Category Archives: Constitution

Seattle collected much less than predicted from gun tax

government solve all problems

Shocker, not. Another liberal tax-payer scheme that didn’t work out as planned.

From MyNorthwest.com: Seattle’s gun tax brought in much less than expected in its first year. City leaders expected the tax to bring in between $300,000 and $500,000 a year when they approved it. But it brought in just over $100,000 in 2016.

The city had long refused to reveal the dollar amount, citing privacy concerns of people who pay the tax.

“Given the limited number of quarterly returns filed, the City believes releasing any information at this time about the number of filers or amount reported would risk revealing identifying taxpayer information, which is protected from disclosure per Seattle Municipal Code and state law,” the city said in response to a records request.

Earlier this year, the city revealed the tax had brought in less than expected, but would only say it was less than $200,000. The numbers released this week come after a judge ordered the city to release the data following a public records battle with TheGunMag.

A lawsuit challenging the tax failed last week when the state Supreme Court ruled it was legal. In an 8-1 decision, the justices agreed with the city’s argument that the tax is different from a regulation.

“Historically, there has been a difference between regulations as such and taxation,” Attorney Phil Talmadge told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson. “The Supreme Court has had a protocol for deciding what is a regulatory process, or a fee, and what constitutes a tax. They applied that analysis pretty faithfully in this opinion. Like it or dislike it, that’s the way they’ve done it.”

Seattle passed its gun tax in August 2015. It was aimed at funding gun-violence prevention, research and other programs to mitigate the public costs of gun-related crimes. The effort was spearheaded by Councilmember Tim Burgess. It places a $25 tax on guns sold in Seattle, and up to 5 cents on each round of ammunition.

DCG

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Washington State Supreme Court upholds Seattle’s gun tax

screwthetaxpayer

The tax will stay. And so will the shootings because we know a tax has nothing to do with folks picking up a gun and shooting someone, whether during a criminal act or especially in self defense.

From MyNorthwest.com: The Washington State Supreme Court has upheld Seattle’s tax on gun and ammunition sales. The 8-1 decision came in a decision issued Thursday morning.

The tax had been challenged by the NRA, local gun rights groups, some gun owners and gun stores in the city who say the tax is illegal because cities aren’t allowed to regulate firearms under state law.

But the city says a tax is different from a regulation. The Supreme Court agreed.

Seattle passed its gun tax in August 2015. It was aimed at funding gun-violence prevention, research and other programs to mitigate the public costs of gun-related crimes. The effort was spearheaded by Councilmember Tim Burgess. It places a $25 tax on guns sold in Seattle, as well as up to a 5-cent fee on each round.

However, the city hasn’t taken in nearly as much revenue from the tax as originally predicted (as I reported in March). Supporters on the council expected as much as $500,000 in revenue; in May, the city had collected less than $200,000.

Meanwhile, shootings continue, though some would argue a recent crackdown has reduced some of the gun violence. There were 36 shootings and four fatalities in the first five months of 2017. Reports of shots fired rose to 155 by May 15 – 11 more than the same time in 2015, and 23 more than this time last year.

As of July 31, the number of reported shots fired this year was 237.

DCG

College professor wears “combat gear” to protest Texas’ campus carry law

professor charles smith

Just a tad melodramatic…

From Fox News: A Texas professor is making waves on social media after protesting the state’s campus carry law by wearing protective combat gear to class.

San Antonio College geography instructor Charles K. Smith went to his class last week sporting a camouflaged bulletproof vest and helmet. He said he wore it because he doesn’t feel safe.

“It definitely makes me feel uneasy that there are more firearms on campus than there should be,” Smith told mySA.com. “[Dressing this way] was just a statement on how I felt.”

Campus Carry, which was signed into state law in 2015 and officially implemented into Texas community colleges on Aug. 1, allows individuals with a conceal license to carry a handgun on college premises. The law went into effect at 4-year institutions in 2016.

A photo of Smith wearing the combat gear was shared on Facebook, which generated a flurry of comments in favor of and against the professor.

“I realize students were carrying guns on campus illegally, but now it’s legal to do so. It increases the chances of something happening,” said Smith, who also acknowledged that no one had pulled a gun on him in his 10 years at the college.

“Used to, when they got mad at me, they had to go home to get the gun and had time to cool off. Now they will have it with them,” he added.

Smith said he’s concerned about an argument breaking out and one of the participants having a gun. “My assumption is that you will have more people carrying guns – that will lead to problems. It always has,” he said. “There is nothing on this planet worth a human life.”

