Guns and Israel in today’s letters to the editor.
Pick of the day: Pay for school safety officers with a gun fee
Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, offers a sound response to gun violence in our schools. He proposes an armed safety officer in every elementary school in America.
If LaPierre’s “armed safety officer” means a trained, uniformed police officer, I see obvious benefits. Schools would have a central point of responsibility to prepare for and respond to violent acts, educators could concentrate on education instead of school violence, and students would have routine opportunities to react positively to a uniformed police officer.
The Virginia Board of Education identifies 1,173 elementary schools in Virginia. The minimum annual cost of a school safety officer (using Roanoke Police Department data) would be approximately $40,000. Therefore, LaPierre’s recommendation in Virginia would cost approximately $47 million annually.
Last year, 202,170 firearms background checks were conducted in Virginia. If each background check equates to one firearm purchase, then a School Safety Fee of $232 added to the cost of a firearm would pay for one safety officer in each Virginia elementary school. With NRA support, now is the opportune time for the Virginia General Assembly to respond to the school violence issue.
ROBERT F. CANOVA