s)he wants to buy additional insurance to cover loss of firearms, that would be optional additional coverage for an additional fee.

edited 16 January 2016

whlanteigne, Apr 14 2013

NRA insurance http://www.locktonr...m/nrains/Excess.htm
Description of NRA insurance [whlanteigne, Apr 15 2013]


       //keep track of the policyholder's ammunition purchase history// You had me up until there.   

       The other reason this won't work is that it does infringe on 2nd amendment rights, because many people may be able to afford the one time expense of a gun but not a monthly insurance payment for it. If I stop paying the insurance does somebody come take my G3 and 5000 rounds of armor-piercing ammo away?
DIYMatt, Apr 14 2013

       umm.... didn't we do this last month or something ?
FlyingToaster, Apr 14 2013

       "many people may be able to afford the one time expense of a gun but not a monthly insurance payment for it."   

       Tough. The Second Amendment isn't charity. If you can afford the weapon, you still have to pay for the ammunition and supplies that you use (like cleaning supplies). You have the right to purchase firearms, but it isn't an entitlement.   

       "If I stop paying the insurance does somebody come take my G3 and 5000 rounds of armor- piercing ammo away?"   

       No, of course not. You simply can't buy any more until you purchase another insurance policy.
whlanteigne, Apr 14 2013

       //The Second Amendment isn't charity.//   

       How much did you pay for your First Amendment right to say that?
lurch, Apr 14 2013

FlyingToaster, Apr 14 2013

       //How much did you pay for your First Amendment right to say that?//   

       Irrelevant to the discussion, of course. You'll have to do better, because the Second Amendment can be repealed. It takes 34 states to propose an amendment via an Article V convention, and 38 to ratify. I'd rather not see that happen, but the NRA is driving the discussion that way.
whlanteigne, Apr 14 2013

       This is where the NRA has fallen down on the job: they could be offering said liability insurance with their annual membership dues, and would make it harder for maniacs and criminals to commit crimes with guns.
whlanteigne, Apr 14 2013

       Firearms liability insurance, whether mandatory or voluntary, requires a pre-existing law in place that makes owners responsible for their firearms' actions.   

       You could also include anything which prime purpose is, or could conceivably be, a weapon: knives, tasers, baseball bats... but you'd have to have them serial #'d first for identification.   

       How would this work anyways ? If a gun is stolen, is the original owner responsible for everything it does, or is there a time period, or a dollar amount, or what.
FlyingToaster, Apr 14 2013

       You're right, the Second Amendment can be repealed. The First, Fourth, Fifth, and Seventh have already been declared of no effect; in each case, it has not generated a whole lot of publicity. The Second Amendment is going to be taken away, forcibly, from all US citizens within the next thirty months; and it seems to make many people upset that some of us are uncomfortable with that.   

       From the standpoint of pure logic, however, your call of "irrelevant" makes little sense. If Amendment #2 is subject to repeal, then Amendment #1 is likewise. If #2 should require a fee before its provisions may be enjoyed, then why not #1? I did not choose that particular comparitive at random - they are two sets of rights, with their respective responsibilities, granted in the same fashion, at the same time, by the same document, in the same way - you propose one should be paid for because it isn't a "charity"? Then, sir, I ask you, is not the other a "charity", or should First Amendment rights be paid for as well?
lurch, Apr 14 2013

       It's irrelevant because it doesn't interfere with the right to "keep and bear arms." You may own as many as you like, and carry them lawfully wherever it's appropriate. If you can't convince an insurance company that you aren't crazy and that you aren't a criminal, you simply wouldn't be able to buy ammunition.   

       Yes, any part of the US Constitution is subject to repeal, and if we don't come up with a strategy to prevent maniacs and criminals from using guns, the Second Amendment may well be.
whlanteigne, Apr 14 2013


       Criminals have no problem sidestepping these regulations. It would be a blatant money-grab and nothing more. Serial numbers are the first thing to go when a firearm is stolen and this measure does nothing to stop the perpetrators.   

       Kindly piss off, and keep from shoving government hands any further down my pockets.   

       Money would be going to insurance companies, not government. Try exercising the ability to read before you disagree.   

       Yes, criminals would have to steal ammunition, or buy it illegally.   

       I believe it's already illegal to possess a firearm that has the serial number removed.
whlanteigne, Apr 15 2013

       //criminals would have to steal ammunition, or buy it illegally.//   

       umm.... why wouldn't they just buy insurance ?   

       Or, for that matter, why would they bother buying ammunition at all ? considering that the firearm's usage is as a threatening device. Seriously, how many rounds per year does your average criminal use in the commission of illegal acts ?
FlyingToaster, Apr 15 2013

       The issuing insurance company would investigate the policyholder's background and criminal or mental health history, and approve or deny an application for insurance.   

