Letter: Huge Expense for Little Gain

To the Editor:

Immediately following the Newtown massacre, the National Rifle Association initially made a plea for our legislators not to rush to any hasty conclusions before considering gun-safety legislation. Within a week, it came out with its recommendations.

I’m not sure what was behind the NRA’s “magical thinking,” but its proposal to arm teachers and station armed guards in all schools was less than helpful. Its position disregarded all evidence to the contrary, totally ignoring the fact that, due to our glut of firearms, the United States has by far the highest homicide and suicide rate due to gun violence (more than 30,000 deaths annually) when compared with other civilized countries with reasonable gun safety laws. Statistics also show that schools are actually very safe environs. There are far more gun fatalities on the streets of our cities and in our own homes. Assigning armed guards to our homes would be more effective.

Unfortunately, the White House is considering making federal dollars available to schools that want to hire police officers. With all of our concerns about our national debt, this would represent a huge financial commitment for very little, if any, real security gains. If a local community feels that it is necessary, it should vote to fund it. It’s not the responsibility of the federal government.

Contact your representative and senators and ask them to, at the very least: 1. Ban assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines. 2. Require a universal criminal background check for every gun sold in America. 3. Make gun trafficking a federal crime, with real penalties for “straw purchasers” (those who arm criminals). Where are my Republican and Libertarian friends to help prevent fellow Democrats from taxing and spending?

Paul Manganiello