It Is Still Taxing A Fundamental Right

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle has backed off of her idea to levy a 5 cents per cartridge “violence tax”. However, according to the Chicago Tribune, Preckwinkle still plans to go forward with her tax on firearms. This was part of a grand compromise with some Democrats on the County Board who were balking at the proposed Cook County Firearm and Firearm Ammunition Tax Ordinance.

The compromise was negotiated over several days with Commissioners John
Fritchey and Edwin Reyes, both Chicago Democrats, who had balked at the
guns and ammo taxes.

In exchange for their support,
Preckwinkle agreed to create a $2 million fund to combat gun violence.
Fritchey had proposed dedicating $1.4 million to anti-gun violence
efforts. She also agreed to exempt law-enforcement officers from having
to pay the tax, which helped convince Reyes to support the plan.

undetermined portion of the $2 million would be granted to “non-profits
with a track record of effective violence prevention and community
outreach.” About $100,000 would be used to crack down on illegal gun

The budget director for the county estimates that the tax on firearms will raise $600,000. If she is correct, this works out to 120,000 firearms purchases annually in Cook County. Using my iPhone’s FFL Finder app, I count approximately 35 licensed firearms dealers within Cook County. This works out to sales of over 3,400 firearms per shop over the course of a year. Frankly, I think the budget director is dreaming if she thinks there will be this many sales in the county in a year.

As Sebastian noted back when this first came up, there is significant Supreme Court precedent saying that taxing a fundamental right in order to discourage its use is unconstitutional. Given the legislative history of this ordinance and the public pronouncements of Ms. Preckwinkle, I don’t think attorneys such as Alan Gura or David Sigale would have to go far to find sufficient cause to get an injunction. If I were a taxpayer in Cook County, I’d be pretty upset to see my tax dollars going to fund the court case that passage of this tax will undoubtedly engender.

Almost As Bad As Obesity

Ralph Fascitelli, a member of the gun control group Washington Ceasefire, want Democrats to embrace gun control and make it an issue in this election. He says they are the party of “progressive stands on social issues”. He is upset that the Democrats aren’t saying more about gun control on the campaign trail and in their official platform.

Gun violence, which costs this country as much as a $100 billion annually and is perhaps along with obesity the number one public health issue of our time, was put on mute again.

He goes on to say that the Democrats have taken the wrong message from the 1994 elections which saw the Republicans win the House of Representatives as well as from Al Gore’s loss of his home state of Tennessee in 2000. Fascitelli says embracing gun control isn’t a lost cause. He compares it to Obama’s newly found appreciation for gay marriage as a way to “energize the base”.

Comparing guns to obesity and using specious statistics from the Brady Campaign is no way to make an effective argument. He may get the true believers to agree with him but your average Democratic politician who wants to get elected or re-elected will continue to mumble just enough platitudes to confuse the voters on both sides of the issue.

This Is Unpossible

I think most of us would agree that zombies and zombie movies have pretty much jumped the shark. Now we see a British-made movie, Cockneys vs Zombies, has come out.

It features the residents of the Bow Bells Care Home and a few of their grandchildren fighting off a horde of hungry zombies with full-auto AKs and M-16s.

I’m sorry but this is just implausible premise. Not the zombies but ordinary Brits having access to anything stronger than harsh words with which to fight them.

That is just umpossible in Her Majesty’s gun-free paradise.

Newsday Endorsement Of Carolyn McCarthy Triggers Pet Peeve

Perhaps not expectedly, the Long Island-based newspaper Newsday has endorsed Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY-4). They say she has a “mind meld with the middle class”. Whatever.

However, that is not what triggered my pet peeve. This is:

A registered nurse, she was catapulted into public life by tragedy: A
husband killed and a son grievously wounded in a mass shooting on the Long Island Rail Road in 1993. McCarthy, 68, of Mineola, has grown beyond the gun control issue that prompted her first run for office in 1996, although it remains an important legislative passion.