       Crooks and people with a history of mental instability couldn't buy insurance, thus couldn't legally buy ammunition.
whlanteigne, Apr 15 2013

       Wouldn't insurance companies jump all over the chance to levy high premiums on somebody whom they assume might actually use a firearm to shoot people ? rather than refusing to insure them.
FlyingToaster, Apr 15 2013

       // If a gun is stolen, is the original owner responsible for everything it does, or is there a time period, or a dollar amount, or what.//   

       Some litigation lawyers believe the original owner should be responsible, and would argue that they should be sued for negligence. Firearms Liability Insurance would shield them from that.   

       //Wouldn't insurance companies jump all over the chance to levy high premiums on somebody whom they assume might actually use a firearm to shoot people ?//   

       Someone who might actually use a firearm to shoot people isn't an insurable risk, so no.   

       Police officers would be issued ammunition by their police departments.
whlanteigne, Apr 15 2013

       //Money would be going to insurance companies, not government. Try exercising the ability to read before you disagree.//   

       Yes you're right, but insurance companies here 'are' all gov- run monopolies and they weasel out of paying as a matter of course. Extortion is extortion no matter what mask it wears.   

       Not sure where "here" is, but in the US it's the opposite: it's insurance companies that pressure the government- e.g., air bags and seatbelts, mandatory car insurance, and have been behind the anti- smoking campaign.
whlanteigne, Apr 15 2013

       Well here is B.C. Canada and from what I've seen insurance companies, whether private or government run, seem to have a strict "stall for at least a year before paying out" policy because odds say that a certain percentage of claiments will either; (a) give up within that time-span, or (b) die within that time-span, and the almighty bottom-line is the only line that won't be crossed.   

       No more hands in my pockets, thankyouverymuch, go catch the bad guys like we already pay for.
Might want to start looking at some of those insurance CEO's and government officials for a start...

       firstoff, except on a case-by-case basis, simply whitewashing all the "criminal" and "mental problemmed" types as being unsuitable for gun ownership is ridiculous; in effect you're simply trying to make sure individuals of the weaker elements in society stay that way. You're a bully. And it is in direct conflict with 2A.   

       secondoff, 2A dedicated activites would be exempt from mandatory insurance purchase, since the phrase is "shall not be infringed". This of course does not imply that you can't be sued for putting a hole in your neighbours car or that you can't voluntarily purchase insurance, just that having valid insurance can't be made a prerequisite to exercising 2A rights/obligations.   

       Thirdoff, I'd be suprised if you couldn't already voluntarily purchase firearms insurance; Lloyds if nothing else, and if legal liability ever extends to third parties, insurance for that as well.
FlyingToaster, Apr 15 2013


       It's only criminals who have a record of using firearms illegally that should be looked at.   

       Ditto nutcases: the only ones you need to weed out are the ones who think they're shooting daffodils instead of bullets, and the ones who are inclined towards violence out of proportion with provocation.   

       The one category unmentioned is the real one though: ensuring that a person can properly take care of a firearm: proper handling when in use, maintenance, secure storage, etc.
FlyingToaster, Apr 15 2013

       //simply whitewashing all the "criminal" and "mental problemmed" types as being unsuitable for gun ownership is ridiculous//   

       Convicted felons aren't supposed to have firearms anyway, but I suppose that's ridiculous.   

       I believe I used the term "mentally unstable," which I think would include someone diagnosed with uncontrolled bipolar disorder, severe depression, or schizophrenia (key word being "uncontrolled"); or an individual diagnosed as a sociopath or psychopath. I guess that's ridiculous too.   

       Insurance companies determine risk via the use of actuarial tables based on actual real-world history, not political rhetoric. If there is a statistical correlation between getting into bar fights and shooting people, those with a history of bar fights might find it harder to get insurance; and if having schizophrenia has a correlation with shooting people, schizophrenics will have a hard time getting firearms liability insurance.   

       // insurance companies, whether private or government run, seem to have a strict "stall for at least a year before paying out" policy//   

       Liability insurance doesn't "pay out," like life insurance. The insurance company either hires lawyers to defend you in a lawsuit so they don't have to pay out, or they try to negotiate a settlement; but you personally wouldn't stand to profit from an accidental shooting, or if someone uses your gun to commit a crime.
whlanteigne, Apr 15 2013

       //I believe I used the term "mentally unstable," which I think would include someone diagnosed with [...]//   

       The term "people" would also "include someone diagnosed with [...]" as well, why didn't you say that ? less letters to type, easier to understand.   

       [for reference I'm not objecting to the post's terminology per se, but to a few annos back "crooks and those with mental instability"]   

       //keep track of the policyholder's ammunition purchase history// and why is that, exactly ?   

       Anyways, as I've previously mentioned, having a mandatory payment of insurance in order to buy ammunition conflicts with 2A in the case of 2A guns andor usage (including practice). And realistically any firearms usage: target, hunting, plinking, can be said to be (and is) a "firearms familiarity" 2A practice.   

       So, if you want to require guns to be insured (with the exception of 2A usage weaponry for which insurance is optional), that's a valid stance. Some people would even sign up voluntarily.   

