Friday, February 1, 2013

Some Thoughts About Dead Chickens, Booze, & Guns

Over the last few days as some of the following news stories unfolded I had a few thoughts come to mind.

Over the Super Bowl weekend 'The National Chicken Council' estimates that 1.23 billion chicken wings will be eaten. In other words we will slaughter 615 million birds just to feed football fans for 2 days. It's estimated that 269 chickens are killed per second (23 million per day). That works out to about 8.39 billion per year.

Just a thought. What if the shoe were on the other foot?

Pennsylvania Proposed Alcohol Sales Reform
Pennsylvania's governor thinks it a swell idea to privatize Pennsylvania's sales of liquor. It's a one shot deal that promises to bring in $1 billion. At first blush that seems like a pretty good idea. What I question is where do you think the new revenue will come from? Wouldn't be from the prices retailers would have to charge their customers for these new licenses and the required ID scanners they have to buy would it? Sounds like a hidden tax to me.

Is it a great deal for consumers and the taxpayers?
Pennsylvania's Liquor Control Board states that about $105,000,000 is transferred to the General fund annually and another $26,504,567 is contributed to other agencies annually. This totals up to $131,504,567 million As you can plainly see in just a little over 7 years the PLCB would have generated nearly $1 billion on it's own without changing anything.

The prices for these newly created licenses would range from $60,524 to $722,947. My beer distributor told me it would cost him around $2 million between the license, inventory and building addition to house hard liquor. If he doesn't he expects his sales to go down at least 30% once beer is sold nearly everywhere around his location. He said he absolutely can not afford it. So it kind of looks like he wasted his $750,000 life savings investment he made only 2 years ago.

Consumers may see this as greater convenience, but there's no way prices are going to remain what they are currently after a new location spends from $60k to more then $700k to obtain a license, a ID scanner system + renovations.

Currently beer distributors specialize only in beer sales. Some carry over 200 brands. The current liquor stores stock a huge selection of liquor and wines. Does anyone really believe that customers will pay less or have the selections they do now if/after this goes through? I doubt it.

Gun Reform
Gun reform is another hot news item. The chief executive of the 'National Rifle Association' says what good are making laws, since obviously the bad guys don't abide by them. Following that logic, should we erase the laws against murder, armed robbery, assault and all the other silly laws that bad guys don't follow either?

Sean Hannity flatly stated on his program numerous times (including this past Thursday night) where there are more guns there is less crime. Tell that to Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit or nearly any other major urban area. If we apply that logic world wide, why wouldn't Baghdad or Kabul be the two safest cities?

On the other hand in the United Kingdom, which has one of the toughest gun control laws there were only .04 gun homicides per 100,000 in 2011. In the United States it was 3.6 per 100,000. That's 90x's more then England. Overall deaths that were attributed to firearms in the United Sates is over 40x's more then it is in the United Kingdom!

If you check out the list in that link I provided, you will notice the United States has more deaths attributed to guns then 65 other currently peaceful nations.

While I certainly don't have great answers for gun violence, I am absolutely certain more guns isn't the answer to reducing crime. Neither is ignoring other possible ways. Why not make gun owners more responsible for crimes committed by their firearms if they fail to report them missing or stolen?

Another is to eliminate the antiquated way police have to trace down a gun.

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