Selected Articles from our
The C.A.S.H. Courier
HUNTING’S CONNECTION TO OUR CITIES: GUN SALES
By Anne Muller
City shootings are always in the news. One recent
NY Post headline screamed on April 4th:
N.Y. GUN SHOP SHOOTS TO 3RD ON CRIME-WEAPON LIST
“…The NAACP says gun-makers shouldn’t sell to dealers
whose weapons are used in crimes, but the manufacturers say they
sell only to licensed distributors….”
“Gun supplier told to pay widow 1.2 million” – (widow
of a teacher gunned down by a 13 year old student in West Palm
More recently, a 14-year-old boy, carrying 3 handguns
walked into a crowded school cafeteria and shot and killed the
principal and himself. The news report read, “The school district
is grieving the loss of our beloved junior high school principal,
Dr. Segro, and the student involved,” said Larry Macaluso, Red
Lion Area [PA] superintendent. “We will continue to make plans
to deal with the rest of our students, the staff and our parents
and have them work through this.”
Hughes said the student brought the revolvers from
his home, where they had been locked in a gun safe. He said he
doesn’t foresee any criminal charges against the boy’s parents
relating to the weapons.
The .44-caliber Magnum, .357-caliber Magnum and .22-caliber
revolvers were legally registered in the student’s stepfather’s
name, the chief said. York County Coroner Barry Bloss said the
principal and student had only one bullet wound each. The principal
was shot in the chest with a .44-caliber handgun, and the student
died from gunshot to the head from a .22-caliber handgun, authorities
According to another article, injuries from gunshots
result in $802 million a year in hospital charges nationwide, with
nearly a third of the victims uninsured. According to the report,
gunshots were the leading cause for uninsured hospital days in
Allegheny General Hospital. In a national study, it was concluded
that there were an estimated 35,800 firearm-related hospital admissions
Never are the details of who really benefits from
gun use presented. It is impossible for the public to take appropriate
action without seeing who benefits. I’ve been told that you have
to hear something eight times before it sticks. This is about the
10th time we’ve written about this important subject, but here
Let’s scream louder:
“CRIME GUNS” PAY INTO THE CONSERVATION FUND TO SUPPORT
WHAT’S THE FINANCIAL CONNECTION BETWEEN FIREARMS
There is an 11 % excise tax on all firearms and ammunition,
and bows and arrows. Handguns carry a 10% excise tax. Since the
Office of Homeland Security was formed, the collection of the tax
is no longer done by the BATF – Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and
Firearms. It is now carried out under the name “Alcohol and Tobacco
Tax and Trade Bureau.” The excise tax on firearms is totally obscured
by this new title. The excise tax on firearms and ammunition ends
up in the “Conservation Fund” where it is used to promote the use
of firearms and ammunition, and bows and arrows, via hunting.
SO, WHAT’S THE CONNECTION TO CITIES?
Tax on guns and ammunition used in city crimes involving
humans ALSO pays into the Conservation Fund BECAUSE THERE IS NO
DIFFERENCE between handguns or other firearms used in cities and
those used in the country. There is no ALSO NO DIFFERENCE between
bullets used in the city and those used in the country. THERE IS
NO DIFFERENCE IN TAX TREATMENT.
WHO’S BENEFITING FROM CITY GUN CRIME?
Firearms manufacturers, state wildlife management
departments, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Please do
not confuse the wildlife departments with the larger environmental
agency such as the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation,
or New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection, or Wisconsin’s
Department of Natural Resources, or Florida’s Department of Natural
Resources. Try to separate the Department from the agency, because
when we target these departments we want to aim at the right place.
To attack an entire agency is beyond our scope, and we do not have
grievances with other divisions of these agencies that work on
air, water, and land quality. The division of Wildlife is actually
partially self-funded and self-serving. It operates on behalf of
the firearms industry and a small special interest group. Small
is right, hunters are only 4% of the population in NY, less than
2% of the population in Florida, and 5% nationwide!
Anytime there has been a legislative attempt to use
a portion of the Conservation Fund for victims of gun crime, the
bill has been “shot down.” As it stands, victims of gun crime have
only their insurance to compensate them. GAME AGENCIES BENEFIT
FROM HUMAN BLOOD AND MISERY AS WELL.
