David Axelrod on the Newtown Massacre

While President Obama has begun to ask members of his cabinet for suggestions on gun reforms, David Axelrod, a top advisor for the Obama re-election campaign, sent an e-mail yesterday on the Newtown massacre:

Edward -- 

Our hearts broke on Friday as we learned of the tragic and senseless deaths of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

Last night, President Obama addressed the families of Newtown, offering the love and prayers of a nation, and vowing to use whatever power his office holds to protect our children from such unthinkable acts of violence.

He spoke from the heart -- as a president and a parent. Watch this speech:


http://my.barackobama.com/Newtown

As we reflect on the lives lost last week, we must also, as the President urged, consider how each of us can play a part in making our country worthy of the memory of those little children. 

I hope you and the ones you love have a happy and safe holiday. 

Thanks, 

David 

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    While President Obama has begun to ask members of his cabinet for suggestions on gun reforms

    It's not "reform" if you're fucking things up and making it worse. Gun "deformation" is what we can likely expect from that statist fuck Obama.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    It's a good thing we elected Obama for being caring. Imagine if Romney had won! His whole speech surely would have been "Fuck those little pests. How can I write this off as a deduction?"

  • sasob||

    I'm waiting to see who files the first lawsuite against the school for emotional distress or trauma.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I made the mistake of checking to see what the retards at Morning Joke were up to.

    Scarboro: WE MUST SAVE OUR PRECIOUS LITTLE CHILDRINZ!!!!!

    Mika: BLRRRGGPHSTHCLHRRRGGLE!!!! followed by piteous sobbing.

    Mayor Bloomberg was on, talking about cop-killer bullets, too. Because those kids were killed with a full-auto chain gun firing depleted uranium rounds, presumably.

    It all boils down to the old "Yes Minister" (?) gag:

    "Something must be done. This is something. Therefor we must do it!"

    And, of course, all agree: IMMEDIATE RESPONSE IS NECESSARY!!!!!

    We're fucked.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    They have 'Fox And Freaks' on at the same time just for people like you.

  • Lord Humungus||

    PB is all butthurt today.

  • Jeff||

    Well, sure he is. shriek has sand in his vagina because he has always banged on about how the idea that Barry is a gun grabber was just redneck nonsense spewed on the talk radio he apparently listens to 24/7, and now he looks like a complete dumbshit.

    Of course, he really shouldn't worry about it since he has always looked like a complete dumbshit.

  • Rich||

    "my.barackobama.com"?

    Is that a thing?

  • Bam!||

    That was Obama's social network thing back during the 08 campaign, when MySpace was hot and Facebook wasn't.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I'll defer to barfman. F*ckin' vultures.

  • AlmightyJB||

    BTW...Reason ads. Stop telling me that 3 people unfriended me because no one would ever do such a thing.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Wouldn't that imply that you had 3 people friend you in the first place?

  • Ted S.||

    As I've said elsewhere, I don't do the Facebook thing. I'm not interested in amassing Facebook non-enemies.

  • John||

    Unless your proposed reform can be shown to have stopped this particular act, this shooting has nothing to do with the merits of your reform.

  • Rich||

    You heartless bastard!

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    Have we seen any yet that accomplishes this? It is incredibly infuriating to see all of these proposals (reinstating the Federal Assault Weapon ban for example) that would not have prevented the shooting.

    At least propose giant magnets at all school entrances or something.

  • John||

    http://www.nationalreview.com/.....ck-brennan

    Soledad O'Brien speaking with John Lott of the more guns less crime book. Watch this and weep. O'Brian has no grasp of or interest in any actual facts. All she has is the religious faith of "well you can't believe that". Then these idiots have the nerve to claim they want a "conversation" about guns. No they don't.

  • Rich||

    This. I happened to see O'Brien "talking with" a Republican congresscreature the other day. The contrast between calm reason and blind zealotry was truly jarring.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: John,

    I am seeing the video and I just want to slap that woman in the face. She's not addressing any of the points that John Lott is saying and just comes out with these non sequiturs that seem to want to say that anybody who comes out with facts about shootings and guns must be a heartless wacko. She's genuinely befuddled by someone citing facts about shootings. It's incredible. I really am looking at this video with my jaw wide open.

  • wareagle||

    that is pretty much standard Soledad. Facts only confuse her and logic is a foreign concept. There is her dogma and stupid/evil/other-ad-hominem.

