It appears that progressive liberals, although seemingly well intentioned, have actually made crime worse in their cities.
All of the facts show that limiting gun ownership does not lessen gun-related violence.
In cities with strict gun laws, the disarming of law-abiding citizens doesn't remove guns from the hands of those, who wish to do harm. On the contrary, it leaves innocent victims vulnerable to criminals.
Maybe it's time to forego the "feel-good" solutions that the left employs and actually do something that works.
For example, liberal Democrats have done everything possible to prevent law-abiding Chicago residents from exercising their restored Second Amendment-rights in the two years since the Supreme Court's landmark McDonald ruling. In June 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 against a handgun ban in the city of Chicago in McDonald v. Chicago.
Four days later however, the Chicago City Council adopted the Responsible Gun Owners Ordinance. This requires prospective gun owners to take a firearm safety course at a gun range in order to obtain a permit to own a gun in a home. The city then also placed a virtual ban on gun ranges.
Despite having some of the strictest gun laws in the country, there were 192 shootings in Chicago throughout the month of November, a 49 percent increase from a year earlier. Police records also reveal that shootings increased more than 11 percent in the first 11 months of 2012, compared with a year earlier. Total homicides in Chicago rose to 480 for the first eleven months of 2012; a 21 percent increase from last year.
All of this, despite having some of the strictest gun laws in the country.
I wonder what percent of violent criminals obtain their guns legally?
So Chicago, how are those gun control laws working out for you so far? Let's just put up signs at our schools: "No Guns Allowed." That should work. While we're at it, post some signs at the Iranian border: "No Nuclear Weapons Allowed."
Now, liberal whack-a-doodle Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel plans on restricting gun ownership further by banning individuals with a violent misdemeanor conviction from getting a gun permit for five years. The mayor also hopes to ban convicted felons from ever owning a gun. These actions will make liberals feel good about themselves, concluding that they are addressing the problem.
It's actually laughable that they continue to enact so-called solutions that only worsen the situation. No wonder criminals vote for Democrats.
Chicago, like numerous other liberal-controlled cities, has succeeded in one thing. They have ensured that law-abiding citizens are left defenseless.
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-chicago-shootings-20121204,0,1910956.story, http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-06-25/news/ct-met-rahm-emanuel-gun-ordinance-20120626_1_gun-ordinance-gun-laws-firearm-ordinance, http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/09pdf/08-1521.pdf, https://portal.chicagopolice.org/portal/page/portal/ClearPath/About%20CPD/Firearm%20Registration/handgun-registration-20B-with-offender-registry.pdf.
Jeff Cabaniss, Cocoa
Is it enough yet?
If you think my (original) poem is worth publishing since the terrible tragedy in Newtown, Conn., please do it.
Culture of Carnage
Mary Ann Woznack
Is it enough, yet? The promise of vast intellect perverted into death.
The children, bright and innocent, sweet and clean,
Lying in their schoolyard without a breath,
Without a future, without a dream,
And it is analyzed as just a simple madman, thought unseen,
With stolen armaments, feat obscene.
Is it enough, yet? How do you say, "Merry Christmas," under your breath,
And think of the presents underneath the tree,
The parents mourning and the siblings scared to death,
Without a thought of caroling or fest,
This season of brotherly love, forgiveness and holy glee.
Is it enough, yet? Senseless carnage in a world that dwells on fray,
Propagated by the lack of beauty,
Easier assault and scandal, hateful words and meaningless debate.
Because it sells.
Bread and circuses, like Rome, and our culture fades away.
Mary Ann Woznack, Melbourne
Is Any Tax Fair?
How many of you are sick of hearing about your "fair share?" I know I am.
I've been paying income tax since I was 17. I'm 70 and still pay on my pension and the proceeds of my meager savings.
I have a tax return that has seven schedules, and I have to go to a preparer because I can't understand the system. I should point out that I'm a retired geologist and civil engineer. I'm fairly literate, and numbers don't scare me.
How would you like a system with no forms, no withholding, no deductions, no exceptions or exemptions? And your "take home" is your entire paycheck? Consider the FairTax.
First, what it is not:
It is not in addition to the income tax - it is instead of the income tax.
We now have - one of my favorite mantras - a 75,000-page set of convoluted, Byzantine social engineering specifications. That set has so many change orders that the writers, our dear Congress, have no idea what's in it.