       In the meanwhile you should really add to the post "Based on the assumption that 3rd person liability becomes law" or something like that.   

       So, to make a long story short, the concept of firearms insurance is baked, and the concept of requiring proof of insurance to purchase ammunition is unworkable since anybody who's too lazy to reach into their wallet can say "2A, gimme ammo".
FlyingToaster, Apr 15 2013

       //if you want to require guns to be insured//   

       Not at all. It's the gun owner who is insured. Whether or not the insurance company wants to know what kids of guns he has is up to the insurance company. I just want to make sure the gun user is an insurable, responsible person when he buys ammunition. If he wants to buy additional insurance to cover loss of his firearms, that's another matter.   

       //"Based on the assumption that 3rd person liability becomes law" or something like that.//   

       Okay, based on the assumption that the US Congress adopts a law that firearms liability insurance becomes mandatory for purchasing ammunition or ammunition-making supplies, the law would stipulate that convicted felons and persons determined by a psychiatrist to be mentally incompetent shall be excluded from acquiring said insurance.   

       The Second Amendment mentions nothing about ball and powder, nor does it mention purchasing factory-made ammunition, it only mentions "keep and bear arms," which means owning (keeping) and carrying (bearing).   

       //keep track of the policyholder's ammunition purchase history// and why is that, exactly ? //   

       To discourage illegal sales of ammunition to people who can't legally get firearms liability insurance.
whlanteigne, Apr 15 2013

       I think you mean reckless. Wreckless driving is the better sort.
spidermother, Apr 15 2013

       //How would you feel about car owners not requiring 3rd party insurance ?//   

       Apples to oranges. We are already thouroughly screened in order to get a gun licence here in Canada and we don't interact daily with weapons the way we do with vehicles.   

       //but you personally wouldn't stand to profit from an accidental shooting, or if someone uses your gun to commit a crime.//   

       I would not expect to profit. I would expect my gun back once the 'bad guy' has been caught... just like we already pay through the nose for.
Forcing me to pay an additional monthly fee will protect neither my guns nor the public if they are stolen. It'd just be yet _another_ rip-off.

       // We are already thouroughly screened in order to get a gun licence here in Canada//   

       Gun license isn't required in the US, not is it likely to be. Apparently, US "gun rights" enthusiasts believe the "right to keep and bear arms" should apply to convicted felons and mentally unstable people.   

       //Forcing me to pay an additional monthly fee will protect neither my guns nor the public if they are stolen.//   

       The purpose of the insurance is twofold: to protect the lawful gun owner from liability lawsuits, and to provide proof of a comprehensive background check without costing the taxpayers. It wouldn't "protect your guns," that would be additional optional coverage against theft or loss.
whlanteigne, Apr 15 2013

       //The Second Amendment only mentions "keep and bear arms"// "shall not be infringed". Idiot.   

       //It's the gun owner who is insured. Whether or not the insurance company wants to know what kids of guns he has is up to the insurance company.//   

       So now you're saying that you don't want third-person liability ? ie: if the gun gets stolen and used in the commission of a crime, or to be more precise //if they fall into the wrong hands.// as you posted.   

       I'm through with this discussion. If you aren't actually trolling and are just either really drunk or temporarily mentally retarded then rewrite your post to say just what the hell you're going on about.
FlyingToaster, Apr 15 2013

       // "Canada’s National Firearms Association's Liability Insurance program offers $5,000,000 in coverage for only $9.95 per year for each NFA member insured!"//   

       Yes, and the NRA offers similar coverage to its members: $250,000 of liability coverage for $67/year. Other options include insurance against theft.   

       see link.
whlanteigne, Apr 15 2013

       A bold and very good idea, I think. It passes the constitutionality test easily. It's interesting that very few see how this benefits the 'good guys', and just get out of joint noses over the fees and such.   

       I think you need to revisit this sentence, however:   

       // Someone who might actually use a firearm to shoot people isn't an insurable risk   

       ... as that would seem to defeat the entire purpose. Any person with a gun is someone who might actually use it to shoot people.
tatterdemalion, Apr 15 2013

       Blimey, what does it take to get a discussion started round here? C'mon, somebody should at least express an opinion.   

       (Pauses. Sound of muted cough and the fristle of a tumbleweed blowing past.)
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 15 2013

       //Any person with a gun is someone who might actually use it to shoot people.//   

       Perhaps that should read "someone who might actually use it to shoot people for no legitimate purpose."
whlanteigne, Apr 15 2013

       //Spur-of-the-moment crimes of passion happen every day,//   

       Yes they do, and having easy access to firearms compounds the problem, which is one of the reasons cited for stricter gun control, and a compelling argument for repealing the Second Amendment.
whlanteigne, Apr 15 2013

       //compelling argument for repealing the Second Amendment.//   

       most people being prosecuted are probably guilty of something. Great argument for eliminating the presumption of innocence.   

       most people cheat on their taxes. Great argument for giving the IRS more powers.   

       most people do not appreciate how incredibly difficult it is to gain rights, which for most of human history we didn't have, and how incredibly easy it is to lose them. Thankfully, it would take a super majority for them to affect those of us that do.
theircompetitor, Apr 15 2013

       Anyone who has ever gone to traffic court understands that "presumption of innocence" doesn't exist.   