  • Brandon||

    Some don't even say they want a "conversation."

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....13088.html

  • Romulus Augustus||

    I'm sure there are broken-hearted parents and friends in Pakistan and Yemen too. But they are just "collateral damage" on the WoT so why should Our Glorious Leader's supporters give a crap about them?

  • OldMexican||

    And it will get crazier by the minute, count on it. On Facebok, my liberal sister posted several liberal talking points about how we need stricter access to guns and why would we need military-grade weapons if the government already has tanks and drones (quite an extraordinary admission from her that her own government is simply too powerful to fight.)

    This morning on the Joe Pags show, a caller was asking why would people need machine guns and that they should be banned. Seems like he never heard of the National Firearms Act of 1934. The caller was obviously confusing the AR15 Bushmaster with a machinegun, or he simply was totally clueless about weapons.

    There has been several massacres in different places around the world where firearms were NOT the weapon of choice. What makes all these attacks similar is that the targets were known to not have any capability for self-defense, like the attack on a child care facility in Belgium by some nut armed with a knife, back in 2009.

    The fact is that there's only ONE way to reduce the opportunity for lone crazies to create these statements of violence, and that is to allow people to arm themselves so they can present more capable resistance and show a greater deterrent factor. Just stop advertising which places are free target shooting galleries so the potential perpetrator has to think twice about what he is about to do.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    We agree.

    There must be something to this Mayan crap after all.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Palin's Buttwipe,

    There must be something to this Mayan crap after all.


    We agree: you exist. Thus, the omen is clear.

  • Jordan||

    How about this: if you think guns are icky and "gun free zone" signs magically prevent crime, then post one of those signs in your yard. Oh, and if someone magically manages to infiltrate your gun free zone, you can't call for men with guns to come help.

  • Nuked||

    I like this idea. Lets get this going as a petition on whitehouse.gov

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Lay off the paint thinner, Shreeek.

  • ||

    Suggestion: Mandatory liability insurance as a condition for getting a gun license.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: HazelMeade,

    TWO things, Hazel:

    a) The government would simply set impossible minimum liability floors thus making legal gun possession more difficult.

    b) Insurers do not insure sure things.

  • ||

    Inurers will insure anything they can make a profit off of.

  • John||

    So poor people can't afford to exercise their rights and defend themselves?

    How about mandatory liability insurance to print a newspaper or run a blog?

  • ||

    Does printing a newspaper or running a blog impose the risk of death or injury on others? Be serious.

    Anyway, if you do the math the annual premium comes out to under $100 per gun. The probability of any given gun being used in a violent crime in any given year is quite low.

  • John||

    What would be the point Hazel? IF I am a crazed murderer, I am not really going to give a shit that my insurance rates will go up after I kill a few 1st graders.

  • ||

    The insurance company could require a psychiatric evaluation before insuring people, thereby screening the mentally unstable out of gun ownership.

  • John||

    The insurance company could require a psychiatric evaluation before insuring people, thereby screening the mentally unstable out of gun ownership.

    And said unstable people would never steal a gun or buy one off the black market? Have you lost your mind? Has your brain gone soft?

  • ||

    And said unstable people would never steal a gun or buy one off the black market?

    They might, but it would definitely cut down on the numbers. I don't think it's that easy to get a black market gun if you aren't connected in some way to a gang , or have some other criminal connections. And mentally ill people don't tend to have a large social network that can hook them up with weapons.

  • Redmanfms||

    Private sales are effectively "black market."

    I would purely love to see how exactly you propose your little insurance scam will overcome that fact with proposing ANOTHER statist anti-liberty diktat.

  • R C Dean||

    The insurance company could require a psychiatric evaluation before insuring people, thereby screening the mentally unstable out of gun ownership.

    Oh, I have the feeling the Americans with Disabilities Act might have something to say about that. Namely, "You want to deny insurance to someone because of a disability? I don't think so."

  • ||

    So start a charity fund to buy gun insurance for the mentally ill. See if anyone donates.

  • Jordan||

    Does printing a newspaper or running a blog impose the risk of death or injury on others? Be serious.

    Neither does owning a gun.

  • ||

    Yes it does. Don't be stupid John.

