Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) has introduced another piece of legislation that requires any American looking to exercise their Second Amendment rights to have liability insurance before purchasing a firearm. It would dole out a $10,000 fine to anyone who does not have proof of insurance, but, of course, law enforcement and members of the military are exempt from this law (via the Hill):
We require insurance to own a car, but no such requirement exists for guns," Maloney said in a statement. "The results are clear: car fatalities have declined by 25 percent in the last decade, but gun fatalities continue to rise.”
Maloney said auto insurance carriers incentivize drivers to take precautions to reduce accidents, but no such incentives exist for firearm owners.
“An insurance requirement would allow the free market to encourage cautious behavior and help save lives,” she said. “Adequate liability coverage would also ensure that the victims of gun violence are fairly compensated when crimes or accidents occur."
This is the second time Maloney, who is one of the biggest gun control advocates in Congress, has introduced the legislation. A few weeks ago she reintroduced legislation that would require sellers to obtain a background check for all guns sold at gun shows.
First, driving a car is a privilege in America, whereas owning firearms is a right. Second, her data is just wrong. The Bureau of Crime Statistics noted that firearm-related homicides are down 39 percent between 1993-2011. Pew Research had a higher figure, noting a 49 percent decrease in gun homicides between 1993-2010. In fact, America has never been less violent. We are safer, and violent crime continues to go down (via NYT):
To be precise, the F.B.I.'s count of violent crimes reported to law enforcement has declined from a rate of 747 violent incidents per 100,000 people in 1993 to 387 incidents per 100,000 people in 2012, which is the most recent year for which it has published complete data. This reflects the fact that over this period, the homicide rate has fallen by 51 percent; forcible rapes have declined by 35 percent; robberies have decreased by 56 percent; and the rate of aggravated assault has been cut by 45 percent. Property crime rates are also sharply down.
These trends aren’t caused by changes in our willingness to report crime to the police. We see an even more significant decline in violent crime in data derived from surveys asking people whether they’ve been the victims of certain crimes over the past year. The National Crime Victimization Survey reports that the rate of violent victimizations has declined by 67 percent since 1993. This reflects a 70 percent decline in rape and sexual assault; a 66 percent decline in robbery; a 77 percent decline in aggravated assault; and a 64 percent decline in simple assault. This survey has nothing to say about the decline in homicide, for obvious reasons.
It’s also a bit disconcerting that Democrats continually trust the police with firearm safety and responsibility when they haven’t displayed any of those qualities as of late. Capitol Police are leaving their firearms in public bathrooms. The ATF has experienced similar situations, though there were many other venues where agents misplaced their government-issued firearms.
In all, buying a gun is a right in our Constitution. Buying a car is certainly permissible if you have the resources, but a driver’s license is a privilege. Moreover, automobiles kill more Americans than firearms, especially when you remove suicides from the data. Progressive groups do this to inflate the number of the dead. Suicide is horrible, but an act that hardly constitutes gun violence.
Rep. Maloney’s bill is just another onerous regulation, and one that is built on poor data and false equivalency.