Gun owners should pay true costs

January 7, 2013 

Rights with no responsibility have no meaning. Since the gun owners who are responsible serve only as camouflage for those with more insidious motives, I propose a full and truly impartial study of the damages done by gun owners and possessors, expressed in real economic terms.

Based on these results, appropriate surcharges and fees should be applied to weapons, ammunition and accessories sufficient to cover the cost of this right to everyone in the country. These costs should reflect the real costs of protecting and compensating those who choose not to exercise this right.

The National Rifle Association leadership wants armed guards in schools? Great, then they should not mind paying a 20 to 30 percent cut of membership dues or perhaps a $1,000 surcharge on that latest combat-proven weapon, large capacity magazine, etc.

Ideas such as theirs always sound good as long as everyone else has to pay for their rights. Money so earmarked should be kept in a protected fund and monitored. This principle should also be applied to other activities that intrude on the rights and taxes of nonparticipants (damage done by skateboarders, mountain bikers and off-road vehicles to public spaces and lands). You want to play, you gotta pay.

LAWRENCE TARONE

Merced

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