The United States has some of the most liberal gun ownership laws in the world. In this case, we mean liberal in its technical sense: permissive. There might actually be more guns in Canada, but the variety of guns that Americans are able to legally own is much wider.
But gun control advocates looking to put the kibosh on gun ownership are not afraid to use less-than-truthful methods to limit gun ownership. They exploit every tragedy to promote their agenda. They lie about statistics to make gun violence seem much worse than it is and to make the use of guns for self-defense seem foolish and ineffective. They shame people, call them names and try to damage their reputations. They do this through television shows, music, films, and fake news. And they’re very, very good at it. They make guns seem both dreadful and taboo. They make gun owners seem crazy and irresponsible.
Where they cannot change the laws, they lie. But there are more ways to hurt an industry than just pushing a political agenda. They can also manipulate business culture. One of the ways this is being done is by stigmatizing business credit processing services that serve gun manufacturers and firearms merchants. Gun shops have a very hard time getting reliable credit processing services because gun sellers are looked on as too high a risk. They are also seen as bad for public relations. Hmm, why would that be?
Another way that gun control advocates are seeking to hinder the ability of Americans to own guns is by influencing insurance companies. This could be the most significant form of less-than-truthful gun control that the left has managed to wield to date.
The insurance industry is one of the most heavily regulated industries in the country. It is also especially vulnerable to changes in the culture. The regulations that affect the insurance industry are controlled largely on the state level. The way insurance works is by assessing the risk profile of prospective policyholders.
Anti-gun organizations are now moving to persuade insurance providers to view gun ownership as a risk factor when they assess an individual for their overall risk. If gun ownership is deemed an unnecessary risk by insurance companies it could mean a defacto crack down on gun ownership. Experts say the idea is gaining acceptance within the industry.
Kristen Moore, an associate professor of Mathematics at the University of Michigan co-wrote an article for The Actuary Magazine in which she says,
“Actuaries use math, statistics, and finance to find the cost of uncertain risky things over time. So, if you apply for health insurance, an actuary will assess your behaviors – like whether you exercise, are overweight, or engage in risky sports like rock climbing – to determine the likelihood and cost of you getting sick.”
Despite the risks, Moore found little evidence that insurance companies even look at gun ownership when they determine coverage costs.
She goes on to argue that death stats for gun owners are higher than non-gun owners and that therefore, people who own guns should pay higher premiums on health and life insurance. But like most gun control-oriented studies, Moore’s research fails to take into account the fact that the death rates of gun owners have been inflated by including people who possess guns and use them to commit acts of violence. In other words, they do not consider law-abiding gun owners as a stand-alone category.
This is deceptive- especially when you consider the fact that more than 75% of gun deaths are the deaths of people in the act of committing a violent crime. This fact proves beyond all doubt that legal and responsible gun ownership is actually a statistically significant risk reducer.
So, the bad news is insurance companies are vulnerable to the snake oil of gun control advocates like Moore. The good news is that insurance companies have a vested interest in knowing what the actual facts are and adjusting their policies accordingly. That means insurance providers will hopefully see through the fog of bad research fairly quickly.
But, as we know, feel-good liberal statistics can be quite seductive and it could be a long time before insurers see the facts about gun ownership clearly.
~ American Gun News