California recently approved a $92 million ammo tax in a misguided effort to thwart gun violence in the state. The approximately $.05 per bullet tax will make the mandated new fee more expensive than the boxes of bullets themselves. The California ammo tax will place a 10 percent fee on law-abiding citizens in order to aid neighborhoods and cities plagued with gun violence. The liberal concept of redistributing wealth is once again at play here. The ammunition tax will not apply to law enforcement agencies.
Taxing legal gun owners in order to reimburse crime-ridden areas that are unfortunately targeted by gangs, gun dealers, and home invasions, defies common sense. What will California do next, issue an ice cream tax on folks who enjoy the tasty treat on occasion to help pay for the healthcare of the obese? Wait a minute! Lawmakers are already basically doing just that under the guise of Obamacare.
Democrat California lawmakers Roger Dickinson and Rob Bonta support the ammo tax and hope the millions of dollars will end the suffering from gun violence in Oakland. Assembly Bill 760 will theoretically offer some cities an enhanced public safety presence on the street in order to stop gun violence before it occurs, with the supposed ability to respond quicker when the bullets start flying. Liberal California legislators are also pushing for a stricter gun control laws specific to the City of Oakland.
Unfortunately for long-time Oakland residents, once decent working-class neighborhoods have succumbed to street gangs and drug dealers. The gun violence in such areas is not a new problem; it has evolved over decades. Only now that an irrational fear of guns is sweeping through some segments of society has California opted to get serious about gun crime in poor neighborhoods. California lawmakers nixed similar bills twice during the past ten years.
Democrat Assemblyman Roger Dickinson had this to say about the California ammo tax and companion legislation, AB187:
“Screening young children for signs of mental illness and addressing any issues early on is the key to a healthier and more productive adult life. A limited tax on ammunition is a small price to pay for better mental healthcare for kids, reduced crime, and safer communities statewide.”
An attempt to increase the cost of ammunition so much that the typical American citizen cannot afford to buy any is a backdoor attack on the Second Amendment. A small price to pay? A reduction in freedom is a massive price to pay for even the most worthwhile of goals. The gang bangers in the bad neighborhoods will not be impacted at all by the ammo tax. They will merely steal the bullets they need to shoot at one another (often hitting innocent bystanders during drive-by shootings) from those now forced to pay the new tax.
Exactly how the mental health screenings of school children will work remains to be seen. It is currently unknown if the process will be voluntary, if parents will be allowed to supervise or have input on what type of professionals speak with their children. The mental health results will obviously be shared with some type of governmental agency for further review, meaning the minors will lose any right to privacy.
Keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill is an issue which definitely deserves to be investigated further. No one, on any side of the political aisle, believes that mentally unstable individuals should be able to pass a background check. Even with enhanced scrutiny of mental health issues, the readily available illegal guns on city streets make the possibility of another mass shooting all too real.
But, subjecting every child to mental health care screenings (even though indicators of mental health concerns are not present) is an invasion of both privacy and parental authority. A state mental health professional could consider a typical “boys being boys” moment on the playground an indicator of future violence.
The staffer could write down any liberal-offending action or statement made by the child in a file year after year. By the time little Johnny walks across the gym floor to get his diploma, the state could have enough documentation to potentially deny his right to own a gun.
According to Sunlight Foundation statistics, more than 1,500 gun control bills have been introduced in states across the country since the Sandy Hook Elementary tragic mass shooting in December. California, the first state in the union to pass an assault-weapons ban in 1989, did so in reaction to a school shooting in Stockton. A total of five children were killed and another 29 wounded when a gunman opened fire with an AK-47 rifle.
In 1984, another one of the most deadly shooting in the United States occurred in San Diego. A gunman walked into a McDonald’s restaurant and killed 21 customers and staffers. California has some of the most stringent gun laws in the country, yet gun violence has not ebbed in the state. As is always the case, when new gun bills are passed, they only impact those who legally purchase and register their guns in the first place. If the California mass gunman in the two deadly mass shootings were unable to pass a background check, they could have easily purchased a gun illegally on the street corner and still carried out their evil deeds.
Republican California lawmakers are not sitting on their hands and shaking their heads about the mounting gun violence problem in the state. Legislation currently under consideration includes bills which might actually curtail the problem without infringing upon either the Second Amendment or emptying the pockets of law-abiding gun owners.
One bill which was authored by California Republican lawmakers to address the problem of gun violence would raise penalties for illegal possession, buying, or selling of firearms. This logical response to gun control would not reduce our right to bear arms and stands at least a shadow of a chance of putting more folks who deal guns illegally out of business and behind bars. The same pending legislation would also usher more funds to the development of a convict database, limit how much information could be shared about concealed carry permits holders, and mandate state supervised parole of those convicted on gun crimes. As of now, this supervision is currently handled only at the county level.