Seattle: Taxing The Second Amendment And Reason

By: Mike McDaniel    Progressivism is, in many ways, a secular religion. While some progressives profess a faith of one kind or another, many do not. Nothing can be allowed to rival party, power and progressive narratives and ideology. Nothing can be greater than the current progressive maximum leader (see: “Barack Obama”). And as with religious true believers, progressivism cannot be falsified. No progressive narrative or doctrine can possibly be wrong; none may be proved wrong, and no evidence can ever be sufficient to prove it wrong. The most common response to anyone daring to produce evidence of the failure of a progressive policy is flashing anger, screamed obscenities, accusations of racism, sexism, any other ism one would care to name, and the always favorite: “shut up.” If violence is necessary to obtain that silence, so be it.

Unfortunately, the weight of reality commonly weighs heavily on progressive policies, so that when they seem to be failing, or have failed so spectacularly it cannot be ignored, standard arguments are employed:

1) You’re stupid.

2) You want to kill people, particularly children and the elderly.

3) You want to destroy the planet.

4) The policy hasn’t been given enough time to work its wonders. Another century or two will do the trick; you’ll see.

5) The policy hasn’t been enforced with sufficient progressivism.

6) Not nearly enough public money has been spent.

7) Conservatives have been allowed to exist to oppose the policy.

8) That moldy old Constitution is getting in the way of progress again.

9) TRUMP! or whoever else is the current progressivism focus of all evil in the world.

Let us, gentle readers, travel to Seattle, where Fox News provides a contemporary example:

When the City of Seattle passed a tax on all sales of guns and ammunition, the measure was hailed as a way to defray the rising costs of gun violence.

But since the tax took effect, those costs have only risen as gun violence in the city has surged. And the tax has apparently brought in much less than city leaders projected it would.

‘How much data do you need?’ asked Dave Workman, senior editor of and member of the Second Amendment Foundation. ‘The data says the law has failed to prevent what they promised it would prevent.

There those evil conservatives go again. They’re trying to argue evidence!

Seattle City Councilman Tim Burgess introduced the tax in 2015. It puts a $25 tax on every firearm sold in the city and up to 5 cents per round of ammunition. The measure easily passed and took effect January 1, 2016. Comparing the first five months of 2017 with the same period before the gun tax went into effect, reports of shots fired are up 13 percent, the number of people injured in shootings climbed 37 percent and gun deaths doubled, according to crime statistics from the Seattle Police Department.

Councilman Burgess never returned calls and emails for comment. Dana Robinson Slote, director of communication for Seattle City Council, said she was ‘politely declining your invitation for an interview.

I neglected to note one additional progressive tactic: they’ll ignore anyone that opposes them for as long as possible, particularly when their evidence is damningly strong.

In selling his gun tax to the public, Burgess predicted it would generate between $300,000 and $500,000 annually. The money would be used to study the root causes of gun violence in hopes of reducing the costs to taxpayers.

Surely none of the progressives imposing the tax really believed it would in any way make Seattle safer? Another progressive tactic is to change their messaging. If the public isn’t enthusiastic about the latest progressive policy, it can’t be because there is anything wrong with the policy. Progressives just haven’t come up with the proper rhetoric to fool the rubes. In recent years, progressive gun grabbers have taken to changing their rhetoric from “gun control” to common sense gun safety,” but their goals have not changed. Their eternal goal is the complete disarmament of the law-abiding. As the law-abiding do not, by definition, break the law–with firearms or otherwise–no law that inconveniences them or deprives them of fundamental liberties can possibly enhance public safety. Criminals, of course, don’t bother with obeying the law.

Unsurprisingly, the law has not only failed dismally at improving public safety, it has raised far less than its proponents claimed. Unfortunately for progressives, when they make doing business too expensive, businesses have the freedom to move, and some have, making any potential tax revenue evaporate. Law-abiding gun owners can also travel outside Seattle’s city limits to buy guns and ammunition, or they can turn to Internet ammunition sources, and so they have.

Seattle officials refuse to say how much the tax brought in the first year, only giving the number ‘under $200,000.’ Gun rights groups have sued to get the exact amount.

One can be sure it will be a great deal less than $200,000 dollars.

But Mike Coombs, owner of Outdoor Emporium, the last large gun dealer left in Seattle, said the actual tax revenue is almost certainly just over $100,000, a figure based on information he says the city shared with his lawyers.

Coombs said storewide, sales are down 20 percent while gun sales have plummeted 60 percent.

Gun dealers outside Seattle report booming sales, which is hardly surprising. This trend has also caused substantial loss of sales tax revenue for guns, ammunition and accessories.

The money that has been raised by the gun tax is sitting in a holding account during the legal battle. But Seattle has dipped into its general fund to support the gun violence research study at Harborview Medical Center. Seattle paid a total of $550,000 for the study aimed at connecting gunshot victims with social services in hopes of not seeing them in the emergency room again.

‘There’s a great deal of recidivism,’ said Dr. Fred Rivara, a professor at the University of Washington’s pediatrics department who is directing the research. ‘These individuals are much more likely to come back with other gunshot wounds, to commit subsequent crimes, violent crime, to be murdered.

And they truly believe “connecting gunshot victims with social services” will stop the killing? If gunshot victims are true innocents, they don’t need social services. If they’re criminals, particularly gangs and/or in the drug trade, they could care less about social services. I believe I’ve mentioned progressives only attack the law-abiding, not criminals? They want to spend money on criminals. They want to take money from the law-abiding to spend on criminals.

No such research is necessary. The results are entirely predictable, and have already been done many times in the past: guns are evil, and everyone but progressive government must be disarmed.

Unfortunately, the researchers have had no shortage of gunshot victims to help and study. Seattle police say the increase in shootings seems to be tied to the drug trade – and revenge. Allison Anderman with the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, which supports gun taxes, said calling the gun tax and gun violence study failures is way too premature.

‘The causes of gun violence are very complex,’ Anderman said. ‘To say this one study is lacking because it hasn’t solved the problem of gun violence in Seattle is, frankly, laughable.

Ha-ha. Anderman is arguing:

1) You’re stupid.

4) The policy hasn’t been given enough time to work its wonders. Another century or two will do the trick; you’ll see.

5) The policy hasn’t been enforced with sufficient progressivism.

6) Not nearly enough public money has been spent.

7) Conservatives have been allowed to exist to oppose the policy,

and implying the rest. Workman has the last word in the Fox article:

All these gun control laws affect the wrong people,’ Workman said. ‘The gang bangers don’t go in and buy ammunition at retail, at least not around here. It certainly hasn’t stopped them from getting their hands on firearms.

One needs little intellectual horsepower to imagine the progressive reaction to that.

Mike’s Home blog is Stately McDaniel Manor.