In the wake of the mass shootings that killed 34 people across California, Texas and Ohio over the past few weeks, legislators on both sides of the aisle have been pushing for gun reform. Our so-called “president” on the other hand blames “violent” video games for the problem and would rather regulate those than piss off the NRA, which is responsible for millions of dollars in donations to Trump’s campaign, as well as the campaigns of other members of the GOP swamp.
Despite Trump’s ridiculous attempts at distracting the public from what’s really happening, this hasn’t stopped many elected officials from proposing much-needed plans to help keep our children and the general population safe from evil people who can too easily get access to firearms.
On Monday, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo introduced a city ordinance that would require gun owners to either obtain insurance for their firearms or pay a fee that supports the public cost of gun violence — San Jose is just a few miles from where the shooting took place at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in July, where 3 people were killed.
According to Axios:
‘If approved by the city council, the measure would require San Jose gun owners to have private liability insurance.
‘If such insurance is not available, or if an individual is not able to purchase coverage, firearm owners could pay a fee intended to help cover the costs to city police and emergency services related to gun violence.
‘That payment would need to be protected with strict privacy standards, possibly using blockchain technology, to comply with California’s state law that precludes local governments from establishing gun registries.’
In a statement announcing the proposal, Mayor Liccardo said:
‘A mayor doesn’t have the luxury of just offering ‘thoughts and prayers’—we have to solve problems. While this is far from a complete solution, it is something we can do to reduce the harms of firearms, without waiting for Congress to take action.
Under current Supreme Court rulings, the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution protects the right to keep and bear arms. However, the Constitution does not require taxpayers to subsidize that individual choice. The cost of city police and emergency services required to address gun violence should be paid by gun owners, not all taxpayers.’
Mayor Liccardo makes a good point — his strategy is definitely comparable to the “harm reduction” plans that have lowered smoking rates as well as the rate of death and injury from car accidents.
Liccardo went on to say:
‘We require motorists to carry automobile insurance, and the insurance industry appropriately encourages and rewards safe driver behavior.
‘We tax tobacco consumption both to discourage risky behavior and to make sure non-smokers are not forced to subsidize the substantial public health costs generated by smoking-related illnesses and deaths. These successful public health models inspire a similar ‘harm reduction’ approach for firearms.’
It remains to be seen whether this new ordinance will pass, but as the first of its kind, if it does, it stands to reason that many other cities will follow suit. If that happens, we may finally be able to light a fire under Congress. They’ve been dragging their feet on this for way too long.
Featured image via screenshot