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Opinion

Opinion

Letter: Weapons tax

December 20, 2012

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To the editor:

What is the solution to the problems caused by weapons? If regulations do not work, try taxation.

If taxation is the solution to the drug problem, why not tax weapons? If a school district needs resource officers, pay for them with local property tax on the weapons in the district. If we need more policemen, tax weapons. If we need a new revenue source to keep from going over the fiscal cliff, tax weapons.

Tobacco kills people and it is taxed, weapons kill people and they should also be taxed. Tax weapons going into weapon shows, tax weapons coming out of gun shows, tax weapon sales, tax the manufacture of weapons. Tax gunpowder, tax bullets, tax magazines, tax 100 capacity clips at a 100 times tax.

For those who want to level the playing field, make the gun manufacturers give guns to schools for every one sold outside of the school. Does mental-health care need funding? Tax weapons. For those who say weapons don’t kill, people do, tax people with weapons.

Taxing is the way to take away the profit from weapons and pay for things to reverse the harm they cause. For those who believe that taxes would kill the economy, maybe taxing weapons is the only thing that will kill weapons.

What is the problem and what is the solution? I challenge you to put your ideas out and send them to the people who can solve them.

Comments

beezee 1 year, 3 months ago

So many of these comments use the term "pass a law" or some similar verbage. So I'm curious: just what is it about the term "homicidal psychotic" that so many people cannot comprehend?

Homicide (at least on this planet and in this country) already is illegal. Statutes are written; the justice system prosecutes; the criminally insane (or just plain criminally inclined) still kill innocent people, especially in environments (like schools) where the people have (by law, which THEY obey) aren't allowed to possess ANY effective means of self defense.

So the cry to PASS A LAW, or REWRITE THE CONSTITUTION, etc. really are utterly ridiculous! These are things that sane people abide by. TRY really, really hard to figure it out folks. The criminally inclined regard such laws as a guarantee that they will have in select environments a target-rich free-fire zone with guns, bombs, ball bats, .... A nut case with an aluminum ball bat and a machete in a classroom of children could kill as many as with a gun! And damned near as fast.

Enough-- outta here....

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bridgerangers 1 year, 3 months ago

The idea of taxing weapons makes tremendous sense, however, you didn't take the concept far enough.

If you tax weapons, then everyone will need to declare what weapons they own. The tax does not need to be onerous or punitive, but law abiding citizens will generally be the ones that follow the rules. The system becomes one that's closer to a vehicle registration process. Once a year you pay the associated tax and then periodically, you pass some type of operations test. This test can also include subsequent backgrounds check and so that if your mental state has lagged since your last registration, this could be noted by the registration authorities.

In addition, when you register your weapons, you have to report how the weapons are being secured so that others cannot gain access. Failure to properly secure weapons and ammunition in a safe, gun safe, or other locked solution means the loss of the permit to maintain this weapon. If a person is killed or wounded with one of your weapons (whether you were the shooter or not), you would lose your gun permit rights for the next ten years and be subject to civil penalties.

There can be an amnesty period when all currently unregistered weapons can be registered. If you are caught with an unregistered weapon, this should result in a “failure to pay tax” penalty – or tax evasion and the forfeiture of the weapon and all other weapons permitted to you. Furthermore, jail time should be an option (much like the penalties associated with driver licenses). Reckless gun use is as dangerous as drinking and driving and needs to be treated harshly.

Will this stop every madman in a theater, school, or college campus? Absolutely not. But these murders are only a small fraction of the gun deaths in this country. We lose about 34 people a day or more than 10,000 gun related deaths a year. Japan has fewer than 100 deaths a year. But, we're not Japan or Australia and I don't think we need to go the extreme gun reduction programs followed by either country. My bet is that a more resonsible gun management system would work in this country and reduce the number of deaths considerably.

This approach should allow law abiding citizens the right to defend themselves, to hunt, and target shoot as they deem appropriate. However, any person that is incapable of following this system does not have the right to own or operate a weapon.

I've served in the Army and currently own several weapons and do not believe that these weapons (in my control) would ever pose a risk to anyone. I am a responsible, sane and law abiding adult and I think this type of taxation process would be a much more rational solution than trying to put an armed cop everywhere.

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Agnostick 1 year, 3 months ago

The Darrell Scott testimony is a great example of one man's honest words... stripped of their context and setting... embellished almost beyond the point of recognition... and then attached, like one of so many empty tin cans, to the rear end of the latest bandwagon running wild down the information superhighway.

