Monday, January 7, 2013

Gun Manufacturers Given $19 Million in Subsidies: So What?

In an article published in my local newspaper recently, the authors discussed how manufacturers of assault rifles like the one used in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting have received over $19 million in tax breaks mostly within the last 5 years. Barbara Richardson a Newton resident, where Sandy Hook was located went on record as saying "I feel horrified at the power of the gun industry over our political system, that it could exert such influence." Richardson went on to discuss her respect for hunters who are ethical and good neighbors, but she in no way supports taxpayer subsidies for makers of assault rifles, calling them "Weapons of mass destruction."

I can understand her frustration being so close to the tragedy that struck her small community. However subsidies are given to all types of businesses to bring jobs to communities all across the country. Jobs that put money into local economies and provide a living for millions of Americans. Over the last decade for example, Wal-Mart has received over $1 billion in taxpayer subsidies. Subsidies that have not only helped employ millions of Americans but transform Wal-Mart from a regional discounter to the worlds leading retail giant.

I shouldn't have to say it, but attacking gun manufacturers for gruesome attacks carried out by individuals simply because they chose to use a firearm instead of a knife, or bomb, or automobile is senseless. Wal-Mart is sued thousands of times a year for varying reasons and even sells the very guns that this article is attacking. Based on the argument being laid out, should Wal-Mart then have to give up its subsidies for contributing to the violence. They sell bullets too. Does that make them guilty as well? Had the attacks at Sandy Hook been committed with a machete or axe purchased at Wal-Mart would their be an equal demand for action then against Wal-Mart or the manufacturer of the weapon used? No there wouldn't. This is misdirected anger and solves nothing. The truth of the matter is simple. Existing laws need to be enforced better and our mental health system needs an overhaul. Don't try taking food off the tables of honest hard working American's because they build guns.

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