Taxing Guns to Pay Victims

Looks like Jimmy Anderson is full of “great” comments today:

MADISON, Wis. – A fund to help victims of gun violence would be created by imposing a new tax on guns in Wisconsin under a new bill proposed in the Legislature.

Rep. Jimmy Anderson, D-Fitchburg, introduced the bill Wednesday, following the shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas.

New bill from @Rep_Jimmy would impose a new tax on guns to pay for a fund in Wisconsin for victims of gun violence. (WI has a crime victims from through @WisDOJ, but not all gun crimes are eligible other than homicide.)

In a news release, Anderson said the measure would create a fund within the Wisconsin Department of Justice to help victims with costs related to an incidence of gun violence. To create the fund, Anderson would impose a new tax on gun manufacturers of 0.5 percent of the list price for each firearm sold in Wisconsin.

“The unfortunate reality is that victims of gun violence have no legal recourse,” Anderson said in a statement, noting that gun manufacturers are immune from legal liability for criminal use of firearms. “This places incredible financial burdens on victims and their families, many of whom face exorbitant medical bills and other unforeseen expenses.”

Let’s list a few problems with this…

  1. It is not the role of government, or taxpayers, to compensate people when they suffer a tragedy. As a people, we have chosen to do it in the past for specific events (9/11, etc.), but those are outside of the norm.
  2. Guns don’t commit crimes. People do. Are we to have a knife victim compensation fund too? Hammers? Poisons? Bombs?
  3. Why should all gun owners be liable when someone illegally uses their gun? It would be like taxing all car owners to compensate victims of drunk drivers.
  4. Victims of violence – gun or otherwise – do have legal recourse. The criminal justice system gives them recourse for the crime and they can civilly sue the perpetrator. Again, this would be like assuming that Honda is liable when a drunk driver plows into a crossing guard with his Civic.
  5. Do we really want for our Attorney General to have another slush fund to dole out at his or her discretion?
  6. This will do absolutely nothing to address the issue of violence in our communities. It is simply the creation of another program to transfer money from the many into the pockets of a few to appease the vanity of a petty politician.