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    Greg and Beth

    the political and personal musings of two
    mountaineers living in west-central Florida
     
    Caring For Our Environment and Being A Bad Libertarian Comment
    Gregory Morris, 11/20/08 7:49:47 am
    From Tam:
    In case you didn't know, a sizable percentage of the price of your last Glock or case of 7.62x39mm went to make sure that Cletus has someplace to shoot ducks this year.
    I think it is also worthwhile to note that even if you don't hunt, that public range you use is also funded by the Pittman-Robertson tax.

    I don't currently hunt. I never have. I might some day. But I still don't mind the Pittman-Robertson tax, specifically because it is used to directly benefit those who pay most of the taxes. Not only do I want to have the opportunity to hunt in the future, but I want to have access to unspoiled nature today. I want access to public shooting ranges.

    I believe most shooters and hunters willingly pay the tax because it directly benefits things they want. (Ok, fine, most of them probably don't even know they are paying the tax... but they still want and utilize the things it provides.)

    In addition, a lot of people who don't own guns or hunt also benefit from that tax. Smelly bark-humping hippies, for instance. They just love nature and forest critters and such. I'm not averse to bringing that up in a debate about whether or not gun owners and hunters actually care about nature. In this country, sport shooters and hunters clearly do more to preserve and care for the environment than any number of rank patchouli-wearing tie-dyed communists chaining themselves to trees.

    I guess supporting a tax on guns and ammo means that I'm a bad libertarian... so be it. I'm not against all taxes, just stupid ones that enable the government to spend my money on things that don't benefit me. The P-R act is a way for hunters and shooters to spend their money to support things they want. The income is statutorily protected from non-conservation use (so it can't be re-appropriated to buy new office furniture for Nancy Pelosi.)

    Could the "free market" do it better? Perhaps in some aspects, but not everywhere. There are very few places where I support government involvement, as opposed to relying solely on the private sector. The first and foremost is national defense. However, coming in at a close second is wildlife/nature conservation.

    Before you start criticizing me on that point, keep in mind that I still only support limited government involvement. Acquiring, managing, protecting and restoring land for public use should be the government's primary conservation role. These are the things that Pittman-Robertson pay for.

    [Comments are closed after a month.]

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