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Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Rationality and guns

I heard that someone recently got shot at a gun show.  The gun libertarians will suggest that the solution to shootings is to arm more folks, so that people can defend themselves.  This idea makes sense if only we can assume that people who shoot people are rational, and therefore deterred by the idea of armed victims.  Since the death penalty doesn't deter crime, why would gun proliferation?

One other thought.  If we have a goal of reducing violence, whether committed by nutters with guns or gun accidents, then gun proliferation doesn't help us much there either.  I haven't seen the firearm yet that can return a bullet back to the gun.  Having guns available to respond to violence is only an answer if you like vengeance.  And the proliferation of weapons only makes it easier to have accidents. 

When it comes to public policy, I'm fairly agnostic about firearms legislation.  I think people should have to have a permit for a firearm (just like a car!) and that weapons of mass destruction (e.g. automatic weapons and large magazines) should be restricted or banned.  But I'm tired of fighting with people who think that guns will solve all their problems.

Maybe what we really need is mandatory gun violence insurance.  Buy all the guns you want, but you have to carry liability insurance for each one, just like a car.  There's a novelty.

1 comment:

Joe said...

You have a great idea here. I bet that you could expand on this and submit it to MinnPost. Especially if gun insurance is your idea, it would make a great article.