2:00 PM EST, February 18, 2013
The debate over gun violence has focused on restricting sales of military-style assault weapons, semiautomatic pistols and background checks. Where is the concern for the victims of shooting?
The Declaration of Independence states "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness." One bullet can rob a person of all these rights.
The news media reports shootings in terms of how many victims there were and whether they died at the scene or at a local hospital. But what about the rest of the story? Does a family lose a husband and father? Do survivors ever regain their full health and careers, or are they subject to years of multiple surgeries, therapy and a life of dependency?
Victims of gun violence should be compensated for their physical and mental suffering, long-term disabilities, loss of relationships and other traumas. Liability insurance, similar to medical malpractice insurance, should be available to protect gun owners, dealers and manufacturers and to provide for victims of gun violence.
Such measures do not infringe on Second Amendment rights, but they do focus on the serious responsibility that goes with gun ownership and encourage gun owners to maintain control of their weapons at all times.
Sherman R. Reed
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