Chad Love: Pandering to Gun Owners

As a citizen and voter, I expect a minimum level of common sense and pragmatism from the people elected to represent me. After so many years of bitter disappointment, I have no idea why.

For example, my home state of Oklahoma has the dubious honor of having the largest state budget deficit in the nation. A reasonable person might assume our elected representatives are at this very minute hard at work trying to solve this urgent problem. A reasonable person would be wrong.

_Two Democratic state lawmakers want a sales tax holiday on the purchase of guns. Sen. John Sparks, and Rep. Wes Hilliard, of Sulphur, have introduced Senate Bill 1322, also called the Second Amendment Weekend Sales Tax Holiday Act. It would set a sales tax break on handguns, rifles or shotguns starting at 12:01 a.m. on the third Friday in August until midnight the following Sunday. Oklahoma is facing a revenue failure for the current fiscal year and expects to have 20 percent less to spend next fiscal year due to declining state revenue.

"I thought it was a perfect way to reduce the barrier to exercising our Second Amendment rights and saw no reason to delay trying to implement the new law," Sparks said. "Recessions come and go. There will always be an excuse to not do something like this."
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In a state known for the systemic moronitosis of its elected leaders, this just may be the most ridiculous statement uttered by a politician this year. Anyone who thinks a normal, non item- or category-specific sales tax constitutes a "barrier to exercising our Second Amendment rights" is either a dunce or a jackass. If I were forced to pay some sort of punitive gun-specific sales tax I could perhaps see it. But I don't. I pay the same state sales tax for a gun as I would a package of crayons for my children. And as a gun owner and a Second Amendment absolutist, but more importantly as a citizen, I don't believe I deserve any special tax break when my fellow citizens are still forced to pay sales tax on everything else.

Special interest pandering to gun owners is still special-interest pandering, and shamelessly wrapping it in the Second Amendment doesn't make it right.