  • An0nB0t||

    What are you arguing here? That guns in the home are dangerous? Relative to what, bathtubs, swimming pools, or gas cans filled with explosive liquid? Given the numbers on hand, this entire line of thought is sensationalist and absurd.

  • Redmanfms||

    What dipshit here is arguing is that the risk of a criminal stealing your gun and then using it to shoot somebody should be insured against. No shit. This dumb cunt is arguing that you, as a victim of crime (theft of firearm), are responsible for the subsequent criminal actions committed by a third party with your (stolen) gun.

  • ||

    Actually if you have a gas can filled with explosive liquid and it is improperly stored, you CAN be held civilly liable for damages if it blows up.

  • Redmanfms||

    Actually if you have a gas can filled with explosive liquid and it is improperly stored, you CAN be held civilly liable for damages if it blows up.

    Foreseeable consequence of a direct action.

    Again, you are proposing that the citizens be held liable for the criminal actions of another because they themselves were victims of criminal behavior. Not even remotely the same fucking thing.

    You are either mendacious or just plain stupid.

  • ||

    If you leave your gun unsecured and it's stolen that's not a forseeable consequence?

  • Redmanfms||

    How can I foresee criminal action?

    Fuck me you are God-damned stupid.


    I see you that now at least you are not denying that what you are proposing is, in fact, making people resonsible for the actions of others.

  • ||

    Yes, how you could POSSIBLY FORESEE that leaving a loaded gun lying around in plain view might result in it getting stolen. How could ANYONE possibly forsee THAT?

  • Redmanfms||

    "Yes, how could you POSSIBLY FORESEE that leaving a fueled car in plain view might result in it getting stolen. How could ANYONE possibly forsee (sic) THAT?"

    Damn you are fucking stupid.

    Nobody, other than you, is proposing leaving "a loaded gun lying around."

  • RBS||

    How did you reach your $100/year per gun figure?

  • ||

    Back of the envelope calculation ....
    Number of homicdes per year. Number of guns stolen per year. Percentage of homocides commited with a stolen gun. Total number of guns owned. Estimated civil liability if your gun is used to commit a murder.

    It's in the thread below from last night. I don't care to repeat it all here.

  • R C Dean||

    Here's the deal: nobody, and I mean nobody, insures against the commission of criminal acts by the policyholder. Its actually illegal as against public policy.

    So no insurance held by a gun owner is ever going to pay out because the gun owner committed a crime, or because someone else committed a crime with his gun.

    So what's the point of the insurance, other than to penalize gun owners with a pointless financial burden?

  • ||

    You can insure against the possibility of the gun going off accidentally, or being stolen and used to commit crimes. Or used by an unstable family member.

    You can't insure against an individual deliberately using it to commit a crime, but arguably if the person pleads insanity sucessfully, and is held civilly liable, the insurance could cover that. Though it would necessarily be very hard to get the insurance if you have a history of violence or mental problems.
    That's a feature not a bug.

  • Jordan||

    How about mandatory liability insurance for gas cans and lighters? Or chlorine bleach and ammonia? It's pretty easy to kill large numbers of people with those.

    Or mandatory liability insurance for cars that do not drive on public roads, since junior could still take it for a joyride and plow into a crowd of people.

  • ||

    We already have mandatory liability insurance for cars. You have to certify that the car is not operational to get out of it in some states.

    The probability of gas cans, lighters, etc. being used to kill people is small compared to the probability of a gun beingg used to kill someone.

    Anyway, the person who kills someone with them would still be liable for the damages.

  • Jordan||

    Anyway, the person who kills someone with them would still be liable for the damages.

    So you're not held liable if you kill someone with a gun?

  • ||

    Yes, you are. But owning a gun increases the probability that you will kill someone either yourself, accidentally, or someone else using the gun.

  • RBS||

    Owning a knife increases the probability that you will kill someone either yourself, accidentally, or someone else using the knife.

  • Jordan||

    And owning a gas can increases the probability you will commit arson.

  • ||

    Owning a gas can or a knife isn't nearly as big of a risk to other people as owning a gun.

  • Jordan||

    The probability of gas cans, lighters, etc. being used to kill people is small compared to the probability of a gun beingg used to kill someone.

    Well then the insurance should be cheap then.

  • ||

    Well, yes. It would be.

  • Redmanfms||

    Well then the insurance should be cheap then.

    Only if you're wealthy.

