BELLEVUE, WA â€“ The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms today criticized a proposed â€œviolence taxâ€ on firearms and ammunition sold in Chicago and surrounding Cook County suburbs as a means of closing a multi-million-dollar budget gap.
The tax proposal by Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle would be designed to help close what the Chicago Sun-Times reports is a $115 million gaping hole in the 2013 budget. The reasoning behind this idea is that â€œroughly two-thirds of the budget pays for both the countyâ€™s public health clinics and two hospitals along with the criminal justice system that includes the courts and jail,â€ the newspaper said.
â€œLaw-abiding firearms owners in Cook County should not be shouldering the bills for criminals,â€ said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. â€œUnder Preckwinkleâ€™s plan, honest citizens would be financially punished for the bad behavior of a criminal element that appears to be rampant and unchecked, considering the number of shootings and murders that have been tallied.
â€œThis violent crime surge,â€ he continued, â€œseems to correlate with the election of Rahm Emanuel as Chicagoâ€™s mayor. Maybe President Preckwinkle should send the bill to Emanuel. Of course, he might have an empty wallet, considering the money heâ€™s spent fighting court battles to thwart gun rights in the city, not to mention the $399,950 he had to finally pay to the Second Amendment Foundation this year for legal costs because the city lost the McDonald case.â€
The newspaper quoted an aide to Preckwinkle who claimed the tax on guns and ammo would be â€œconsistent with our commitment to pursuing violence reduction in the city and in the county.â€
â€œThatâ€™s a pretty smug attitude,â€ Gottlieb said, â€œconsidering the body count so far this year. In September, just in Chicago, there were 41 slayings. That doesnâ€™t reflect much of a commitment to reduce violence, but this tax idea certainly suggests that Preckwinkle â€“ like so many other Chicago politicians â€“ is trying to shift the blame for her problems to someone else.
â€œPerhaps Preckwinkle should consider an alternative,â€ he added. â€œHow about a tax on politicians for impairing the gun rights of law abiding citizens by preventing them from protecting themselves, their families and their homes from the countyâ€™s violent criminals?
â€œThereâ€™s a problem in Cook County, alright,â€ Gottlieb concluded, â€œbut law-abiding gun owners didnâ€™t create it, and should not be taking the rap for it, financially or otherwise.â€