       The course of criminal prosecution is almost always determined by the initial police investigation, which takes the direction that anyone remotely associated is suspect.   

       "Most people" these days don't make enough to be able to cheat on their taxes.
whlanteigne, Apr 15 2013

       Everybody's done something wrong on their taxes. The tax code is so voluminous it's not possible for a person to know what they did wrong. The tax code is created ex post facto (in violation of the constitution), so even if you did nothing but read tax code all day long, you can't follow this year's tax law because it hasn't been written yet.   

       So it's not //"Most people" these days don't make enough to be able to cheat on their taxes//, but rather that most people don't make enough to make them worth going after. The richest ones have enough lawyer-power that they're not worth going after. The IRS eats the people along the bottom edge of the top, and the ones moving up so they have money but don't yet have protection.
lurch, Apr 15 2013

       The Sixteenth Amendment (Amendment XVI) to the United States Constitution allows the Congress to levy an income tax without apportioning it among the states or basing it on Census results.   

       Federal courts have ruled that the Sixteenth Amendment allows a direct tax on "wages, salaries, commissions, etc. without apportionment.
whlanteigne, Apr 15 2013

       Look up "ex post facto", because you cleanly missed that particular point.
lurch, Apr 15 2013

       "After the fact."   

       No, I didn't miss the point, I ignored it because it's irrelevant, because a number of Federal judges said so. Article I, Section 8, of the US Constitution gives Congress the power to tax.
whlanteigne, Apr 15 2013

       No, that was a different (and irrelevant) question that they answered. Timeliness of production of tax code hasn't yet been adjudicated.
lurch, Apr 15 2013

       Right. Good luck in tax court with that argument.
whlanteigne, Apr 15 2013

       //either really drunk or temporarily mentally retarded//   

       You will note that the discussion was civil until the remarks by — FlyingToaster, Apr 15 2013   

       Classy. Toss in some insults when you're losing an argument. And derail the discussion into LaLa Land with specious arguments about income tax while you're at it. This is what makes civilized discussions about keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of criminals and mentally unstable people impossible, and why the Second Amendment is at risk.
whlanteigne, Apr 16 2013

       Those three pointed back at yourself are the "everything I can't respond to, I'll call irrelevant".   

       Yes, you win this debate, because you get to define the terms and not actually engage with anything that exists outside the confines of your own skull.   

       Which kind of begs the question - why did you dump this crap here?
lurch, Apr 16 2013

       More insults from the wingnut right.   


       First irrelevant comment: "If I stop paying the insurance does somebody come take my G3 and 5000 rounds of armor- piercing ammo away?"   

       There is no mention of confiscating anything.   

       Second irrelevant comment: "How much did you pay for your First Amendment right to say that?"   

       Distraction from the discussion.   

       "you're simply trying to make sure individuals of the weaker elements in society stay that way. You're a bully."   

       That's simply too bizarre to respond to.   

       "...why did you dump this crap here?"   

       For the four positive votes?   

       To see if the pro-gun bunch are capable of civil discussion?   

       To see if there is a reasonable approach that does not require repeal of the Second Amendment?
whlanteigne, Apr 16 2013

       So folks who don't like it don't like it a lot.   

       The only obstacle I see with this idea is the certainty of it never being made US law. Shame.
tatterdemalion, Apr 16 2013

       I think we may be at a tipping point. My concern is that there won't be any reasonable regulation in place without repealing the Second Amendment, and the opposing comments seem to suggest that it's the only way. It doesn't take an Act of Congress, just 34 states to convene and make the proposal, and 38 to ratify.
whlanteigne, Apr 16 2013

       This idea seems to contain two concepts:   

       1. Firearms liability insurance, and   

       2. Not selling ammunition to people deemed unsafe.   

       Why combine them like this? Wouldn't it be simpler, and more honest, just to require a license (either a special ammunition license, or a firearms license, as appropriate) for purchase of ammunition?
spidermother, Apr 16 2013

       Yes, it would be simpler to require a firearms license to buy guns and ammo, but that requires repealing the Second Amendment. The insurance requirement is a means to place the burden of background checks on the gun user, through paying for insurance, rather than having government (police) perform the background checks at the taxpayer's expense, and without repealing the Second Amendment.
whlanteigne, Apr 16 2013

       I have said elsewhere that I would be willing to purchase insurance if it would allow me to carry. I live in California, which already does everything that is being proposed in the way of background checks, registration, etc.
normzone, Apr 16 2013

       As far as I can tell, in most states car ownership isn't "infringed," although you do have to possess some kind of documentation that you own it (typically, a "title"), but that's as much for the protection of the owner as convenient for the state.   

