Colorado Shooting: Time to Tax Bullets?

Second Amendment enthusiasts decried politicizing the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting, lamenting if there was someone in the theater who was armed, they could have taken the gunman out.  That’s a big assumption in a darkened theater, and what it they hit an innocent bystander while returning fire?

Now as far as President’s go, President Obama has a terrible record on Gun Control.  Terrible.  This is in spite of right wing rhetoric from Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Michelle Bachman and Glenn Beck all on record saying the president was going to take away guns.  Gun sales have skyrocketed since Obama was sworn in. And Obama is the best friend in the White House the NRA has ever had.

From The Hill:

The Brady Campaign blasted the president, whom the group endorsed in 2008, for not having taken significant steps to advance gun control laws.

“It’s been a very disappointing year for us, especially considering what he campaigned on,” the group’s president, Paul Helmke, said during an appearance on MSNBC. “This year they ran away from the issue, and actually signed two repeals of good gun legislation.”

Those changes, which would allow guns in national parks and on Amtrak trains, were attached as amendments to larger pieces of legislation the president generally supported.

Obama got an “F” on every issue the Brady Campaign scored, according to its report card.

Obama has passed more gun rights laws and repealed more gun restrictions in his first term than G.W. Bush did in eight years. Lets look at some of the highlights of pro-gun victories since Obama took office:

  • Obama resisted attempts to reinstate the Assault Weapons Ban or curb the extended clips
  • Obama enacted legislation permitting firearms in national parks.
  • In 2009, Arizona and Tennessee passed laws letting people carry guns in bars.
  • In 2010, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to extend federal gun-rights protections to states.
  • In 2010, Louisiana approved a bill letting people carry firearms in houses of worship (in Church!!!).
  • In 2010, Arizona passed a law letting people carry concealed weapons without a permit. In 2011, Wyoming enacted the same law.
  • In 2011, the U.S. House of Representatives passed, with considerable bipartisan support, a bill that makes a firearm-carry permit in one state valid in every other state.
  • In 2011, Mississippi enacted legislation allowing people to carry firearms on college campuses, and in bars and churches. Later that year, the measure was expanded to include sporting events, polling places, airports, courthouses and other government localities.
  • In 2011, North Dakota and Texas passed legislation to ensure that employees may bring a gun to work, as long as it’s locked in a vehicle.
  • In 2011, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and New Hampshire put into effect versions of Florida’s “stand your ground” law, granting people broad latitude to use lethal force when they perceive a threat to their safety.

The list does not include NRA victories at beating back gun-control efforts, such as prohibiting people on a government-designated terror watch list from buying a firearm, or closing a loophole that allows sales of weapons at gun shows.

There are some who believe it’s high time to use The Patriot Act to start tracking people who seek to own assault weapons as well as tax the hell out of the ammunition these weapons use. If the Colorado case wasn’t enough, there was the Gabby Gifford shooting to consider.

From the Daily Kos post:

1) Patriot Act-We track, monitor and investigate terrorist activities. Let’s use that power to track LARGE AMMO(above 3000 rounds) and Assault Gun Purchases. Start with a simple phone call at the time of purchase.
2) Wire Tap and Monitor the Internet and Wireless Usage of Key suspects
3) Build up and Bulk up the ATF!
4) Send Agents to all the most High Risk Contacts.

Gee isn’t that how we handle Terrorists Today?

If anyone says that this is inconvenient or penalizes the whole Country ask them if they have been to the Airport lately! We are searching, X-raying and reviewing and we have not had an attack in over 10yrs!

Last consider taxing bullets as we do alcohol and tobacco; it doesn’t hinder anyone’s ability to buy a gun or have a gun, but makes it more expensive.  If you want an automatic or assault weapon, fine.  Pay for extensive background checks, psychological exams, and set up law enforcement triggers for anyone who buys vast amounts of ammo online.

There are about 312 million people in the United States and according to the Brady Campaign, there are an estimated 283 million guns in the US.  Some facts to consider:

DID YOU KNOW? The United States has millions of guns in civilian hands.

