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A Gun Law for the District

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The D.C. Council should require all gun owners in the District to obtain gun liability insurance ["D.C. Legislation Would Remove More Gun Limits," front page, Sept. 13]. The Supreme Court has ruled in favor of an individual right to own firearms, but it did not say that jurisdictions cannot regulate guns in a way similar to how cars are regulated. A study by P.J. Cook and Jens Ludwig, professors at Duke University and the University of Chicago, shows the direct and indirect costs of handgun violence exceed $100 billion a year.

In fact, the National Rifle Association sells gun liability insurance. Responsible gun owners could procure insurance from reputable companies; those whom society would least want to own guns would have difficulty obtaining it at reasonable cost, if at all. As it stands, health insurers and taxpayers are penalized for the actions of criminals and irresponsible gun owners, who should be bearing the costs. Let the market resolve this issue and penalize those it determines are not responsible enough to own guns.

ETHAN S. BURGER

Somerset

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Those in the House of Representatives who have voted to nullify the D.C. government's sensible efforts to control guns on its streets ["Open Season on the District," editorial, Sept. 18] should be made to live in those gun-infested neighborhoods instead of the safe havens in which they presumably are privileged to live.

SHARON COHEN

Reston

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