Remarkably, a few days after this post the city of Seattle was upheld in a court ruling (article from Forbes Magazine here) enabling the city to charge $25 for each firearm purchased and $.05 for each piece of ammunition bought. In this case, the monies collected will be devoted to education. Not surprisingly, the NRA vociferously fought against the levy. A collective voice among us could bring about continued change in the same way……
In a marked and one time only excursion away from baseball, and in the spirit of the Christmas season, let’s look at some startling facts about guns in America………and then I would ask you to consider what I believe to be a novel proposal that is not a method of gun control in any way……..but an idea that could benefit us all.
First, an article Published in the National Review (not exactly known as a bastion of liberal journalism) in October of this year revealed that Americans purchased nearly 1,800,000 guns in the month of September alone…..which translates into about half the guns owned in all of Australia or Great Britain.
The FBI reports that it has run 15,512,384 background checks so far this year. If we assume once again that two percent of those checks came up positive — and that each yielded only one sale — we can conclude that at least 15.2 million guns have been sold in America in 2015.
Continuing with the same theme, The Washington Post reports that for the first time ever, there are more guns than people in the United States (estimated count 357 million). And that of course is only the number of guns that are legally registered.
The actual toll on our citizenry as gun violence plays out in the streets of America is summed up best in this chart provided by the Gun Violence Archive for the year 2014.
- Total Number of Incidents 51,770
- Number of Deaths1 12,574
- Number of Injuries1 23,037
- Number of Children (age 0-11) Killed/Injured1 628
- Number of Teens (age 12-17) Killed/Injured1 2,371
- Mass Shooting2 281
- Officer Involved Incident2 3,212
- Home Invasion2 2,610
- Defensive Use2 1,581
- Accidental Shooting2 1,601
Now look, save perhaps for immigration there is not more
of a hot button political issue than gun control in these United States today. And it would be fruitless to go in that direction given the entrenched nature of guns in our culture, not to mention the powerful lobbyists that represent the “gun machine” in our political system.
So, no gun control. But here’s something we probably could do. Why not transform the “right” to own guns into a “PRIVILEGE” in the same way that we have driver’s license – and PAY for that privilege – why not do the same with those who elect to own a gun?
Think about it……do the math……if there are indeed 360 million legally owned guns in America….and if a modest fee was charged say every three years (like a driver’s license) of say $50 per gun……the haul taken in would be $18 billion. That’s billion!
And if we go back to the chart for a second and recall that there were about 51,000 victims of gun violence in 2014…..and if we use that as a yearly guesstimate of victims each year…….we could take the $6 billion received each year, divide it equally among victims and/or their survivors paying each $120,000.
Now, this is not meant to put a price on someone’s life or disability due to gun violence……but it’s something!
If I chose to operate a vehicle and someone else opts to own a gun, we should both pay for the right to do so. I gladly pay to drive…..how about having gun owners paying to play also……..