Forum Thread

Requiring insurance to exercise a right

Dr. J 25,994 3,519 March 23, 2013 at 06:06 AM
Here in wonderful CT, lawmakers are still rabid to "do something" after Newtown. Although it's been bandied about before, it appears that requiring liability insurance for owning a gun is gaining traction. Not surprisingly, gun owners are against it: "Fifty - 43 percent back mandatory liability insurance for gun owners, who oppose this measure 71 - 26 percent [nbcconnecticut.com]."

My general question is, however - can the government require insurance for exercising a right? An incorrect analogy would be MV insurance, as MV's and driving are privileges, not rights - a better analogy would be requiring insurance if you wanted to speak outloud (suppose you could start a riot!) or assemble.

Now the SCOTUS has already kind of ruled in this realm - with Obamacare - note that this didn't specifically include a right (unless the right to live could be considered implicit) and only through the loophole that the fines were really taxes, not "fees".

56 Comments

1 2 3 4

Sign up for a Slickdeals account to remove this ad.

Joined Jun 2008
Non-partisan idealogue
2,656 Posts
476 Reputation
#2
Quote from Dr. J View Post :
Here in wonderful CT,
You need to move to a free state, seriously.

Quote :
a better analogy would be requiring insurance if you wanted to speak outloud (suppose you could start a riot!) or assemble.
I could get behind that legislation. How about adding on requiring insurance to refuse consent to searches. After all, somebody may have put something in your belongings without your knowledge. And insurance to vote too (in case you vote for someone incompetent who tanks the world economy).
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Joined Aug 2008
L99: Slicker than Ice
6,404 Posts
1,756 Reputation
#3
Quote from Dr. J View Post :
Now the SCOTUS has already kind of ruled in this realm - with Obamacare - note that this didn't specifically include a right (unless the right to live could be considered implicit)
I would go with "life" is a right, as explained by the first sentence of the declaration of independence
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
#4
Quote from Dr. J View Post :
Here in wonderful CT, lawmakers are still rabid to "do something" after Newtown. Although it's been bandied about before, it appears that requiring liability insurance for owning a gun is gaining traction. Not surprisingly, gun owners are against it: "Fifty - 43 percent back mandatory liability insurance for gun owners, who oppose this measure 71 - 26 percent [nbcconnecticut.com]."

My general question is, however - can the government require insurance for exercising a right? An incorrect analogy would be MV insurance, as MV's and driving are privileges, not rights - a better analogy would be requiring insurance if you wanted to speak outloud (suppose you could start a riot!) or assemble.

Now the SCOTUS has already kind of ruled in this realm - with Obamacare - note that this didn't specifically include a right (unless the right to live could be considered implicit) and only through the loophole that the fines were really taxes, not "fees".
This whole thing is disgusting. It's a case of "never let a crisis go to waste". I like how our wonderful CT officials keep citing Newtown and yet they refuse to release the details of what happened.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
All growth depends upon activity. There is no development physically or intellectually without effort, and effort means work. — Calvin Coolidge
"Under Barack Obama, the only 'change' is that 'hope' is hard to find" - Marco Rubio
Joined May 2009
L5: Journeyman
836 Posts
54 Reputation
#5
Most rights are regulated. For example, some types of speech require permits and fees due to their nature. One might argue that the use of firearms is inherently dangerous and, therefore, costly. Liability insurance would be a way to protect society and other private citizens from having these costs unduly imposed on them.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Joined Apr 2009
MakeAmericaGrr..hateAgain
35,648 Posts
#6
Quote from Dr. J View Post :
Here in wonderful CT, lawmakers are still rabid to "do something" after Newtown. Although it's been bandied about before, it appears that requiring liability insurance for owning a gun is gaining traction. Not surprisingly, gun owners are against it: "Fifty - 43 percent back mandatory liability insurance for gun owners, who oppose this measure 71 - 26 percent [nbcconnecticut.com]."

My general question is, however - can the government require insurance for exercising a right? An incorrect analogy would be MV insurance, as MV's and driving are privileges, not rights - a better analogy would be requiring insurance if you wanted to speak outloud (suppose you could start a riot!) or assemble.

Now the SCOTUS has already kind of ruled in this realm - with Obamacare - note that this didn't specifically include a right (unless the right to live could be considered implicit) and only through the loophole that the fines were really taxes, not "fees".
In the context of your argument, can you please define right versus privilege so I can objectively and for myself decide what is a right and what is a privilege? For example, would walking on public streets be a right or a privilege?

