If You Can’t Ban it Tax it

The state loves to prohibit goods and services. Most of the time the state’s prohibitions are met with popular support because a majority of those voicing their opinion bought whatever propaganda the state issued. However there are times when the state bans something that doesn’t go over well with the people. One example of this was alcohol during Prohibition, while the ban was enacted most people either simply ignored it or actively fought against it. Firearms are another example of this. Chicago has tried to maintain a complete ban on private firearm ownership within the city but that ban was shot down in the Supreme Court case McDonald v. Chicago. Since Chicago can’t have its ban it’s looking to take a page from the neoprohibitionist’s manual and do the next best thing, tax firearms and ammunition:

Drawing the ire of the gun lobby, Cook County Board President Preckwinkle is eyeing a violence tax on guns and ammunition sold in the city and suburbs, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned.

Such a tax alone wouldn’t close a $115 million budget gap in 2013, but it could at least funnel money into the county’s $3 billion operation — where roughly two-thirds of the budget pays for both the county’s public health clinics and two hospitals along with the criminal justice system that includes the courts and jail.

“If we were to pursue a tax on something like guns and ammo, clearly that wouldn’t be popular with the [gun lobby] out there, and it may not generate $50 million, but … it is consistent with our commitment to pursuing violence reduction in the city and in the county,” Kurt Summers, Preckwinkle’s chief of staff, said on Monday.

You have to love how a politician can use the phrase “it is consistent with our commitment to pursing violence reduction” when they really mean “it is consisten with our commitment to ensure the serfs of our manor remain disarmed.” Gun control is strictly about the state’s control over the people. Even though the nation’s gun control laws have become more liberal (using the classical definition of the word) the violent crime rate has been decreasing. That only leaves one plausible reason for the state to continue pursuing means to increase the barrier between individuals and firearms.