Archive for December, 2012


This week, the National Rifle Association made an interesting proposal to protect school students by posting an armed security officer in each school building in the United States.  In theory, this should provide a deterrence to anyone who might contemplate another assault like the one in Newton, Connecticut.   Not only do I have doubts about the logic of this, but I seriously doubt that the NRA made a serious proposal.  It was more of a political proposal designed to deflect the discussion away from gun control.

So, lets put this suggestion to a test.  Lets assume this is a good idea for a moment.  The question is how it should be funded.  My suggestion is to fund it with taxes on guns and ammunition, sufficient to fund the approximately $80,000 per school such a proposal would cost to staff and administer.   We could also assign a special tax on those who manufacture and sell guns.  Note, I am not proposing that we disallow guns as guaranteed in the second amendment to the US Constitution.

Second Amendment: “A well regulated Milita, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

Rather, I am suggesting a way for those who own guns to contribute in a meaningful way to gun safety for all citizens including those who choose not to exercise this “right” including children.

Now ammunition is a consumable, so it can insure a continued flow of revenue.  However, to tax it alone or depend on it alone to fund the security guards, it would need to be excessively large.  A gun is relatively permanent, so although a tax on the sale of a gun would help, it too would be too small a revenue stream that would need to be supplied over time.  Similarly, a special tax or license fee to sell guns would not generate sufficient revenue.  What is required is a special “personal property” tax on gun ownership that would be paid annually by all gun owners.  Surely, given the number of gun owners in the United States, this could be a modest tax sufficient with the others mentioned above to fund the revenue for school security officer programs.

So, given it is the NRA’s suggestion that all schools deserve to be protected from irrational gun owners/users, it is time for the NRA to step up to the funding of its proposal.  Perhaps the NRA itself would be willing to make the first contribution to the national campaign to raise the funds through a special tax on gun ownership.