Now, I'm pleased to read about bills coming up in some states, and in the federal House of Representatives, to apply this lesson to gun violence and tax guns and ammunition. And in the process, it seems I have some work to do, and could use some help...convincing my own representative in Congress, Ron Barber, to sign on.
Anyway, apologies for the double entendre, but I know full well any mention of taxes will leave tea partiers boiling mad...
So, here's the news from the LA Times.
In Congress, a group of Democrats, led by Rep. Linda T. Sanchez of Lakewood, is pushing for an additional 10% tax on handgun purchases that could generate tens of millions of dollars nationwide to fund gun buybacks, firearms safety campaigns and anti-violence programs.In LA, they've bought back thousands of guns, including 75 assault weapons. And funding gun buybacks and other programs to curb gun violence should sound better than more deficit spending. Of course, we do have to factor in the current capabilities of House leadership to pass any legislation, much less -- horrors! -- tax increases. I have to admit, this made me laugh. Not out of despair for the legislation (although it probably is doomed), but the commentary on Republicans in Congress.
Legislation that would impose taxes on guns or bullets has also been introduced in Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey and Washington state. In Sacramento, a bill by Democratic Assemblyman Roger Dickinson would impose a nickel tax on every bullet sold in California to pay for screening and treating young children for mental illness.
PrognosisI remember not too long ago, when Nancy Pelosi made the Senate look bad in terms of bills passed. Now the House is the one in need of a legislative laxative. Legislation in the states, of course, stands a better chance of being passed than in John Boehner's incompetent House. Nevada is not the first place that comes to mind for progressive bills, tax increases and especially anything irksome to gun enthusiasts, but they could pass a bill to tax guns and ammo to fund mental health programs, and to help victims of crime. In New Jersey, they're looking to fund safety improvements in schools with a tax on guns and ammo.
1% chance of getting past committee.
0% chance of being enacted.
And, I did not know this, but frantic assault weapon hoarders are inadvertently funding wildlife conservation. Isn't that great?
Currently, gun and ammunition manufacturers pay a federal tax — often passed on to buyers — that is projected to generate about $500 million this year for wildlife conservation programs under a 1937 law. The amount is expected to increase as a result of a marked rise in sales prompted by fears of new firearm restrictions.Might make up ever so slightly for the Democratically controlled Congress, in 2009, passing a bill to guns in national parks. Yes, back when Obama and the Democratic Congress tried so hard to court gun enthusiasts, and got campaigned against by the NRA anyway.
Of course, now that the tax has been mentioned in the news, I suppose the NRA will start campaigning against that, too. Any time now.
Even if this bill has no chance in Congress this year, it deserves the support of liberals interested in reducing gun violence. Progress includes getting this idea out in front of the public and building its popularity. It also includes supporting Democrats in the states, if you happen to live in any of the states mentioned in the LA Times, and supporting their legislation, which almost certainly has a better prognosis than anything at the federal level.