NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre's plan to put an armed school safety office in every school in America would cost the federal government over $2 billion dollars, say school safety officers and the organization itself.
Speaking on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday, former Arkansas Rep. and NRA point person Asa Hutchinson said it would cost billions of dollars to implement the program: "We have one-third of our schools right now of the 23,000 schools that have armed guards. Should the other two-thirds have armed guards? I certainly think it's an option that they should consider. It's going to take over $2 billion if you put a federal funded program for an armed person at every school."
The head of the National Association of School Resource Officers Mo Canady said that one armed guard would cost $80,000 per year, including salary, benefits, and equipment. About 70% of public schools don't have policy officers, and 60% don't have any security staff at all.
Oh, the irony. Conservatives, who are the champions of small government, limited federal government spending, and privatization are now rallying behind the NRA's plan to add a $2 billion dollar federal program, rather than consider any form of gun control.
Meanwhile, the statistics show that this approach may not even work.
According to a 2002 Secret Service study, in 41 school attacks, a law enforcement officer only ended the violence in 8% of the incidents. More often than not, the attack was so quick that it could not be stopped. Most notably, an armed officer failed to prevent the 1999 mass shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado.
The NRA's proposal is illogical and simply cannot be allowed to stand. If Republicans want to get on the right side of this issue, then they should follow Chris Christie's lead in distancing themselves from the NRA moving forward.