More than 50 dead, more than 500 injured. We lack the will to stop it but, we should try to reduce the suffering.

We, the citizens of Louisiana, have recognized that automobiles can cause serious economic loss. Our response was to create laws requiring automobile owners to carry liability insurance on their automobiles to protect others from any such economic losses that their automobile may cause. The government does not determine the risks (driver or vehicle) and therefore the appropriate cost. Insurance companies evaluate the risks of the individual and the vehicle and assign appropriate costs.

Over the years, the laws have been refined with exacting standards as to what is covered, how they are applied, and what the appropriate penalties must be. When a Louisiana citizen is the victim of a firearm (killed or injured) there are serious economic losses. Among them: medical costs, income lost, quality of life lost. These costs are mostly born by the victims directly, and sometimes by the citizens of Louisiana if the victim can’t pay.

Perhaps now is the time to consider requiring firearm owners to carry liability insurance. The current laws pertaining to automobiles can serve as a helpful guide (i.e. car dealers require proof of insurance before you can leave with the car, failure to maintain insurance can result in seizure or ticketing etc.). I note that without proper legal notice of title change or theft, the last legal owner of an automobile retains financial liability.

The free market (insurance companies) will determine the risks associated with individual owners and individual firearms and determine how much the insurance for particular firearms will cost.

Liability insurance in no way is intended to limit access to or ownership of any automobile and should not limit access to or ownership of any firearm (see laws pertaining to automobiles). Liability insurance would only recognize that firearms can cause serious economic losses and that the owners should accept their responsibility to protect any subsequent victims from loss.

Hubert Smith

retired mechanical engineer