Vice News contributor Krishna Andavolu doesn’t want to ban modern sporting rifles, he wants gun owners to buy insurance for them.
In a new series tackling the gun debate, titled, “Maybe I’m Wrong,” Andavolu lays out his argument. He starts by admitting what few gun-control advocates will…
“Maybe I’m wrong, but gun bans don’t really work,” writes Andavolu. Hold the phone! Did he really just say that?! Wait, it gets better (watch the video, too).
“There are too many AR-15s in the country—approximately eight million, according to the NRA—for a ban on future sales to prevent their use in further mass shootings,” he continues. “Unless the US were to enact an Australian-style buyback and amnesty initiative, there’s little to suggest these kinds of guns wouldn’t be used in illegal ways to kill people again, regardless of future regulation.”
Quick point on that Australian-style mandatory buyback, even that didn’t work out so well. Because surprise! surprise! Not everyone turned ‘em in. Over 600,000 were seized and destroyed during that time period between ’96-97. About a decade later, in 2007, however, there were still 3 million guns still in civilian hands, according to Small Arms Survey Data. And that tally doesn’t account for the number of street guns in the hands of gangs and drug dealers.
What’s more is that its effect on crime rates wasn’t statistically significant, as Reason.com pointed out in a rather detailed article. Bottom line is even the most massive and “successful” confiscation in history was a failure. Just so we’re all on the same page.
Anyways, Andavolu also mentions the “axiom of prohibition,” which is “If you tell people they can’t have something they want—something they feel they have the right to own—they might just want it even more.” He’s right! Nothing whets an appetite like forbidden fruit.
While Andavolu starts out making sense he inevitably veers off into absurdity by calling for AR insurance.
“So instead of banning these rifles, states should require gun owners to buy insurance in case their gun is used to kill wrongfully; that way, at least victims and their families might recover some financial damages. In most states, individual gun owners can be held liable, but it’s rare that any one person might have enough money to compensate victims. Mandating insurance would collectivize the risk posed to broader society by the constitutional right to bear arms.”
First off, most mass killers buy their own guns because they have no criminal or mental health records that would disqualify them purchasing them in a gun shop, as Criminologist James Alan Fox has documented.
Second, Virginia Tech, one of the deadliest mass shootings of all time was committed with handguns. Proving that one doesn’t need an AR to kill a lot of people. The most critical component to limiting the death toll in a mass killing situation is reducing the amount of time it takes for armed resistance — be it law enforcement, a resource officer or a concealed carrier — to engage the killer. Maybe this should be at the forefront of the conversation on stopping mass killers?
Third, AR insurance only works for the insured. Criminals won’t opt into the insurance pool. This is a criticism that Andavolu acknowledges, albeit briefly. “If you decide to own a gun, are you willing to bear the cost of it causing the damage it was designed—in the most extreme cases—to inflict? Some might argue this would dissuade people from owning guns legally, simply incentivizing people to buy guns under the table.” Duh, ya think?
Lastly, AR insurance is nothing more than a way to tax and regulate AR ownership out of existence.
“The gun prohibition lobby is pushing an extremist agenda that would force gun owners to have mandatory gun liability insurance or face fines up to $10,000. I call this a gun ban because you can only keep your gun if you can afford to pay the mandated insurance premium,” said Alan Gottlieb in an email to GunsAmerica.
“And the big catch is the insurance must be a ‘qualified’ insurance company approved by the government. If your state does not approve an insurance company you can’t own a gun period,” Gottlieb added.
Safe to say, Andavolu, you’re right when it comes to gun bans. They don’t work. But you’re definitely wrong about AR insurance. It’s only going to put a financial burden on law-abiding citizens while doing nothing to stop mass killers.