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View Diary: Another school shooting. Is taxing firearms the answer. (47 comments)

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  •  Proportionality? (1+ / 0-)
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    Jon Says

    Since you are making the argumnent that the taxes on an item should be proportional to the death/injury rate, then:

    guns: 10.2/100,000(your figure)
    cutting instruments: 89/100,000(CDC figure)
    transportation: 123/100,000(CDC figure)
    sports: 2,100/100,000(CDC figure)

    Presumably you wish to make sure these manufacturing sectors are taxed proportionatly to the injuries sustained as well. I am sure the 2 million injuries, 500,000 doctor visits and 30,000 hospitalizations suffered just by high school athletes each year could be radically reduced by punitive taxes on the makers of athletic gear, encouraging schools across the country to cut back on these clearly unsafe programs. That's putting a dent in 80 children hospitalized per day. Very hard to argue against the value of that.

    If on the other hand, you do not want to apply similar taxes elsewhere because guns are "special" and you are singling them out not because of their medical costs, but because they are guns, then be honest and just say you are making an excuse to single guns out for special treatment and the vastly larger number of other people killed and injured by preventable means that your tax could address don't concern you very much.

    •  You are comparing apples to oranges (0+ / 0-)

      As far as I know the U.S.  injury rate for cutting instruments, transportation, sports is comparable to other developed countries. So I would not tax them.

      Actuallly the U.S. figure is the firearm death rate
      10.2/100,000 people/yr (OAS 2012)

      The Canadian firearm death rate is
      2.13/100,000 people/yr (UNODC 2011)

      Look it up for yourself at

      Wikipedia gun death rate

      So tax the firearms until the death rate goes down to the Canadian death rate and then get rid of the tax.

      I would love to get the cdc figures, but the NRA keeps suppressing CDC studies on gun morbididty/mortality

      •  Confused (0+ / 0-)

        Why are some other country's figures relevant in this discussion? As I recall, the UK has a higher knife violence rate than the US. Should we be subsidizing knife purchases to get ourselves up to that level, or offering government rebates on auto purchases until we get our highway death rate up to Portugal's level?

        The notion of an international comparison is justification for anything. I could just as easily say that the Swiss gun death rate is less than ours, so American reservists should be allowed to have full-auto rifles in their homes (semi-auto after they retire). And for reference, Swiss are allowed to buy ammo for these weapons, they just no longer keep army-issued ammunition at home.

        That is using the exact same logic as you are, an international comparison to justify gun law changes. So, do you support machineguns in the home? Or, is the use of international comparisons merely an excuse to alter the laws in one direction and all data in the other direction is ignored?

        The Canadian firearm death rate is
        2.13/100,000 people/yr (UNODC 2011)
        Swiss firearm homicide rate: .52/100,000 people/yr (USCB International Data Base)
        (for clarity, note that this is the homicide rate only. I could not quickly find the total death rate)

        Similarly, if something is harmful, it is harmful. Sports, sharp things and cars are all proportionately more likely to hospitalize you than guns. Shouldn't we be taxing them until their rate gets down to the gun rate?

        The "NRA is suppressing the CDC" is an urban myth at worst, a gross misrepresentation at best (last I checked it was Congress that passed budgets and Presidents that signed them). I was able to find CDC figures on gun morbidity and mortality on the first page of a Google search.

        As a gun owner, I too am interested in reducing gun violence. Owning a gun does not make me bulletproof. I'm just saying that using public health or international comparisons as the justification for such a tax has some logical problems.

        •  Good then let us reduce gun violence (0+ / 0-)

          From 2000 to 2008 66% of the homicides in the U.S. were committed with firearms and about 13% with knives.

          Guns, ammunition, right to carry is highly regulated in Switzerland. So that is a poor comparison.

          The gun industry uses its money via the NRA to suppress studying gun morbidity/mortality. It is not an urban myth.
          I get the CDC morbididty/mortality reports so I am very aware when the NRA lobbied to suppress what the CDC can say about attempts to reduce firearm morbidity/mortality.

            Here is one of the links that  discusses this

          CDC suppression

          "We have to keep talking about this, because Wayne LaPierre and the NRA will keep talking and they are insidious and powerful predators.  Have you seen the reports in both the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and The Washington Post of how, 16 years ago, the NRA managed to get Congress to pull funding on gun violence studies at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention? Since then, JAMA reports, "... at least 427,000 people have died of gunshot wounds in the United States, including more than 165,000 who were victims of homicide.  To put these numbers in context, during the same time period, 4586 Americans lost their lives in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan."

          Last year, Congress stopped the National Institutes of Health from spending any money that might be construed as advocating or promoting gun control. There's even a section that was snuck into President Obama's Affordable Care Act that prevents doctors from collecting information on their patients' gun use. Denise Dowd, an emergency-care physician in Kansas City and adviser on firearms issues to the American Academy of Pediatrics, told the Post, "This illustrates the fact that the NRA has insinuated themselves into the small crevices of anything they can to do anything in their power to prohibit sensible gun-safety measures."

          We make international comparisons for many measures from education to disease prevalance to standard of
          living. Usually it is divided between the developed and developing countries.

          Look, we had a massacre of children. We had a massacre in Colorado. We had a congresswomen maimed for life. The gun industry answer is to sell more guns, make more profits.
          We need policies that will reduce the gun death rate since it is way higher than other developed countries and it is too high. This is not a debate class project.  The gun industries' suppression of policies that could reduce the firearm death rate puts all of us ( including our children )at risk.

          It is time to fight to put policies in place that can help reduce the gun death rate.

          I believe that includes universal background checks, renewable gun permits, limits on magazine capacity, and taking semi-automatics off the market.
          Restricting concealed weapons  helps give more tools for police to help reduce gun related crime.
          Other policies that could reduce the death rate include requiring gun insurance, having taxes proportional to the firearm death rate, limits to the amount of firearms/ammunition per person or household.

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