Will Taxing Bullets Reduce Violent Crime in Chicago?

I’ve heard of a lot of different ideas and programs to help curb violent crimes, but the one being proposed in Cook County, Illinois has got to be in the top ten of most ridiculous ideas I’ve ever heard of.

Cook County is home to the Obamas, the city of Chicago and a mayor who once served as one of Obama’s closest aides on Capitol Hill, Rahm Emmanuel.  It is also home of a rising homicide rate.  Last year at this time, Chicago reported 324 homicides.  At the same time this year, they have reached 409 homicides and some officials are trying to find ways to change the trend.

Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County Board President is proposing a budget that will include a five cent tax on every bullet and a twenty-five dollar tax on every gun purchased in the county.  She believes that this will help reduce the rate of homicides and violent crimes and help raise nearly a $1 million in revenue each year.  The revenue will be used in part for a variety of county services including the cost of medical care for victims of gunshots.  She tried to explain and justify her proposal by saying:

“We think that’s an appropriate thing to do, especially in the light of the gun violence we struggle to deal with in our criminal justice system and our public health system.  The legal gun shops in suburban Cook County are a conduit for crimes in Chicago. There’s no way around it.”

When I read this, my first question is how many of the homicides and other violent crimes committed by legally purchased guns versus illegally obtained guns?  A large part of the violence in Chicago and Cook County is gang related and I’m sure that every gang member follows all of the firearm laws in legally obtaining their weapons of choice.  Yeah sure!

This makes as much sense as placing a tax on all computers because some people use them to steal identities and a myriad of sexual perversions including preying on young children.  The only thing that makes sense of her proposal is that it is designed to be a revenue source to help pay for their $100 million a year deficit.

Evidently, I’m not the only one who sees Preckwinkle’s proposal as being completely idiotic and ineffective in preventing gun violence.  Richard Pearson, the executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association shares my views when he said:

“If she wants to get to the people causing all the problems she ought to put a tax on street gangs.  All this is going to do is drive business out of Cook County, into other counties, Indiana and Wisconsin.”

Gun store owners also believe the proposal will not help prevent crime, but will have a negative impact on his business.  Fred Luger, who owns Freddie Bear Sport in Cook County said:

“Who’s going to come to Tinley Park to buy ammunition.  Why should (we) be paying for gang bangers shooting each other? You’re taxing law-abiding citizens for what criminals are doing.”

Pearson, Luger and others are already talking about filing lawsuits to challenge the ammo and gun tax if it is adopted and put into practice.  Preckwinkle has already said that she expects lawsuits, but feels that a tax will stand up in court.  If it does make it to court, I hope the judge laughs her right out the door.