The drawings - one - an indecipherable maze:
It is not designed for revenue. It is designed for control, control of your every business and personal decisions. It can't be fixed. Adding more changes will only make it worse. It has to be junked, and the FairTax does just that.
The FairTax is an end user federal consumption (sales) tax on services and new goods. The estimate, right now, is 23 percent, figured on an "inclusive" basis just like the current income tax. But, as I said above, it is not in addition to the income tax. That will be gone, along with all the embedded federal taxes now included in the price of everything you buy.
Most people never consider this - out of sight, out of mind. Those taxes now amount to an average of 22 percent of all your purchases.
Ideally the price of everything will drop that same average 22 percent. And then the 23 percent consumption tax would be added on, either included in the overall price (inclusive) or added on at checkout. Personally I prefer the later.
Either way, you pay the same dollar value in taxes and; worst case, it will be a wash. But you'll see that tax.
So, to summarize the tax, there would be one, and only one, federal tax. All others would be gone. No more income tax. No more "corporate" tax. No more taxes on savings or the earnings of savings. No more inheritance tax: just the one consumption tax. Period.
Now some of the objections:
One of the big ones - the "corporate" tax. A little bit of politically incorrect heresy coming.
Corporations and businesses of any kind, do not now pay, nor have they ever paid, taxes. Sound stupid? Think.
For a business to have any resources to pay for anything, be it rent, wages, utilities and those taxes, first it must sell goods or services - it's product.
Those "corporate" taxes are included in the price of everything you buy now. They have to be included. If all those costs are not included, they cannot be paid.
Wages (hopefully) will not be done away with, but those taxes should be repealed, and the price lowered accordingly - just like repealing all those other embedded taxes should lower prices.
The next big objection - what about the poor? Won't they be paying the same as the rich? There are two answers here.
The first is it's possible if the poor buy the same thing as the rich. For example, a wealthy individual might buy a fully tricked out Lexus for, I don't know, never priced on, say $75,000. This would include an estimated $14,000 in consumption tax. If a poor individual bought that same Lexus, he would pay that same tax. More likely he would look for a late model, used, mid-sized, Toyota, Ford or Chevy. Since it is used, no consumption tax, and someone else has swallowed much of the depreciation. In this case the rich would get soaked, and the poor get off Scott free. The basic concept is that all goods should be taxed only once. A used vehicle, used home, these are the big ones, have already had the tax paid.
Another answer to this objection is the prebate. Odd name that.
The basic philosophy here is that no one, rich, poor or in between, should ever pay taxes on the essentials of life. So, everyone, rich and poor, would get a check, up front, to cover the taxes on everything up to the poverty (level).
The obvious assumption here is that someone at, or below, that level will spend every dime on those essentials. As your income exceeds that level, the value of your purchases will increase - and so will your tax.
But this will tax food? Yep. The object of this system is to simplify the entire tax code. Some have said it will eliminate the IRS. It won't. George Washington had an IRS. What it was called - I could find out. But Alexander Hamilton ran it, and boy could we use the likes of him today!
Remember the opener? No exemptions, no exceptions, no deductions? Start including them and eventually we'll end up where we are today - and we don't want that! KISS - keep it simple stupid. I learned that in pre-engineering more than 50 years ago: that things with the fewest moving parts works best, fails less often and is easiest to service.
That's the bureaucracy folks, and we want to reduce it to a minimum.
If we reduce the size of the bureaucracy, who will collect this tax? Right now 46 states have a sales tax. The merchant collects the tax and sends it to the state. For this service, they receive a fee - how much I don't know - and are, hopefully, subject to audit. One more line of computer code in the cash register and the federal tax is collected, the same way, and subject to audit.
And the last big objection - won't some people game the system and not cut their prices? You can bet your sweet "bippie" they will - sort of dates me there. But, for the time being, anyway, we have a wonderfully free and slightly anarchistic thing out there. It's called the internet.
I know government doesn't like it, ours too, but, for now, information flies all over the place
Use it. Transfer your purchases. And, as long as we have free entry and exit in the market, someone will come in to undercut the 'greedy" scrooges.
Prices will not come down overnight. The only thing that happens overnight is a hangover. It'll take time and diligence by us - the buyers.
Hopefully I will get plenty of comments, questions and objections to this essay.
If possible, I will answer each and every one of them if Hometown News has the patience.
Pat Galbraith, Satellite Beach