    If you live in a poor, high-crime area (you know, someplace that you might have a greater need to actually own a firearm) either the insurance or the "reasonable, responsible" means of securing the firearm will be so expensive as to price poor people out of the market.

    But I'm sure that's a feature to this statist cunt, and not a bug.

  • ||

    By my calculations the average annual insurance premium would be around $40. If you secured your guns properly, that would probably be lower.
    I don't think that is pricing poor people out of the market.

    If the risk of someone stealing your gun is so high that you can't afford to pay the insurnace, maybe you shouldn't own a gun.

  • Redmanfms||

    If the risk of someone stealing your gun is so high that you can't afford to pay the insurnace, maybe you shouldn't own a gun.

    Suspicion confirmed.

    Fuck off slaver.

  • ||

    Noted. You don't want to take any responsibility for the costs you impose on others.

    Moocher.

  • Redmanfms||

    You don't want to take any responsibility for the costs you impose on others.

    Because I'm responsible for the criminal actions of others....

  • ||

    You created the possibility for the gun to be stolen.

  • Redmanfms||

    By owning it....

    Your total lack of self-awareness and circular reasoning is stultifying.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    We already have mandatory liability insurance for cars.

    Not in N.H. we don't.

    Kindly fuck off.

  • IceTrey||

    There's no such thing as a gun license.

  • Redmanfms||

    Yeah, your little "suggestion" was handily disposed of yesterday dipshit.

  • Shirley Knott||

    All this focus on zombies has distracted us from the real problem facing us today.
    Ghouls.

    Ghouls and opportunists, the lot of them. Not that that's a binary distinction by any stretch of the imagination.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    a condition for getting a gun license.

    FAIL.

    Put the pointy hat on and go sit in the corner.

  • OldMexican||

    Idiot's corner:

    "No Hunting On King's Grounds" - Costa Rica Bans Hunting

    SAN JOSE, Dec 10 (Reuters) - Costa Rica on Monday became the first Latin American country to ban hunting as a sport, following an unanimous and final vote from Congress.

    Lawmakers had provisionally approved a reform to its Wildlife Conservation law back in October. With a population of 4.5 million people, Costa Rica is one of the world's most biodiverse nations.

    The Central American country is already known for its environmental mindset, with some 25 percent of its land protected as national parks or reserves.

    Under the new law, those caught hunting can face up to four months in prison or fines of up to $3,000.


    Please don't read the comments.

  • Virginian||

    Once spoke with a leftist who wanted hunting banned. I then asked how we would manage the game population. She had no idea what I meant. So I explained that since we exterminated the grizzlies and the wolves here in VA, the natural predators of the deer don't exist. So the state uses the deer hunting season to keep the herd in balance with the carrying capacity of the land.

    So then she said they should hire hunters to kill deer and keep the population in check.

    There is literally nothing a leftist will not support as long as some guy collecting a government paycheck is doing it. Private citizens hunting deer for meat in a regulated system? Bad. Government employees shooting deer and leaving the carcass? Good.

  • An0nB0t||

    To be fair, not all of them are so stupid as to propose turning a revenue-generating solution into an expenditure.

    I've had several--half-educated anti-frankenfood statists, the lot of them--say that they would rather just have the deer die of starvation, as this is the most "natural" way for them to go. I didn't have the stomach to ask what they thought of "unnatural" petrochemical fertilizers used to feed a couple of billion who would otherwise starve or why they believe that humanity isn't part of nature.

  • Brandon||

    What comments?

  • The Late P Brooks||

    if you do the math the annual premium comes out to under $100 per gun.

    Oh, how generous of you to decide what constitutes a "reasonable" use for my money.

  • ||

    I think it's reasonable for you to pay something for imposing a risk upon others against their will.

    This is straight-forward libertarian theory. You can do whatever you want, but you assume responsibility for paying compensation if you harm others.

    In cases where the risk is small but the potential damages large, you carry liability insurance.

  • RBS||

    There is nothing libertarian about mandated liability insurance.

  • John||

    Owning a gun is not imposing risk on others. By that logic, my mere existence, since there is some non trivial chance I might some day harm someone either by accident or because I finally blow a fuse, is imposing risk upon others. Should you have to carry liability insurance for living?

  • Jordan||

    By that logic, anyone with a penis should have to buy liability insurance since they are increasing a woman's risk of being raped.

  • Jeff||

    You're right. They should have to, and if they don't then WAR ON WOMYNZ!!!!1

  • ||

    You don't have to carry liability insurance for low-cost events. Only for those things that you would be unable to compensate people for out of pocket.

    If you want to set up a chemical plant in a residential neighborhood, you should be free to do so, but you should be liable if the plant blows up and kills everyone in the neighborhood.

    But because the potential damages are so large, you should either have enough cash on hand to cover them (unlikely) or purchase liability insurance capable of covering the damages.

    Yeah, walking aorund and breathing DOES impose risks upon others, but the costs of everyday activities are so small you could reasonably compensate people for harming them in small ways without purchasing insurance. That's what Coasian bargianing is all about. I put in a pig farm next door, I have to pay you for imposing the smell. (Or you can pay me to leave).

    By contrast. If I put in a bomb-making factory next door, I may not have enough money to pay for the damages. So I have to have liability insurance.

    Owning a gun creates a small risk of very large damages that you could not possibly pay for yourself.

  • Gray Ghost||

    I cannot believe, after reading the ass-kicking you took last night and this morning on this subject, that you are continuing with this idea. You normally are better than this.

    Further, I cannot believe you are equating the risk of harm of operating a chemical plant or an explosives factory with the risk that one individual's firearm will be used in a crime. As Tulpa pointed out in the other thread, we already have laws against, and find liable, behavior that is grossly negligent (e.g., leaving your loaded Glock on the coffee table with a room of 5 year olds.) You are proposing expanding liability to a class of people who have been the victim of a crime and haven't been grossly negligent with safeguarding their weapons.

    Note, I said reasonable, not all. It is unreasonable to expect a firearms owner to also have a fully locked vault in which to safeguard the weapons. As also pointed out in the other thread, to mandate that pretty much excludes most apartment dwellers from owning a firearm. This too may be a feature for you.

    Moreover, how do you plan on enforcing this? I don't see how you can do this without annual audits of the storage situation and a full accounting of all firearms, ammunition, and components.

  • Gray Ghost||

    Damned edit feature. Reasonable was meant to apply to someone taking reasonable precautions to store their firearms. I don't think you could even be found liable for having your firearms stolen out of your home, provided you were reasonable in securing them, and Hazel wants mandated insurance for this proposed liability?

    I don't get it. And your continuing to bring up Nozick, who didn't descend from Sinai with the holy precepts of Libertarianism, isn't helping your argument.

  • ||

    Again, if you secure your guns properly your insurance costs should be low.

    Or are you going to back up gun control advocates by saying that the risk of somdone dying from any gun getting stolen is so great nobody could possibly afford to pay the costs?

    All this system does is assign the cost of gun ownership back to the gun owners, according to otherwise widely accepted free-market economic principles, instead of imposing those costs unwillingly upon others.

    If the risk of gun ownership is low then that will be reflected in low insurance premiums. if the risk of gun ownership is high then the premums will be high. Let the market work out who is safe enough to own a gun and who isn't.

  • Redmanfms||

    Jesus dap-dancing Christ.

    THIS "SYSTEM" ASSIGN THE COST OF CRIMINAL ACTIVITY ON THE PEOPLE WHO DIDN'T COMMIT THE FUCKING CRIME!!!!!

  • ||

    You mean the ass-kicking I gave.

    My opponents can't seem to respond with anything other than name calling. And they are grossly uneducated about what libertarian philosophy has to say on this subject.

  • Redmanfms||

    My opponents can't seem to respond with anything other than name calling. And they are grossly uneducated about what libertarian philosophy has to say on this subject.

    We started calling you out for being the stupid shithead you are because you abjectly refused to counter the arguments proffered, choosing instead to repeat the same shit over and over again, or construct strawmen whith which to argue.

    And appeal to authority.

    I'll say it again, mandating the purchase of a product through government fiat IS NOT libertarian, IS NOT free market, and deferring to fucking Nozick is not fucking evidence that it is.

  • ||

    You're too stupid to understand the philosophy that you claim to adhere to.

    You can disagree with Nozick if you want, but you can't claim that this isn't a libertarian idea. Because it is.

  • Redmanfms||

    You can disagree with Nozick if you want, but you can't claim that this isn't a libertarian idea. Because it is.

    Government mandating purchase of a product is a libertarian/free market idea? Really?

    Like Obamacare, right?

