Good lord! A letter to the editor published in a major newspaper that actually makes an interesting point in an intelligent manner. Who knew such a thing was possible? The pitch: In light of the ongoing re-regulation debate happening in the District of Columbia right now, why not consider requiring/encouraging gun owners to get liability insurance?:
Responsible gun owners could procure insurance from reputable companies; those whom society would least want to own guns would have difficulty obtaining it at reasonable cost, if at all.
It seems possible that the letter writer finds the proposal appealing because he thinks it will result in fewer people owning guns. Whatever his desired outcome, though, his thought process is solid. Where possible, why not let insurance companies figure out just how much trouble some people are likely to cause, and which guns they're likely to cause it with? The idea's not novel. The product already exists—you can pick up a policy through the NRA, for instance.
This wouldn't take a dent out of illegal gun ownership, of course. But neither do most existing gun control measures or bans on certain makes and models. Assuming the measure drives only a minimal number of people into the black market and/or that it is installed in place of other absolute bans on certain types of guns, it seems like a possible net gain for gun freedom to me.
There's a lively debate going on over at DCist, if you're interested in what the common people have to say about all this.