Insurance as Punishment
By JAMES TARANTO
If you can’t force people to do what you want, force them to buy insurance: That seems to be the strategy of the liberal left in the Obama era. We refer not only to the ObamaCare health-insurance mandate but to the latest bright idea under consideration in mostly Democrat-dominated state capitals.
“Democratic lawmakers proposed legislation Tuesday that would require California gun owners to buy liability insurance to cover damages or injuries caused by their weapons,” FoxNews.com reports. The idea isn’t brand new: “Bills have been offered unsuccessfully in Massachusetts and New York since at least 2003,” according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
“Gun-insurance mandates won’t solve illegal gun possession or illegal gun use, and no form of regulation will bring an end to gun violence,” writes political scientist H.L. Pohlman in a Hartford Courant op-ed. Yet strangely, Pohlman is a proponent of the idea. Essentially his argument is that it would encourage people to behave in desirable ways:
So, this mandated insurance would do nothing as regards killings. It only transmogrifies heretofore law-abiding citizens into potential criminals and picks their pockets. So, what is accomplished by this? It infringes on people’s rights, and it extends government power by forcing law-abiding citizens to acts as they would not otherwise, thereby making being a law-abiding citizen ever more difficult.