The Supreme Court has ruled that the government can force you to buy a product as long as it’s called a “tax,” forging a new sword aimed directly at the heart of the Second Amendment.
Here’s the link between taxes and gun rights. First, some historical framework.
The Boston Tea Party was a precursor to the American Revolution. It began as a protest over Parliament’s imposing an unpopular tax on tea, a very popular drink at the time. More direct flash points were the battles at Lexington and Concord, where British troops attempted to disarm local militias. American liberty was founded on the principles of fair taxation and the right to keep and bear arms (among others, of course).
Taxes first come out of your paycheck (self-employed must budget for them quarterly). Next, you feed your children, pay mortgage and utilities, maintain your car so you can commute to work, etc. Whatever’s left is called discretionary income: You can decide if you want to buy some ammunition and go to the range, or buy a gun. Taxes reduce discretionary income. Since you still have to eat and fulfill all your other responsibilities, this means there’s less for firearms activities. The less people participate in shooting sports, the less valued it becomes, and the less relevant the Second Amendment becomes. This can be seen in urban areas, where isolation from nature and preoccupation with social status have become more important than Constitutional rights.
The Second Amendment isn’t about guns. It’s an affirmation of your God-given right to live free from others infringing upon your life and property. This principle manifests as the civil right of self-defense and property ownership, respectively. Similarly, gun control isn’t simply about infringing on your right to keep and bear arms, but about severing you from your Divine Birthright.
Do you think 21 new taxes will enhance your discretionary income? Do you think being forced to buy insurance will make it less expensive? Government just mandated a monopoly, “characterized by an absence of competition, which often results in high prices and inferior products.” You no longer have the competition-enhancing option of saying “no.” Pay up or pay taxes.
In the Federalist Papers (No. 78), Alexander Hamilton wrote:
Whoever attentively considers the different departments of power must perceive, that, in a government in which they are separated from each other, the judiciary, from the nature of its functions, will always be the least dangerous to the political rights of the Constitution; because it will be least in a capacity to annoy or injure them. The Executive not only dispenses the honors, but holds the sword of the community. The legislature not only commands the purse, but prescribes the rules by which the duties and rights of every citizen are to be regulated. The judiciary, on the contrary, has no influence over either the sword or the purse; no direction either of the strength or of the wealth of the society; and can take no active resolution whatever. It may truly be said to have neither force nor will, but merely judgment; and must ultimately depend upon the aid of the executive arm even for the efficacy of its judgments.
This is no longer true. The judiciary abdicated their responsibility and removed government’s restraint, sharpened the sword and enlarged the purse, and then added the scalpel for good measure. Obamacare includes the Independent Payment Advisory Board — comprising 15 political appointees unaccountable to the People — which will have “effectively unfettered power to impose taxes and ration care for all Americans, whether the government pays their medical bills or not.”
Founder George Mason said: “When the same man, or set of men, holds the sword and the purse, there is an end to Liberty.”
This time has arrived. It isn’t necessary to confiscate your guns to disarm you. All they have to do is make it too expensive. Throughout history, serfs have shared common traits: They barely have enough wherewithal to survive, they don’t own property, and they can’t defend themselves. How they reach this condition is irrelevant.
Today, it’s constitutional to force buying choices on the American people and call enforcement a “tax,” especially if it’s in the name of social justice; like Obamacare, which allegedly provides for historically “under-served ” groups like women, the uninsured, and poor immigrants.
This is the precedent big-government, tax-and-spend proponents have been laboring decades for: It’s okay to tax America to redress perceived social costs and injustice. What about a “gun tax” to pay for alleged social costs of “gun violence”? Gun banners have often complained how guns produce a public health cost, so when will we see proposals for a “gun tax” to counter this “social injustice”? Maybe $200 per gun purchase, so that poor people living in crime-ridden inner cities can no longer afford to defend their families?
Maybe now there’s justification to register your firearms, requiring you to pay an annual tax per gun or forfeit them, since they remain available to public access and are therefore a “social cost.” Maybe after registration we’ll need confiscation anyway, because as with all social taxes like Obamacare, society’s “cost” from “gun violence” will continue despite these new regulations, since criminals will always find guns on the black market. As only law-abiding, working Americans can afford to pay reparations for these “wrongs,” government will come after your guns and pocketbook.
The flip side to freedom is responsibility. It’s no longer enough to say you’re a responsible gun owner because you follow safety rules and practice to maintain your skills. Guns symbolize freedom. The Supreme Court just raised the bar. Responsible gun owners must step up and be active participants. To do less is to surrender.