More from the Pasadena Star News article about the proposed 10¢ per round tax:
Assemblyman Mark Ridley- Thomas, D-Los Angeles, authored AB 992 because he said he believes the state’s health- care system needs relief during the current fiscal crisis. Officials estimate that the state’s budget shortfall is about $38 billion over the next 13 months.
Ammunition qualifies for a sin tax because guns are even more harmful to society than alcohol and cigarettes, he said.
“Alcohol and cigarettes are not by definition designed to do destruction. Guns are,’ Ridley- Thomas said.
Really? Let’s see: According to this Centers for Disease Control site, “Cigarette smoking accounts for approximately one in every five deaths in the United States.” Some 2,403,351 deaths occurred in the U.S. in 2000. That would make tobacco the cause of some 480,000 deaths that year.
According to this CDC page, “Excessive alcohol consumption is an important factor in more than 100,000 deaths in the United States each year.” According to this CDC report alcohol is directly responsible for 19,358 deaths not including “accidents, homicides, and other causes indirectly related to alcohol use as well as deaths due to fetal alcohol syndrome.” According to this site Fetal Alcohol Syndrome affects about 1 in 1,000 newborns and “(t)wo to three times that many are born with an alcohol-related developmental disorder, but they do not have any obvious physical abnormalities.” There were 3,959,417 births reported in the U.S. in 1999. That means that over 3,900 infants were the victims of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Some 8,000 to 11,000 more suffered from alcohol related disorders. I thought the big concern was over The Children(tm)? Alcohol was a contributing factor according to this CDC site, in 17,448 motor vehicle fatalities. That’s on top of the 19,358 deaths caused directly by alcohol, and just a small part of the 100,000 deaths annually.
Death by gunshot, both homicide and suicide accounted for 28,663 of the total, and many of them also involved alcohol or other, illicit drugs. If you take suicides out of the equation (and I do, because I don’t believe that the method of suicide has much to do with the act of suicide) the number drops to 11,807.
Considering that there are an acknowledged 200,000,000 plus guns in private hands, that’s an awfully low number for something “designed to do destruction.”
Gunshot wounds, about half of them accidental, cost the health-care system more than $250 million annually, Ridley-Thomas said.
Yeah? According to this site, the percentage of accidental gunshot injury nationwide over the period from 1993 to 1997 is 20%. Are Californians somehow more accident-prone than the rest of America? And according to this site, “the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that alcohol-related crashes in 2000 were associated with more than $51 billion in total costs.” That’s Billion. With a “B.” Divide equally by 50 states (although California has far in excess of 1/50th the number of automobiles in the country) and you’re still looking at over a billion dollars.
“We just have the proliferation of these weapons of destruction and it has a completely negative effect on society,’ he said.
It doesn’t have a negative effect on ME. It doesn’t have a negative effect on the absolute minimum 108,000 people each year who use a gun to defend themselves.
Come out and say it, goddamnit. If you want to ban guns, say it. Stop this incremental death-by-a-thousand-cuts before you piss us off enough to do what the Declaration of Independence says we ought to. Put it up to the voters and let them decide. Enough of this nanny-state “we know what’s best for you” bullshit!