How would you like to pay?

I was watching C-Span last Friday when Wayne LaPierre, President of the National Rifle Association, responded to the Sandy Hook School shooting tragedy. His solution to such an attack was to have armed personnel at each school in the country.

Now a significant portion of the Juneau population is against unfunded Federal mandates, many are averse to increasing Federal spending, and the State of Alaska seems loath to increase education funding. That seems to leave only one solution, providing our own locally funded armed guards in the schools.

Let’s assume the Juneau Police Department installs 2 patrol officers in each of our 14 schools. This increases their total personnel from 93 to 121 and their salary and benefits cost by over $3 million annually, from $10,243,000 to $13,295,000 based on their FY 2012 budget. Mr LaPierre did suggest that we could arm teachers, so I would suggest, in all fairness, we divide the $3 million among the teachers that want to carry a gun on their hip all day.

To pay for this public safety improvement, based on the CBJ’s FY 2012 revenue projections, Juneau taxpayers will have to increase both sales and property taxes by 3.67%. Not bad, considering the extra protection.

On the other hand, there are approximately 27,271 firearms in the Borough, assuming the private gun ownership in Juneau is proportionate to the USA in general (88.8 guns per 100 persons). If each firearm was taxed $112 annually, then the Juneau taxpayer will see no increase.

We can certainly continue unfettered gun ownership and provide the armed presence as the NRA suggests. The only question then is which method of payment you prefer.

•• Minch is retired, a gun owner, and a 44-year Juneau resident and taxpayer.

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