ETA: while at it, it would be appreciated if you also define right vs inalienable right. Thanks.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Last edited by TRNT March 23, 2013 at 08:49 AM.
Joined Feb 2013
L5: Journeyman
982 Posts
86 Reputation
#7
The article contains many appeals to popular opinion, ie surveys. The problem with these surveys is often those asked do not understand the ramifications of what they say they want.

A survey that asks how an individual will act or behave, ie how will I vote, is likely to do a decent job of predicting actions of a group. Surveys that ask what policies we should enact however are rather flawed. For example a survey that says we should pay less in taxes might get very high approval ratings but at some point if we don't pay enough in taxes we see a break down in social services etc.

Reason did a gun survey recently that helped to illustrate the point. They found that more people wanted a ban on all semi-automatic guns than wanted a ban on 'assault weapons'. The difference wasn't large but it we assume in each case the same respondent was asked the same series of questions then this can't be a case of margin of error. That would only be reasonable if you say asked two different representative groups. When the same person says semi-automatic needs to be banned but assault weapons are OK you have to assume either their definition of assault weapon is more benign than a semi-automatic weapon (perhaps they think some bolt action rifles are AWs) or they simply don't know what is commonly meant by the terms. AW is a gray term but I can't think of anyone who has said an AW isn't semi-automatic. Thus if all AWs are semi-automatic it logically must follow if you are for a ban on semi-autos you would also be for a ban on AW since one is a subset of the other.

Reason followed up their questions with a list of questions to test the knowledge of the participants of the survey. They asked what defined an assault weapon. They found that over half the respondents didn't know what it was based on the common legal definitions.
Quote :
About two-thirds of the respondents described "assault weapons" as guns that fire rapidly, guns that can fire a large number of rounds without reloading, guns with a lot of "power," or guns used by the military. More than a quarter described them as "machine guns," "automatics," or the equivalent (e.g., "multiple rounds with just one pull of the trigger").
http://reason.com/archives/2013/0...ult-weapon

Though Reason didn't ask you have to assume that many of the people who want other gun laws likely don't understand the full ramifications of what they are asking for. This sadly reminds of some of the California propositions (13, 65 etc) are similar cases where voters were asked to make a choice without really understanding the total ramifications of their votes.

So things like universal BGC. Sounds great but does it work? Well without tracking or long term record keeping, no. Gun registries didn't work well in Canada though I suspect many in the US would like the idea. Same with this insurance idea and magazine capacity limits. They all can sound good on the surface and many people asked will give the idea no more than superficial thought before answering. The assumption seems to be if we had that it would be air tight and a problem would go away. Would these same people be for these things if the inherent downsides and the likely lack of any meaningful benefit were explained?

Take the gun insurance laws. How do you decide how much insurance need to be had on a gun? What are the loss rates? With a car the insurance companies have a long history of data to estimate loss rates and figure out who is and isn't a good insurance risk. The same doesn't exist for guns. The majority of drivers will file some sort of insurance claim over their lifetime (I state that without proof). What about gun owners? The majority will never have a gun related issue. Of the families I knew growing up who had guns I can't think of a single one that would have ever needed to file a gun claim. So how much should the insurance cost? What is a fair rate? A smart insurance company isn't going to insure 'boiz in the hood' but will likely say suburban families are basically a non-risk. Yes, you get the occasional Lanz out of the group but that is all but impossible to develop a risk model for that case.

In the end the insurance rates would either be ridiculously low and thus at best they are a harassment fee (and a means to track gun owners) or they will be set artificially high in which case they are a gift to the insurance industry. Oh, the illegally owned guns that will be the source of most of our gun crime aren't going to be insured at all. Who pays for that? Are we going to demand the insured pay for the damage of the uninsured?
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Joined Nov 2005
L10: Grand Master
25,994 Posts
3,519 Reputation
Original Poster
Pro
#8
Quote from TRNT View Post :
In the context of your argument, can you please define right versus privilege so I can objectively and for myself decide what is a right and what is a privilege? For example, would walking on public streets be a right or a privilege?

ETA: while at it, it would be appreciated if you also define right vs inalienable right. Thanks.

Right = BOR
Privilege = not in BOR

As in, we have rights explicitly defined in the Constitution.

