Guest Editorial: Tim Burgess's Gun Tax Proposal Is Pure Politics and Not a Real Solution

Comments

1
You wanna know something else that's "pure politics and not a real solution?" How about John Roderick's own whimsical, back-of-the-napkin "neighborhood municipal rail system?" As reported on this blog.

And I write this as someone who (A) is not a Tim Burgess fan and (B) probably agrees with Roderick's characterization of Burgess's gun tax. Is there anyone else in this race worth getting excited over? If the choice is between these two, I'd stick with Burgess.
2
I'm inclined to agree that this proposal is shallow, obvious, pointless pandering. But I'm at a loss to see how it's overly focused on the "public appearances" of the problem. It's a tax, administered at the point of purchase.
3
Roderick is full of bullshit. As has long been known, the root cause of gun violence is the proliferation of guns. Anything we can do to reduce guns in our communities -- and municipalities have few legal options considering the state's preemption clause -- is going to help. Roderick bumbles here into mouthing NRA talking points and looks like a clown. Sorry, Roderick. On this issue you suck.
4
"Ultimately, only a broad package of solutions can meaningfully bring down the true cost of gun violence"
..does such a "broad package" include a gun/bullet tax proposal? That is, Burgess is also in favor of variety of other parallel approaches too; as most of us are. So unless something dramatic is being proposed, like a "check yer firearm at the sheriff's office" like they did during the old west, then it's only so much palaver.
6
Love the racist fear-mongering there, John. Keep it up. Now, if you are really interested in getting at the problem of gun violence in America, the place to start is the well-organized and completely batshit insane NRA. Nothing will ever be done as long as those psychopaths are allowed a voice in the debate.

Also, if you want to stop the "killing in the streets," then address the most violent, wealthiest, and powerful street gang that is in our cities and towns across America: the cops.
7
Forgive me for being annoying on this subject, but I want people to seriously think about it. Requiring all gun owners to carry liability and accident insurance would accomplish a couple of things.

1) It would cover the damages caused by, not all, but the majority of shootings.

2) It would improve public safety by raising consciousness that gun ownership comes with the risks of gun injury, to self, family, and friends.

3) It might potentially get people to reexamine why they want a gun in the first place.

4) A reduction in casual, unneeded gun ownership might reduce the number of unsecured guns that are stolen in burglaries.

I realize that insurance coverage for responsible gun owners will not directly affect the incidences of stranger-on-stranger crime, but those are the minority of injuries and deaths.
8
If it's such a do-nothing, feel-good tactic, let's go ahead and do it. Plus, a bunch of other things, too. We have to start somewhere. I think the trick is to not let up once we do one thing.
9
I do not believe Burgess made any claims that it would halt or even slow much of the gun violence did he? Isn't this more about trying to defray the high societal costs of gun ownership to those who choose to own guns?

@7: It is a good idea, and would benefit society greatly but there is a bit of a constitutional snag. It is basically a "tax" to gain access to one of our basic rights as Americans, which are supposed to be free and "god-given." I fail to see how it is much different from a voting tax, which is clearly unconstitutional.

Unfortunate really, but I fail to see how it would pass constitutional muster.
10
@7: I should remark though, that perhaps the better option is trying to convince insurance companies that they should jack up the rates on life and homeowners policies for gun owners due to the increased risk of death and property damage that occurs around guns.

That could be called constitutional, and accomplish much of the same things.
11
It's all politics, period.

Burgess knows full well that this tax won't pass but he wants to look good.

12
I support Roderick's campaign, but this guest editorial is really disappointing.

It is first and foremost an attack on Burgess's motivation rather than his policy. I don't care if something is "pure politics" as long as it moves things in the right direction. Unless you have concrete evidence that a policy is being proposed as a sham with no intention of actually being enacted, don't waste our time with petty squabbling about *why* it is being put forth. We deserve to be treated like adults -- we can deal with an actual, substantive policy debate.

The arguments that are presented on the merits are unconvincing. Burgess says this tax could help defray costs from emergency room visits. Roderick responds that "[t]he cost of emergency room treatment is a tiny fraction of the real costs borne by our entire community." So... what? Should the taxes be higher to cover the full costs? How does that relate in any way to whether or not this would be good policy?

