Is George Zimmerman Right?

It's time to listen to George Zimmerman. Seriously, and I'll explain in a minute.

This week, the families of ten Sandy Hook victims filed a lawsuit against the gun manufacturer Bushmaster, which made the AR-15 rifle that Adam Lanza used to shoot and kill 27 people, including 20 children, on December 14th, 2012. The lawsuit, filed in Connecticut superior court, argues that Adam Lanza would not have been able to kill so many people in so little time without his “weapon of choice,” the Bushmaster-made AR-15 rifle. It says that, “the number of lives lost in those 264 seconds was made possible” by a gun that was “engineered to deliver maximum carnage with extreme efficiency.”

The lawsuit goes on to read, “As a result of selling AR-15s to the civilian market, individuals unfit to operate these weapons gain access to them...” The Sandy Hook families involved in the lawsuit also highlight the facts that “not a single state requires a mental-health examination of a potential purchaser of an AR-15,” and that purchasers are not asked to “answer questions about other individuals with whom they intend to share access.”

Requiring mental-health checks for anyone who wants to purchase and own a gun is a no-brainer and should be a requirement that both sides of the aisle can agree on. But, there should be another requirement for everyone who wants to own a gun: insurance.

Think about it. As long as guns are accessible and available, both unintentional and intentional gun deaths will happen. That’s just reality, because guns are, by definition, deadly weapons.

According to GunViolenceArchive.Org, yesterday alone, there were at least 45 incidents where a gun was fired, and in those incidents, 21 people lost their lives, shattering forever 21 families.

It’s time we start treating guns - at the very least - the way we treat cars. Like guns, cars can kill people. Each year, tens of thousands of Americans die in car accidents. Cars are two-ton pieces of speeding metal that, if not used carefully, can kill in an instant. That’s why all drivers are required to insure themselves against accidents and deaths.

If someone gets in an accident and injures or kills another person, the insurance company pays the family of the victim, in an effort to compensate them for their expenses or loss. We should be using this same exact model with guns in America.

Anyone who wants to purchase and own a gun should be required by law to have liability insurance, so if they injure or kill somebody, the victim or the victim’s family will be covered, as well as the expenses of the shooter. Even George Zimmerman sees the logic in this.

Zimmerman called into a program on Armed American Radio earlier this week, basically complaining about how tough his life has become since he shot and killed Trayvon Martin. As part of his performance trying to make people feel sorry for him, Zimmerman actually made a good point. He said, ““Go to the range to practice, keep your guns in a safe location, and primarily, now that I know that I’m $2.5 million in debt, just in lawyers’ fees, I paid over $360,000 in hard costs to the state of Florida – just in, you know, copies, CDs, manuscripts, that kind of stuff – I would definitely invest in getting some type of self-defense insurance, and again, arming yourself with the knowledge of what you can do and what you should or shouldn’t do after the incident”

Guns have been, and always will be, dangerous weapons capable of injuring and killing people. That’s not going to change. So, it’s time we start treating them like the dangerous and deadly products that they are.

Nothing is going to bring back the thousands of Americans accidentally killed or wounded each year by irresponsible gun owners, or bring back the 20 children whose lives were cut tragically short at Sandy Hook Elementary. But if we start treating guns like we do cars and require gun owners to have liability insurance, people might just think twice about leaving their shotgun hanging around the house, keeping their handgun unlocked, or letting their kids get their hands on a military-style assault rifle.

Let’s start saving some lives and prevent families from having to go through the horrors that the Sandy Hook families have experienced.


sandlewould's picture
sandlewould 8 years 15 weeks ago

I Cannot agree more. I was a teacher of small children. Sandy Hook happened on my Birthday. I will never turn a year older without rememberring those sweet faces. We should ensure guns and gun carriers!! Insure the gun, like car, AND insure the gun carrier. Two separate policies, if you ask me.

Off topic Cuba...

