Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Household gun licence

Just like on TV
  [vote for,

On the assumption that every U.S. household has at least one gun, the idea is to apply TV licence policies to guns. The money collected will go towards suicide prevention, inner city crime beats, etc.

Anyone who DOESN'T want to pay for a licence has to go through an excruciating process of proving that they don't have any guns.

Fair disclosure: this is partly inspired by one innocuous investigatory law which is credited with ending slavery in the UK.

4and20, Oct 07 2015

But how do Brits do it? https://en.wikipedi...ence#United_Kingdom
[4and20, Oct 07 2015]


       Ahh, new taxes. Is there any problem they CAN'T solve?
doctorremulac3, Oct 07 2015

       //assumption that every U.S. household has at least one gun// Probably depends on region, but here in New York State I know no one that owns a hand gun and only 2 people that own shotguns. The further out into the "wilderness" you go the more hunting rifles and such you will find
evilpenguin, Oct 07 2015

       Let the government search through every home without a warrant? Less rights for the poor? Extra taxes? I don't think Mao himself could come up with a better policy.
Voice, Oct 07 2015

       Can no one see that the very idea of paying taxes or letting the government snoop on you is so anti-American, that the majority who don't really need guns that badly are going to lose patience with the nutlike few?   

       Addendum: Just read that there have been more than 100K veteran suicides since 1999. That's almost 10% of the total gun deaths since 1968. Who wants to bet that at least half of suicides since 1968 have been veterans?   

       U.S. wars and domestic gun deaths are undoubtedly intertwined, but it seems you have to "lose" a war, such as Vietnam, the Civil War, or, arguably, Iraq, to really produce distraught mental problems.
4and20, Oct 07 2015

       //That's almost 10% of the total gun deaths since 1968.//   

       Where are you getting your numbers? There have been, very approximately 500,000 gun deaths since 1999. And a total of ~1.5 million since 1968. So 100k is around 20% of the total since '99, and only around 7% (not 10%) of the total since 1968.   

       Given that (again, roughly) firearms suicides account for 2/3 of gun deaths, even if all Veteran suicides involved firearms, it would only be about 30%. However, while I would agree that Vets are somewhat more likely to use a firearm to commit suicide, I am certain that not all do, and firearms only account for about half of suicides overall. So that's 100k Veterans committing suicide since 1999 out of ~650,000 total, about 15%.   

       Oh, and a general thought, but I would bet that suicide as a cause of death was hugely under reported from anything prior to Vietnam. I suspect if you added up the totals of accidental deaths with suicides for any period, the numbers, per capita, would be a lot flatter than they should be. After all, the legal difference between an "accident while cleaning his gun" and suicide is basically down to how the family and the coroner want to report it.   

       (To clarify, accidental deaths should happen at a relatively constant rate. If the rate of accidental deaths + suicides is flat, while reported suicides are rising, that strongly implies that prior suicides were reported as accidental death. I'm not saying I know this is what has happened, but it would be entirely in keeping with the general attitude towards mental health in the world war era).
MechE, Oct 07 2015

       It's all in the framing. Unless I'm being boned by Brits who despise telly tax, I've stirred up the Yanks who think they can have wars without paying for them. The tax bill for Iraq hasn't really come due yet. Those costs have been a television licence and more.   

       The households that don't want to pay are like a conscientious objector or Quaker (ok, Nixon was Quaker) who tries to duck out of military taxes.   

       Anyone who thinks one can have training programs for armed citizens without raising money somewhere is liable to think he'll get a free lunch just because he has a gun.   

       It does appear that veteran suicide using a gun is a small percentage of gun suicides since 1968, assuming annual approximations for veteran gun suicides are flat from 1999 onwards and back.   

       I may look up suicide totals since 1968 but 1) they may be 2/3 gun caused in the case of veterans anyway 2) if 1/2 by gun, some 7,000 cases of veteran suicide a year would seem to be less than 1/2 of total avg suicide each year, a number I have not looked up.
4and20, Oct 07 2015

       Obama to Doctors Without Borders, after bombing them: What, MONEY? Didn't you hear me apologize?
4and20, Oct 08 2015

       I've long maintained that owning a pair of binoculars, a telescope or a periscope means you can receive TV programmes as they're broadcast because you can then watch them in other homes through the window, and therefore, as equipment which can be used to do that, they require a television licence. This means that a weapon with a gun sight also requires such a licence, so in this country similar legislation is already in place for certain weapons. However, I don't know whether there are TV licencing laws which apply in jurisdictions close enough to the borders of the US to allow such viewing, perhaps from a mountain top with a very powerful gun sight. The answer to this would be to build an absolutely massive television set on the Scilly Isles, perhaps replacing the entire archipelago, and put a huge geostationary mirror to reflect the broadcast into the States. Then anyone in the United States owning a weapon with a gun sight which they could aim upwards could view British telly and there would be a diplomatic incident of some kind. Given that American law enforcement of intellectual property appears to be considered internationally enforceable by the authorities there, there is a precedent for this.
nineteenthly, Oct 08 2015

       I haven't boned, but there is a major problem with the following:   

       //On the assumption that every U.S. household has at least one gun//   

       The number of gun owning households in the US has been declining, consistently. It's somewhere around 35% right now. However, many of those own more than one gun, and some own dozens or hundreds.
MechE, Oct 08 2015

       The tax would disappear before the guns, no matter what effect it had on disgruntled non gun owners. So, too much cheese and not enough egg.
4and20, Oct 08 2015

       Just to say Brits usually don't see a television licence as a tax because it's voluntary. No telly, no licence required, to oversimplify.
nineteenthly, Oct 08 2015


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