While Carolyn McCarthy can be generically called a “nurse”, she is not now, nor has she ever been, a “registered nurse”. Rep. McCarthy trained as, and is, a Licensed Practical Nurse or LPN.  She is a 1964 graduate of the Glen Cove Nursing School according to

A LPN is limited by the state-level Boards of Nursing in what she or he can do. While it will vary by state, a LPN has a limited number of tasks that can be delegated to them. For example, they are allowed to dispense medications in a long-term care facility. This is not to say LPNs cannot perform the tasks assigned to them well. They can.

However, LPNs are not trained to see the big picture. They cannot assess the patient, they cannot write a care plan, and are not trained to think critically. By contrast, a RN has more education, is trained to assess the patient, is trained to think critically, and can write a plan of care.

Why is this a pet peeve? Because the Complementary Spouse is a BSN-trained Registered Nurse with an advanced practice certificate. She also holds a Masters in Health Science.

If you think about it, Carolyn McCarthy’s views on gun control are, in many ways, a reflection of her training and experience. A gun was used in the murder of her husband so therefore guns must be restricted. She cannot see beyond this to realize that the disturbed individual could have used a knife, a container of gasoline, or a black-powder nail bomb to kill the six victims or that a legally armed individual could have limited the number of victims. She wasn’t trained to see the big picture or to think critically and it shows.

It’s Not All Violence They Oppose

The Coalition To Stop Gun Violence (sic) does not oppose all violence. They are on record in support of state-sponsored violence.

Thus, given their recent jihad against blogger Kurt Hofmann which includes trying to get the FBI involved by saying Kurt is engaging in treason, sedition, and incitement to violence, I think this is the scenario that they’d like to see.

These guys would arrive:

Armed with this:

They would toss in one of these:

With this as the result:

Why? Because they feel threatened by ideas. Ideas that are different than their own collectivist ideas. Ideas that come from the grassroots and not from some top-down organization like CSGV. Ideas that promote freedom and self-responsibility.

If they had their way, America would have a People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs (otherwise known as the NKVD which became the KGB) to seek out those of us who differ ideologically from them. When people called them out in defense of Kurt, they responded with this:

As I called them yesterday, totalitarian thugs.That is all they are and all they will ever be.

Vote For #MoreFreeCrap!

I love parody. I just love how it takes the pompous down a peg or two. Comedian Steven Crowder does parody really well. Just look at his parody of Lena Dunham and her “first time” ad for Obama.

UPDATE: Another parody of the Lena Dunham “first time” ad.  This one comes from TokenLibertarianGirl who does a really good job of nailing Dunham’s insipidness.

This Ad Irritates Me

The Obama campaign has been playing the ad below virtually non-stop in western North Carolina for the past couple of weeks.

CBS News Anchor and 60 Minutes Correspondent Scott Pelley’s question is ignorant and the Obama campaign just loves it.

Why do I find the question ignorant?

First, it ignores totally that any capital that Mitt Romney invested has already been taxed once. This is not pre-tax or tax-deferred monies upon which no tax was withheld. Romney has already paid tax on the capital invested and probably at a 35% rate or higher. I say higher because the original investment could very well be from 2002 or earlier. If so, Romney paid anywhere from 38.6% to 39.6% in taxes on this money.

Second, by focusing in on the relative amount of tax paid by Romney, Pelley ignores the absolute amount in dollar terms – $2.8 million. Thanks to the astute investment managers who run his blind trust who generated a $20 million long-term capital gain, Mitt Romney has just paid more in taxes than most people earn in a lifetime.

Third, Mr. Pelley should be asking why Obama supporter Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (of which I am a shareholder) has never paid a dividend. One answer is that dividends are taxed at a higher rate than capital gains. If Buffett paid himself a dividend, he would have to pay more taxes.

