Letter to the editor: Tax could support gun violence victims
Innocent victims of gun violence in the United States are often left with a lifetime of physical pain, disability and post-traumatic stress. Family members and friends are often left with the responsibility of care giving, not to mention grief and shock. Families of the deceased not only may lose the earning power of the individual -— many poor families cannot afford a funeral they never expected. Since we don’t have affordable universal health coverage in this country, the financial burden on families of gun violence can be catastrophic, adding to the horror of it all.
In addition to much needed efforts to curb gun violence, two things can be done to help the victims. The firearms and ammunition industry is a multi-billion-dollar industry. Increase the Firearms and Ammunition Excise Tax, as well as state taxes on firearms and ammo, and set up a Gun Violence Victim’s Fund. This fund could be administered in such a way to help out victims and their families with costs related to death and injuries. The question should be asked — why should responsible gun owners pay an extra tax for something they have nothing to do with? The answer is that if we had a health care system that would really take care of all of us, they shouldn’t. But until we do and until the ongoing debate over guns in our society somehow gets resolved, a targeted tax on guns is appropriate.
Also, we need a national memorial to victims of gun violence. Innocent victims and their families need some form of recognition for what they have been through. And, unfortunately, we as a people need a reminder of the terrible violence that too many have had to live through and that we as a people have not been capable of stopping.
No one wants to be a victim. No one wants to live their life in fear of becoming one. Let’s bring an end to gun violence by bringing about meaningful change in our laws, our culture and helping the innocent victims of this continuing horror.