Posted: Monday, January 28, 2013 3:05:34 AM
According to the Congressional Research Service, in 2009, there were an estimated 310 million firearms in the United States excluding firearms in military bases - 114 million were handguns, 110 million were rifles, and 86 million were shotguns, meaning that there is about 1 gun per person in the United States. Why do we want guns? Or more importantly, why do we need guns? Is it our fundamental American right, in corroboration with the Second Amendment, to bear arms and defend ourselves?
These questions haunt the American people after the Newton shooting that has left Congress in a spotlight; the American people are urging Congress to do anything to make the American people feel “safer.” Especially in such times, America looks to its lawmakers to keep their children safe.
So what can Congress do? Well, they can’t just ban all guns unless they amend the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution. Is the American resolve for gun control strong enough to allow Congress to take such radical measures?
Congress already tried banning assault weapons, semi-automatic guns that look cosmetically like assault rifles, using the Federal Assault Weapons Ban (AWB) from September 13th, 1994 to September 13th, 2004. However, a Department of Justice report concluded that "Should it be renewed, the ban's effects on gun violence are likely to be small at best and perhaps too small for reliable measurement. [Assault weapons] were rarely used in gun crimes even before the ban.”
Does this mean that Congress cannot ameliorate the rampant gun violence that has ravaged the nation and left Americans mourning?
The solution is quite simple; if Congress taxes gun sales more than 50 or even 100% of the value of the gun, less people will buy guns. Less people with guns would mean less gun violence. The revenues from the taxes can go to raising awareness of gun violence.
But can such tactic succeed? Well, let’s look at history to another common possession of the American people that Congress wanted to get rid of -- Cigarettes. There are federal and state taxes on cigarettes, and, over the years, smokers as a percentage of adult population has gone down 5% from 1993 to 2009 (This is only one section of history; tobacco taxes have been around ever since the mid-1800s). History supports that if Congress enacts taxes on the sale of guns, gun sales will go down.
This way, Congress won’t be going against the Second Amendment in any way. However the NRA, the patron of many Republican candidates, will be obstinate in its views of gun control and try to hinder Congress from enacting this solution.
Not everyone will be satisfied; but taxing gun sales is a legitimate solution that has potential to truncating gun violence throughout the nation. In the wake of the Newton shooting, we must place the lives of children in front of our aversion towards taxes.