Paula Hendricks

Author ~:~ Writer ~:~ Book Designer ~:~ Book Producer

Posts Tagged ‘US

Let’s License + Insure Guns

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I think we should license and insure all guns and shooters.

We license all kinds of things. Businesses. Motor vehicles — from motorcycles and cars to RVs, airplanes, and boats. We even license trailers. We often say cars don’t kill people, people kill people. But let’s know who is trained and licensed and who isn’t. It would give us more tools to manage the atrocities.

We license ham radios and operators. We license bicycles and dogs. We require permits to operate dangerous activities and machinery. We license pilots and doctors and nurses. We license cranes and people who operate cranes. I’ll bet we’re going to license private astronauts, too.

So let’s license guns and shooters. And make it work either federally or like DMVs so it can be searchable across state lines. Make the shooters demonstrate competency. Make them renewable, for both the gun and the shooter. We often issue licenses and permits only to those who have experience or training. And we make them prove it — through written tests, driving tests, 3rd party certifications. We know how to do this.

We don’t issue permits and licenses to just anybody. And we take those permits away for bad behavior. So background checks matter. For every sale. No loopholes.

And while we’re at it, let’s require insurance. I have to insure my car and have the option of insuring me in any car I drive. I have insurance against uninsured motorists. When I had an RV I had RV insurance. I have health insurance, renters insurance, well you get the idea. Even Wall Street insures its financial betting. Why not do this for guns and shooters?

Insurance people know how to assess risk. Let’s get them involved. They set higher premiums for a sports car owned by teenage male than a middle aged woman driving a Camry. They take into account all kinds of factors, from type of vehicle, to your driving record, the number of accidents you have, teenage drivers in the home, and what neighborhood you live in.

You can get discounts for safety features like air bags and antilock breaks, dead bolts on your door… you get discounts for education/ drivers ed and a good operating record. Let’s figure out how to do the same for guns. I’ll bet the insurance industry could get a handle on this pretty quickly.

I have an old car. Every year to renew my license I have to get a smog check. It’s good to have someone check to be sure the car meets some basic criteria on a regular basis. For guns, we could check to be sure they have not been modified or have safety features removed.

And maybe Chris Rock is right. Bullets could cost $5000 each.

We can ban certain kinds of guns and certain kinds of ammunition clips, but why not start with registration, licensing, and insurance? We can make it cheap to get started — charge just $1 for existing guns and raise the fees to a level commensurate with other licenses and permits.

I pay $104 for my old car registration on an annual basis. I will probably pay $50 for the special smog check to get it renewed. If i had a cat I’d pay $12 for a lifetime license in San Francisco and between $11-52 for a dog (based on neutering and age of owner). My drivers license could cost from $31-66. If I lived in Santa Monica my bike registration would cost $3. Bikes are not licensed in San Francisco, but you have to wear a helmet.

My insurance might run between $950 and $1400 a year for both auto and renters together. I believe people who do risky things (skydiving comes to mind) also pay higher insurance. But you get where I’m going with this.

I grew up in a car culture. California in the 50s and 60s. I couldn’t wait to get my license. I wanted to be a good driver. I took the classes and practiced with my dad. I have a good driving record and I’m proud of it. I have never given up my license, and can’t imagine being without one even if I give up my car. When my dad was old, he stopped driving but he hung on to his license, just in case, and because it was one of his identifiers. It isn’t a perfect metaphor, but I assume gun owners feel similarly. Why not make getting the license a source of pride? And getting the insurance industry to weigh in to help us assess risk.


Written by phwebnet

December 20, 2012 at 9:46 pm

Vote! It’s important

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I’m sitting at the League of Women Voters here in San Francisco – answering phones about voter registration, irregularities at the polls, offering up phone numbers to others who can help.

1.866.687. 8683 (866 OUR VOTE) is the hot line for voter irregularities provided by The Election Protection Coalition.

The Huffington Post has a  whole section just for voting problems.

Later today I’ll be glued to the TV and my monitor and my crackberry – getting the latest info from everywhere. How exciting! How scary! How hopeful!

Go vote. It’s important.

Written by phwebnet

November 4, 2008 at 8:03 pm

I feel good about America today

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Yes, I know the financial markets are in a mess, here at home and all around the world.

Yes, I know China is building at least one coal fired power plant a week and already 1/3 of the pollution that reaches my city comes from China.

Yes, I know a friend of mine has defaulted on his mortgage at least 5 times and may lose his home.

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What the next president can do at little cost

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Given the constraints the bailouts and the economy will have on the new president, it seems that we should look at, first, what we can do that will cost no (or little) money. Please share other ideas!

  • Release the scientists (let them communicate with other scientists, let them speak — i.e. Jim Hansen of NASA on climate change)
  • Review current rules and regulations and start enforcing the ones that fit our vision
    • FDA
    • EPA
    • Fed Reserve
  • Make all government transactions more transparent and more understandable

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Let’s get it right this time

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Dear politicians – Obama, McCain, Dodd, Frank, Pelosi, Reed, Feinstein, Boxer

 This is an opportunity now to develop our own plan, not just tinker with the administrations. Why don’t we buy preferred shares like Buffet did? Why don’t we set up something that economists all over the world and especially here in the USA have been suggesting for weeks?

 It has always appalled me that we simply accepted two things: the administration’s assessment of the crisis and its timing and the structure of the bailout deal.

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Written by phwebnet

September 29, 2008 at 7:06 pm

Open letter to Barack Obama

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I am a supporter. I’m going to vote for you. I’ve given, and will give, both money and time. I live in San Francisco and realize this is not one of your battleground states, but I feel so strongly about what we need to change that I need to tell you and I want, badly, more from you, too.

We are falling apart from the inside. These past months with the Mississippi flooding and the bridge in Minneapolis failing – was such a clear metaphor to me. Our infrastructure, and really, the way we manage our society, is falling apart. Lots of reasons why, but we are. And I think this is true of health care (was a misnomer, it should be called a disease care system,) of politics, of our belief in science, in energy, in absolutely every aspect of my American life. The middle class I was raised in is gone. It sickens me.

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A Hippocratic oath for government

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I admit that I am naïve and an optimist, but lately even my own political party isn’t doing things right as far as I’m concerned – not right for me, not right for regular people, not right for the citizens of this formerly great nation.

I am hopeful we can change things, and yet I’m ashamed of our actions as a nation – towards others in the world as well as toward ourselves. Need I mention Katrina and New Orleans. Need I mention bailing out Bear Sterns and Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac with alacrity and enthusiasm without any requirement that they change their ways or become more transparent? With little being done for those who are losing their homes and their jobs? Need I mention how we treat those we think are beneath us?

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Written by phwebnet

July 29, 2008 at 6:42 pm