This article first appeared at the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, June 24th, 2013:
When Bernie Zalaznik, the Resident Vice President of the Wichita Branch Office of EMC Insurance Companies sent a letter to Kansas school districts on May 15th, just two weeks before Kansas Law 2052 takes effect, alarm bells went off. The letter said:
EMC has concluded that concealed handguns on school premises pose a heightened liability risk. Because of this risk, we have chosen not to insure schools that allow employees to carry concealed handguns.
Schools permitting concealed handguns will be declined as new business. Existing schools permitting concealed handguns will not be renewed.
We are making this underwriting decision simply to protect the financial stability of our company.
On its face, EMC is free to turn down business, or not renew existing policies, as it sees fit. A cursory glance at their financials shows a modest-sized company that is reasonably profitable, with an “A” Rating from Best. It has a billion dollars in reserves and has been around since 1911.
But something is wrong with this decision. Surely EMC’s underwriting department is aware that the presence of handguns reduces crime, and has for years. Surely they are aware of John Lott’s study in 1998 and recently updated in 2010, More Guns, Less Crime, that clearly and succinctly proves the title: that laws permitting the carrying of concealed weapons actually lead to a drop in crime in the jurisdictions that enact them.
Surely it must be aware of the free online summary of Gun Facts, by Guy Smith, who blows up the myth that school yard shootings are an epidemic:
Over an eight year period, in states without “right to carry” laws, there were 15 school shootings; however, in states that allow citizens to carry guns, there was only one.
That conclusion is footnoted to a study by the University of Chicago which EMC’s underwriting department, if it was doing its job of rating risks, would certainly be aware of.
It turns out that there just might be an agenda in play here. EMC Insurance Companies is a wholly owned subsidiary of EMC Insurance out of Des Moines, Iowa, which is chaired by one David J. W. Proctor. Proctor is a partner in the law firm Bradshaw, Fowler, Proctor & Fairgrave, PC in Des Moines. His bio reveals the following:
Contract Instructor, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives ATF National Academy, Arson Course of Instruction, Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, Glynco, George, 2000-present
What is the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC)? It turns out that FLETC was established in 1970 as a bureau of the Department of the Treasury and then it was transferred from the Treasury Department to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in 2003.
So the chairman of the holding company that owns EMC Insurance Companies that decided two weeks before the Kansas law kicks in just happens to have close ties to the ATF under the jurisdiction of the DHS. It doesn’t take a particularly incisive intellect to see that the underwriting department at EMC had little to do with this decision. That was just a cover.
Of course, that’s just an opinion. It’s probably just a coincidence.