The central thrust of Wayne LaPierre’s press conference offering “solutions” in the wake of the Newtown massacre is to put armed security in every school.
There were 98,706 public schools in 2008-9 (plus 33,740 private schools, which I’ll leave aside).
Even assuming you underpay these armed security guards until such time as school unions represent them, you would pay at least $50,000 in wages and benefits for these armed guards.
That works out to roughly $5 billion, for just one guard in every public school.
That, at a time when we’re defunding education.
In short, Wayne LaPierre just demanded a $5 billion subsidy for his NGO, the price he presumes we should pay as yet another externalized cost of America’s sick relationship with guns.
I’ve got a better idea. Let’s tax gun owners, to cover thus potential cost and the cost of responding to the massacres the NRA enables. Anything short of such stiff taxes would be socialism.
Yesterday, the President rolled out his answer to the Newtown massacre. He’s putting the guy who was put in charge of the Middle Class Task Force during a different crisis in charge of a similar commission to solve gun violence.
If you’re wondering how Joe Biden does with these task force thingies, here’s what the MCTF promised to deliver:
- Expanding education and lifelong training opportunities
- Improving work and family balance
- Restoring labor standards, including workplace safety
- Helping to protect middle-class and working-family incomes
- Protecting retirement security
Ahem. Given that Obama’s gun control press conference was dominated by questions about his plans to make retirement less secure by cutting Social Security, I guess we shouldn’t put too much stock in Biden’s new Task Force.
Meanwhile, the NRA has obviously put more serious thought into how to “lead” on this issue than the White House. They have scheduled a Friday night news dump press conference for tomorrow, at which they will describe how they plan to be “part of the solution.”
Few reporters are going to dedicate a lot of energy to a press conference as they’re trying to pack up for Christmas.
But the press conference did provide Meet the Press with an excuse to schedule Wayne LaPierre for a one-on-one chat with hack David Gregory. No matter what you think of MTP, it accords the leader of a group that has spent decades making it easier for gun nuts to massacre people a certain stature and the opportunity to frame this debate.
Mind you, I don’t blame the NRA here, I blame the White House. The White House has a use-it-or-lose-it soapbox. And in this case, they seem to have had little interest in using it.
Which suits LaPierre and his massacre-enablers just fine.