The Corner

Speaking for the Defense

Several readers make some good and/or interesting points in — qualified — defense of the NRA. I’m willing to rethink my outrage on the insurance issue since I spoke so hastily on the subject (i.e. I’m taking it under advisement), but I’ve seen nothing that comes close to justifying the NRA’s Dislose Act carve-out. Anyway some email:

Where to begin with the junk Chait is spouting about the right to keep and bear arms? That he doesn’t offer any citation to his source? That is source is bound to be one of the bogus, badly done “studies” over the last 30 years by Handgun Control, or another advocacy group?

Or the fact that you casually are willing to allow the gooberment to penalize people if they actually practice a Constitutuionally enumerated right? Shall we play the slippery slope game, and observe that certain sexual practices lead to much, much higher risk of serious injury or death, yet Obamacare is silent on those?

Really, you and Chait are wrong on this, completely wrong. This example shows what a powerful tool socialized health care is in the hands of dedicated, ideologically driven people. Chait _wants_ me to pay a higher rate for insurance than he does, because I’ve got my granddaddy’s 30-30 deer rifle locked up and he doesn’t like guns, they are ikky to him.

Well, two can play that game. How about if I demand higher insurance rates for those who act in ways that I find ikky, hmmm? Thus “insurance” is no longer about pooling risk, but about

punishing those that society doesn’t like, and rewarding those that are liked.

How far down this road do you wish to go, eh? I can provide all _kinds_ of examples that likely will make you uncomfortable.


Sorry maybe I’m missing something here, but why should we be taking the bait from Chait’s clumsily laid trap here?  Is Chait really advocating the re-writing of DearLeaderCare as a result of a “carve out” for gun owners?  Note that not all gun owners are members of the NRA and not all NRA members own guns.  And what about his use of statistics here?  Sorry but I don’t buy them and if somebody accidentally kills themselves or somebody else, well then the health-care problem is solved now isn’t it?


Finally, aren’t our friends on the left fond of claiming privacy especially when it comes to what goes on in our homes?  Isn’t that the most sacrosanct zone of privacy for the left?  So how in the world is it anybodies business what I keep in my own home?


Hi Jonah,

While I agree with you that the NRA seems to be kowtowing to those in power quite a bit more than usual lately, this particular instance pales in comparison (IMHO) with the fact that Homeowner’s Insurance rates are not higher for smokers. It is statistically much more likely that smokers will have fires in their homes due to falling asleep while smoking, extra lighters around for children to play with, etc., yet the rates are the same.

Yes, I am an insurance agent, and quite aware that there are all kinds of behavior that are ignored in rating that many would like to see included.



The claims that gun ownership raises an individual’s health care costs is not supported by the weight of evidence, but many people feel that it is true. Many medical organizations, such as the AMA, have strong feelings on the gun issue, and write policy prescriptions based on those feelings.   In addition, we now have the fundamental reform of Obamacare, which charges health premiums based on what some people feel is fair, not on the size of an individual’s likely claims.  The actuaries of feelings give to those who want coverage after they get sick. Forbidding them from charging me extra because they feel that it will help me is a very small concession to rationality.


I think you are missing the point of this.


If the govt is running health care and the govt wants to know if you have firearms to ‘cost out ’ your premium. 


How is this different than a gun registration? Sure they may not know serial numbers and makes and models but it would be a comprehensive list of firearms owners should some ‘emergency’ come up when for our safety they will come pick up those now identified firearms.


Jonah Goldberg — Jonah Goldberg holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute and is a senior editor of National Review. His new book, The Suicide of The West, is on sale now.

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