Katie Pavlich
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Things in Chicago are looking up when it comes to gun rights....sort of. Okay just kidding not really at all:

The senior executive of the county that includes Chicago dropped a proposed tax on bullets on Wednesday but kept a plan to tax firearms to help defray healthcare expenses associated with the high rate of gun.

"It is very important to us to tax guns because we know that guns are the sources of the incredible violence we have in our neighborhoods," Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle told a news conference. She said 29 percent of guns used in crimes in Chicago were purchased legally in suburban Cook County.

Under the plan, the county would impose a $25 tax on the purchase of firearms. The tax is expected to raise $600,000 in revenue in 2013. Preckwinkle abandoned a proposed tax of 5 cents a bullet because the tax in some cases would have exceeded the price of ammunition.

If approved by the board, the nation's third most populous county with nearly 5.2 million residents could be the first major U.S. metropolitan area to impose a tax as a form of gun control, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

Taxing the crap out of guns and ammunition accomplishes one thing: making it harder for people to defend themselves against people who won't pay the gun tax anyway (hint: those people are called criminals). The thugs in the streets of Chicago mowing down 30 people a weekend don't buy their guns in gun shops, they steal them. The guns and bullets aren't the issue here, it's the criminals using the guns. In the past year, Chicago has seen 440 murders. In 2011, homicide investigators showed up to 435 crime scenes. I've harped on this before, but I'm going to keep doing it in hopes Illinois finally gets the hint. Illinois is the only state in the country that prohibits concealed carry. As the purchase of firearms has risen steadly and as more states have embraced concealed carry, FBI crime stats have gone down.

The FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) serves as one of the best indicators of gun sales because it counts each time someone buys a gun. Checks hit an all-time high of 16.5 million last year.

The FBI also said Monday that the number of reported property crimes went down 0.8 percent, the ninth straight year-to-year decline.

The bureau says murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault all went down in 2011.

Violent crime decreased in all four regions: 4.9 percent in the Midwest; 4.7 percent in the West; 4.5 percent in the South and 0.8 percent in the Northeast.

Cook County's gun tax will only increase crime and increase crime victims. The way you combat "gun violence" is by giving law abiding citizens the ability to protect themselves.

But is Cook County's "gun tax" really about combating violence? Meh.

In the end, all Preckwinkle had to do is drop the ammo tax, buy a couple of votes and she still gets to keep the huge revenue stream the gun tax will bring in, right?

    *The bullet tax was projected to raise $400,000 in revenue. The gun tax would raise $600,000, Budget Director Andrea Gibson said.*

Did you catch that? Both taxes were projected to bring in $1 million smackers total. Except those projections — like all government prognostication — was calculated using static analysis. They take the number of bullets and guns sold last year times the new tax rate and boom — there’s your new revenue.

Only people don’t operate that way. Governments always seem to think that the drones who keep them funded are mindless automatons who won’t notice that their wallets are being drained even more than they were before the new tax was enacted. They don’t count on someone in Cook county being intelligent enough to drive to the next county over to buy that new gun and avoid prezzy Preckwinkle’s new tax.

So let’s summarize this little exercise in representative democracy, shall we? To get a part of what she originally wanted (the ability to say she did something about Chicago’s gun problem during her next reelection campaign) Preckwinkle chucked the bullet tax, foregoing $400,000 per year (by her inflated estimates). That means all she’ll take in is $600,000 (again, inflated) in gun tax bucks.

And all she had to do for the, ahem, $600,000 was commit to laying out $2 million in graft and questionable expenditures. So, fiscally speaking, what she’s done is make Cook County’s deficit bigger to the tune of (at least) $1.4 million.

The Chicago way is here to stay.

 

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Katie Pavlich

Katie Pavlich is the News Editor at Townhall.com. Follow her on Twitter @katiepavlich. She is also the author of Fast and Furious: Barack Obama's Bloodiest Scandal and the Shameless Cover-Up.

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Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography