Who protects gun victims from bearing the costs of their wounds?

May 25, 2017 –Jackson Mississippi

Woman drops her gun in hospital waiting room, shoots another patient in the leg

The patient was hospitalised but said to have suffered “non life-threatening” injuries.

The question I’d like journalists to ask every time this happens:

Who will pay for the injured person’s health care?


In this story in Politico about insurance they talk about the difference between the insurance that the states want to require gun owners to have, and the insurance the NRA is selling.

“Government-mandated firearms insurance shouldn’t be confused with the NRA’s insurance product—the former protects gun victims from bearing the costs of their wounds; the latter protects gun bearers from carrying the costs of their wounded.”
– Matt Valentine, Politico

Gun owners are not required to have any liability insurance, but some have it; what does it pay for? Full medical care? Rehabilitation? Loss of time at work? Long term disability? Pain and suffering?

What if the injured person ends up having a pre-existing condition now because of the injury? “Non-life threatening” doesn’t mean it’s not life changing.

Journalists don’t ask question of who is going to pay for medical care, but given our current President and the hostility toward providing health care by the GOP, this needs to be asked right now.  Lawmakers in Massachusetts, Washington, North Carolina, New York and Hawaii have introduced bills this year that would require gun owners to carry liability insurance.  But all state and national level politicians need to be asked, “How are the costs of guns and health care going to be dealt with in your community?

Watch the video and note how the UMMC  police talk about what was legal or not legal. Part of this is used in the eventual criminal case–but it can also apply to civil legal cases. If the gun owner did something illegal, it changes things for criminal prosecution cases, but there is still a civil case that can–and should–be brought by the injured against the gun owner. If something is declared illegal it might also change what the insurance does or does not do regarding defending or indemnifying the person.

But gun owners aren’t required to have insurance, so who pays for the injuries their negligence caused? The individual shot, and the community who picks up the bill. The gun lobby has blocked efforts to require “good guys with guns” to have insurance, complaining that they have to pay when criminals do not.

Debra McQuillen, photo, HCSO

McQuillen had a permit. She was still a law abiding citizen–up until the time she ignored the hospital’s signs. If she was required to have liability insurance before she broke the law, she would be able to pay for the medical care of the woman she injured because of her negligence.

When the argument is that law abiding gun owners shouldn’t have to have insurance, since criminals don’t, it exempts all the gun owners who go from law abiding to law breaking in an instant. This is also why the NRA works so hard to get rid of laws that make their members law-breakers. (Even acts that make a member an “accidental lawbreaker.” This line of reasoning –that members are so worried about being “accidental lawbreakers” –is used so that individuals can maintain the “law-abiding citizen” moniker and self justification. But primarily it is used to avoided criminal prosecution and civil liability. )

If McQuillen did everything the same, except it was in a location where it was okay to bring in her guns, the injury would still happen. No law would have been broken, no criminal charges would be filed– but there could still be a civil case brought by the injured against the gun owner.  This is a key part of the way financial responsibility is avoided by the gun lobby.  They shift the issue from illegal to legal.  Intent is a huge part of the issue, and by having the police and the media verbalize the word accident and legal instead of negligence and illegal they change the perception of what is happening.

I don’t expect journalists to start asking these questions, so we will need to prompt them.  I don’t expect gun owners to claim being financially responsible for the damage their negligence cause as part of being a responsible gun owner, so we will need to ask them. The next time you are in person talking to a gun owner ask them, (And I recommend doing this in person, because online no one is under oath, and you can see their eyes if they lie to you.)

“Do you have liability insurance ? Who provides it? What does it cover? Would the person insured be covered, or would you be covered? Do you think all gun owners should be required to have liability insurance? Why not?”

There are a lots of different gun shooting scenarios to ask about. If you need one to choose use this one with McQuillan, or the one I wrote about  last week with a 7-year old boy, Gage Meche  or the one tomorrow, or the next day and the next and the next…

Fiscal responsibility must be part of the definition of a responsible gun owner.

For KPLC TV reporters on your last shooting, before your next

Just spotted your most recent shooting. This alert is for if you do  a follow-up on last week’s shooting of Gage Meche at Moss Bluff Elementary.

1) Gage had to go back to surgery yesterday (5/23/17) (Info from his Facebook recovery page)

2) There is a now a GoFundMe page for him.

I wrote a piece about this shooting focusing on the costs of care and lack of financial responsibility laws for gun owners 

During my research I found some things that might be interesting to you: State Rep. Stephen Dwight’s wife Jessica Dwight works as a librarian at the school Gage attended  Dwight grew up in Moss Bluff and worked as General Counsel in the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Department  (In my piece I highlighted the DA’s and sheriff’s activist pro-gun views after the shooting.) Michael L. Dugas, the gun owner, was released on a $5,000 bond because the negligent injuring and improper supervision of a minor are only misdemeanors  (link) Michael Dugas was arrested for a DUI that resulted in a death in 2015 Michael Dugas said he gave Jake Dugas a gun based on a robbery a few month ago. I couldn’t determine which robbery it was because Jake’s name wasn’t mentioned in the news stories, but you might since you apparently . . . → Read More: For KPLC TV reporters on your last shooting, before your next

Kid Shot In Gut. Pro-gun Sheriff Charges Gun Owner With Misdemeanor

Last Monday, May 15th, 7-year old Gage Meche was accidentally shot at Moss Bluff Elementary School in Louisiana.  A 7-year old student had brought a handgun to school that morning. It fell out of his backpack and a second elementary student picked up the gun and fired it, hitting Meche in the stomach.  After undergoing several hours of surgery at Lafayette General Hospital, the 7-year old is in stable condition.

Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Tony Mancuso said that neither the student who brought the gun, nor the student who accidentally fired the gun will be held responsible for the accident due to their age.

On Thursday, May 18th, Michael Lane Dugas, 50, and Jake Abram Dugas, 17, both of Moss Bluff, were charged with negligent injuring. Michael Dugas is also charged with improper supervision of a minor

“Unfortunately they are misdemeanors,” Mancuso said. “But it is what we can charge them with.”

Reading that quote it appears that Mancuso wishes he could charge them with something more.  I’m curious if he ever pushed for tougher sentencing in the past, but here is what he said right after the shooting.

“I’m a pro-gun advocate, and I believe in the Second Amendment that allows us to possess and carry firearms. . . . → Read More: Kid Shot In Gut. Pro-gun Sheriff Charges Gun Owner With Misdemeanor

Kid shot in the gut. Gun owner charged with misdemeanor

Last Monday, May 15th, 7-year old Gage Meche was accidentally shot at Moss Bluff Elementary School in Louisiana.  A 7-year old student had brought a handgun to school that morning. It fell out of his backpack and a second elementary student picked up the gun and fired it, hitting Meche in the stomach.  After undergoing several hours of surgery at Lafayette General Hospital, the 7-year old is in stable condition.

Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Tony Mancuso said that neither the student who brought the gun, nor the student who accidentally fired the gun will be held responsible for the accident due to their age.

On Thursday, May 18th, Michael Lane Dugas, 50, and Jake Abram Dugas, 17, both of Moss Bluff, were charged with negligent injuring. Michael Dugas is also charged with improper supervision of a minor

“Unfortunately they are misdemeanors,” Mancuso said. “But it is what we can charge them with.”

Reading that quote it appears that Mancuso wishes he could charge them with something more.  I’m curious if he ever pushed for tougher sentencing in the past, but here is what he said right after the shooting, emphasis mine.

“I’m a pro-gun advocate, and I believe in the Second Amendment that allows us to possess and carry . . . → Read More: Kid shot in the gut. Gun owner charged with misdemeanor

Why Bill O’Reilly is out at Fox News

Bill O’Reilly is out at Fox News. This is excellent.

I’m going to brag about WHY he is out at Fox News. Not that he is out, but why. Because there is a significant point I want to make.

O’Reilly didn’t get pushed out because he is a serial sexual harasser, or because he called for the killing of Dr. Tiller. He wasn’t pushed out because he cost Fox News millions in lawsuits (he generated more in revenue than the lawsuits.)

He was pushed out because he didn’t generate *enough* revenue — this quarter. That, combined with advertisers not wanting to link their brand with his, is what got him pushed out.

Also, new management, the Gretchen Carlson lawsuit and additional pending lawsuits, all had an impact.

When I wrote this last week I ended with the line “What to do next about O’Reilly.” Hint- Institutional investors

As we can see the answer was: Get rid of Bill O’Reilly.

The ratings for a show can be huge, but if they aren’t making money, something needs to change. I looked at what the interested third parties (institutional investors) wanted, and what they didn’t want, and I appealed to them. . . . → Read More: Why Bill O’Reilly is out at Fox News

Why I don’t rub Trump voters’ noses in his failures

. Great cartoon. Is this really how the conversations go? I don’t think so. Most folks on the left don’t get a kick out of baiting the right and rubbing their noses in their electoral choices.

Why is that?

I could seek out Trump voters and rub their faces in his failures. Why don’t I?

The right does. It’s fun for them.

“I don’t want or need government help! Repeal Obamacare! I don’t need it. I pulled myself up from my own bootstraps!” (They pull themselves up from their bootstraps so hard I’m surprised they don’t fly around the room!)

I could go into “rubbing it in mode,” by pointing out all the government help they get. I could “win” the conversation.

If I wanted to, I could even do it in front of others. I could humiliate them, crush them. I could make them angry and sputtery.

“But, but, Benghazi… Hillary, Benghazi! …”

But why stop at making them sputter? Why not keep crushing them?

When Trump’s actions hurt them or their family, I could bring it up. Force them to acknowledge it.

