‘Good’ gun owners would bear brunt of ammunition tax
The New Mexican (“Records: Santa Fe officials discussed ammunition tax,” Dec. 29) tells us that Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller and Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber were both considering a municipal ammunition tax.
This proposal is a sin tax aimed at the sinless. High-volume ammunition users who would shoulder the brunt of a tax are hunters or target shooters, while criminals exist outside legitimate gun sport activities; no data suggest crooks are avid ammo consumers. An ammunition tax would be paid by sportsmen, not those who inflict gun violence on New Mexicans.
Let’s hope the Legislature, which so far has prefiled bills largely directed at disarming violent or prohibited persons, does better. The mayors should include all their constituents in these discussions, as gun owners are as interested in violence reduction as anyone. We can help.
Khalil J. Spencer
Unify and act
Donald Trump is intransigent in reopening government, and based on his statements, he is going to hold his breath until he gets his way.
I know an easy way to force the reopening of the government without involving Congress or Trump. It’s quite simple. The Transportation Security Administration agents are not being paid. If the majority of TSA agents called in sick, all air traffic in America would cease. Three days of this and people would be marching on Washington, D.C., with pitchforks. Government reopens and crisis averted. All it takes is some people realizing they have power if they unify and act.
You’ve seen it. Middle of the grocery store aisle. Child throws himself or herself down on the floor, kicking and slamming hands and screaming, “I want this.”
Grow that child up. Tell that person “no” and what happens? Does he calmly re-evaluate the situation, discuss alternatives and reach a compromise that, as mediators suggest, is a win-win for all? No, he slams his hands down and storms out of the room.
Tell the 800,000 furloughed federal employees (the nine federal departments that affect all of us) that we’re seeing a cereal aisle tantrum; but don’t worry, pretty soon they won’t have money to shop for food.
We now have a humanitarian crisis within as well as on our borders. Unpaid federal workers, their families and the businesses that depend on them are suffering. (No big deal. Most of them are Democrats, according to Donald Trump.) Reopening the government will require negotiation, but we have seen how the “great negotiator” negotiates. His first priority, obviously, is to protect his ego, not to alleviate the workers’ suffering and the collateral damage to the economy.
A negotiated settlement requires the parties to treat each other respectfully, to avoid insulting and antagonizing each other, to behave calmly and rationally, and to be willing to compromise. Throwing a childish tantrum and storming out are counterproductive, to say the least. Trump is not negotiating; he is attempting, through stoking fear and racism, lying, belittling and firing up his base, to force a capitulation rather than to reach an agreement.