To understand how the hiring of thousands of new IRS agents threatens your gun rights, it is helpful to ponder comments made at a recent press conference by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and her press secretary, Jonathan Beeton.
Wasserman Schultz (with straight face): “We actually have not required in this law that you carry health insurance.”
Beeton, in a clarification afterwards: “Yes, this is accurate. You have a choice of insuring yourself with affordable coverage, or paying an assessment that will offset the burden you place on other insured Americans and taxpayers by not being insured.”
Wasserman Schultz (with straight face): “What we’re doing is that you will be in a different tax status if you carry insurance versus not carrying health insurance. So you can feel free to choose not to carry health insurance – that’s just going to be reflected in the tax category that you’re in on your tax return. But there is no requirement in this law that you must carry health insurance.”
This is a twist of logic and spin that would make Beria proud.
I was having lunch with a friend last week who I would describe as a ‘mild’ libertarian. The subject of gun regulations came up and he asked me what I would do if the federal agents showed up at my door. I patiently explained to him that there was little chance of any kind of mass gun confiscation in the United States. First of all, there is simply too much area to cover and there are too many gun owners even relative to the combined forces of local, state, and federal “law enforcement” personnel. Second, the scenes that played out would be too dramatic and make for too much poor press coverage. Finally, it would be too expensive.
A much more likely scenario resembles the Obamacare “mandate” which, strictly speaking, is not a mandate. As Rep. Wasserman Schultz explained, it’s not really a ‘mandate’, per se. Rather, those who do not follow the directions of the federal government (as Wasserman Schultz said, those who “feel free”) will simply find themselves in a special tax class. The issue instantly morphs into a tax problem, handed over to the IRS, who will presumably handle it as they would any other tax issue.
It is no great leap to envision the same issue played out with guns. Suppose, for example, that a $500.00 per firearm tax were levied against the American people. Take an average gun owner with 5 firearms: 2 hunting rifles, a shotgun, a .22 long rifle, and a handgun. That would be a $2,500.00 tax. Understand that records of firearm purchases, though not technically warehoused in a database, are open to inspection by our friends at the BATFE on demand. Further, any firearms dealer going out of business must hand his records over to the BATFE for safekeeping. Suppose this hypothetical gun-owning American refused to pay the tax. No problem. No great drama, no-knock confiscation raid or SWAT team. BATFE simply hands the issue over to the IRS as a tax issue. And the IRS does what they do.
First they send a letter. Then another. If our hypothetical gun-owning American ignores the letters, a series of actions will commence ranging from garnished wages, levied bank accounts, to asset seizures. Even if our hypothetical gun-owning American abandons his job, his bank account and his property, eventually he will be arrested and sent to jail. A year or so later someone will ask about him: “What ever happened to Bob?”. Answer? “He went to jail for tax evasion.” Understand: tax evasion. Not gun ownership.
When draconian gun regulations are proposed, and they will be, this is how it may very well work. Those agents will already be in place and we all know that, once hired, they aren’t going anywhere.
Let’s try out the Wasserman Schultz logic on the subject of gun restrictions:
“There is nothing in this bill that restricts gun purchases. Yes, this is accurate. You have a choice of paying the fee, or paying an assessment that will offset the burden you place on other Americans who pick up the tab for negligent gun use, whether we’re talking crime of the thousands of accidental injuries and deaths that result every year from irresponsible gun use.”
“This is a common sense law. [“common sense” is always a giveaway for leftist gun restrictions] What we’re doing is that you will be in a different tax status if you choose to own guns versus if you do not. So you can feel free to choose to own guns – that’s just going to be reflected in the tax category that you’re in on your tax return. But there is no requirement in this law that you hand in your guns.”
Washington at its best.