Comment history

Letter: Weapons tax

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.

December 21, 2012 at 2:27 p.m. ( | suggest removal )