Trump, the NRA, and 700,000 Armed Teachers
Fox News, instead of mourning and praying, immediately came out with arming teachers, after the Parkland shooting. We suspect that Trump immediately picked that up as his solution. Trump has picked a definite number, of one out of five teachers. I have noticed that Trump loves numbers ending in five. There was no cited study that showed that this was the best number.
The press has immediately looked up that there are 3.5 million teachers in the US, implying that we will be vetting, training, and arming 700,000 teachers, after we find such volunteers. Now Trump is saying they should get extra pay, but yesterday he said that this should be paid for out of local school funds, that is, no federal aid.
First of all, teachers are just people, and they can be depressed emotionally or as a side effect of medicines, just like anybody else. So instead of no guns in schools, there will now be 700,000. There aren’t many students per year being shot. In fact, as gun free zones, schools are probably much safer than other areas. Now they will be the most dense areas of concealed carried guns, which is going to make them the most dangerous areas.
Trump added the restriction that the weapons must be concealed carried. His secret servicemen are professionals at that. Are we to imagine that teachers are going to teach for 30 or 40 years without ever revealing that they are carrying. Records of shootings in hospitals show that one in five are taken from hospital guards. These are professional guards, not volunteer teachers. In Trump’s imagination, he stated that one of his White House Generals would become such a teacher.
Yesterday, Trump imagined that previous policemen or soldiers, who could be working as janitors, food service people, school staff, or a librarian, would also volunteer as armed personnel. It is highly unlikely that previous policemen or soldiers are working as janitors or food service people.
Teachers and schools would prefer to have more counsellors that could help students with problems, and more nurses to make students healthier, and even save some lives.
At the 3,000 person Stoneman Douglas High, assuming 30 students per class, there would be 100 teachers, and 20 armed ones. When the SWAT team arrives, what are they going to do when confronting 20 armed and probably panicked teachers. It seems like that would take up their time, rather than finding the single shooter.
Remember that Florida has the “stand your ground” law, where you can shoot if you “feel” threatened.
Right before Trump ended his meeting today, a school executive from Indiana described one of their new high tech defensive schools which had security cameras feeding into the police station, lockdown equipment, and smoke and eye irritant gas defenses. Trump immediately dumped on this, guaranteeing him that only offensive, armed personnel would work, since it would keep scared shooters from ever coming to the school. If you are insisting that such shooters are mentally ill, how do you know what would deter them, especially if they have specific grudges and are suicidal anyway.
Yesterday, Trump talked about banning assault weapons to 18 year olds until they turned 21. Then the NRA president spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference, CPAC, saying 18 year olds needed guns for self protection, and it was their holy right. So today Trump did not mention gun restrictions. In today’s White House news conference, it was said that Trump only meant restrictions on 18 year olds through screening.
Trump didn’t mention screening the teachers, I added that. Trump’s administration is extremely deficient in its extreme screening. Trump has 130 people with temporary security clearances in the White House. Somehow, Mr. Porter, a known wife beater when he gets angry, was allowed to be the President’s secretary. The secret service should never have allowed such a dangerous person into the White House, much less being next to the President all day long. Who is going to continually screen the armed teachers to make sure that they are not depressed or angry every day they come on the campus armed.
If Trump and the NRA start their armed teacher experiment, there will soon be some incident or incidents among the trial schools, showing how dangerous the fully implemented proposal will be. Would any students in the country feel comfortable in going to school after such incidents? Would they shy away from their teachers?
There was a senior armed Sheriff’s Deputy at the school, but he did not enter the invaded building. He resigned today.
Unfortunately, Trump, always the skinflint, said: “You give them a little bit of a bonus, so practically for free, you have now made the school into a hardened target”, totally dissing the teachers who would be willing to risk their lives to protect students.
The NRA has 5 million members. There are 73 to 81 million gun owners, so only 6-7% are in the NRA. The NRA dues in 2016 were $40 for one year, $100 for three years, and $140 for five years. Estimating roughly $30 per year for a member, the NRA would be raising $150 million a year from members. In 2016, the NRA spent $58 million on politics, mostly outside, not direct to candidates. Of that, $31 million was spent backing Trump and opposing Clinton.
One issue arose during the CNN townhall, which was Sen. Marco Rubio’s funding from the NRA, and whether he would renounce it. Marco Rubio only got $9,900 from the NRA, their top level funding allocation for Senators. I say only, because his entire campaign was funded for $25.3 million. So the NRA direct contribution was only 0.4% of the total. Why couldn’t Rubio decline the funding? Because the Gun Block of voters and the NRA would have denounced him. Rubio’s opponent, Democratic Representative Patrick Murphy, received $18.6 million.
The previous article and the Mother Jones article linked there show that the more guns you have, the more shooting incidents and deaths you have. All this carnage to just protect gun profits?