Friday, January 25, 2013

Can Taxes Really Help Stop Violence?

Can Taxes Really Help Stop Violence? via @LearnVest "But a study conducted by the Department of Justice showed that the 1994 assault weapons ban failed to reduce the number of victims per gun murder incident, and local and state handgun bans have also been ineffective. So what would work better? Taxing guns and treating gun violence like a public health issue, according to three Harvard University public-health researchers." "“In effect, the attitude from automobile manufacturers was, ‘Cars don’t kill people, people kill people.’” he says. “From a public health perspective, we feel it’s most valuable to ask, ‘What caused the injury?’ And the truth was that people were being lacerated by non-safety glass or the engine would go into the passenger compartment; the cars themselves were not as safe as they could be.” Of course, says Dr. Hemenway, it was a huge fight with car manufacturers to get safety glass, seatbelts and airbags—as well as improve the conditions of the roads by adding more lights and speed bumps. “And while drivers aren’t any better 60 years later, by improving the environment of cars and roads, fatalities per mile driven have fallen over 90%,” he notes. The overall safety of guns could be improved in a similar manner. Here’s how: -Keep Guns From Accidentally Firing. At an American Public Health Association conference a few years ago, a concealed weapon fell to the ground, went off and shot two women, says Dr. Hemenway. One tweak gun manufacturers could make would be to guarantee that guns can’t fire if they’re dropped. -Ensure That Guns Are Unloaded When Magazines Are Removed. If no bullets are left in the chamber when magazines are removed, it could prevent deaths tied to kids who play with guns that they think are unloaded. -Design Childproof Guns. Accidental poisonings–another public-health issue–were cut by 40%, thanks to child-safety medicine bottles. Similarly, guns could be childproofed by necessitating a more complex combination of pressure put on the handle when the trigger is pulled, says Dr. Hemenway." " Empower the ATF. The bureau hasn’t had a permanent director for the last six years, has had very little funding and it isn’t allowed to conduct its own sting operations to identify dealers who sell to straw purchasers. Reports have suggested that many of the guns used in crimes are acquired via straw purchasers. By enabling the ATF to conduct sting operations, we could reduce the number of guns that are easily getting into the hands of criminals. Improve Licensing and Registration. In the same way that cars are licensed and registered to owners, better licensing and registration efforts would help make sure that guns are being used responsibly by purchasers–and not being sold off to criminals, suggests Dr. Hemenway. Train Gun Dealership Employees. Such employees should be trained to help identify straw purchasers and suicidal individuals. By asking the right types of questions, and identifying the necessary authorities, dealership employees could help save lives and prevent guns from getting resold to criminals." I STRONGLY DISAGREE with the registration not so sure about the ATF thing. i want straw purchases prosecuted but don't' want another fast and furious but i kinda like the other points

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