Taxing Away Your Rights

gun taxIt is no secret that the price of something affects your decision to buy it. If I am hungry for a nice piece of beef, I might want to stop at Ruth Chris’ for dinner, but if payday is next week and my wallet contains little more than my driver’s license and a bunch of old credit card receipts, I might decide to drive through MacDonald’s instead.

Taxes are a part of the price of everything nowadays, and with the “enhanced revenue” seeking of big government they are becoming a larger part every day. As I write this, I am in Tennessee, where the state sales tax rate is 7% and local county rates can increase that to 9.75%. That rate makes me tend to wait until I get back home to purchase anything significant.

Contrast that to New Hampshire. We used to live in Massachusetts where sales tax is 6.25%. One hour to the North is Nashua, New Hampshire, where the sales tax is zero. Nashua has become a shopping Mecca to which overtaxed Bostonians stream every day to save money on sales tax.

Ironically, Joe Biden’s state of Delaware is also an island of sales tax-free shopping along the I-95 corridor on the East coast, and bills itself as such to attract business to that state. Delaware evidently makes enough money charging travelers to use their bridges which effectively control north-south traffic along that corridor.

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The point is simply that the price of an item obviously affects whether you buy it or not. Governments vary in their candor about this factor, depending upon whether taking it into account supports their agenda-driven legislation. We are in the midst of an economic downturn that has been with us as long as Barak Obama has occupied the White House and which shows no signs (despite the fantasy statistics invented by the Administration) of getting better any time soon. Business refuses to hire, and more and more people are dropping out of the employment market altogether because they can’t get hired.

The Democrat’s solution to this: raising minimum wage, more mandatory health care coverage, and so forth. Obama and company seem at a loss to understand why businesses are not falling all over each other to buy something on which he has just raised the price. Any middle school child who was awake during his or her home economics class could provide him the answer.

When it comes to the so-called “sin tax”, however, politicians understand very well how economics operates. These taxes are the government’s way to modify undesirable behavior and profit at the same time. After fourteen years, wildly unpopular Prohibition was repealed, but that was not the end of the story. States were given the right to regulate the sale of alcohol within their borders, and they promptly added a “sin tax” to increase the price in order to decrease consumption.

Cigarettes are yet another example. In recent years, politicians have taken advantage of the anti-smoking mania to slap huge taxes on cigarettes, making the pack that once cost fifty cents now cost four dollars. The fact that these taxes could be used to fund a larger government was at least, if not more, important as protecting smokers from themselves. Taxation is a clandestine way for the government to reduce consumption of a taxed item as it can be done quietly and without fanfare because it is not “banning” it; only taxing it.

So what does this have to do with guns?

Obama and his cohorts Feinstein, Schumer, et al. have been doing their best to take advantage of the Sandy Hook shootings to pass draconian legislation which could ultimately result in gun confiscation, but they are being slowed down by the fact that such legislation is not only unconstitutional, but not favored by a majority of legislators or their constituencies. However, that has not stopped Obama before. There is always a back door solution.

The Los Angeles Times reported on March 13th that at least half a dozen states are considering bills to impose higher taxes on firearms and ammo — usually to the tune of 5% to 10% — and there’s a push in Congress for a nationwide 10% tax, sponsored by Rep. Linda T. Sanchez (D-Lakewood). In California, Assemblyman Roger Dickinson’s (D-Sacramento) bill would tax every bullet sold in the state by a nickel to pay for early childhood screening and treatment of mental illness.

These bills would raise the cost of gun ownership and use, but are nothing compared to what the gun grabbers may have in store.

Imagine a “transfer tax” similar to the existing $200 tax required for Class III purchases raised to $2000. Imagine a “registration fee” or “personal property tax” of, say $1000 per year for each gun you own. Imagine a “luxury tax” of $50 added to each box of ammo. Then imagine a $20,000 fine plus 10 years in jail penalty for each offense (each gun) for noncompliance. They would have no problem knowing where the guns are, due to the “enhanced background checks” that are in reality a backdoor gun registration scheme.

With these kinds of laws, your Second Amendment rights would soon become a memory. Few could afford to keep their guns. The gun grabbers could claim that they are not interfering with your right to keep and bear arms, just “regulating commerce”, all perfectly legal.

If this scenario doesn’t scare you, it should. Remember: a large majority of Americans did not want Obamacare, we are in a fiscal crisis and cannot afford it, but we have Obamacare. If you think the gun grabbers will give up on gun control, think again.


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