The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Writer changes stance on taxes for firearms


November 29, 2018

To The Eagle:

Last week I suggested a high tax on ownership of assault weapons. Today, I do not think that this is a very practical idea. With 11,000,000 of these weapons already out there, it would be really hard to collect such a tax.

With 96 Americans being killed by guns every day in the US one would think that this death rate certainly could be defined as an epidemic. In the 1970’s when the death rate from automobile accidents was going through the roof, our government made seat belts and wearing them a law. When a new virus or bacteria threaten our health, research is done to develop a vaccine to prevent further suffering. Lead paint was taken off the market because it killed children and adults. So why isn’t there at least research to find out the real impact of these weapons of war?

In the meantime, there needs to be a way to control the sale and use of these weapons and some way to fund research that might give us real answers about how to best stop the unnecessary killing of innocent Americans.

My suggestion of last week was not practical, so how about a simpler way of collecting the necessary funds to do meaningful research and help those innocent victims? I am thinking now that a tax on all gun ammunition and a meaningful tax on bump stocks and silencers and other accessories that are not designed for legitimate hunting. We pay a special tax on cigarettes, on liquor, on marijuana. Some people call these taxes a sin tax, but it does make sense. We even pay special taxes on gasoline so that roads can be maintained, but what is paying to help the victims of gun violence or do some meaningful research to find the best answer to this epidemic?

Eric Skemp

Puget Island


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