The true story has been factually raped by reckless, careless copy/pasters so cavalierly... it's almost not worth reading anymore.

Wanna thank God for something? Thank God we have Snopes to help sort out the fact from the fiction. And then say an extra prayer that someday, people learn how to use it, and show a bit of skepticism for the excrement that floats into their email accounts.

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Armstrong 1 year, 3 months ago

From Darrell Scott Father of Rachel Scott.- murdered Columbine student

COLUMBINE STUDENT'S FATHER 12 YEARS LATER !! Guess our national leaders didn't expect this. On Thursday, Darrell Scott, the father of Rachel Scott, a victim of the Columbine High School shootings in Littleton, Colorado, was invited to address the House Judiciary Committee's subcommittee. What he said to our national leaders during this special session of Congress was painfully truthful.

They were not prepared for what he was to say, nor was it received well. It needs to be heard by every parent, every teacher, every politician, every sociologist, every psychologist, and every so-called expert! These courageous words spoken by Darrell Scott are powerful, penetrating, and deeply personal. There is no doubt that God sent this man as a voice crying in the wilderness.. The following is a portion of the transcript: "Since the dawn of creation there has been both good & evil in the hearts of men and women. We all contain the seeds of kindness or the seeds of violence. The death of my wonderful daughter, Rachel Joy Scott, and the deaths of that heroic teacher, and the other eleven children who died must not be in vain. Their blood cries out for answers.

"The first recorded act of violence was when Cain slew his brother Abel out in the field. The villain was not the club he used.. Neither was it the NCA, the National Club Association. The true killer was Cain, and the reason for the murder could only be found in Cain's heart.

"In the days that followed the Columbine tragedy, I was amazed at how quickly fingers began to be pointed at groups such as the NRA. I am not a member of the NRA. I am not a hunter. I do not even own a gun. I am not here to represent or defend the NRA - because I don't believe that they are responsible for my daughter's death.

The article goes on quite a bit longer - thought it was a good insight

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yourworstnightmare 1 year, 3 months ago

The second amendment is unusual compared to the other sections of the Constitution because it is the only one that mentions a specific technology, firearms.

The most conservative reading of the second amendment, then, is that it refers to the specific firearms technology of the day, just as the language of the day is taken into account in interpreting it (e.g. "well-regulated").

The technology of "arms" to the writers of the Constitution meant front load-muskets, swords, and front-load cannons.

To extrapolate from the second amendment that the writers could have possibly meant to include automatic weapons and other modern weapons of war is extreme liberal overinterpretation.

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Gotland 1 year, 3 months ago

Let's tax dumb unconstitutional ideas.

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Agnostick 1 year, 3 months ago

In just a few words, Crazy_Larry touches on something very instrumental to the whole argument:

"Considering the context of when it was written..."

Exactly! Perhaps more than any other part of the Constitution, the Second Amendment suffers most from being trapped in the 18th Century. The authors of the document gave us the amendment process to keep things fresh, to breathe new life into old ideas. We've used it many times--we even used it once to do an about-face on an amendment that turned out to be a very, very poor idea (Prohibition).

I've referred to this proposal for a "new Second Amendment" many times during my years here on LJWorld.com. I really do believe its time has come.

Section 1. The second article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.

Section 2. The right of the people to keep arms reasonable for hunting, sport, collecting, and personal defense shall not be infringed.

Section 3. Restrictions of arms must be found to be reasonable under Section 2 by a two-thirds vote of Congress in two consecutive sessions of Congress before they can be forwarded to the President for approval.

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Pal 1 year, 3 months ago

Exit taxes should be a money maker for the government people. If you live in California and want to move to lower taxing state like Idaho, whatever California debt is, divide it by the number of residents an bill it to exiting residents.

Remember, Obama said you didn't build that. So you owe for what the government has done for you.

Government debts are accrued on your behalf by elected officials for whom you had a chance to vote, all supposedly representing your interests. In a democracy, all citizens are obliged to pay the government's bills as determined by the duly empowered taxing authorities - regardless of whether they voted for a particular officeholder or not. What's to stop legislators from passing laws that make debt obligations due and payable by any citizen who decides to leave for another jurisdiction? After all, they don't hesitate to take your money when you die...

And can't you just see the progressive commentariat lining up behind a movement designed to deter well-heeled blue state residents from seeking refuge in those despicable red hinterlands?

...