Wikipedia puts it eloquently

"In modern democratic states, a privilege is conditional and granted only after birth. By contrast, a right is an inherent, irrevocable entitlement held by all citizens or all human beings from the moment of birth."

I am not interested in playing semantics games with you. I am sure the discussion would degrade to a dictionary war. If one believes insurance can be legally required for the exercise of the right to own, say, a pistol, then one MUST also believe that insurance can be legally required to speak.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Last edited by Dr. J March 23, 2013 at 10:50 AM.

Sign up for a Slickdeals account to remove this ad.

Joined Nov 2005
L10: Grand Master
25,994 Posts
3,519 Reputation
Original Poster
Pro
#9
Quote from ZeeDuck View Post :
The article contains many appeals to popular opinion, ie surveys. The problem with these surveys is often those asked do not understand the ramifications of what they say they want.

A survey that asks how an individual will act or behave, ie how will I vote, is likely to do a decent job of predicting actions of a group. Surveys that ask what policies we should enact however are rather flawed. For example a survey that says we should pay less in taxes might get very high approval ratings but at some point if we don't pay enough in taxes we see a break down in social services etc.

Reason did a gun survey recently that helped to illustrate the point. They found that more people wanted a ban on all semi-automatic guns than wanted a ban on 'assault weapons'. The difference wasn't large but it we assume in each case the same respondent was asked the same series of questions then this can't be a case of margin of error. That would only be reasonable if you say asked two different representative groups. When the same person says semi-automatic needs to be banned but assault weapons are OK you have to assume either their definition of assault weapon is more benign than a semi-automatic weapon (perhaps they think some bolt action rifles are AWs) or they simply don't know what is commonly meant by the terms. AW is a gray term but I can't think of anyone who has said an AW isn't semi-automatic. Thus if all AWs are semi-automatic it logically must follow if you are for a ban on semi-autos you would also be for a ban on AW since one is a subset of the other.

Reason followed up their questions with a list of questions to test the knowledge of the participants of the survey. They asked what defined an assault weapon. They found that over half the respondents didn't know what it was based on the common legal definitions.

http://reason.com/archives/2013/0...ult-weapon

Though Reason didn't ask you have to assume that many of the people who want other gun laws likely don't understand the full ramifications of what they are asking for. This sadly reminds of some of the California propositions (13, 65 etc) are similar cases where voters were asked to make a choice without really understanding the total ramifications of their votes.

So things like universal BGC. Sounds great but does it work? Well without tracking or long term record keeping, no. Gun registries didn't work well in Canada though I suspect many in the US would like the idea. Same with this insurance idea and magazine capacity limits. They all can sound good on the surface and many people asked will give the idea no more than superficial thought before answering. The assumption seems to be if we had that it would be air tight and a problem would go away. Would these same people be for these things if the inherent downsides and the likely lack of any meaningful benefit were explained?

Take the gun insurance laws. How do you decide how much insurance need to be had on a gun? What are the loss rates? With a car the insurance companies have a long history of data to estimate loss rates and figure out who is and isn't a good insurance risk. The same doesn't exist for guns. The majority of drivers will file some sort of insurance claim over their lifetime (I state that without proof). What about gun owners? The majority will never have a gun related issue. Of the families I knew growing up who had guns I can't think of a single one that would have ever needed to file a gun claim. So how much should the insurance cost? What is a fair rate? A smart insurance company isn't going to insure 'boiz in the hood' but will likely say suburban families are basically a non-risk. Yes, you get the occasional Lanz out of the group but that is all but impossible to develop a risk model for that case.

In the end the insurance rates would either be ridiculously low and thus at best they are a harassment fee (and a means to track gun owners) or they will be set artificially high in which case they are a gift to the insurance industry. Oh, the illegally owned guns that will be the source of most of our gun crime aren't going to be insured at all. Who pays for that? Are we going to demand the insured pay for the damage of the uninsured?

For the most part, the populace is ignorant. That is, opinions are formed without much knowledge of the subject - in the case of legislation/government powers - what the full ramifications are. The gun debate has been an excellent illustration of this - the difference between magazine & clip, bullet & cartridge, "machine gun" & "assault weapon" & "semi-auto", etc. I'd wager that many of the people that want "more BGC" are also likely to believe that BGC's aren't currently required (CT), or believe one can simply walk into a gun store and walk out with a gun of their choosing.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Joined Apr 2009
MakeAmericaGrr..hateAgain
35,648 Posts
#10
Quote from Dr. J View Post :
Right = BOR
Privilege = not in BOR

As in, we have rights explicitly defined in the Constitution.

