Gun violence is one of those phrases spoken by politicians who want to drum up fear in the general public. Although it’s no different than any other form of violence the idea of gun violence tends to be scarier to most people than, say, knife violence (which is kind of strange because I’d far prefer to be shot than stabbed) so it lends itself better expanding the surveillance state. The Seattle City Council took things a step further though. Instead of using gun violence as an excuse to expand the surveillance state it used it to directly enrich itself:
The Seattle City Council gave its unanimous approval Monday afternoon to a plan that slaps a $25 tax on each gun sale and 5 cents on each bullet sold in the city limits.
The proposal, introduced last month by Council President Tim Burgess, is billed as the city’s solution to the $17 million in medical costs from 253 gunshot victims at Harborview Medical Center last year, which Seattle underwrites with public funds.
How will this new tax solve the problem of gun violence? It won’t because it doesn’t impact people who are actually committing acts of violence with firearms (you know, the ones who generally acquire their firearms through theft). The only people this tax will impact are non-violent gun owners who aren’t part of the problem. In fact this tax doesn’t even address the root of the city’s $17 million medical bill, which is violence. But this tax will rake in more cash for the city government, which is the point. After all, how else will the City Council vote itself a raise if it’s not finding new revenue sources?
Once again we get to witness the lie of government solutions. Governments have no motivation to fix problems because the existence of problems allows it to further cement its power and enrich its members.