As much as the gun lobby would probably enjoy shooting holes in laws they don’t like, they are thankfully a bit more civil than that. So they file lawsuits.
Today, the National Rifle Association (NRA), the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), and the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), joined by two gun shops (including Precise Shooter, owned by a man who until recently sold guns out of his Seattle kitchen and proposed building an outdoor gun range on the surface of a popular Seattle lake), did just that. Press releases from the organizations describing their participation are available here, here, and here, though the three are very similar.
This particular lawsuit attempts to invalidate a law passed unanimously by the Seattle City Council just two weeks ago. The law quite simply imposes a tax on gun and ammunition sales within Seattle in an attempt to minimize the cost of gun violence on the city. This tax would raise somewhere between $300,000 and $500,000 per year, while taxpayers in the city paid over $12 million in medical costs associated with gun violence just last year.
But the gun lobby apparently thinks that taxpayers should continue to foot the bill, with no assistance from those who buy guns and ammunition within the city. In fact, SAF Founder and Vice President Alan Gottlieb goes so far as to describe the law, in an article written by his friend, some-time communications director, and former NRA Board of Directors member Dave Workman, as a “poll tax on gun owners and retailers.” Using similar language, the NSSF called the law a “poll tax on the Second Amendment.” We, of course, would ask if the new law is a “poll tax on guns,” what is the cost gun violence already paid by Seattle taxpayers? And what, even more importantly, is the cost to those directly affected by gun violence, those people who, day in and day out, have to deal with the trauma of a shooting?
The gun lobby of course has no answer. It isn’t the rights of the victims of gun violence they care about, or the rights of the majority of the citizens of Seattle. The only “rights” they care about are those which allow people to buy, sell, carry, and shoot guns with the least possible legal responsibility and no reasonable restrictions. The “rights” they care about are those which make it easier for someone to get shot, for the people of Seattle to carry the burden, and for the gun lobby itself to get off scot-free.
We can’t be sure about you, but were tired of it. When will they stand up with the rest of us and say that they’ve had enough shootings, enough violence, and enough needless death? The more lawsuits like this they file, and the more dangerous rhetoric they spout, the further away that day gets.