       When you want to drive said car on public, tax- supported roads, you're required to pay taxes (in the form of license and registration)and, in most states, provide a minimum amount of LIABILITY insurance (or proof of financial responsibility).   

       Car ownership isn't restricted. Car use on public roads is.
whlanteigne, Apr 16 2013

       // The ability to defend one's family against a home invasion, or oneself against a mugging, is a need, and it shouldn't be available only to those with a steady source of income, or denied to those on a fixed income and a tight budget.   

       So free tae kwan do lessons for everyone!
tatterdemalion, Apr 16 2013

       //so if you WANT to drive and put others at risk, then you should be prepared to pay for it.// In the UK, it's illegal to drive without at least third-party insurance, and it is not cheap. For a newly qualified driver on a small, low-powered car, you're looking at £1000 ($1500) and upwards.   

       So, given that fatalities per gun are higher than fatalities per car, it doesn't seem unreasonable to require similar insurance.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 16 2013

       //Is that an established fact, or an assumption based on possibly flawed logic?//   

       Annual US shooting fatalities (2010): 31,076   

       Annual US car fatalities (2010): 32,885   

       Estimated number of privately owned guns (legal or otherwise) in the US: up to 270 million (figure quoted by the FBI; estimates range from 223 million to about 300 million).   

       Estimated number of cars (registered) in the US: 270 million.   

       Therefore, depending on which end of the broad spectrum of estimates for gun numbers you choose, guns are either about as dangerous as cars or slightly more so. Each causes about a 9/11 equivalent death per month.   

       To be fair to guns, those figures include suicides, and probably not many people commit suicide using cars.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 16 2013

       My place of employment is 22 miles away, and there is no other option but driving there in my private car (I've even tried starting a car pool). The nearest stores are more than 2 miles away, the doctor's office is 5 miles away, the nearest hospital is 10 miles away, so I "NEED" a car.   

       I don't "need" firearms except for sport or hunting, although I have been employed in occupations that require a carry permit; the best home defense is a well-trained medium-size dog. I'm not going to be joining a "Militia."   

       // Will you have to provide proof of insurance to purchase ammunition *parts*//   

       "...anyone who wishes to buy ammunition or 'ammunition making supplies' (that includes those "parts") must show at point-of-sale that they have a valid Firearms Liability Insurance policy."   

       //It's also completely unenforceable. Unless you're suggesting stamping serial numbers on individual cartridges, they're untraceable//   

       Microtaggants (microscopic color-coded chips) can be used in the powder. They're nearly as good as serial numbers, and they're already used in explosives (lot number and date of manufacture), and as far as I know may already be used in ammunition. Or, yes, individual cartridges could be stamped with serial numbers, if that's what it takes.   

       There could be an exclusion from the insurance requirement- if the purchaser is willing to submit to a police background check and a waiting period (7 to 14 days) to buy ammunition. That should satisfy the "financial hardship" argument.
whlanteigne, Apr 16 2013

       Of those 11.000 gun homicides, exactly how many are due to (non-drug-related) "armed home invasions?" 1 in 10? 1 in 100? 1 in 1,000? Of those 11,000, I suspect you'll find the vast majority of them are related to drug deals, domestic disputes, or alcohol-related stupidity. I think you're more likely to die in a car accident on the way to the store to buy your ammunition than from armed home invasions.   

       In fact, according to CDC and FBI statistics, you're hundreds of times more likely to die of cancer, kidney failure, or heart disease than armed home invasions.   

       Your attitude toward working people is disturbingly elitist- even us "po folks" can have cars. I live in a medium-size "rust belt" city. The vast majority of workers here drive to work, very few ride the bus (in fact, despite the increase in ridership due to the recession and higher gas prices, the transit system has cut back on services and discontinued some routes to save costs).   

       I'm not taking the bait about my personal home security, which is, frankly, none of your business. if you wish to advertise to the world via the internet that you possess valuable firearms in your home, that's your business.
whlanteigne, Apr 17 2013

       According to the Pedia of Wikis, "Gun-related death rates in the United States are eight times higher than they are in countries that are economically and politically similar to it; however, most countries similar to the United States have a more secure social network. Higher gun-related death rates can be found in developing countries and countries with political instability.[29][33][34] However, developed countries with strict gun laws have essentially eliminated gun violence.[35][36][37][38]"
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 17 2013

       I think the problem is that criminals in the US are likely to be carrying a gun, and the general crime rate is higher than in most of Europe, which escalates things a little. If someone told me I had to go and live in the 'states, I'd probably want a gun too. Maybe it just takes a long period of history for countries to settle down.   

       On the other hand, I am pretty sure it's "weasel" rather than "weasle".
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 17 2013

       This thinly disguised rant marginally escapes my MFD [-]
Voice, Apr 17 2013

       ...because the LA subway system is awesome.
RayfordSteele, Apr 17 2013

       Maybe the time to revisit this debate is in a few centuries. The US is a young country in which, until fairly recently, the gun was the main form of law. It has taken centuries for western Europe and (I believe) Japan and a very few others to achieve provisionally stable cultures with low rates of gun crime and of homicide in general; there's no reason to assume that the US should mature more quickly in this respect.   

       And lagging not far behind the US are the dozens of emerging and developing nations which, one day, Americans will be able to look at in horror at their level of violence.   

       In the meantime, if you put people in a violent society and give them no opportunity to leave, nor effective law enforcement to protect them, they are forced to meet that level of violence with violence.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 17 2013

       Capital idea, m'lud. Actually it's fucking brilliant.   

       And furthermore, Rhinoceros.
Alterother, Apr 17 2013

       I often duck questions like what happens if I get hit by a car as I'm sitting in a restaurant, because statistically, those odds aren't great enough for me to worry about, unless I'm wandering down the middle of the road. Neither is a home invasion. The question is statistically a strawman.
RayfordSteele, Apr 17 2013

       Well, there you would seem to have it. I knew the US was a violent country, but hadn't appreciated how grave the problem was. Perhaps the rest of us ought to reflect on how lucky we are to have left that phase of society (mostly) behind us, and leave the Americans to ensure that the victims are as well- armed as the perpetrators. Personally, I'd no longer feel safe returning to the land of half of my parents, even with personal vigilance equipment.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 17 2013

       14 people were killed by a spree shooter in Serbia the other day. As far as I'm aware it did not trigger a nationwide media shitstorm. I think the USA's biggest gun problem actually has very little to do with guns or gun owners.
Alterother, Apr 17 2013

       //14 people were killed by a spree shooter in Serbia the other day. As far as I'm aware it did not trigger a nationwide media shitstorm.//   

       Well, sadly I don't know because we don't get a lot of Serbian TV here in East Anglia. But I agree - there are some nations where the high level of violence is just a fact of life, like the weather, and ought to be accepted in the same way.   

       I think part of the problem is that people somehow expect the US to be like Western Europe, whereas they don't have such unrealistic expectations of (for example) Serbia.   

       The only solution - whether for Serbia or the US - is the slow advance of civilisation, which can't be rushed.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 17 2013

       ////The US is a young country// ... as most countries are ... now//   

       I disagree with the latter statement (either that or I have misconstrued it). England (and, I strongly suspect, France, Germany and the other Western European countries) has of course changed immensely, yet is still largely grounded in the culture that it has evolved over several centuries.   

       Yes, we have violence and gun crime here; but by and large there is no culture of gun ownership and gun usage - handguns in particular are considered shocking, to the extent that people still comment when they see armed police at some events. This is a deeply ingrained attitude that has largely (not entirely) survived the importation of a very different culture from the US.   

       Restrictions on firearms in the UK are very, very stringent indeed, but they were introduced into a culture that had already largely foresworn guns and no longer saw the need for them.   

       So to suggest that the US, which is still in an early stage of development and still has a high level of innate violence, should restrict gun ownership is to look at it from the wrong perspective. In a few centuries, an older and wiser US will (with a bit of luck) have reached the point where most people don't feel the need for firearms. At that point, it will be both possible and desirable to restrict their ownership, since the last people to voluntarily give up their weapons will be those who are most likely to use them badly.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 17 2013

       Let me get back to you that one when I am less inconvenienced by alcohol. But probably yes.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 17 2013

       Yes, the home- as- armed- fortress- against- armed- invaders scenario, which plays itself out in the nightly news every evening. Hundreds, nay, thousands of armed homeowners nightly beating off hordes of skilled assassins bent only on rape and plunder and chaos?   

       Since you asked politely:   

       The armed intruders will have to contend with my motion-activated floodlights (4 sets, cost $20/set) and the lack of any man-size concealing shrubbery within 50 feet of the house, deadbolts on the doors ($15 each), and a well-trained Airedale who lets me know when something is up (adopted from the Humane Society shelter, cost $40 for the adoption fee and well worth a hundred times that). Should someone breach the doors or windows they would set off the (battery operated) wireless alarm system which is connected to a very loud siren (total system cost $120). That's a reasonable level of security for less than the cost of an inexpensive, reasonable quality revolver.   

       I did mention that I only use firearms for sport or hunting? That in my past I have had to have a carry permit as a condition of my job? I'm not anti- gunsport, nor am I anti-hunting, and in fact I go to the pistol range weekly, and yes I load my own practice rounds (+p FMJ). I'm also insured to the teeth with liability insurance, all kinds, just in case the deliveryman slips on my steps, or I'm involved in an at-fault traffic accident, or a bullet that leaves my weapon takes an erratic course and strikes an unintended target, like livestock or a person.   