  • The U.S. has an estimated 283 million guns in civilian hands (Hepburn, p. 18).
  • An estimated 2 million secondhand firearms are sold each year as well (ATF, p. 1).
  • In 2009, police recovered at least 239,883 guns in connection with crime (Brady Center, 2010).
  • Gun owners throw away an estimated 36,000 guns every year (Police Foundation, p. 30).

DID YOU KNOW? Household gun ownership has been declining since the 1970s.

  • The percentage of American households with a gun has been steadily declining over time, (from a high of 54 percent in 1977 to 32 percent in 2010) (Smith, 2008 and Violence Policy Center, 2011).
  • Gun ownership is highly concentrated. Approximately 20 percent of gun owners own 65 percent of the nation’s guns (Hepburn, p. 16).
  • Household gun ownership may be declining even though millions of guns are sold each year in part because gun owners are adding more guns to their collections. The average number of guns per owner has increased from 4.1 in 1994 to 6.9 in 2004 (Hepburn, p. 18).


  1. Junior — I’m talking about a huge tax; one that makes firing every round from an assault weapon very expensive. Or, tax the snot out of assault weapons. If you really want one that badly, you’ll pay $10K for each one.

    • Dan – it already costs around $20-$30k for an ordinary citizen to acquire an assault weapon (that being, an automatic rifle). That’s (assuming you are even allowed to buy it) the cost of the extensive background checks, the tax stamp, finding someone with a weapon registered before the law went into place (86? 89? I forget) that is willing to sell it, the FFL transfer and the cost of the gun itself.

      Unless you’re considering a semi-automatic rifle an “assault weapon”. In which case hundreds of thousands of deer are killed every year by your “assault weapons”. By that logic, the gun I learned how to shoot with when I was 6 years old – a Remington Nylon 66 – should be taxed out of existence. Surely a gun that holds over a dozen bullets and can be emptied skillfully on target in a matter of seconds is a danger to society, right? Never mind the fact that it taught me how to be responsible with any firearm…

      Now, consider how much it costs to buy an automatic rifle illegally on the black market. I’ll give you a hint. It’s easier than trying to get one legally. Your taxes and laws only discourage law abiding people from owning the guns they desire.

      • Why do you need an assault weapon? An assault rifle is bulky and not practice. And if acquired for hunting, it’s not sport. I learned to hunt with a basic shotgun. I think we had to reload after every shot. My dad said knowing you had one shot made you a better, more patient hunter and a better shot because of the care you’d have to take to place your shot. My brother bow hunts as he says its more sporting.

        If you are concerned about personal safety, there are a number of basic firearms (handguns) that will be more than adequate.

        Experts say there are between 260 million to 300 million firearms are owned by inidviduals in the United States–one gun for every three homes. Guns are used in 66.7% of all homicides and 10% of violent crime involves a gun — nearly 340,000 crimes a year. If you have stats about how many of these homeowners thwarted crime by having a gun, I’m all ears.

        And as to your last sentence, I think we’d be a safer society with fewer guns out there.

        • Because I want one. We live in America. That should be all the reason anyone needs. We should have the right to own, do or consume anything we want, so long as it does not interfere with someone else’s rights. Because there are some people that can not handle the responsibility of something is not reason enough to ban it. I know a lot of people who cannot drink alcohol and be expected to behave responsibly. Should we try out prohibition again?

          Who are you to tell me what is or is not practice or sport? Your definition of sport is not the only one that exists. Go search for “uzi competition” on YouTube. Some people think that hiking around the mountains and taking elk from 800+ yards is sporting. Some people think sitting in a tree with an AR15 waiting for deer to walk into view is sporting. Or let’s take it to a different field… Some people think that driving 190mph on an oval track is a sport. Many other people would rather take a nap. Who’s right? Who gets to define “sport”?