James “Hot Mustard” Velten, who posted the photo on Facebook, told Fox News on Tuesday that response on campus has been mostly positive. “Many professors admire his statement about campus carry,” he said. “Many professors don’t feel safe because of the law.”

Velten also told mySA.com that Smith was a passionate professor. “Around people like that, you tend to listen a bit more,” he said.

Smith said his protest has nothing to do with San Antonio College, as they are following the law. He said he ran his plans by local police and the administration beforehand.

“Some of them were okay and some of them weren’t, but it’s freedom of speech,” he said.

DCG

Lena Dunham takes it upon herself to report two flight attendants for “transphobic talk”

lena dunham

I wouldn’t bet $100 that her story is true. You know her track record for telling the truth.

Update: According to Breitbart, there’s already some holes in her story as the airline cannot verify her claim. Shocker, not.

From Daily Mail: Lena Dunham took matters into her own hands when she heard two flight attendants engaging in ‘transphotic talk’.  The 31-year-old actress was very active on social media Wednesday night as she reported the employees to American Airlines on Twitter. She even direct messaged the major airline and shared screenshots of the private conversation on her Instagram.

At first, the Girls star was complaining about a plane delay and being ‘admonished’ over having a wrinkled boarding pass until she heard the unsavory chatter. Lena wrote: ‘Not gonna call out the airline who delayed cuz shit happens BUT I did just overhear 2 @AmericanAir attendants having a transphobic talk.’

She then went on to tell the over 90-year-old airline how employees should be trained in this day and age.

The comedienne wrote:  ‘At this moment in history we should be teaching our employees about love and inclusivity @AmericanAir. That was worst part of this night.’

She then went on to share screenshots of the private messages she sent the airline including: ‘I think it reflects badly on uninformed employees of your company to have that kind of dialogue going on.’

Lena also wrote them: ‘Awareness starts at home but jobs can set standards of practice.’

The customer service representative took information from the star and said they would pass it along for further review.

The next day, Lena reflected on the entire happening and even shared her societal views as she wrote: ‘For those who followed my airport saga yesterday, here’s my takeaway: these days it’s the little things. A smile. Offering a seat. Respect.’

We can’t afford to treat each other like cattle when we have a government that does. Being trapped at the airport filled me with love!’

Despite the incident in the air, things are going swimmingly for Dunham as she will appear on the new season of FX’s American Horror Story. Creator Ryan Murphy tweeted the news which was also confirmed by her reps to the Hollywood Reporter, adding that the Girls star will appear in just one episode of AHS season seven.

DCG

Dear Abby apologizes for instructing a mom not to inquire if a parent has firearms

dear abby

I do not have children in my home. If I did, I can guarantee you that any firearms would be properly secured to keep kids from accessing them.

That being said, if anyone inquired about firearms in my home the answer would a quick no, as in, none of your business. I wouldn’t advertise that information.

I’m curious as to what thoughts parents might have on Dear Abby’s advice and apology.

From NY Post: Dear Abby is often thought to be an expert on all things etiquette, but she’s recently had to apologize for the advice she gave to a concerned mom.

In a June edition of her advice column, Jeanne Phillips — who publishes Dear Abby under the pen name Abigail Van Buren, just like her mother before her told a mom from New Jersey that it was “off-putting” to ask other parents if they have guns in their homes before allowing her daughter to play at their houses.

“Because you are concerned for your child’s safety, why not offer to have the kids visit your house for playdates?” added Phillips. “I’m sure many of the parents will be glad to have some free time, and it shouldn’t offend anyone.”

Less than a week later, however, Phillips had received “a large number” of complaints, prompting her to clarify her statements.

“I have heard you loud and clear,” tweeted Phillips on June 27. She also stated that ensuring a child’s safety means “asking whether there are weapons on the premises,” and advised parents not to send their children to another child’s house if they feel it’s an unsafe environment.

Now, more than a month after the offending advice, Phillips has outright apologized for those initial remarks in a column she published on Monday.

In response to a Yale-educated pediatric nurse (and psychiatrist nurse practitioner) who took Phillips to task for not encouraging the mom to follow through with her questions about gun safety, Phillips walked back her original response.

“Of course you are right. The woman’s question wasn’t about etiquette. It was about child safety,” Phillips told the nurse in a column titled “Vigilant Moms Can’t Shy Away From Asking About Gun Safety.”

“A large number of readers besides you agreed my perspective was off,” she added. “I have heard all of you loud and clear, and I apologize.”

In doing so, Phillips also earned the praise of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, a group that was initially critical of her advice, according to Today.

“Dear Abby has gone beyond just correcting the record; I’m proud to consider her an advocate now too,” said Dan Gross, the president of Brady Center. “Our children’s safety is something we call ALL get behind and all speak out for*.”

*Unless it’s a baby in the womb, of course. Reproductive rights!!!!

DCG

Taxpayer relief shot: Texas woman shoots and kills home intruder

wrong house

You go girl!

From MyFoxChicago:  A 60-year-old Texas woman wasn’t taking any chances Monday morning when she heard two intruders enter her home, grabbing her pistol and shooting one of the would-be thieves dead, police said.

The woman, who was not immediately identified, confronted the two armed men after they entered her Harris County home through an open garage door around 11:30 a.m., WTSP reported.

Cathy Hanks, a neighbor, said it’s not surprising the woman fired her pistol when she saw a threat in her home, explaining: “That’s really how we are. That’s just Texas.”

“It’s the state of Texas. If you’re going to go into someone’s home, you’re going to get shot,” Hanks said.

Harris County Sheriff’s Office’s spokesman Thomas Gilliland told WTSP that both intruders — neither of whom were identified — were armed with pistols when the woman confronted them. She fired several shots and struck at least one man, who collapsed and died in her front yard.

Police found a gun next to the dead man’s body. His accomplice jumped over the fence and escaped, though it’s unclear if he was wounded in the incident.

Fox News reports that the woman was not injured in the incident. She did not know the intruders, WTSP reported.

Police are still looking for the second intruder, described as a man in his 20s who was wearing dark clothing with red underwear peeking out of his pants.

DCG

HR 3576 to prevent enforcement of state-local gun control laws more restrictive than federal laws

The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, was passed by Congress nearly 226 years ago on December 15, 1791, as part of the first ten amendments contained in the (citizens’) Bill of Rights. It says:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

But that’s exactly what state and local governments have done — infringe on “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms” with unceasing gun control laws.

On July 28, 2017, Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) introduced a bill, H.R. 3576: Second Amendment Guarantee Act, which, if passed into law, will prevent all state, county and city governments from enforcing gun control laws that are stricter than those at the federal level.

Andrew Cuomo, governor of New York — a state famous for strict gun control — went postal, declaring that HR 3576 would put “millions of people at profound risk.” Calling HR 3576 “a blatant political ploy,” Cuomo accused Rep. Collins of being “beholden to no one but the gun lobby and entrenched special interests.” In a phone interview, Lindsay Nichols of the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence called the bill “one of the more dramatic and extreme bills out there” which “would really impact almost every state in the nation.” (Source)

As an example, in California, although HR 3576 would not overturn any local rules on handguns, the bill would lift the state’s ban on many types of assault weapons and large-capacity gun magazines, as well as relax strict licensing requirements for buyers and sellers of rifles and shotguns.

Here’s what HR 3576: Second Amendment Guarantee Act says:

To amend title 18, United States Code, to limit the authority of States and localities to regulate conduct, or impose penalties or taxes, in relation to rifles or shotguns.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Second Amendment Guarantee Act’’ or the ‘‘SAGA Act’’
SEC. 2. LIMITATION ON AUTHORITY OF STATES AND LOCALITIES TO REGULATE CONDUCT IN RELATION TO RIFLES OR SHOTGUNS.
 
Section 927 of title 18, United States Code, is amended—
 
(1) by striking ‘‘No’’ and inserting ‘‘(a) Except as provided in subsection (b), no’’; and
 
(2) by adding after and below the end the following:
 
‘‘(b)(1) A State or a political subdivision of a State may not impose any regulation, prohibition, or registration or licensing requirement with respect to the design, manufacture, importation, sale, transfer, possession, or marking of a rifle or shotgun that has moved in, or any such conduct that affects, interstate or foreign commerce, that is more restrictive, or impose any penalty, tax, fee, or charge with respect to such a rifle or shotgun or such conduct, in an amount greater, than is provided under Federal law. To the extent that a law of a State or political subdivision of a State, whether enacted before, on, or after the date of the enactment of this subsection, violates the preceding sentence, the law shall have no force or effect. For purposes of this subsection, the term ‘rifle or shotgun’ includes any part of a rifle or shotgun, any detachable magazine or ammunition feeding device, and any type of pistol grip or stock design.
‘‘(2) In an action brought for damages or relief from a violation of paragraph (1), the court shall award the prevailing plaintiff a reasonable attorney’s fee in addition to any other damages or relief awarded.’’.

On the same day as it was introduced, HR 3576 has been referred to the House Judicial Committee.

Tell your critters in Congress to support HR 3576! Click here.

~Eowyn