●The more federal budgets are cut and taxes increased, the weaker an economy becomes.
●Austerity is the government’s method for widening the gap between rich and poor, which leads to civil disorder.
●Cutting the deficit is the government’s method for taking dollars from the middle class and giving them to the rich.
●Until the 99% understand the need for federal deficits, the upper 1% will rule.
●To survive long term, a monetarily non-sovereign government must have a positive balance of payments.
●Those, who do not understand the differences between Monetary Sovereignty and monetary non-sovereignty, do not understand economics.
●The penalty for ignorance is slavery.
O.K., guns are legal. Absolutely.
Various Supreme Courts have ignored or rationalized around the first half of the 2nd Amendment (“A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state” and focused all attention on the second half (“the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”)
Further, the various Supreme Courts have expanded the meaning of “arms” to include all kinds of death machines the founding fathers never dreamed of.
Finally, even a total ban on guns would accomplish absolutely nothing. In fact, it would have the perverse effect of increasing gun sales and crime, just as Prohibition increased alcohol sales and crime.
In America, guns are here to stay. The NRA has won. While other nations have avoided the mayhem associated with, indeed caused by, guns, we here have the cowboy mentality of “shoot first and ask questions, later.” It’s become a sign of strength and manhood to pull a 4-pound trigger and end a human life. Only sissies don’t understand that.
Even that impartial judge of morality, National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre, said, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”
So it’s settled, in law, in history and in American mores. America = guns. Period. So get used to it.
That said, there is a small problem, even gun owners should recognize. Guns do kill and maim. Guns do not prevent murder, as the NRA loves to claim. Guns cause murder and injury. The incidence of people using guns for legitimate self defense is remarkably rare, when compared with the incidence of people using guns for crime or killing by accident.
While some gun owners may lie awake at night, praying that a bad guy will enter their house so they can blow him away with one of their 10 guns, they statistically are more likely, by accident or by intention, to blow away their own wife or children, than any bad guys. That is the reality.
The more guns, the more murders and serious injuries with guns. It’s true here in Chicago, where the neighborhoods having the most privately owned and carried guns also have the most gun crimes. It’s true, worldwide. The nations with the most guns also have the most gun crimes.
So what shall we do? Shall we just surrender, and allow everyone to own and carry around a 50 caliber machine gun, or a rocket propelled grenade launcher, in the mistaken belief we all can act like well-trained police? Should we have any limits, whatsoever?
While nothing can prevent gun violence, there may be ways to mitigate the growing epidemic. That’s all we really want or can expect, isn’t it? Just to reduce the killing and wounding.
I have several thoughts, and would appreciate comments, not only from you bleeding heart liberals, but also from you macho patriot gun owners.
Idea 1: The “dram shop” corollary
At Bar Liability for Alcohol Injuries you’ll see: “Many states hold commercial vendors of alcohol, such as bars, taverns and package stores responsible for injury caused by drunk patrons”
While admittedly, there are many differences between buyers and sellers of alcohol vs buyers and sellers of guns, the principal is the same: The seller of a dangerous item, whether alcohol or a gun, can be responsible for the ultimate effect of that sale.
What if the seller of a gun were responsible for the actions of the buyer of that gun? The seller could be the manufacturer, a retailer or a private party. If you sell someone a gun, and he uses that gun to commit a crime, you could be responsible, perhaps not equally responsible, but legally responsible in some measure.
The effect would be that people only would sell guns to people they know well enough to be sure that person will not commit a crime. No sales to strangers or to “bad guys.” Only sales to “good guys.”
This probably would end gun shows and gun retailers, neither of which is constitutionally protected. So where would people get their constitutionally protected guns. According to the CNN article By the numbers: Guns in America, there were 310 million non-military firearms in America – as of 2009. Presumably, there are many more now.
So we already have plenty of guns, one for every man, woman and child (including newborns, and constitutionally protected fetuses). So, if you want a gun, you’d need only buy it from someone who trusts you are Wayne LaPierre’s “good guy with a gun” and knows you will not commit a crime with it.
That should be no problem for a good guy like you.
Idea #2: Tax guns
Making guns more expensive – much more expensive – might limit gun sales to rich good guys, as opposed to poor bad guys (You know who I mean).
Taxing gun manufacturers and importers, say $1,000 per hand gun and $2,000 per long gun (except for sales to the military and those “well-regulated militias” the Constitution mentions), would be a good start. There’s nothing unconstitutional about a tax.
Sure, there would be foreigners smuggling guns into the U.S., but again, all we can hope to do is reduce the flow, not end it altogether.
Idea #3: Tax bullets and shotgun shells
Same as #2, and actually could be implemented in concert with #2. Levy the tax on manufacturers and importers. Good guys don’t need to use many bullets. After all, how many crimes does a good guy get to prevent in a lifetime?
So if you paid, say $50, for a bullet, and that bullet remained in the gun under your pillow, you’d be protected against intruders your entire life – all for just $50. Cheap protection.
For target practice, maybe folks can use paint balls. Just as much fun, and not nearly so dangerous. As for home-made shells, remember, we’re looking for mitigation, not total prevention.
Idea #4: Tax or outlaw magazines and clips
Our founding fathers did not anticipate automatic or even semi-automatic weapons. Every gun was single-shot, hand loaded. There were no magazines or clips for multiple bullets. (There were some double-shot pistols – something like two pistols glued side by side – but even they were hand loaded.) So, no one can claim magazines or clips are constitutionally protected.
Manufacturers of guns would be prohibited from manufacturing magazines or any type of gun that can carry multiple shells or any type of gun that can be modified to carry a magazine or clip. Magazines could be made illegal, and any crime committed using a gun with a magazine, could carry stronger penalties. Forcing bad guys to hand load their weapons would give the good guys time to respond.
In summary, gun ownership is the law of the land. Personally, I think it’s a terrible law that dramatically hurts America, but it’s the law, today. So, our goal should not be to prevent gun ownership; the goal should be to reduce gun killing and wounding.
The above four ideas are steps in that direction. Perhaps you have better ideas. We surely need ideas.
Until then, keep your head down.
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Nine Steps to Prosperity:
1. Eliminate FICA (Click here)
2. Medicare — parts A, B & D — for everyone
3. Send every American citizen an annual check for $5,000 or give every state $5,000 per capita (Click here)
4. Long-term nursing care for everyone
5. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone
6. Salary for attending school (Click here)
7. Eliminate corporate taxes
8. Increase the standard income tax deduction annually
9. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99%
No nation can tax itself into prosperity, nor grow without money growth. Monetary Sovereignty: Cutting federal deficits to grow the economy is like applying leeches to cure anemia. Two key equations in economics:
Federal Deficits – Net Imports = Net Private Savings
Gross Domestic Product = Federal Spending + Private Investment and Consumption – Net Imports