The cost of Wayne LaPierre's NRA statement suggestion of armed guards in every school? Billions.
Wayne LaPierre's NRA statement came a full week after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, and the pro-gun organization was outwardly quiet in the days after, during which Americans tried to wrap their cognitive processes around the words "elementary school massacre."
In the week of silence, LaPierre and the NRA were lambasted in the media and on social media for their silence, called "cowardly" and a few other words we can't publish due to their failure to address a massive shooting spree that left 27 dead as well as the shooter. But now the NRA has spoken, and LaPierre has suggested a "school shield program" as the only method proven to work to protect schools from massacres:
"For the sake of the safety of every child in America, I call on every parent, every teacher, every school administrator and every law enforcement officer in this country to join us in the National School Shield Program and protect our children with the only line of positive defense that's tested and proven to work."Except of course, how in the UK and Australia guns and ammo were restricted after similar massacres, preventing deaths. And LaPierre has the unmitigated cojones to suggest that if armed guards had been present, those kids would be alive today -- of course, if high-capacity magazines hadn't, they would be as well. The NRA chief says:
"Will you at least admit it's possible that 26 innocent lives might have been spared? Is that so abhorrent to you that you would rather continue to risk the alternative?"But, let's pretend we live in this world of Wayne LaPierre's, where only more guns can prevent gun violence. And we forget an armed guard at Columbine did damn all to save lives that horrible day. So every school in the US is fitted with an armed guard to protect students from shooters.
Andrew Sullivan (hat tip to The Dusty Rebel) quotes a commenter who proposes that the cost of administrating, paying and carrying out such a measure assuming each school costs $60,000 per year. Extrapolated, this person suggests a cost of $5.6 billion per year for this cockamamie "school shield" program.
Which leads us to a question that the right asked as the country mulled universal healthcare coverage for contraception: why should we pay for your fun?
Gun ownership is a privilege, one denied felons and the mentally ill or unstable and requiring much regulation. And no one is compelled to own a gun. So if we do indeed decide to implement Wayne LaPierre's suggestion, why on Earth would non-gun owners be forced to foot the bill for your gun fun?
Fine, let's militarize the schools. Add two guards and three! But don't expect the government to subsidize your right to carry. The only ethical way to force such a program down our throats would be to immediately tax all gun owners in order to pay for it.
Hey, my religious freedom will be impinged otherwise. Lots of guns in this country are recreationally used, and I shouldn't have to pay for your hobbies or something I may think is immoral. And taxation is theft! How dare you take my hard earned money to pay for your amusement? It's insane.
Incidentally, Wayne LaPierre's NRA statement did not propose a way to afford this new army of school shield guards. But we can only assume all good conservatives agree a tax on gun owners is the only fair way to cover the costs, because we don't want people having fun on Uncle Sam's dime, right?