Obviously, most Cubans and many Americans are very glad that Obama is “normalizing” relations w/ Cuba. Cubans have been denied access to goods and services that they have desperately needed which they now have access too, and undoubtedly will for a time anyway. Intuitively however, looking at the U.S.’s behavior over the last 14 years…I fear for Cuba in the long run. Let’s not forget the fake USAID scandal in Cuba, not to mention the recent efforts of a group, including Cuba, to escape the grip of the exploitative World Bank and IMF via what is now known as BRICS bank that would welcome Cuba. Oh, and what about the oil discovered recently off Cuba?

This may have no bearing on the subject, but for some insights on the effects our politicians have on small island nations;

What do Haiti, Disaster Capitalism and Mob rule have in Common?

Answer: The Clinton Foundation. Here is an excellent interview with Kim Ives, an editor with Haïti Liberté, a news weekly.

roycemyth's picture
roycemyth 8 years 15 weeks ago

to drive you have to be taught responsibility, and licensed by the state to operate the death machine

eatraum 8 years 15 weeks ago

I, also, absolutely agree. I am a certified NRA pistol instuctor and martial arts insturctor and I tell everyone, with whom I have conversations about self defense, that it is imperative for them to purchase self defense insurance if they feel as though their safety is so tenuous. Just as importantly I tell them that they need to write their legislators and encourage laws that require advanced safety, legal, and tactical training in order to take posession of a firearm. Gun registration will not fly in this country nor will banning firearms. But, requiring training just might curb the violence and satisfy the pacifists who feel that gun owners are merely potential murderers. I want to see this type of legislation more than any other kind regarding firearms. I take the right of self defense seriously enough to spend the requisite time needed for proficiency in hand to hand defense, firearm defense as well as just knowing when to get out of the area. If I can do it with my schedule then anyone can do it and it ought to be required if you want to carry a firearm.

RFord's picture
RFord 8 years 15 weeks ago

I've fired a few guns in my life, a .22 simi rifle, 4-10 shotgun, 12 ga. shotgun, .38 cal. pistol, M-14 rifle, and M-16s that fire simi-automatic + fully automatic like a machine gun. The AR-15 is exactly like an M-16 that has simi automatic but not fully automatic capability but can fire as fast as a finger can flex and the operator can aim. When I first laid hands on an M-16 in Army basic combat training in 1970, it reminded me of the plastic Mattel Indian Fighter Rifle I had when I was a kid because it was so light weight and compared to larger heavier hunting rifles and shotguns it was so small. The AR-15 is no toy although i'ts light and easy to use. It's a very dangerous and deadly device. When it's projectile hits bone it tumbles along the bone for maximum damage. It was designed for one purpose and that purpose is to kill or put out of action as many enemy combatants as possible and it does a very good job of doing just that. That's why it's basic design and cartridge has been used by our military for about 50 years. Simi automatic operation makes the operator take aim with each shot, more efectively hitting the targets. Automatic operation of an M-16 causes the barrel to raise up and to the right causing some targets to be missed so because the AR-15 only has simi- automatic capability it can be just as deadly as an M-16 if not more deadly. I believe this AR-15 killing device should be kept out of civillian hands because it wasn't designed for any civillian purpose and because some civillians are crazy.

UNC Tarheels's picture
UNC Tarheels 8 years 15 weeks ago

Insurance for guns really? That is the dumbest idea that I ever heard of. Under that scenario only the criminals and the wealthy could afford insurance. I think insurance companies rake into too much money and payout too little. Insurance is for oligarchs and ran by oligarchs. Insurance companies waste money looking for excuses not to pay claims. Thom is an intelligent person so why would he float a dumb idea like this?

I think that robbers who are killed by CCDW license holders should be exempt from lawsuits by the criminals family. The robber had no right to stick up a bank or other place of business.

Richard Gravrok's picture
Richard Gravrok 8 years 15 weeks ago

Yes and whereas both vehicles and guns are dangerous, like vehicles, gun users should require training and licenses to use them; like cars, the guns themselves should have their own license/registration; and like cars, the owners should have insurance.

