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Make gun owners pay into insurance fund

Staggered by a succession of crises — civil rights violations, corruption convictions and the unsolved killing of a homicide detective — the Baltimore Police Department is closing out its dismal year with a depleted force struggling to contain soaring violent crime while restoring wavering public trust. (Jerry Jackson / Baltimore Sun video)

OK, let's accept your premise that gun buybacks don't work so well if at all (“Gun buybacks not effective in curbing shootings,” Dec. 20). But does that mean nothing should be done?

If you love guns and don't want any restrictions on these weapons of violence, that may be all there is to say. But the gun problem can be solved.

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My solution is to enact a law that requires a gun owner to pay $100 per gun per year into an insurance fund that will reimburse public agencies for the costs of gun violence. According to the The Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, it costs the public $700,000 per gun homicide victim and $100,000 for each person wounded by gun violence.

Currently gun owners don't pay anything toward the costs of gun violence, but they should. Guns are lethal weapons, and they are all too often used to kill and maim others. Why should the taxes of peaceful persons who do not own guns be spent to pay for the misdeeds of people with guns?

There are also too many other good places to spend public money than on gun violence. Of course gun owners won't like this proposal, but if they don't want to pay the $100 for a gun they may never shoot, then they don't need to have a gun.

If this law were enacted it would have the effect of causing people who don't want to pay the fee to turn their guns in, just the opposite of a buy back program. There would also be many who would try to keep their guns without paying the fee, but their failure either to pay the fee or turn the gun in to avoid paying it would incur further penalties. Collection of the fees could be done by adding a checkoff to state tax returns.

This is a common sense and reasonable proposal that can accomplish a couple things: reduce gun violence and the costs associated with it. We currently have laws that require people including children to ride in cars with seat belts and we also require automobile owners to buy car insurance regardless of whether they are safe or unsafe drivers.

Christopher Boardman, Joppa

The writer was a candidate for sheriff in Harford County.

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