Gun Control from an Economist’s Perspective

Firearms have the capacity to do harm to others. So along with the right to own weapons comes the responsibility to help ensure that they are not used for that purpose. There are, of course, valid reasons for using for them, like when there is a threat to one’s life, that of the members of the household or one’s property, or for hunting and recreational purposes.

The essence of this proposal is to acknowledge the right of anyone to bear arms as long as they are competent to do so. Along with that right, however, comes their role and responsibility to attempt to ensure the arms do not do harm to others and if they do, to compensate those who were injured. The following proposed program are designed to accomplish those ends.

Currently the real and financial burden of gun violence falls on those who are injured and their families, on non-gun owners, and on taxpayers. It also requires additional funding to to cover the costs of the police, other first responders and others who provide help and of the resources required to recover from the harm done by gun violence.

The proposed program has three components:

• The first is a registry that identifies all gun owners and the firearms they own and provides for a background check to ensure that they are competent to own those weapons. As a first step the flaws in the current system that make accomplishing those objective harder must be corrected.

• The second is to establish a pool to compensate those who are harmed by the illegal use of those weapons.

• The third is a gun buyback program to create the incentive for gun owners to give up their weapons, especially those that can be used in mass murders.

If no guns were in private hands there would be no need for these programs. Rather than placing the burden of the cost of gun violence on the victims and taxpayers, the objective of these programs is to transfer some of the costs to those who elect to own guns and the suppliers of firearms and their paraphernalia.The purpose is to make gun violence less likely and to compensate those who are harmed by it.

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The Role of the NRA in Protecting Gun Owners Rights

For those of us who are old enough to remember and for those who have read the history, in the height of the Depression in the 1930s NRA stood for National Recovery Act — not National Rifle Association.

Today’s NRA nominally promotes the rights under the Second Amendment of the Constitution of those who choose to hold guns for self protection. In fact, it is a highly sophisticated lobbying organization of gun manufacturers, importers and dealers who masquerade under the guise of that right.

Today’s NRA has become a very powerful and effective lobbying organization that promotes the corporate interests of manufacturers, importers and dealers of weapons, paraphernalia and bullets. They have been very effective at the federal, state and local levels influencing the legislative and judicial system in introducing private interests laws that do not protect the public interest. In doing so they pervert the legitimate right of gun owners.

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