  • ||

    You're surely aware that the idea of mandatory insurance came from the Heritage foundation, right?

    That's because it evolved out of the Nozickian argument for liability insurance of risky activities.

    Now, ObamaCare took that tiny kernel and loaded it up with a shit ton of other bullshit, but the basic idea of requiring people to carry liability insurance if they are going to enage in high-risk activities (as an alternative to banning them) originates from Nozick.

  • Redmanfms||

    You're surely aware that the idea of mandatory insurance came from the Heritage foundation, right?

    HF is conservative.

    But again, with the appeals to ridicule.

  • Redmanfms||

    Edit: Apeeals to authority.

    I have sole authority to ridicule here!

  • ||

    Because conservatives never get any ideas from libertarians?

  • Redmanfms||

    Because conservatives never get any ideas from libertarians?

    So what if they do?

    So tell me again, how exactly is the individual mandate of Obamacare libertarian or free market?

  • The Late P Brooks||

    They're working on all this awesome black box technology for cars, maybe the government, in the interest of SAFETY can force all gun owners to buy and install devices which allow the weapon to be controlled from a central government bunker. You'll just have to call in and ask for permission to fire. Once you prove you are the approved owner of the gun, and you have a legitimate reason to fire it, permission will be granted (maybe).

    If you want to go hunting, for example, you just feed in the details from your tag, with GPS coordinates defining the intended location of use, and the nice man from the Ministry of Prophylaxis can unlock your breech to allow you to fire the weapon. Of course, if you're fishing or hiking out in the back country, and a grizzly bear comes out of the willows, you might have a problem. Better have them on speed dial.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I think it's reasonable for you to pay something for imposing a risk upon others against their will.

    Gibberish.

    Try again.

  • R C Dean||

    Mere ownership imposes no risk on others.

    You cannot insure against the harm done by criminal activity.

    Someone who is shot in self-defense has no claim for damages.

    So we're really only talking about insuring against accidents here, aren't we?

    And, we're talking about denying insurance to the mentally disabled, that is, people who are otherwise legally able to obtain a gun because they haven't been adjudicated a risk to others.

    C'mon, Hazel, are you seriously saying we need to deny gun ownership to a class of people who have had no due process, because of the vanishingly small chance they may have an accident?

  • Redmanfms||

    C'mon, Hazel, are you seriously saying we need to deny gun ownership to a class of people who have had no due process, because of the vanishingly small chance they may have an accident?

    Actually she's proposing that an entire class of people be denied firearms ownership BECAUSE OF THE CRIMINAL ACTIONS OF ANOTHER PARTY.

  • ||

    Accidents AND the possibility of the gun getting stolen, and maybe to a certain extent having a mental breakdown. You should have your guns locked up to prevent theft, and if you don't then you should bear some liability if someone steals them a kills someone with them.

    Most murders are commited with stolen guns.

  • Redmanfms||

    Most murders are commited with stolen guns.

    So fucking what you viciously stupid cunt?

    The murderer is the person responsible for their activity, not the victim of another crime.

    Fuck me, you are as vapid and mendacious as Shriek or Spaces.

  • ||

    If you're an irresponsible dipshit and you leave a loaded gun on the coffee table and some kid takes it and kills the neighbor lady, you're saying you should have ZERO legal liability for that?

  • Redmanfms||

    If "some kid" is engaged in illegal activity by breaking into my house (BTW, opening an unlocked door is "breaking") and steals my gun, I am not liable.

    It is a totally different scenario if "some kid" is actually under my guardianship.

    Tell me, is Walmart equally liable if I leave an unloaded gun on the coffee table and "some kid" has to steal the ammunition to kill the neighbor lady?

  • ||

    If "some kid" is engaged in illegal activity by breaking into my house (BTW, opening an unlocked door is "breaking") and steals my gun, I am not liable.

    This is where your point of view descends into pure insanity.
    If I invite theft by leaving my door unlocked and a loaded gun sitting on the table, ready for anyone to take, then year, you're responsible.

    As a gun owner you should be legally responsible for making sure that gun does not fall into the wrong hands. That include securing it against theft.

  • Redmanfms||

    And we're back to the insanity of your entire proposal:

    Making people liable for the criminal actions of another.

    Auto insurance doesn't cover what is done with the car after it leaves my possession, and no insurance company would EVER offer a policy that did.

  • ||

    No. Making people responsible for properly securing a dangerous weapon to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands.

    If you can't keep track of your guns, you shouldn't have them.

  • Redmanfms||

    Making people responsible for properly securing a dangerous weapon to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands.

    But that's not what you are proposing.

    You are proposing that the gun owner be held liable for the damages incurred by actions subsequent to the theft.

  • ||

    I think the civil courts should be allowed to decide if and to what extent a gun owner should be held liable for the civil damages. That means you get a jury or your peers to decide if you were sufficiently negligent or not.

    The insurance costs are subsequent to what the juries decide to award. You get insurance to cover the civil damages. If the damages tend to be low, then the insurance rates will be low.

  • Gray Ghost||

    I really don't understand what you're driving at. Even Massachusetts doesn't extend a finding of actionable negligence and therefore, liability, to a homeowner who has their unsecured weapons stolen from their home by a burglar. They did allow liability (or at least, didn't dismiss the case on summary judgment) for a homeowner who didn't secure a 3rd party's weapons when a mental patient had unrestricted access to the property by himself. See, Jupin v. Kask, 447 Mass. 141 (2006). N.H., on a similar case, declined to find the homeowner negligent.

    You are proposing extending negligence to a homeowner who didn't secure weapons from all parties, invited or not, that were able to access the property, even if the party had to trespass or break and enter the property? Do you have any idea how big of an extension of liability that is over the current situation? You also want to mandate the purchase of insurance to cover this extension of liability, and have yet to address the giant infringement on privacy this would entail.

  • Gray Ghost||

    Just to get an idea of the MA court's risk assessment, they cited another case calling rifles "highly dangerous instrumentalit[ies]" in the same category of highly dangerous activities as dealing with "explosives, poisonous drugs, and high tension electricity. (Jupin, at 151.) Despite this they still didn't come out and say that a homeowner was negligent for failing to secure their firearms from a burglar, taking pains to mention repeatedly the knowledge of the homeowner about the unrestricted access that "a young adult with a history of violence and mental instability" had to their house. (He was the defendant's husband's son.)

    Now, cynically, I wouldn't doubt that MA would stop at extending liability to what you suggest, Hazel---probably under the same public policy bullshit that brought dram shop liability into being, which the court cited in support of denying Kask's summary judgment motion---but it currently would be a large expansion of what is considered negligence. And this is in MA.

    If your going to continue down this path, may I at least recommend you cite from one of Professor Andrew McClurg's papers on the subject? It'd help.

  • Gray Ghost||

    your -- you're. Blah, blah, where's my fucking edit button already?

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Will we require all homosexuals to carry liability insurance due to the probability that they could conceivably in some unspecified manner infect some unsuspecting passer-by with AIDS?

    If not, why not?

  • ||

    Getting HIV isn't a voluntary choice. Purchasing a gun is.

  • Rhywun||

    I have never been very interested in the issue of guns but holy crap. The more things I see in recent days like the nauseating shrine to citizen disarmament that is today's cover of the NY Daily News, the more obvious it is that these people couldn't care less about "facts" or even "making sense". They are completely unhinged from reality

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Inurers will insure anything they can make a profit off of.

    And if the government GUARANTEES that profit, all the better, eh?

  • RBS||

    Dude, it's completely libertarian. Hazel said so.

  • Redmanfms||

    Hazel said so.

    Well, (s)he said so because Nozick said so.

  • ||

    Yes it is completely libertarian. Nozick argued for it, and Nozick wrote on of the major philosophical texts of the libertarian movement. And this is the exact argument he makes in that text.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    these people couldn't care less about "facts" or even "making sense". They are completely unhinged from reality

    "Guns are SCARY, children. Mmmmmkay?"

  • The Late P Brooks||

    The insurance company could require a psychiatric evaluation before insuring people, thereby screening the mentally unstable out of gun ownership.

    WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG?

  • ||

    You can shop around if one insurance company denies you. It's the free market.

    If you can't get flood insurance for your beach house, maybe you shouldn't live there.

  • Redmanfms||

    It's the free market.

    Yup, nothing more "free market" than government-mandated insurance.

    If you can't get flood insurance for your beach house, maybe you shouldn't live there.

    You clearly have no idea how flood insurance works.

  • Raston Bot||

    UNSUBSCRIBE

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement