In some bizarre way the San Jose, California, City Council has determined the requirement to purchase gun liability insurance is going to make crimes committed with guns diminish. They also have determined you as a legal gun owner must register your gun by paying a fee to be used to offset the expenses attributable to gun related violence. If you do not voluntarily report gun ownership and pay the fee, the refusal opens you to having the city confiscate your firearm.
What were these august public servants smoking when they passed this legislation? It is almost like they bought into the old comparison that the more storks one sees flying around the more babies are born. In their rush to do something they end up doing nothing constructive. It just doesn’t make any sense. Neither of these proposals have anything to do with actually solving the gun violence issue. They just add another layer of bureaucracy a lawful gun owner must deal with before being able to exercise a constitutional right. Also, didn’t they consider they were violating a gun owner’s second amendment right by placing a financial burden upon them before they could exercise the right to bear arms?
No one disputes the alarming increase in violence across our nation, but to throw this type of legislation as a solution to the problem just doesn’t hold any credibility.
Let’s consider a couple of observations of hurdles which stand in the way of this legislation ever being enacted, let alone enforced.
Under present liability insurance policies, normally a policy issued by a homeowner insurance company, liability protection is included in the policy. The liability provisions uses verbiage similar to this, “If a claim is made or a suit is brought against any insured for damages because of bodily injury or property damage, caused by an occurrence to which this coverage applies, we (the insurance company) will: 1) pay up to our limits of liability for the damages for which the insured is legally liable; and 2) provide a defense at our expense by counsel of our choice. . . .”
Then in the section outlining exclusions, “. . . coverage does not cover bodily injury or property damage which is intentionally caused by any insured. This exclusion does not apply to the use of reasonable force by the insured to protect a person or property, nor arising out of a violation of a criminal law. This clearly shows the insurance company will not support an individual who deliberately sets out to cause harm to an individual or property.” (Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company of Idaho p. 19 and 21).
No insurance company is ever going to underwrite a stand alone policy which will provide coverage for an individual who deliberately sets out to do harm to another person or property.
So the city council is requiring an action which cannot be met. Does that mean then they will send someone to confiscate your gun since you are in violation of the law?
The registration fee is now just some nebulous figure they have asked the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation to explore and report back to the council by the end of 2021. Are they supposed to figure out what the expenses for gun violence crimes are and then divvy this out to the number of people they will estimate have guns? The mayor said we can’t stop individuals from owning guns but we don’t have to ask our citizens to pick up the expense created by that ownership. That one really flies in the face of common sense. The ones who are creating that expense are not the law abiding citizenry but those who have either got firearms through the black market, ghost guns or weapons which have been stolen. You can be certain even if those who lawfully own guns and pay the fee would never be able to offset that expense, and those who have caused the expense will never pay for damages they cause.
Besides, who is ever going to come to your home or mine inquiring if you have a gun or not and if you have paid the registration fee being imposed? If you tell that individual it is none of his or her business or simply refuse to answer, are they going to say, sorry then I will have to come in and confiscate your gun. They are now skating on very thin constitutional ice, illegal search and seizure and the right to protect oneself inside their own home.
The council also tried to portray the requirement to have gun liability insurance to the requirement to have car insurance. Don’t think so. There is no requirement that if you own a car you must pay the expense for someone else’s deliberate act of breaking the law. Furthermore, your insurance company isn’t even required to pay for deliberate acts of criminality.
No matter what side of the gun issue you may be on right now, we need to figure out what is happening with our societal fabric which is allowing people to feel they can by whatever means rob someone else of their property or life. It is so strange we have accepted the carnage expense created by drunk driving and drug related activities so nonchalantly while wringing our hands saying woe is me when someone loses their life by a gunshot or knife wound. The number of deadly automobile accidents occurring every day does not get any news traction while a shooting gets headline billing. Both are societal issues which can be solved, but we can’t have it both ways and expect to make any headway in recognizing the sanctity of life and joy of property ownership.
What happened to President George Bush’s kinder gentler nation?
Our Founding Fathers felt so strongly that an armed public was so important to fundamental freedoms that they penned the Second Amendment and made it the law of the land. Anything which would infringe upon that right would be immediately dismissed.