Donald Trump, ever our protector, has proposed arming 20% of school teachers as part-time guards. That's 600,000 teachers. We can evaluate the proposal superficially rather quickly (fearless analysis: this article has taken longer to write than DT has thought about the issue).
Average teacher salary in US (2014) is $56,383 plus benefits. With est. fringe of 25% = $70,000.
Average training period for a sworn police officer is six months; we might assume three months for limited-duty training. There is ample reason to doubt that police-training agencies could gear up for this effort, but we won't count that for now.
Cost of training = one-fourth of a teacher's annual salary plus cost of training a police officer. Averages $7,000 across the US. Total with three months teacher salary $18,500 approx. The trainees might reasonably ask for a bonus for giving up their summer vacation, but we won't count that.
Presumably the teachers accepting the risk would get combat pay, let's say 25% bonus for half their career span. Figure 25% of $70,000 for 20 years or $300,000. Of course that would raise their pensions by a commensurate amount; est. 10% rise in pension cost; we won't try to calculate that permanent cost either.
So to summarize.
- Initial costs
- N/teachers (20% of 3,000,000), 600,000.
- Initial training @ $15,500.
- Training, first year (600,000 X $15,000), approx. $9.0 billion one time.
- Annual costs thereafter
- Retraining est $2,000 + one month salary (5800/12), total @ $7,800.
- Combat bonus, $15,000.
- Total/teacher, $22,800.
- All teachers (600,000), $13.7 billion.
- Continuous training of recruits @ 600K x 1/40 = 15,000 recruits/yr @ $18,500, total $342 million/yr.
- Combined annual costs
- Recruit training, $342M.
- Armed teacher extra pay, $13.7B.
- Min. total, $13.7B+342M=$14.022 billion per year, FOREVER, NOT including hiring more teachers when an unknown number are removed from classrooms to roam the halls at all times.
- Ten year program cost $9+14=$23 billion or $2.3 billion/year. That's $115 per adult (taxpayer). You might ask your local T-bagger how he feels about that.
Ban and collect all "assault" weapons (define it yourself).
Government(s) might reimburse owners @ $400 each (currently advertised price of used AR-15 on 26 Feb 2018). (This is a good deal for most owners, whose guns are mostly hidden in closets, improperly maintained and rusting away.)
This would put a lot of money into circulation, almost entirely at a scale conducive to re-spending, which could be a boost to the economy, or perhaps equally to savings, which has lagged in recent decades.
If 10M are in circulation the one-time cost would be (400*10M)=$4 billion — about one-fifth of the armed-teacher plan — with no annual incremental cost.
To assuage anti-"Big Gub'mint" fears, there could be a federal license to carry with reasonable qualifications, e.g., an age limit; training requirement and certification; documentation while in possession; storage and protection obligations... Such a license might carry fees roughly equivalent to a passport, around $200 initially plus a periodic renewal. Further open and honest dialogue could work that out. Thus we protect the Second Amendment, as we should for a host of reasons.
Summary of Alternative
- Less expensive
- Radically reduces the likelihood of mass murder with assault rifles.
- Losers: Gun manufacturers.
- Winners: Everyone else.
- We won't count those, either, but you might want to.
The nay-sayers are probably right that nothing can entirely eliminate the possibility of mass shootings, but this is about probabilities, not metaphysics, and imperfection is no excuse for inaction.