          I don’t remember the website off the top of my head, but the Australian government agency that tracks crime has a lot of data freely available on their site. If you go look at it, you can see that after the 1996 weapons ban, violent crime took a sharp turn upward. And wonder of all wonders, about a quarter of all violent crimes still had a gun in the hands of the bad guys. That means that after the public was disarmed, there were actually more crimes committed with guns.

          Another thing that bothers me about this piece you’ve written is that you seem to be crediting gun rights victories in specific states to the fact that Obama was president at the time. Obama has no say over whether LA wants people to be able to carry in church (I know lots of people who carry to church and everywhere else they go), or AZ says that anyone can carry a weapon, or MS says you can carry at public events or government facilities. The president has no influence over state laws.

          As to your last sentence, I think we’re a safer society when fewer criminals have guns. If you can figure out a way to make that happen, I’m all ears. I don’t think more laws will help though, since criminals tend to ignore them. That’s what makes them criminals.

          • The Empire State Building shooter was a law binding gun owner right up until the time he started shooting people. Obama’s record on enforcing gun laws is awful. He is the the best friend the NRA has ever had in the Oval Office yet pro-gun advocates continue to push the message that he’s going to take guns away.

            You know, I want a big Yacht too. One with a cabin and a galley. But they are expensive. So if I do all the right things and save for it, I can buy one. These yachts are sometimes used to traffic humans or drugs. If you want a gun, you can still have one but let’s tax it accordingly and have the proceeds fund police and medicial programs that treat victims of gun violence. But I think we should tax it to the point where its hard to get and not easy to get.

            And who are you to tell me that waiting for a deer with an AR15 is sport? I say its not, you say it is. Why do you need an assault weapon which only purpose is killing as many human beings as fast as possible. If you really want to play with those weapons regularly, join the armed forces.

            The fact of the matter, the US has the largest percentage of gun violence deaths in the industrialized world. We also lead the world in unintentional gun deaths (from law-abiding gun owners). Sugar coat that all you want.




            • Your point doesn’t make sense. Big houses, fancy yachts, – all the things you mention that you’d like but are too poor for – all cost a lot of money because they cost a lot to produce. You can’t build a yacht for $2000. You can’t even get a quarter of the materials for that. You are proposing making something expensive just for the sake of making it expensive. That’s just dumb.

              You also can’t seem to grasp the difference between an automatic weapon and a semi-automatic weapon. A semi-automatic rifle is NOT an assault rifle. Stop treating them as the same thing.

    • Hi Dan…the topic of guns certainly get people going…it seems pretty basic to me…it is as it is…we have our laws…it does no good to rant back and forth about what should or should not be done…if you don’t want guns in the hands of non-criminals, change the Constitution. Otherwise, it is all mute. The gun-control movement in this Nation is gone; lost; over. Guns are here to stay. Ammo is here to stay…ownership will not be infringed. Now, let’s all figure out how to keep guns away from bad people. I acknowledge that I am not sure how to do that in our great experiment. How much freedom do we want? Generally medical info is kept private…how do we get the blend of freedom and control right? As soon as the 2nd Amendment goes away, the 1st will be next…North Korea…no internet, no free speech, we pay a dear price for our freedoms, and a dear price is paid for control. Which price do we want to pay?

  2. If you have a chp, (conseal hand gun permit) for the liberal who wrote this. You’ve already had a criminal background check, locally and nation wide, a mental background check in every state you’ve lived, taken an extensive safety class and paid a lot of money. So you want to make it more expensive and make harsher laws for law obiding citizens, because we all know criminals obey the the law.

    • and the Colorado shooter obeyed all of those laws up until the time he started using movie goers as target practice. If you want a gun, fine. Want bullets to, OK. And I’d like a Villa in Tuscany. Now pay through the nose for it. If its that important to you, you’ll fork over the dough.

  3. The reason for the 2nd amendment and the need for assault weapons is for the people to overthrow their own government when needed.

    We exist as we do today because someone took their weapons and turned them on their government.

    As someone that has hunted and is not an avid hunter, I think you should be able to use anything you want as long as you plan on eating it. I prefer to be more sporting myself and would never kill anything just for fun.

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