Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Buy guns. Tax bullets.

We may not ever stop the carnage. The left desires state “control,” which won't work, the right believes the problem isn’t too many guns but not enough guns in the right hands—a belief pure crazy.

But given the dysfunction of America on this issue, what can we do? I suggest a market-based approach. Let’s put a value on guns that means something, buy them and melt them down. 

I suggest $20 per round-capacity. So a six shot revolver would bring $120 to the seller, a 9-round semi auto would bring $180, an assault rifle with a potential 50-round magazine a cool $1,000.

At the same time, we should tax bullets. I don’t know—$1 apiece? We can figure that out. The revenue from bullet sales will be used to buy the guns. 

I was thinking about making an exception for hunting rifles and shotguns but was told that such discrimination was not fair. So okay, no exceptions.

All guns collected go into a blast furnace.

To those who wrap themselves in the second amendment: keep your guns. No question. But… since we already have gun registration laws, we need to extend those laws and all your guns need to be registered. And identified with ballistic evidence. With some pretty severe penalties, including confiscation, for non-compliance with the registration law.

Then we add real liability. If you are negligent in gun ownership, proven simply by the fact that a gun registered to you was used in a crime, you are economically liable for the consequences and maybe criminally liable if the negligence was gross.

I don’t know if we will ever change the culture of gun ownership. But I think market place economics can be used to reduce the number of times guns fall into the wrong hands and are used to kill classrooms full of children. It’s about damn time.

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