To the Daily:

Gun bans fail to end violent crime in cities

First, let me make it clear that I’m not saying this in a mean way, but Craig Root showed his youth and ignorance in his viewpoint last week about gun violence (Something not to be thankful for, 01/03/2008) – ignorance of the Constitution, for one.

The ruling by the circuit court in March 2007 concerned the constitutionality of the District of Columbia’s handgun ban. The circuit court ruled that the ban violates District of Columbia citizens’ Second Amendment rights. Beyond this constitutionality question, to put an even finer point on it, the ban hasn’t worked. Despite having the ban since 1975, Washington D.C. consistently ranks as one of the most violent places in America. Although the city blames neighboring states for letting guns in, this logic suggests that those neighboring states should have even more violence, right? Yet this is not true.

If Root cared to do some research, he would see that gun bans consistently fail; they keep the law abiding disarmed while criminals ignore the law and find ways to get guns anyway. It’s not about guns; it’s about drugs. Wild, rampant National Rifle Association members and those nasty folks with concealed carry permits aren’t causing inner-city violence. Gangs and drug dealers, which are usually one in the same, are causing it.

Everything in life has a cost and a benefit. We tolerate kitchen knives in our homes because, even though they can be popular weapons, they’re also used most of the time for non-violent purposes. Although cars kill, we tolerate them because their transportation value to us outweighs the potential danger. The same is true of guns. They are used far more often to stop a violent attack than to commit one. The bottom line is that guns save far more lives than they take. If a person is suicidal and doesn’t have a gun at hand, that person could simply use something else. We can’t ban rope and extension cords.

So while I empathize with Root’s concerns about inner-city violence and violence in general, I respectfully suggest that he become better informed on the true cause of the gun violence he has been witnessing. He should focus his efforts on the root cause, not the instrument.

Stu Chisholm

Roseville, Mich.

Huckabee earned Iowa win with help of FairTax

Articles in many Michigan newspapers lately have overplayed Mike Huckabee’s support from Christian conservatives and downplayed the support Huckabee has garnered from his advocacy of the FairTax, a progressive national retail sales tax. It was Huckabee’s promotion of the FairTax that first gained him sufficient support in Iowa to make him a viable candidate who others felt wasn’t a waste of a vote. This strong support from FairTax advocates continued to grow and eventually contributed significantly to his dark-horse victory in the Iowa caucuses.

As Huckabee spoke to the voters about the FairTax and how it would place America on a level playing field with foreign competitors for the first time in generations, they saw him as the candidate to bring about this needed change. Huckabee’s appearance on the Jay Leno show just before the Iowa caucuses confirms this. On the show the FairTax was a significant part of the discussion.

The fact that the FairTax is serious legislation is evidenced by the 72 co-sponsors the FairTax Act now has in the U.S. Congress. Three other candidates still in the presidential primary race, Duncan Hunter, Ron Paul and Mike Gravel, also support the FairTax. In Michigan, the Michigan FairTax Association is planning to place a Michigan FairTax proposal on the November ballot and is gaining support in the state House of Representatives.

Also, by taxing businesses instead of taxing the products directly, the American tax system is deceptive. This places American-produced products at a competitive disadvantage against foreign-produced products.

Mike Huckabee has recognized the problem of our broken tax system and the public has is recognizing him partly because of his advocacy of the FairTax solution.

Roger Buchholtz

The letter writer is the director of Michigan FairTax Association.

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