       The reasons I am skeptical about your "armed intruder/zombie invader" scenario are twofold: The snub .38 in the special holster under the seat of my taxi did no good when I was mugged while taking a coffee break at a restaurant. Two rather stupid young men accosted me as I was walking toward my taxi, demanding money, one brandishing a revolver and the other brandishing a screwdriver. I had my nose broken when I was hit in the face with the gun, the idiots took off without my money when a bystander shouted. The police later said I was lucky they didn't shoot me right off. This was in a well-lit place with lots of people around- close to midnight, but not some dark alleyway. Even having a gun on my person wouldn't have made a difference, but being more aware of the surroundings would have.   

       The other reason? Let me tell you what will happen if you do manage to shoot an "armed intruder": If you kill them, the police will investigate every aspect of your life to see if you have ever had any connection whatsoever with the drug trade, or any aspect of organized crime. They will search your house. They will question your friends, your neighbors, the fellow you borrowed a dollar from last month, they will ask your employer if you have an attitude problem. Let's assume the police clear you of premeditated murder, and determine you had just cause to take another's life. The surviving family will sue you for "wrongful death," and your resources will be drained defending yourself. Forget "innocent until proven guilty," the benchmark for evidence in civil trials is "preponderance of evidence," which means if they have three witnesses and you only have two, they win. You will become better acquainted with more lawyers than you can stomach. The police scenario will be played out again, this time with lawyers, as everyone who has ever known you will be asked to make a deposition. You will probably receive threats from friends and family of the deceased for the rest of your life. It's worse if they survive, especially if they have disabling, permanent injuries. They'll definitely sue you, but now you have an additional witness against you. If your win but your lawyers make the tiniest mistake, they'll appeal, and the nightmare happens again.   

       Been there done that.   

       Yes, it's a horrible notion that you might have to protect yourself from the liability of shooting someone by accident, or on purpose (but you may have that already as a "personal liability" clause in your homeowner's or renter's insurance, personally I also have "legal coverage" option as part of my employer-provided health insurance ($5/month extra gives me $100.000 toward legal fees)).   

       It's even worse that lawyers might explore the theory that you were negligent in allowing your guns to be stolen, and hold you liable for their misuse, but that Second Amendment protects your right to set yourself up for a lawsuit.
whlanteigne, Apr 17 2013

       [Maxwell], your statement reminds me of Larry Niven's wirehead Carlos Wu, who lived in a society where training in martial arts was illegal.
normzone, Apr 17 2013

       //[Maxwell], your statement reminds me of Larry Niven's wirehead Carlos Wu//   

       Thank you; or damn you. (I'm not familiar with the character or what a wirehead is, so I'm leaving the options open here.)   

       [whla] From what you say, the problem is mainly that the US has progressed somewhat beyond the rule of the gun towards the rule of law, but currently has one foot on the shore and the other on the boat. It seems to have the worst of both worlds: a high level of innate violence; a wide availability of personal firearms; and a legal system that feeds from people who use those firearms to protect themselves. All in all, it doesn't seem to have worked out too well over there.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 17 2013

       I always imagined George Takei in the role of Louis Wu.
whlanteigne, Apr 17 2013

       What would you do if your gun jammed?
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 17 2013

       Well, I think that settles it. Perhaps we Brits should remember that we live in a more civilised society with good law enforcement and, moreover, that we have the right to go and live in Paris or Rome if things get really desperate.   

       Americans are stuck in a country still in the throes of widespread violence, without adequate policing, and without the right to move to another country.   

       Looked at that way, gun ownership and a willingness to use them seems perfectly justified to me. The case for not footing the bill and having arms in both hands doesn't have a leg to stand on. Indeed, if I were ever forced to live there, I would probably want to arm myself to the teeth.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 17 2013

       //you might well get dragged out of your house by the beard, then have said beard hacked off.// Yes, I understand that violent beard removal is particularly prevalent; apparently they also do it to the menfolk in serious cases.   

       I suspect that violent crime against the Amish must be quite common, which only goes to confirm that firearms are not only justified but practically a necessity in a violent country.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 17 2013

       //before you move over.// Seriously, I have not been to the States for over a decade. At first this was purely due to circumstance; but now I don't think I could be persuaded to go.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 17 2013

       //Imagine the Amish with ....//   

       Ah, but imagine the Amish with proper weapons. They could stop being wishy-washy Amish and become fully Am.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 17 2013

       //Leaving one's weapon in one's vehicle when one exits the vehicle defeats the purpose of owning the weapon.//   

       I guess you're smarter than the police who responded to the call. They agreed that a weapon wouldn't have been much use, but nineteen years after the fact and hundreds of miles away from the event, you're in a perfect position to assess the event and pass judgement, aren't you? Carrying your gun on your person makes you completely invulnerable to attack, and gives you the insight to know what's going to happen before the event? Your dead-on accuracy and proficiency with a pistol absolutely guarantees that a shot fired in the direction of a busy freeway won't hit the innocent occupant of a vehicle driving by? You're so sure of your aim that you have no concern that you may strike an innocent person in the group of people nearby?   

       I didn't have a concealed carry permit at the time because there was no concealed carry law in that state. Having it in the car was legal (for the purposes of "transport").   