Exit taxes imposed on emigrants have a long history, including their use in both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. They were imposed under the theory that, since citizens were educated by the government and were either provided benefits or allowed to profit from jobs and business held while living under the government's protection, they were obligated to pay back some of that money on their way out.

http://babalublog.com/2012/12/19/coming-soon-exit-taxes-for-those-leaving-insolvent-states/

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RoeDapple 1 year, 3 months ago

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed

Y'all might want to look up the definition of that word, "infringed"

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yourworstnightmare 1 year, 3 months ago

The Internet was already created by taxes.

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oldbaldguy 1 year, 3 months ago

surcharges on ammunition and firearms fund most of the conservation programs in this country now.

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gr 1 year, 3 months ago

I think Jimmy either already knew his solution is not a solution or he is just saying to ignore the problem and profit from it.

"Tobacco kills people and it is taxed, weapons kill people and they should also be taxed. "

"maybe taxing weapons is the only thing that will kill weapons."

And how did that work out? Rather than killing tobacco, no one really wants to get rid of tobacco as "we will lose so much tax money". So punitive taxation of something becomes propping it up. Making it permanent with no intent to do away with it.

"If we need a new revenue source to keep from going over the fiscal cliff, tax weapons." And another one who thinks taxing one thing and using the revenue for a completely different thing is proper...

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Cant_have_it_both_ways 1 year, 3 months ago

If a fat woman falls on you in walmart and you die, should we start taxing people for being fat?

You can not legislate morality. Anytime you pass a law for someone or something, it takes something away from someone else.

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beatrice 1 year, 3 months ago

How is taxation the solution to the drug problem?

No, this is not the correct way to look at this issue, in my opinion.

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Steven Gaudreau 1 year, 3 months ago

Mental illness is the problem in our country. How many adults and children do you know who are on anti-depressants or ADD/ADHD drugs? 1 in 10 take anti depressants. Doctors perscribing meds for depression is not a cure for the persons mental illness. Why are 1 out of ten clinically depressed? Why are millions of children being medicated daily for ADD/ADHD? Why are 1 in 88 children being born with some form of Autism? I do not know the answers to any of these questions but I do know Pharma is big business and all these drugs are not the answer. Mentally ill individuals are killing innocent people. We need to spend more time figuring out what is happening to the mental health of our society rather then arguing about guns.

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Milton Bland 1 year, 3 months ago

Ban violent video games and movies. There is no constitutional protection of those items. Leave guns alone.

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Centerville 1 year, 3 months ago

Juvenile records are sealed from gun purchase background checks? Yowsa.

We could revisit the whole 'deinstitutionalization' fiasco and the role our own local Social Work industry played in forcing it, but that would be politically incorrect.

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beezee 1 year, 3 months ago

Just as "entitlements" (like the Soc Security that seniors PAID for) is the misinformation specialty of the Right, "gun control" is the misinformation specialty of the Left. Guns properly referred to as assault weapons are not in wide civilian hands and those that are (termed Class-3 firearms by the federal ATF) come with the intensive regulation appropriate to ownership. Along with considerable expense, one reason I never signed up though 100% eligible.

The rifle used in CT is one of many available "SEMI-auto looks likes." Sort of like putting racing stripes on a Toyota Camry and calling it a NASCAR vehicle. Can such be used for mass murders? Sure. But as to sheer firepower, they pale when compared to a SEMI-auto 12-gauge shotgun lawfully used for goose hunting. Yeah, a typical magazine of a looks-like holds 20-30 rounds, each requiring a separate trigger press to expel from the muzzle ONE bullet. In a 3.5-inch 12-gauge loaded with 00-buck loads, each trigger press expels from the muzzle TWELVE projectiles, each about 9mm in diameter. And the gun holds five rounds. Do the math.

I have relatives there in CT-- they're as heartbroken as am I. But the shooter, like just about ALL such going back years, had a history of medications (similar to Ritalin, etc) and that has LONG been linked to teen/20s explosions of rage. Additionally, this guy basically LIVED immersed in the world of violent online games. Players don't really PLAY the game; they are WITHIN the game. Leading to exacerbation of whatever psychoses they have.

As my brother there remarked, the true and ongoing tragedy of all these cases is the inadequacy of mental health treatment, coupled with the state of denial of people who before-hand know the shooter. In this case the guy's mother, who died in denial. In the conversation with my brother I added "...and the fact that juvie records (crime and meds) are generally sealed from background checks."

