OPINION: If the gun lobby wants to “harden” our schools, then they can pay for it.

ABOVE: From Pixabay (license)

A letter to the editor by Ciarrai Campbell of Mt. Holly, NJ

The gun lobby refuses to even discuss possible firearm safety legislation that might stem the tide of blood in our country. Instead, they advocate for schools to be “hardened”.  “Hardening” calls for more armed guards in schools, installing metal detectors, bullet proof glass, Kevlar blankets and more.

But who is to pay for all the enhancements the gun lobby proposes?  Many schools face difficulties in providing simple supplies like paper, crayons, and books.  Where would the money come from?

A tax on all gun, ammo, and accessories would supply us with the necessary funds to “harden” our schools. The gun industry must pay their fair share to protect our children from their weapons.

There is precedent for this. Roads and bridges are supported by gas taxes and tolls, putting the onus for structural upkeep on those who use the roads, and making cost relative to how much they use the road.

The EPA Superfund is partially paid for by excise taxes on the industries who pollute and create the hazmat sites that need remediation. The safety of the public is supported by the entire community of these companies, regardless of if they themselves pollute.

In the same way, the gun community should share the cost of securing our children from their weapons. By spreading it out over the entire community, the personal cost to each person would be negligible, and would be in proportion to how much they participate in the community.

In 2013, guns and ammo generated $8 billion. A 0.5% tax would generate $40 million to secure our schools. That translates to FIVE CENTS for every TEN DOLLARS spent.

A nickel.

Surely our children’s lives are worth a nickel.

Editor’s note: The opinions in this letter are the author’s only.

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