Sunday, May 20, 2007

Gun, Ammunition Tax Proposed to Fund Health Socialism

by Ari Armstrong

Part of a proposal for "universal," completely tax-funded medicine for Colorado describes "funding mechanisms" such as "taxes on weapons and ammunition to cover firearm-related injuries..."

This "Colorado Health Services Program," selected by the "208" Commission for Healthcare Reform on May 18 as one of four for further evaluation, was submitted by "Health Care for All Colorado," a group drawing on the ideas of the Colorado Coalition for Single Payer, Boulder Health Policy Watch, a former Green candidate for governor, and others. The proposal can be accessed at

The proposal also discusses "Molding healthy behavior" for "Health habits, diet, child rearing techniques, etc." It calls for the creation of a new bureaucracy called "Colorado Health Services," described as "a single, comprehensive, publicly financed program designed for the integration of the financing, delivery, and administration of health care."

On May 17, two Commission members praised this proposal for socialized medicine as "bold" and "refreshing."

But there's nothing "refreshing" about discriminatory taxes applied to a Constitutionally protected right, nor, more broadly, about subjecting our lives to "comprehensive" bureaucratic control.

With respect to firearms, many on the left routinely ignore the benefits of firearms ownership. Because responsible gun ownership enables better defense and deterrence against crime, discriminatory taxes on responsible gun owners would be particularly harmful. A high enough tax on guns and ammunition would constitute a de facto ban.

Unintentional gun injuries are rare, and neither the general population nor responsible gun owners should be forced to pay for them. Nor should responsible gun owners be forced to pay extra for the mayhem of criminals and gangsters. Any such tax on responsible gun owners would violate their Constitutional rights, punish them for helping to reduce crime, and force them to pick up the tab for criminals and gangsters.

The proposed tax on gun owners, and the proposal more generally, would punish the responsible and subject our liberties to the whims of bureaucrats.

Front Range Objectivism

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