16 August 2012

More Guns

Got two cool comments on my gun tax plan.  The one that was intriguing, from KA, suggested that because guns are durable, the tax would not reduce the number of guns very quickly if at all.  Quite so.  Good insight.  But my tough was less geared toward reducing guns than in closing the 'feedback loop.'  Just as the cost of cigarettes now reflects the long term affect of smoking, and has effectively reduced the rate of smoking among young people especially, so a sales tax on guns at the point of sale might reduce impulse buying.

For me, the connection between a right and the responsibility to use that right wisely is what is missing.  Free speech is good, but some speech is destructive, whether it be Westboro Baptist funeral stalking or anonymous corporate political advertising.  Make the consequences of using rights as visible as the rights themselves, is all I am saying.

Now, let's add another thought.  If gun ownership is a right along with other rights, then should our rights be equally accessible?  That is, should some rights be harder to exercise than others?  The Young Turks have asked this question.  Here is the video link:

http://current.com/shows/the-young-turks/videos/in-some-us-states-its-easier-to-qualify-to-own-a-gun-than-vote-in-a-national-election

What if some bold politician (Politicians like being bold, you see.  Courageous and honest not so much) introduced legislation requiring that the limits on voting and gun ownership be the same?  If free access to guns is a rights then why not voting?  And if voting fraud is a problem, then why not gun ownership fraud (such as felons)?  

I find this a fun thought experiment because it makes us ponder whether some rights are more valuable or risky than others?  What do you think?  If the rules were the same we would either have more guns and more voters, or fewer guns and fewer voters.  

This makes my head hurt.  Good.

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