The gun shrieking is a diversion; letters I have seen here, like Jerry Wells', reflect the politics of the authors and nothing more meaningful. Go research the term "school shooting" and then do "school bombing." It's an eye opener going back many years. Add in the term prozac and see more. And try to wake up. Congress, dysfunctional in fiscal matters, is likewise in social ones. How could you expect it to be otherwise?! All that's really going on presently is a continued peeing [to be uncharacteristically polite] contest. Meanwhile, Kansas and other states continue to cut mental health funding, and the feds may well follow suit in the VA, which will be even more tragic given the number of PTSD cases coming home from service.

1

gl0ck0wn3r 1 year, 3 months ago

Perhaps new taxes on everything proportionate to the number of deaths both intentional and unintentional that result from the use of the taxed item.

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Milton Bland 1 year, 3 months ago

Lets tax stupid people. Turrentine would be broke in a hurry.

2

Pal 1 year, 3 months ago

Anything for the government elites to take your money. They will say and do anything to take it.

I think underlings should give everything they make to the government elites and let them dole it out as they see fit.

The government official on the frontlines of the scandal involving a wasteful government conference, U.S. General Services Administration regional commissioner Jeffrey Neely, will invoke his 5th amendment

http://www2.ljworld.com/users/photos/2012/dec/20/246572/

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/04/cheers-photos-show-embattled-gsa-official-enjoying-wine-and-soak-in-spa-tub-at-m-hotel-during-pre-conference-meeting/

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Rich Noever 1 year, 3 months ago

Why make this so difficult? Make it a felony to possess an assault weapon and extended clips unless you are in the military or law enforcement.

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Centerville 1 year, 3 months ago

We could start with a surcharge on music that glorifies school shootings: like Foster the People's 'Pumped Up Kicks', you know, the one whose leader is in a twitter frenzy of 'It's all the NRA's fault!"

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Franklin 1 year, 3 months ago

This is not a new idea. Implementing these taxes would make it even more difficult for people under the poverty line to afford to exercise their God given right of self protection. From the 2010 census, nearly 70% under the poverty line are Black and Hispanic. Knowing this, your post seems a little racist.

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Karl_Hungus 1 year, 3 months ago

Tax people by the pound and tax the people who fly above ground. Tax the folks who have the most and tax the folks who tell bad jokes. Tax the man who owns a fruit stand and tax the band with a heavy hand. Tax the guns and tax the nuns and tax the hell out of the church. Tax all fun and tax trucks by the ton but get your damn hand out of MY wallet!

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Liberty275 1 year, 3 months ago

Given the diseases spread by sexual congress, I suggest we tax lovemaking. I think $1000 per person per incident is adequate initially, then as people get used to paying the government so they can have sex, we can really jack up the price. If you have to mortgage your house to get jiggy, as they say, you won't be spreading all those nasty diseases.

Let me remind you, there is no second amendment protection of the sex act.

Books too. Some are socially subversive, some are pornographic and some have instructions for growing rose bushes, which have thorns and hurt if you walk into one. I say $50 per word read, with a 10% discount for parents of school age kids, if those parents make more than $800,000,000/year.

Gun-grabbing. There should be a $100,000 tax levied against every person in the state if the state in question enacts any additional restrictions on gun ownership. Those that cannot pay the tax go to prison for tax evasion.

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Gandalf 1 year, 3 months ago

Tax the poor! Oh,wait evilsam . . .

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Brock Masters 1 year, 3 months ago

The Internet is used to commit crimes, plan terrorist attackers and promote hate. Along with taxing weapons lets also tax Internet use. Tax Internet access, tax access to social media and websites like this one.

Now we are working together to find solutions.

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ljreader 1 year, 3 months ago

If we taxed cut and pasters you could save our economy.

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 3 months ago

Tax Corp USA $75,000 for every USA job sent abroad. Tax every leveraged buyout scheme another $75,000 per job sent abroad. INSTEAD of providing the tax code that protects the profits as a result of those USA industries and jobs sent abroad.

No one can prepare for terrorism because no on knows if or when terrorism will strike. Look at all the tax dollars spent on crime fighting yet crime is still on the rise.

Of course if 20 million unemployed had good paying jobs there would likely be less crime and violence.

Republicans create crime and violence by putting millions out work and homes = depression and more crime.

Real good jobs = less crime and violence.

20 million jobs to replace the 20 million lost by way of leveraged buyout artists should fix the economy.

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