What CAN we do?

I’ve been thinking of ways we can use the market and other means to change gun owners and manufacturer’s behavior and perceived ‘rights’ to terrorize the rest of us. Here are a few random thoughts; feel free to add your own suggestions:

Keeping a gun – any gun – in the home should increase your homeowners insurance, just like a teenage driver increases your car insurance. Keeping an assault weapon of any kind in the home should increase your homeowner’s insurance exponentially. Insurance companies would quickly create an incentive be a gun free household.

Ammunition should be taxed as a public nuisance at progressively higher rates for larger quantities and have strict annual limits. The first 20 shotgun shells or .22 rounds could be taxed like a gallon of milk, the next 20 at 100% of face value, and the 20 after that at $100 each. Total purchases would be tracked just like Sudafed and Oxycontin. Once you reached your monthly or annual limit, no more ammo for you.

Specialty ammo like hollow points or large caliber or high velocity rounds would be banned outright from public sale. Honestly, who needs that outside the military?

Homeowners should face liability if guns or ammunition is taken from their home for use in a crime – even if by a family member. This would create a strong incentive to lock up the guns you have, and hopefully think twice about leaving them accessible to anyone. Cities and towns should actively pursue owners of guns for damages related to the carnage they cause, including hospital costs.

Gun manufacturers should be subject to lawsuits for creating a public health hazard. Just like auto manufacturers, stroller and car seat manufacturers, cigarettes, and every other industry for that matter. Gun manufacturers should be responsible for the safety and efficacy of their products. If we can successfully sue tobacco for lung cancer deaths, GM and Ford for exploding gas tanks, the makers of Lawn Darts, surely we can get it together enough to bankrupt the makers of AR-13’s and the like. When used properly, its only purpose is for killing other people. “Target practice” is not its purpose any more than cigarettes are to make your breath smell better. They are delivery devices plain and simple: one for nicotine, one for death.

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