Fourth, it is good public policy to tax long-term capital gains at a lower rate than ordinary income. It provides an incentive for investors to put up the money needed for business growth. If there is no business growth, there are fewer jobs. Fewer jobs also mean lower tax revenues. When capital gains rates have been lowered in the past there was a net increase in revenues even though the rates were lower.

Finally, I hate both the ad and the question for the divisive “us versus them” attitude it takes. This is America where we celebrate risk takers and not some Euro-socialist country that has driven out all the entrepreneurs.

Why Does CSGV Feel So Threatened By A Blogger In A Wheelchair?

Kurt Hofmann is the St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner. Due to a horrorific traffic accident which left him in a coma for nearly a month, Kurt now gets about in a wheelchair. For someone for whom life has played such a cruel trick, he is remarkably well-adjusted, even-tempered, thoughtful, and full of life. This is especially true when you consider that at an earlier time in his life Kurt served our country as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division. I have had the pleasure to meet Kurt in person more than once and to have an ongoing correspondence with him. I consider Kurt a friend and one of the good guys.

Kurt does get a little angry at the gun prohibitionists in Illinois and elsewhere who have conspired to deny him the right to carry a handgun concealed or otherwise. It is OK with them that a man confined to a wheelchair should be denied the ability to provide for his own self-defense. His St. Louis GRE columns often take a no holds barred approach to these gun prohibitionists and he points out the fallacy of their arguments on a regular basis.

Groups like the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (sic) don’t like people like Kurt and try to deride him as an “extremist” or an “insurrectionist”. They particularly like that last tag. Unfortunately for them, Kurt wears that tag as a badge of honor. Now it seems they have decided he is such a threat to them that he must be silenced.

Yesterday on Facebook (see above) CSGV accused Kurt of advocating bomb making in order to “kill elected officials, policy and military service members”. They base this on a March column he wrote. Of course, having read Kurt’s column in question, there is zero truth to the accusation. Kurt merely suggested downloading some publications dealing with improvised explosives while they were still available on the Internet. He did not advocate the manufacture or use of these explosives for the purposes of any illegal activity.

CSGV is actively attempting to have Kurt removed as an Examiner columnist. As Kurt notes, they are also “consulting” with anti-gun lawyer Michael Bannerman who has been a target of Kurt’s criticism to find ways to have him charged with “advocating the overthrow of Government.”

Groups like the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (sic) and their leaders obviously have no respect for the Bill of Rights. They hate the Second Amendment and just as evidently don’t care for the First Amendment and its guarantees of freedom of speech and press.

They are totalitarian thugs and need to be called out as such.

Now This Is An Interesting Auction

The National Military History Center in Auburn, Indiana is auctioning off part of their collection in order to settle their mortgage. Auctions America is handling the auction for them. The auction catalog is here.

They will be offering 100 lots of WWII artifacts and 82 lots of military vehicles.

Worried about Predator drones flying overhead? Then how about an 88mm flak gun – demilled unfortunately?

Tired of having to fight traffic? How about this – a 1944 M16 half-track with double M-2s in a motorized mount?


You say you like that idea but want German engineering? How about this 1940-41 Hanomag S.P.W. Ausf. C SdKfz 251/1 Armored 3/4-Track?

I didn’t see any tanks in the catalog but there are a lot of motorcycles, trucks, and other assorted vehicles along with the uniforms and demilled MP-40 sub-machine guns. None of these auctions have reserves but I expect collectors will be paying a fair price for some of these items.

I Hope My Students Aren’t This Stupid

I’m an adjunct faculty member at a local state university and teach classes in financial and retirement planning every year. I’ve had some that have been exceptional and some that just didn’t get it. However, I don’t think I had any student in the last eight years that would fall for this utterly insipid and stupid ad just released by the Obama campaign.

I know I’ve had students that voted for Obama in 2008 but I think even they would be rolling their eyes over this. I certainly hope so!

Here is more about Ms. Durham who only yesterday was joking about dressing up as a murderer/rapist for Halloween.