       The purpose of the weapon was to defend myself from being robbed while inside the taxi, and it was used quite effectively several times to that effect. On the night in question, I was in a well-lit area, in a public place, in the midst of many people. The attack was brash and vicious and reckless and sudden. Yes, I understand you would have handled it so much better.   

       // if you don't know how to use a gun in self- defense then you shouldn't be carrying one to begin with.//   

       Wow, I can't believe you would take a position that violates the Second Amendment. It's also the opposite of what you've been saying. YOUR position is that anyone whatsoever, with no training or certification, no rules or licensing, a person with a history of criminal convictions or mental disability may possess whatever firearm they can afford to purchase, stockpile all the ammunition they want, with no restrictions whatsoever, no accountability, no proof of responsibility, because they might be called up by the "militia."   

       You also seem to be actively entertaining the delusion that the Second Amendment will protect you from liability lawsuits. It won't, but don't let that stop you.   

       If you really want to know what would happen to someone who breaks into my house and kills my dog, I've already provided you with all the information you need, but if you still can't figure it out you'll simply have to try it. Bring your Superman suit.
whlanteigne, Apr 17 2013

       What prompted your verbal abuse was my statement that "the best home defense is a well- trained medium size dog," and I stand by that. I never said one shouldn't use firearms for any legitimate purpose at all, that was your arrogance and paranoia. I don't think every home needs or should have firearms.   

       I have suggested that firearms owners should show proof of responsibility by being required to show proof of having a firearms liability insurance policy to buy ammunition or ammunition-making supplies; I have also conceded that it might be acceptable to waive the liability insurance requirement (for the financially strapped) in favor of a reasonable waiting period for the police to conduct a background check, and I suggested 7 to 14 days as a reasonable waiting period.   

       The bullshit is yours. The hypocrite is you. You want the personal freedom and luxury of owning and using firearms without "manning up" and accepting the social responsibility by protecting the public from your potential for negligence, in the form of buying liability insurance as a requirement for buying bullets.   

       Obviously you're ignorant of the "zone defense" concept. That's what the lights, the alarms and the dog are for. Lethal force is a last resort measure, and your attitude toward and contempt for non-lethal measures suggest an immaturity that clearly illustrates the flaw in the Second Amendment. With rights comes responsibility, and clearly you lack that.
whlanteigne, Apr 18 2013

       What I said was I don't "need" firearms except for sport or hunting, although I have been employed in occupations that require a carry permit; the BEST home defense is a well-trained medium-size dog. I'm not going to be joining a "Militia."   

       No, I don't think firearms are "necessary" for my home defense. The system I have works. I'll stand by the statement that a well-trained, medium size dog is the BEST home defense. Lethal force is only appropriate as a LAST, DESPERATE RESORT in any case. I don't believe it's appropriate for everyone. You, yourself, said "if you don't know how to use a gun in self- defense then you shouldn't be carrying one to begin with." Elitist. The Second Amendment only applies to you, then? People less qualified don't have the same protection? Or are you arguing that everyone, qualified or not, must have a firearm in their home? This is confusing because you seem to want it both ways.   

       //made it sound like you're betting your whole paycheck on the dog to protect you.//   

       That's your bigotry showing, by assuming I meant more than I said.   

       You demanded to know the intimate details of my home security, which I pointed out are none of your business- and, like the cowardly bigot you are, didn't offer any examples of your own until after I did.   

       I'm not an insurance underwriter, so I don't know what the insurance company's policy would be for someone who drops their policy after stockpiling ammunition. Maybe they wouldn't be able to get insurance from the same company, they'd definitely not be able to file a liability claim. Maybe they'd have to pay up the missing premiums to be reinstated. Maybe the insurance industry would decide you're not insurable if you buy more than 500, or 1,000, or 5,000 rounds of ammunition per month. Maybe buying ammunition for the purpose of selling it to others and skirting the liability insurance law would cause your policy to be cancelled, or maybe it would simply be against the law for a private citizen to sell ammunition to someone who lacks insurance. Deliberately or not, you've avoided discussing the key purpose in requiring the insurance, which is that the insurance company, not the government, would conduct the background check and determine if you are an insurable risk.   

       I don't carry a gun on my hip while I'm at home, and I don't grab a shotgun whenever I hear a noise outside. I can't say when I would determine if lethal force is necessary, except that the intruder would have to be armed, and present an immediate threat. It's possible to take a man's head off with an entrenching tool, so if that's the best or the only option, that's what I'd use.   

       I think it boils down to you seem to be asking if I would be willing to take a human life.   

       I've already answered that. You're an idiot.
whlanteigne, Apr 18 2013

       Do you think [Jutta] will mind if I sell tickets for this?
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 18 2013

       I was thinking more ringside seats.
MaxwellBuchanan, Apr 18 2013

       [whlanteigne] I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.
tatterdemalion, Apr 18 2013


back: main index

business  computer  culture  fashion  food  halfbakery  home  other  product  public  science  sport  vehicle