HOW IS THE FIREARMS EXCISE TAX DIFFERENT FROM OTHER
EXCISE TAXES SUCH AS THOSE ON ALCOHOL AND TOBACCO?
One difference is that the firearms tax is dedicated
and the others are general. The firearms excise tax pays into the
Conservation Fund and can only be used for the promotion of the
use of firearms. Alcohol and Tobacco Excise taxes pay into the
GENERAL FUND and are used to pay for education, health care, housing,
and all the good things that the government does for the general
public with the money.
Also, there is no division or department dedicated
to the proliferation and use of alcohol and tobacco that pays itself
with taxes from a dedicated fund. In fact, it is comical to imagine
this. Yet that is the case with firearms. Imagine if the excise
taxes on Alcohol and Tobacco were dedicated, and a division set
up to exclusively use the taxes. The sole purpose of the division
would be to get the public to drink or smoke. Their job would be
to create drinking and smoking “opportunity.” Personnel would have
to pay themselves from the excise taxes collected from the manufacturers
and importers of alcohol and tobacco. The Fund could be used for
no other purpose than to perpetuate the use of alcoholic beverages
or tobacco. Their constituency would be organizations calling themselves
something like the “NAA” standing for the “National Alcohol Association,” and
there would be such groups in existence as “Drunks Unlimited,” “Wisconsin
Drunks for more Alcohol,” and “Drunkards for Drunk Driving.” There
would be higher class organizations such as Naturopaths for Sipping
Rights, and National Imbibers Society. They would all come together
to defeat bills that would threaten their recreation and to promote
bills that would loosen restrictions on alcohol and tobacco. Anyone
or any group that tried to limit the use of alcohol or tobacco
would be called a “terrorist organization,” and they would push
for Drinkers’ and Smokers’ Rights bills in every state. Anyone
trying to talk them out of drinking or smoking would be subject
to arrest or fine for drinker or smoker harassment. Sadly, they
would find legislators who would bow to the pressure of the loud
special interests. Some legislators (many) would truly identify
with them, and proudly announce that they are one of them. There
would be a “Drinkers’ and Smokers’ Caucus” in Congress.
IN THE CITY PROMOTE
MORE HUNTING IN THE FORESTS
REMEMBER THIS PLACE...?
Sunset for Sunset Sporting Goods
It’s the gun shop owned by Ulster
County, NY Legislator, Fawn Tantillo. Under the flag is a huge
sign that reads, “Going Out of Business Sale.” Unfortunately,
it was draped over by the flag after the invasion of Iraq. There
is a less prominent sign on the right. Does anyone want to buy
this place? After it’s cleaned up, it might make a good vegetarian
If that’s not amusing enough, then imagine a department
of an agency that is dedicated to promoting cigarette and alcohol
use. They might call themselves the Dept. of Smoking and Drinking
Management (DSM or DDM). Their sole purpose is to encourage people
to smoke and drink, and to provide smoking and drinking opportunity.
They would encourage legislation that would prevent the banning
of smoking and drinking from such places as hospitals and doctors’ offices,
certainly from restaurants, bars, and universities, schools and
even nurseries. Newborn infants will be given lifetime smoking
and drinking permits. Anyone who doesn’t allow smoking or drinking
in the house will be labeled a “domestic terrorist” to be dealt
with. This division would pay its personnel through the sale of
cigarette and alcohol permits, and excise taxes on those items.
Money from the Smoking Fund, for example, could not be used to
pay for lung cancer victims. That money would have to come from
the General Fund. All of the Department’s expenses for advertising,
lawsuits, postage, etc. would also come from the General Fund.
Additionally, the General Fund of a state would have to pitch in
a 25% matching amount to its excise tax allocation from the Federal
Smoking or Drinking Fund. The excise tax that the state smoking
and drinking fund receives will depend on how much smoking it actually
causes within the state. So, competition will be set up among states
to cause the most cigarette or alcohol use. States will have to
compete with each other to sell the most cigarette and drinking
licenses in order to get a larger pro-rated share of federal money.
