Today the NRA issued its official response to the Sandy Hook tragedy. As you’re likely aware the core of that response—a public, no-questions-afterward statement read by the organization’s Vice President Wayne LaPierre—was this statement:
I call on Congress today to act immediately to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every single school in this nation.
We’re sure Mr. LaPierre knows what he’s doing. After all, in 2010 he was being paid $845, 469 a year to do it. So surely he and the other NRA leaders have diligently thought this recommendation all the way through.
But what the heck. Let’s try a little of that ourselves, shall we?
So as of May 2008 the national median salary for police officers was $51,410. Given the state of our economy for the last four years, let’s assume that salary hasn’t since risen (though I certainly hope that it has). On top of that salary let us assume a 30% benefits page. That’s another $15,423.
So the price for each of the officers that we would deploy to our schools would be $66,833 annually. Each of those officers generates training, equipment, supervision, and administrative costs. So let’s add another 10% ($6,683) to the cost of deploying them. That brings us to a total cost of $73,516 per officer per year.
There are 132,183 schools in America. So that’s $73,516 x 132,183 schools, which brings us to a total annual cost of $9,717,565,428 for putting for one officer in each of our schools.
Now, that’s only one officer per school. That hardly seems like enough security to achieve the “absolute protection” Mr. LaPierre enjoins us to strive for, does it? After all, there were two armed law enforcement agents present at the Columbine High School tragedy, in which fifteen people were killed and twenty-three wounded.
Clearly we’re going to need more than one armed officer per school.
So let’s see. There are 55,100,000 American school students. There are approximately 24 students per classroom. That makes for about 2,295,833 classrooms total. Putting one cop in each of those classrooms means spending $168,781,172,083 dollars per year.
Boy. That’s pretty steep. America—not to mention America’s schools—aren’t exactly flush these days. So, as we are all doing now anyway, let’s scale back a bit.
Let’s make it one cop for every five classrooms. That seems safe enough, doesn’t it?
So we have $168,781,172,083 divided by 5. That equals $33,756,234,417.00.
So effectively implementing the NRA’s plan would mean spending between $34 and $170 billion dollars per year—but would hardly be worth doing if we didn’t spend about $34.7 billion.
At first blush that might seem like an amount that no fiscally responsible person with a sophisticated understanding of our national economy would put forth in such a manner at such a time. But we’re talking about the NRA here. They’re hardly financial amateurs. According to the group’s 2010 tax return, the NRA has an annual revenue of about 227.8 million. That’s pretty good for a non-profit organization.
So what makes them so financially successful, you ask? For one, the NRA receives substantial funding from gun manufacturers. This year the guns and ammunition industry is on schedule to earn $11.7 billion in sales and $993 million in profit. And as the good people at The Center for Public Integrity have kindly pointed out, any number of gun-manufacturing mucky-mucks are also on the NRA’s board of directors. And don’t concern yourself worrying about any kind of conflict of interest there. Would the NRA be so open about its hand-in-hand relationship with the gun industry if there was anything improper about that relationship? Of course not. Why, on the NRA website just now is prominently displayed this peaceful image:
Note the button on the lower left urging visitors to join the NRA. Again, if this sort of cozy intermingling between a for-profit and non-profit organization doesn’t bother the government officials who oversee the IRS, why should it concern you or me?
In addition to contributions from gun manufacturers, the NRA also does a brisk online retail business. At the online NRA store you can buy such items as the NRA Tactical Bipod Foregrip. (“One-handed operation means you can quickly switch from close-combat foregrip mode to longer-range prone support.”):
Or how about this nifty Steer Clear Vehicle Holster Mount, which lets you keep your gun right underneath your steering wheel? How handy is that? After all, as the ad copy says, “The open road is a dangerous place for the unprepared.” And there’s no way your knees would ever hit this!
Speaking of being frustratingly unprepared, how many times have you thought, “Dangnabbit, I wish I had a firearm strapped to my ankle”? Well, you’ll never think that again after you purchase the:
Or maybe that wouldn’t work all the time for you; maybe you wear shorts or a dress to work. In that case, you’ll definitely be wanting this Dwight Shrute must-have:
Sometimes, though, a gun just doesn’t feel right for a job that needs being done right. For those times when you’re in the mood for an approach a little more direct, try The Lacerator Machete. How can you resist, once you’ve learned it features “a naturally relaxed wrist position for thrusting”?
And The Lacerator comes with a “four-way leather sheath,” so that you, too, can enjoy doing whatever this guy’s about to do:
And finally, of course, we cannot forget the one thing no responsible gun owner should ever be without:
Anyway, it’s clear the NRA understands how to make and handle money.
Some have called Mr. LaPierre’s statement nothing more than an opportunistic attempt to use the senseless murder of twenty young children to ultimately further increase profits for itself and the gun manufacturers it represents. But is it really reasonable to think that the NRA could be that morally bereft?