Paul Holmes 21 Dec 2012 // 6:16PM GMT
I don’t really have the time or the (emotional) energy to put together a long post on the National Rifle Association’s response to the latest school shooting. I’m not necessarily opposed to the idea of armed guards in America’s schools, although I would want to (a) ensure that they were trained professionals—the NRA’s idea of using “local volunteers” seems like a recipe for certain disaster and an indication of how detached the group has become from reality; and (b) see it as a supplement to regulations that make it more difficult for certain Americans to get ahold of certain weapons. But I do want to say one thing from a public relations perspective, which is that if the NRA is serious about this, and if the organization understands the way the most recent massacre has changed the public’s mood on guns, the absolute least it could do is to offer to take a fraction of the funds it devotes to political spending and pay at least some of the costs of the program itself. A $10 million grant from the NRA to fund professional guards in schools—maybe supplemented by a tax on gun owners to raise the rest of the costs associated with this idea—would have made the suggestion look a little more serious. The NRA would still be able to outspend the other side of the gun debate by a margin of about 100 to one.