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Letters: A taxing debate on gun control

March 16, 2013

Re "Gun tax bills miss the mark," Editorial, March 12

It is rather this editorial that misses the mark. Guns and gun-related injuries and deaths in the United States account for Vietnam-level casualties every year.

Costs necessarily accrue to society as a result of these casualties. Society must pay for police to investigate them, paramedics to try to save the lives of the victims, security guards in stores and banks, and now, after the massacre in Connecticut, armed guards in schools. This, of course, doesn't even scratch the surface of medical costs and the rehabilitation of the victims.

Just as there are costs associated with driving a car that are partially covered by gasoline taxes, so should it be for gun owners for the burden that their 2nd Amendment rights place on society. It is their responsibility, and it has nothing to do with infringement.

Alfred Sils

Woodland Hills

The Times is on target with its rejection of proposals to tax guns and ammunition to finance gun-buyback programs and for other purposes. Just how taxing the owners of the estimated 270 million guns in the United States would lead to a reduction in gun-related violence and mental illness defies any logic.

Michael L. Friedman

Torrance

Sin taxes such as the proposed levies on guns and ammunition do work, just not on everyone.

An extra five-cent tax on cigarettes will not force all smokers to quit, but it will force some to do so. Similarly, a small tax on firearms will not deter all buyers, but it will deter some of them. And who could argue that keeping even just a few guns off the streets isn't a good thing?

Sin taxes don't cure problems, they just help reduce them.

Jake Rutledge

Orange

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