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Gun Control: Insuring Safety This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

When President Obama announced that the time had come to reopen the national dialogue on gun control, immediately following the horrific shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the result was as predictable as cloudy days in the Pacific Northwest. Both sides put on their boxing gloves and retreated to their respective corners. The naive and hopelessly optimistic audience waved their colors on the sidelines. Everyone held their breath awaiting the (also predictable) statement from the National Rifle Association. A few politicians ventured into the ring with tentative statements supporting one side or the other.

And then there was silence.

The stalemate that followed was a direct result of the collective fear of political suicide that accompanies issues such as gun control. Sure, individuals like former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords are forgiven their strong stance on the issue. She was shot in the head, after all – who can blame her for promoting gun control? Most legislators, however, approach the issue with great caution.

To find a solution for this impasse, we need look no further than the analogous health care debate. The sides had fiercely held their ideological banners high there as well. What transpired was the ultimate sell-out on the American people. This mockery of a law is so watered down that it does little to assist wage-earning uninsured Americans.

The reason for this is the proponents of health care reform, with genuinely good intentions, allowed the opponents of health care reform to leave the wolf in the hen house. In other words, they left the insurance companies in the mix. As long as these corporations, with their unabashed profit motive, are part of the health care system, we will never have affordable health care for the masses.

However, when it comes to gun control, maybe insurance companies could actually help solve the issue. Congress could pass a law requiring that to legally own a firearm, one must have insurance on the weapon. If that gun were ever involved in a crime, the insurance company would be liable for damages. This is a system we already use to insure automobiles, so the means are in place.

The insurance companies, not Congress (which clearly lack the intestinal fortitude for the task of controlling gun use) would decide who may and may not possess a gun. Let's say someone has a history of mental illness. Will the insurance company insure him? I doubt it; the financial risk is too great. Would they allow high-capacity magazines and assault weapons? We'd have to wait and see. It is interesting how when an issue is reduced to financial risk complex issues suddenly become simple and much clearer.

Now, if we can just figure out how to solve climate change with insurance companies, we'll really be on to something.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.





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This article has 3 comments. Post your own!

ldz96 said...
Apr. 8, 2013 at 11:18 am:
Read your article. Very in depth and loaded with mature content. But I've just one question, what about the black market. If someone is really determined on shooting someone, they would do whatever necessary to obtain a weapon, no? For example, if you were to maybe, buy drugs, and you're short on cash, would you only look upon borrowing cash from a bank as the only means of getting money? Or would you steal or rob or whatever to get the money? Thanks!! :)
 
AngelaMB This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Apr. 14, 2013 at 2:50 pm :
Thank you for your kind comment, sorry it has taken me so long to reply. I can see where you're coming from, I do not believe that gun control can solve all of the nation's homocide problems however I do believe it can help. Sure there will be a black market (there is today), but what we are seeing these days is that most of the weapons used in shootings are legally obtained. Many of the shooters are mentally ill and not necessarily determined on shooting someone. Looking at other places... (more »)
 
jojo_d replied...
today at 10:44 am :
Great article!  Really enjoyed the fluidity of the introduction, awesome!  Keep pursuing this topic, it's very important that the government hears the voices of the children concerned about this issue.
 
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