Yet another example of the left’s lack of government transparency and ends-justify-the-means tactics has oozed out of the liberal cauldron of the farcical but hazardous to liberty Seattle city government. An article, “Seattle Gun Tax Fails to Generate Projected Revenue, Succeeds in Burdening Rights,” (NRA-ILA, March 24, 2017), published by the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action provides further evidence that, in 2015, Seattle city government proposed a targeted tax on Seattle’s few remaining gun dealerships. Proposed as a so-called “sin tax” because, as Councilman Tim Burgess put it, “It’s time for the gun industry to help defray” the costs of criminal gun violence. What it was, was a poorly veiled attempt to eradicate gun shops in Seattle.
At least, if the council members admitted that eliminating gun shops within the city limits was their objective, one could respect the political honesty. However, honesty and the left rarely mix.
In 2016, I wrote a blog about Seattle gun shop owner Sergey Solyanik. He implored Seattle’s city council members not to enact a tax that would ruin his livelihood and possibly cause him to move his business out of the city (he did relocate from the city). He said, “the data that has been submitted by the proponents [of the tax] is completely fake.”
The Council didn’t care. After all, Solyanik doesn’t think like they do. That doesn’t make him a political opponent; it doesn’t even make him wrong. It makes him evil. So, he should suffer. The Seattle City Council which voted unanimously for the tax had an end to achieve and this illegal tax was their means.
Poor Mr. Solyanik was in their way—and, he dared to assert his rights. So, it was necessary that he be crushed under the Council’s jackboots—or Birkenstocks. I mean, why not? Even if the courts eventually declare the tax illegal, which, if you read the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment, Washington State Constitution’s Article I § 24, and the state’s preemption statutes, they must, the Council will have achieved its goal: No gun shops in Seattle (I’ll say it again: drug dealers, addicts, and gangsters get more respect in Seattle than law-abiding gun owners and gun dealers do).
In promoting this anti-gun tax, City Councilman Tim Burgess endorsed ludicrous revenue projections of between $300,000 and $500,000 per year [i.e. “fake data”], which would go to “anti-gun” research at Harborview Medical Center.
Now, let’s peek at the City’s alleged commitment to government transparency: The City refuses to release the total tax collected. Despite record national and state gun sales, “Burgess confessed, ‘tax payments received by the City were less than $200,000.” Seattle won’t disclose the amount, citing a nonsensical notion of protecting taxpayer confidentiality. By releasing the total amount of tax collected? They must believe Seattleites are stupid. More likely, Seattle’s lefty liberal population doesn’t care when the City Council abridges other people’s rights, provided the government does not violate “their” rights. So, why should the Council worry about government transparency?
So, revenues fell far short of that projected half-million dollars. In fact, it was less than $200,000. Talk about vague, less than 200K could be anywhere from $199,999 to one cent. I’ll concede it’s probably more than a penny, but how much less than two hundred grand?
Whatever the results of future court rulings, liberal Seattle government accomplished its goal. It’s unlikely the court decisions will make any injured party (gun dealers) whole. Only by suffering a financial sanction will liberal cities such as Seattle ever cease their destructive drive to turn their citizens and business owners into game pieces on their own social-justice, utopian Monopoly Board. The only way that would occur, and the only way to prevent the City from attempting such nonsense again, is for Solyanik and other victims to sue Seattle’s socialistic ass off. I hope they can. I hope they do!