I’m not going to convert them, so why not mock them? If THEY were in my . . . → Read More: Why I don’t rub Trump voters’ noses in his failures

Values: Brand, Corporate & Bill O’Reilly’s

I was very pleased and gratified to see the Spocko Method being used on Bill O’Reilly this week. (Up to 70 so far!) Now he announces he’s taking a vacation amid the sexual harassment scandal (My friend Jeff wondered where, “Thailand?”)

I was thrilled to hear its principles, and some of the specific language I created over a decade ago, being spoken by Anita Hill on Saturday’s Weekend Edition on NPR. (And no, it’s not plagiarism when she uses my language, so bite me wingnuts.)

” I think the message is clear from advertisers as well as from consumers – direct consumers of the media that this is not tolerable, that the advertisers and consumers understand that they have a vested interest in this. The realization from advertisers, of course, is that the ads being associated with the show is not good for their brand. It’s not good for their bottom line. And it also, perhaps, doesn’t reflect their own business values internally.” — Anita Hill on Weekend Edition NPR

Anita Hill, Brandeis University Professor of Social Policy, Law, and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies

I’ve been following the stories aboutthis, and, believe it or not, reading the comments . . . → Read More: Values: Brand, Corporate & Bill O’Reilly’s

Are you arguing about heathcare with a sockpuppet?

Sheri Wilson and Lamb Chop, a good sock puppet

I was out-of-town away from electronic communications last week, when I got home I heard and read about the successes of all my various activist friends in the healthcare front.  Good job folks!

To catch up I listened to Sam Seder and Digby for an analysis of the whole situation. The conversation started before the vote to repeal Obamacare happened, and ended right after they heard it failed.

As a time-traveling Vulcan I know how this will end, but for the rest of you it is good to hear Digby and Sam giving the correct analysis, which is, “Okay we beat this back. Now they will work to sabotage the rest.”  Digby and Sam also talk about how Trump and Ryan will work to sabotage the ACA. Because you know they will, but what specifically will they sabotage?

Here is what to expect, stories about:

Obamacare fraud committed by PATIENTS (which is the rarest kind, but fits their bias of brown people getting something for nothing.) “Ill-eagles” getting FREE healthcare High premium costs for users (this one is legit, but came about because of the end of subsidies, something that could . . . → Read More: Are you arguing about heathcare with a sockpuppet?

Dirty Funny Hippies

The T-shirt I’m wearing today.

Dirty Funny Hippies

It’s from the best convention I’ve ever attended in my life. The memory of the standing ovation I got after my talk about defunding right wing media keeps me going during the dark times.   I’m proud to wear this shirt. It was so great to meet and get to know so many wonderful people.   It may look like Bedford Falls is transforming into Pottersville now, but like George Bailey, if any of you had not existed, our world would be much darker.   Sometimes we need the mean old Mr. Potter to remind us of what we value, why we fight, and who we fight for.   Our recent victory in stopping the repeal of AHCA, reminds me what we can do when our gains are threatened, and we act.   My favorite Capra movie is Meet John Doe, but I do love this line from “It’s a Wonderful Life.” – . “No man is a failure who has friends.” My life is richer from having met you all.   To all Atriots, Dirty Funny Hippies and people bringing the light and fighting the darkness.   Live Long . . . → Read More: Dirty Funny Hippies

Senator Deb Fischer (R) Questioned at Nebraska Town Hall on Why She Voted YES to Allow Severe Mentally Ill to Get Guns

http://www.spockosbrain.com/wp-content/uploads/Senator-Fischer-questioned-about-giving-mentally-ill-guns-at-Neb-Town-Hall.mp4

Audio only

http://www.spockosbrain.com/wp-content/uploads/Audio-of-Fischer-on-voting-for-mentally-ill-to-get-guns.mp3

Transcript. Angela Sorensen Thomas questions Sen. Deb Fischer vote to allow the severe mentally ill to buy guns. at Holdrege City Auditorium Town Hall on March 16, 2017

Angela Sorensen Thomas: AST Senator Deb Fischer DF

Photos by Eric Gregory Lincoln Journal Star

Angela Sorensen Thomas: Recently you voted for house joint bill resolution 40. That allows people who are so mentally unstable they need a guardian or representative to manage their bank accounts to buy deadly weapons.

I have a brother-in-law who was one of the 75,000 people in this category. And it terrifies me thinking about him getting a gun. He lives here in Nebraska. Fortunately for us he’s in a protected setting and it wouldn’t affect him now.

But 10 years ago it would’ve been deadly for him. Not necessarily that he’s a threat to anyone in this room, but he is a threat to himself. Can you explain to me why it’s so important for people who cannot manage their own funds, because of severe mental illness, to be able to obtain deadly weapons?

(Applause)

Deb Fischer: This was a resolution that I happen to agree with the ACLU and other groups . . . → Read More: Senator Deb Fischer (R) Questioned at Nebraska Town Hall on Why She Voted YES to Allow Severe Mentally Ill to Get Guns