Require insurance and registration

To the editor:

Guns are not toys. They are lethal weapons.

Just as, in order to drive my car, it must be registered and insured and I need a valid license, a similar approach to guns should remind people that owning a lethal weapon is a serious responsibility.

Instead of banning guns by type and magazine capacity, let’s require liability insurance and registration along with licenses to carry. The insurance industry could readily attach a rider to your homeowner’s or renter’s policy.

If stopped by the police, a gun owner would have to produce proof of insurance and license, just as I must do if I am stopped in a traffic stop. If I don’t have those, my car may be towed; for a gun owner, the gun could be impounded until the owner produces proof of insurance.

When I taught English to the Swedish police in Stockholm, you could own a gun but until you had a gold marksmanship medal, you could not remove it from the shooting club. One of my detectives had to carry a weapon on the job, but could not have a gun at home himself as he was not qualified.


Portland, Ore.