Finally, I'm left at a loss as to where Roderick stands on the issue. The gist of the editorial seems to be "guns don't kill people, people kill people," but I wouldn't expect that kind of reductivism from Roderick. Do you actually think this is bad policy (like the civility laws) that should be actively opposed? Or it is just harmless and unlikely to be particularly effective? It seems to me like limiting access to guns (via regulations and/or taxes) and encouraging behavior change will both need to be part of any solution. Just because some policy isn't a magic cure-all to fix all of our problems doesn't mean it isn't a good idea that helps moves things in the right direction.

In the future, more substance please. Publicly attacking your opponent's motivations without adequately addressing the merits of his position or explaining your own -- that's what feels like "pure politics."
13
@7 yes the bangers in the CD and Rainier Valley would certainly add additional liability coverage after acquiring a new gat, which they always do through legal channels.
15
This is so lacking substance and direction...does this Beardo have Sean Nelson write for him?
16
The further adventures of Smugboy McRockerdude!
17
@12 So I have very concrete evidence that the policy is a sham. I am the owner of the one of the two gun shops that would go out of business if this to be enacted. This is a 100%-25% tax increase on ammunition, 20%-5% price increase on guns, and with over 10 gun shops just outside Seattle, there is absolutely no reasons for people to go to the two shops inside that are guaranteed to be more expensive. We will simply close, and the number of guns and ammunition will remain exactly the same.

I have a whitepaper with all the numbers on our web site - preciseshooter.com.
18
Sergey, I admire your courage to come talk to this crowd...data and facts mean nothing here - only pure emotion. I have used your FFL in the past & you are a great guy! Cheers.
19
We here at the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility support Burgess’ proposals. They will make a difference in the overall effort to reduce gun crime and raise public awareness of the real costs of gun violence.

Every legitimate effort to reduce violence should be embraced and applauded, not derided.

We need more creativity and ambition from our local elected officials, not less. Seattle can and should be a leader in reducing gun violence. And the Burgess proposals are an excellent first step.
20
@17

I admire your courage to try and talk to this crowd as well. I've taken plenty of shit around here being a left-wing gun owner.

Just realize that you won't change anyone's mind here regarding guns with thoughtful, well-reasoned arguments.

The SLOG is 'Exhibit A' that left-wing zealots are just as crazy and irrational as right-wing zealots.

I'll be sure to patronize your place of business, though, and am looking forward to meeting you.
22
Shot Caller records human voices too and has successfully been used against people in a court of law for their WORDS, not gun shots. No fucking way.
23
@19

Zach, the burden of proof is on YOU to show what this proposal would accomplish, aside from causing the two gun stores in Seattle to close. For $25 difference, people will drive to Tukwila, Bellevue, or Lynnwood. Every time.

It won't raise revenue. It won't make a dent in violence. It's pure window dressing, put forth by people who are entirely ignorant of the weapons they propose to regulate.
25
@17: i'd imagine that if these 2 taxes were to impact your business that much, you'd want to just move out of the city rather than close. the way edge of the circle books moved from capitol hill to the u district when they got evicted.

if one agrees with @3, as i do, i'm not sure why it would be important to me to retain seattle's 2 remaining gun shops. because they're a small business? because every city needs gun stores to be culturally diverse? because freedom?

26
We can't thank Tim enough for advocating populist initiatives in Seattle that drive more business and jobs to the Eastside. Thank you for Seattle's rising taxes, minimum wage, and vagrants, Tim! Re-elect Tim Burgess. He is a champion for Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond, Renton, Sammamish and Issaquah.
27
@26...Renton ain't the Eastside. It's south King County. Don't lump my town in with the rest of those economic and social moat building fiefdoms. If you doubt that, do some research into the number of ELL students and the ethnic and liguistic diversity in the Renton School District. We're where the workers of Seattle live. We bear the cost of your elected's crap policies and get none of the real estate or sales tax benefits of the Eastside cities or any real transportation services to get to work. So piss on someone else's shoe.