Remember comedian Chris Rock’s joke about gun control?
“You don’t need no gun control. We need some bullet control…If a bullet cost $5,000, there’ll be no more innocent bystanders,” Rock joked while serious.
Well, that’s sort of the idea proposed by Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle this week.
Preckwinkle said a special tax on firearms and its ammunition could help ease health costs associated with gun violence and help stem the violence.
“Cook County suffers from systemic gun violence. The wide availability of ammunition exacerbates the problem,” she said.
About one-third of the guns found on city streets were sold at gun shops in the county’s suburbs, she stressed.
Anti-violence activist and Director of CeaseFire Illinois Tio Hardiman agrees.
“Any effort to help stem the tide of violence is a great idea. I know we won’t change the mindset of all that are committing gun violence, but any effort helps. I applaud the County Board President,” Hardiman said.
Hardiman said he’s not blind to the fact that some will still get their hands on guns illegally, but various efforts working simultaneously helps subside the violence.
The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms blasted Preckwinkle’s proposed tax.
“Law-abiding firearms owners in Cook County should not be shouldering the bills for criminals. Under Preckwinkle’s plan, honest citizens would be financially punished for the bad behavior of a criminal element that appears to be rampant and unchecked, considering the number of shootings and murders that have been tallied,” said the committee’s chairman Alan Gottlieb, adding, “Perhaps Preckwinkle should consider an alternative. How about a tax on politicians for impairing the gun rights of law abiding citizens by preventing them from protecting themselves, their families and their homes from the county’s violent criminals?”
The county faces a $115 deficit next year. Preckwinkle will unveil the proposed 2013 budget this month.