The Second Amendment is an individual right that is fully applicable to the states. Though there have been moves to outright restrict this right, it would seem that California is trying something a bit more “clever”: Requiring that gun owners be insured.
While anti-2nd Amendment civil liberties advocates point out that drivers have to be insured, the ridiculousness of this argument is manifest and been belittled by others. Of course, unlike the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, particular means of transportation are not specifically protected by the Bill of Rights.
Placing undue burdens on our Constitutionally protected rights by requiring heavy taxation or mandating expensive insurance is injurious to those rights. Would the proponents of this mandatory insurance be happy to require insurance for people exercising their freedom of speech or of the press? After all, if a newspaper says something libelous, or an individual falsely cries “fire” in a crowded theater, they could inflict costs upon others?
Sadly, Connecticut is considering the route of imposing a special 10% tax on “violent video games.” While it is a tax, and not an insurance requirement, it is nonetheless intended to be a financial burden on disfavored speech. The state punishing speech it does not like is odious to liberty, just as it is odious when the state punished any exercise of a Constitutional right when it is exercised in a way the state does not like.
It begs the question: When will some legislator impost a tax on people who do not want soldier to be quartered in their homes? If one of the Articles of the Bill of Rights can be so burdened, than they all can, including the 3rd Amendment.
Coming back to the proposed insurance requirement to exercise one’s 2nd Amendment rights, the proponents claim that it is meant to offset the financial damage done by those who use their guns in a crime. Of course, most people who use gun in crimes won’t register their guns, let alone get insurance. But if the state can insist that people be insured against the misuse of a firearm because of the monetary damage they do, should not the opposite be true: If a person lethally uses a gun in self-defense, then they should be compensated for the amount of money they save the state due to the state not needing to pay for a lifetime of imprisonment?
It’s only fair, isn’t it?