BELLEVUE, WA – The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms today criticized a proposed “violence tax” 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 “roughly two-thirds of the budget pays for both the county’s public health clinics and two hospitals along with the criminal justice system that includes the courts and jail,” the newspaper said . . .
“Law-abiding firearms owners in Cook County should not be shouldering the bills for criminals,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “Under Preckwinkle’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.
“This violent crime surge,” he continued, “seems to correlate with the election of Rahm Emanuel as Chicago’s mayor. Maybe President Preckwinkle should send the bill to Emanuel. Of course, he might have an empty wallet, considering the money he’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.”
The newspaper quoted an aide to Preckwinkle who claimed the tax on guns and ammo would be “consistent with our commitment to pursuing violence reduction in the city and in the county.”
“That’s a pretty smug attitude,” Gottlieb said, “considering the body count so far this year. In September, just in Chicago, there were 41 slayings. That doesn’t reflect much of a commitment to reduce violence, but this tax idea certainly suggests that Preckwinkle – like so many other Chicago politicians – is trying to shift the blame for her problems to someone else.
“Perhaps Preckwinkle should consider an alternative,” he added. “How 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 county’s violent criminals?
“There’s a problem in Cook County, alright,” Gottlieb concluded, “but law-abiding gun owners didn’t create it, and should not be taking the rap for it, financially or otherwise.”