That will also increase their matching amount.
Imagine further how that might work. Let’s say the
states get together so that each state can get what it wants and
needs (or is willing to settle for). Let’s say that states try
to attract more smokers than their state numbers allow. For example,
suppose Arkansas comes up with a cigarette that is only sold in
Arkansas. It’s an Albanian import and Arkansas has an exclusive
with the company. Through smoker –oriented magazines, the Albanian
cigarette is advertised. Smokers wishing to expand their horizons
must travel to Arkansas to smoke this brand. They have to pay more
for their smoking permit because they are out-of-state smokers
who are there to smoke the Arkansas Albanian cigarette.
Rhode Island now makes an exclusive deal with a Bulgarian
cigarette company and begins to promote its cigarette through a
PR company paid for with general fund dollars. Their goal is to
bring in out of state smokers who are willing to pay a premium
to smoke the Rhode Island Bulgarian cigarette.
If you are rolling over in the aisles now, do you
still think it’s funny that this is close to the way in which wildlife
management agencies work? No self-respecting taxpayer would tolerate
a division, department, or unit of an agency that exists merely
to promote itself. Nor would they tolerate the siphoning off of
public funding to this entity that contributes nothing to the society
but problems. Yet this is exactly what the firearms industry is
doing via wildlife management agencies.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE RAMIFICATIONS?
When bills are pending to limit firearms use, you
have government agencies lobbying to oppose them behind the scenes.
[I have witnessed the outright lobbying by hoards of wildlife managers
where they actually took a break during a conference to run outside
to the phones to call their legislators on bills that would allow
for more hunting opportunity.]
WHAT CAN BE DONE?
The financial link between wildlife management agencies
and the firearms industry must be severed. These agencies must
begin to operate on behalf of wildlife and the general public.
There are excise taxes that can be placed on non-consumptive items
such as canoes, birdseed, feed, cameras, and so on. There are also
financial arrangements that can be made with companies that benefit
from the non-consumptive enjoyers of wildlife. We need creative
thinking. The fund that is now dedicated to firearms use must be
re-evaluated by legislatures and Congress, and an investigation
into the practices and policies of wildlife management must begin.
Please spread the word. Copy this information and
pass it along, especially pass it to schools. Many of those who
have massacred their classmates and teachers were either young
hunters or children of hunters.
WHO WILL OPPOSE YOUR EFFORTS?
Pro-gun organizations; Pro-hunting organizations;
Government game agencies
WHO WILL SUPPORT YOUR EFFORTS?
Victims; Doctors; Health Insurance companies; hospitals,
NAACP; Anti-gun organizations; Anti-hunting organizations
THERE IS HOPE
Wal-Mart Ends Gun Sales in California – Reported
on CNN.com 4/8/2003
Wal-Mart agreed to stop selling guns in all of its
118 California stores after nearly 500 violations of state firearms
laws were found in six stores, the Associated Press reported April
According to Attorney General Bill Lockyer, one Wal-Mart
store in the state sold guns to felons in two separate instances,
while another released guns to customers before background checks
Other violations included failure to verify the identities
of buyers through thumbprints and driver’s licenses, and failure
to document sale of firearms-safety devices with guns.
Last year, Wal-Mart implemented a new policy that
requires customers to undergo a background check before buying
rifles and shotguns, no matter how long the check takes. The action
was taken after the retail chain’s own research found that weapons
it sold were being used in crimes.
BUT…THERE IS WORK TO BE DONE
According to a BBC report on April 4, 2003, it says: “…Congressional
Republicans have renewed their efforts to pass a bill that will
grant gun companies immunity from prosecution in the courts. The
bill, which has just been approved by the House Judiciary Committee,
is attracting support from some rural Democrats in constituencies
where hunting is a deep-seated tradition. The legislation seeks
to prevent victims of handgun violence from suing gun makers for
not adding safety features to guns and for making their distribution
to easy…..The civil rights group NAACP has sued 165 gun manufacturers….”
Contact your representatives and ask them to keep
the gun companies on the hook. If laws can’t be passed against
gun use, at least the manufacturers will bleed to death.