Friday, December 21, 2012

National Rifle Association raised again the stakes of absurdity

After the recent Newtown, CT massacre the NRA came out today and claimed that this tragedy could have prevented if some 'good guy' with a gun had been around at the time of the shooting.

All the children and adults killed last week have not even been buried yet and the NRA is positioning itself in a position of supremacy that suggests that the only answer to this type of crimes is a shared responsibility by an even more widespread gun ownership society.

What about a shared responsibility where nobody can get a gun except for very legitimate reasons (target shooting, with proper medical backgrounds, etc.)?

In addition, the NRA thinks that each school needs armed guards or police officers to prevent such tragedies. Or that we should just rely on acts of 'pure good randomness' to defeat 'pure bad randomness'. On average, we will do just fine, except that many innocent bystanders will be massacred in the crossfire, a crossfire of nonchalance and implicit criminal neglect.

We are not playing cards, the last I checked, to accept that we are neutral viewers of and not participants in our own lives.

How can the NRA justify that, eventually, good randomness cancels out bad randomness? Such a position is morally, intellectually, and politically wrong. We can protect children and adults from cigarette smoke but we can do nothing about guns and ammunition?

Let's just start by having the government tax each bullet sold with $10. Firearms should also be taxed at 100% when changing hands, including family member to family member transfers. In addition, for each firearm owned the owner needs to pay a yearly tax of $500.

We need to make guns and ammo so expensive to own and use that only a few people will actually be able to own guns and actually afford to burn $10 every time they shoot a bullet. 

There are about 300,000,000 firearms in the US in private hands and let's assume that the average federal tax per year per firearm is going to be $500. Simple math tells us that we will get about $150,000,000,000/year. That is $150 billion/year. Add in the $10 per bullet sold and we will reach about another $350 billion/year. In total we will collect more than a half a trillion/year in new taxes. If people decide to buy even more firearms we will make even more money for each gun purchased.

This is a very fair tax as if you do not want to own a gun or buy bullets you will pay $0 in additional federal taxes. If you surrender the firearms/bullets you already own to the government you will get an equivalent federal tax credit.

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