Wikipedia puts it eloquently

"In modern democratic states, a privilege is conditional and granted only after birth. By contrast, a right is an inherent, irrevocable entitlement held by all citizens or all human beings from the moment of birth."

I am not interested in playing semantics games with you. I am sure the discussion would degrade to a dictionary war. If one believes insurance can be legally required for the exercise of the right to own, say, a pistol, then one MUST also believe that insurance can be legally required to speak.
Well, I could have sworn that you wanted to play semantics with me.

Oh well.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
#11
Quote from Dr. J View Post :
Here in wonderful CT, lawmakers are still rabid to "do something" after Newtown. Although it's been bandied about before, it appears that requiring liability insurance for owning a gun is gaining traction. Not surprisingly, gun owners are against it: "Fifty - 43 percent back mandatory liability insurance for gun owners, who oppose this measure 71 - 26 percent [nbcconnecticut.com]."
Just more evidence that some people don't understand what insurance is for.

Quote from Dr. J View Post :
My general question is, however - can the government require insurance for exercising a right? An incorrect analogy would be MV insurance, as MV's and driving are privileges, not rights - a better analogy would be requiring insurance if you wanted to speak outloud (suppose you could start a riot!) or assemble.
I think it's poor reasoning to claim that driving a car that you own isn't a right.

I see no meaningful difference in owning a car and using it justly, and owning a gun and using it justly. Both are property capable of being owned. Both have useful functions, and both can be used without infringing on the rights of others.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Joined Mar 2011
L8: Grand Teacher
3,520 Posts
351 Reputation
#12
Quote from Dr. J View Post :
Right = BOR
Privilege = not in BOR
So your argument is that we have a right to assemble on the sidewalk for the purposes of protest, but we have no right to walk on the sidewalk to the grocery store? Could a state pass a law saying that only those 65 and older are allowed to walk on the sidewalk?
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Thanks to ObamaCare, my health insurance premiums dropped 30% and I now have a plan that covers routine care! Thank God for ObamaCare! bounce
Joined Sep 2006
Greed is Good�
11,363 Posts
339 Reputation
#13
Mandatory liability insurance should not be required.

Instead, the government should allow unlimited civil tort liability to be attached to firearms usage. Allow the trial lawyers to bankrupt gun owners who use firearms to take a life, contributed to the taking of life or injury through their firearms, or engaged in firearms-related activities that resulted in death or injury.

Trial lawyers should be allowed free rein to massively profit from gun owners' stupidity and negligence.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Joined Jul 2007
L10: Grand Master
16,874 Posts
1,001 Reputation
#14
Quote from Dr. J View Post :
Right = BOR
Privilege = not in BOR

As in, we have rights explicitly defined in the Constitution.
No, I don't think that's true at all. In fact, the ninth amendment, which is part of the Bill of Rights, reads:
"The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

I believe I have the right to breathe air. In fact, I believe I have the right to breathe clean air. I have the right to live, and, what's more, I have the right to be healthy. I have the right to walk on a public sidewalk. I have the right to cut my hair (one I rarely exercise).

There are many rights I have which are not stated in the Bill of Rights, except that the Ninth Amendment says I have them anyway. The Declaration of Independence goes so far as to state that many rights are self-evident.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Joined Oct 2007
Not all heroes wear capes
13,388 Posts
1,114 Reputation
#15
How would mandatory firearm insurance have stopped a crazy guy from killing someone and stealing their guns and then shooting up a school?

Oh, it wouldn't have. Keep on truckin', CT gun grabbers.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Morons react to Trump winning [youtu.be]

2/16/16 - "If it's Hillary vs. Trump, Trump landslide." - me!
7/25/16 - "Donald Trump wins in a landslide." - me again! Dance13

The hypocrite left: 11/8 "Love Trumps Hate." 11/9 "Kill Trump."

Citizens cheering the destruction of their country by "refugees":

Open Gates: The forced collective suicide of European nations [youtu.be]

"You are witnessing what will be shown to future generations as the reason for the fall of an Empire."
Page 1 of 4
1 2 3 4
Join the Conversation
Add a Comment
 
Copyright 1999 - 2017. Slickdeals, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Copyright / Infringement Policy  •  Privacy Policy  •  Terms of Service  •  Acceptable Use Policy (Rules)  •  Interest-Based Ads
Link Copied to Clipboard