Monday, December 24, 2012

Tax Bullets at 26%

The Newtown Massacre has left me with a profound grief that I cannot shake.  The wrong committed is unspeakably wrong.

The aftermath of this horrific act is to once again to step into a self-fulfilling dance of waiting for the next inevitable tragedy to occur.  The system is gamed to endlessly and futilely debate what constitutes an automatic weapon, who the weapons should be sold to, the sanity of Americans, and so on.  Politicians and lobbyists will abuse this discussion for fame and profit until it  disappears under yet another political crisis du jour.

Rather than debate let me propose something that assumes there will be no political response to the mass murder of civilians.  Let me propose a twenty-six percent tax on each and every bullet sold and/or transferred in this country

Twenty-six is, of course the body count.  It's a good number to start with.  The tax will pay for the NRA's call for federal funding of better mental health and police protection schemes.  After all, the American public shouldn't be picking up the tab for the gun carnage in this country.  Cigarettes are taxed this way.  Gambling also is taxed this way.

Such a tax will help balance budgets, fund education, and the by-product will be to economically constrain the consumption of ammunition to reasonably affordable stores.  The fourth amendment stays intact.

Secondly let me suggest a mandatory insurance requirement for gun owners that covers potential victims of mass carnage.  The more guns and ammo stockpiled by a citizen the higher the insurance that will statistically determine the damage the loss of such weapons or the loss of sanity of an owner might cause. We do this with smokers, autos, and lots of dangerous activities.  The public can no longer foot the bill for the gun-toting community.  They need to assume responsibility for their desire to arm themselves beyond all reasonable cause.

So, by all means, debate until the politicians have no integrity left, until the NRA racketeers compromise our democracy, and until the next massacre is a church, a mall, a public gathering, a hospital, an office, a sporting event, a city street - debate away, debate until the body count finally gets our attention.

But in the meantime, apply market forces to the ammunition spigot.  It's the sanest way to begin to address the problem and all the phony, expensive gun lobby solutions that none of us should be expected to subsidize.