Chicago residents worried about the city's soaring homicide rate can rest easy. After painstaking consideration during what was no doubt many rounds of double martinis, officials are at last ready with an answer.
Just tax bullets, says Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. She has announced she will submit a budget proposal next week that would slap a nickel tax on each bullet sold and $25 per firearm.
Chicago's crime families immediately went into conference to examine the results of Preckwinkle's proposal on their budgets and announced they would have to cut back gun murders by at least 15 percent and shift some more business into the concrete galoshes department to compensate.
Clearly, officials have the bad guys on the run.
I have a theory that most liberal grownups were once those children who somehow always lost when playing cops and robbers:
Future conservative: "Bang! Bang! You're dead!"
Future liberal: "Am not!"
F.C.: "Are too!"
F.L.: "Darn! One day, I will get even! I'll ban your guns!"
F.C.: "Bang! Bang! You're double dead!
So far this year, Chicago has racked up 409 homicides compared with 324 during the same period in 2011.
Officials estimate the tax would bring in about $1 million to the cash-strapped city, but denied that the proposal was just about creating more revenue.
Richard Pearson, the executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association, had to point out the obvious, that the tax wouldn't do anything to address gang violence.
"If she wants to get to the people causing all the problems she ought to put a tax on street gangs," he said. "All this is going to do is drive business out of Cook County, into other counties, Indiana and Wisconsin."
But Pearson and other critics are looking at the situation without the benefit of the liberals' world view, in which guns kill people and criminals are law abiding citizens.
If Chicago really wants to get tough with criminals, maybe officials should consider resorting to the ultimate crimefightiing tool: a rolled up newspaper and a stern "No!"
I'm sure that would work.