Willie W's picture
Willie W 8 years 15 weeks ago

Lots of muddy water here. If you are the legal owner of an insured gun that is stolen and used in a crime, is your insurance company then liable to pay up. And if they are able to cop out, do you then become liable to pay ? Who knows for how much. Mass shooters are not going to buy insurance.

Tom Harvey's picture
Tom Harvey 8 years 15 weeks ago

Insurance to protect gun victims is practical. It needs to be compulsory and designed specifically for the gun risk situation. The objections of people who oppose it have straightforward solutions.

The most common objection is to claim that insurance can't cover intentional acts. That's simply false; many kinds of insurance pay to victims directly and not the wrongdoers and pay for insurance buyers actions or even crimes.

The next most common objection is that criminals won't buy insurance even if it's mandated. The solution to that is to make the last legal owner's insurance continue to cover a gun unless the next owner or possessor takes out new insurance. All the guns start out in legal hands.

ProfDocSJTpese's picture
ProfDocSJTpese 8 years 15 weeks ago

While there were a few voices of moderation and reason among those that commented on your firearm agenda, the usual ratio of those incapable of rational thought were also present and accounted for.

First, I can see no rational thought process that would bring a law suit against a single manufacturer of a specific firearm in attempt to hold the manufacturer liable for misuse of their product. The reasonable arguments to the contrary are innumerable. But I will point out one. There are many manufacturers of the popular AR 15 rifle in our great, and so far free, country. These rifles are fundamentally all alike. I would be very interested to hear one of these descendents of Einstein explain why only one manufacturer should be singled out. Did the company in question make a gift of the firearm to the perpetrator of this heinous action?

Rather than use more words to support my position on this debate, I will quote a few men of wisdom, with the hope that your readers are not completely lost causes. I'm sure you are all aware that these are only a very small portion of quotations from our founding fathers pertinent to this debate. Do your research before formulating your opinions "gentlemen". Or I guess you could just believe everything Thom Hartmann tells you.

"The beauty of the Second Amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it." (Thomas Jefferson)

Variation: "The people will not understand the importance of the Second Amendment until it is too late."

"If we are to guard against ignorance and remain free, it is the responsibility of every American to be informed." (Thomas Jefferson)

”He who would trade liberty for some temporary security, deserves neither liberty nor security.” (Benjamin Franklin)

Every man has a right to be wrong in his opinions. But no man has a right to be wrong in his facts.Bernard M. Baruch quotes (American Economist and adviser to US presidents, 1870-1965)

“Any man who believes the Constitution and Bill of Rights of The United States of America have outlived their usefulness and validity is no American and does not deserve the privilege of living under their protection.” (S. J. Thomas)

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 8 years 14 weeks ago
Quote ProfDocSJTpese:First, I can see no rational thought process that would bring a law suit against a single manufacturer of a specific firearm in attempt to hold the manufacturer liable for misuse of their product. The reasonable arguments to the contrary are innumerable. But I will point out one. There are many manufacturers of the popular AR 15 rifle in our great, and so far free, country. These rifles are fundamentally all alike. I would be very interested to hear one of these descendents of Einstein explain why only one manufacturer should be singled out. Did the company in question make a gift of the firearm to the perpetrator of this heinous action?

ProfDocSJTpese ~ It is not feasible that gun manufacturers do not bare some responsibility for the harm their products create. If I manufactured a button that could make anyone disappear; and, then sold that button to someone who used it, am I not at least in part responsible for the disappearance of the people who suffer as a result? Is it not reasonable to assume that when I manufactured the button it was my intent to make people disappear?

We hold cigarette, drug, and automobile manufacturers liable for the indirect negative effects that using their products have on people. Should we not therefore also hold other manufacturers equally responsible for the direct negative effects that using their products have on people?

It seems to me that this is a no brainer. If you manufacture a weapon like a AR-15 that is designed to create as much carnage as possible in a short period of time; and, someone uses it for just that purpose, you should be held legally accountable. Remember, the firearms at the time of the founding fathers consisted of flintlock--one shot at a pop--rifles. Rapid fire weaponry was way off. Laws must change with the times. That is why the Constitution has the Amendment provision in the first place.

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