The many responsible voices calling for armed officers to patrol schools, and for teachers and administrators to arm themselves, are important steps toward responding to the crisis.
However, these steps are not sufficient to protect our children. Gunmen who enter schools knowing there are police officers or armed teachers in the building will simply kill the adults with weapons first, then turn their guns on the unarmed children. More Sandy Hooks will be inevitable.
Therefore, we are calling on all people serious about protecting children from gun violence to create a national program to arm all school children.
Each child should be given an age-appropriate handgun as well as training similar to the instruction required to earn a concealed-carry permit in many American states.
Young children should be given a .22 pistol with no recoil and a trigger break pull pressure set at 1.25 pounds to ensure that small fingers can fire the weapon with relative ease.
Older pre-adolescents should be armed with .38 pistols and high-school age students with .45 handguns. Members of the ROTC and the football team should be armed with assault rifles, after they receive additional training and certifications. Twenty-round magazines should be standard for the handguns of all children regardless of age.
Guns should be integrated into school curriculums to increase the readiness of our children to use their weapons in self-defense. For example, word problems such as this one could be added to elementary school math programs:
Three men carrying assault rifles enter your classroom. You are armed with a pistol containing a twenty-round magazine. How many rounds can you fire at each gunman, assuming you fire an equal number of rounds at each? Are there any rounds left over? If so, how many? Show your work. Extra Credit. You should aim at the center mass of a man carrying an assault rifle to increase your chances of killing him before he kills you: True or False?
We estimate this program will require spending of $625.00 per child, with $475.00 going to pay for a reliable firearm and $150.00 to pay for training.
With 43 million school-age children in the United States, the total cost of our proposed program is 26.9 billion dollars.
We can assure those concerned about the size of the federal deficit that our proposal to arm children is revenue neutral and may even run a slight surplus.
This is because public health experts estimate that 7% of children in each generation – or just over 3,000,000 boys and girls – will die from accidental or intentional misuse of their weapons.
It costs $80,000 to provide each child in America with a public education. Therefore, the deaths of these 3 million children will save taxpayers 240 billion dollars per generation.
These savings will cover the cost of the program as well as the projected short-term and long-term costs of caring for the estimated 34% or 14.6 million children who will be injured by accidental or intentional misuse of their weapons.
While we recognize that these are not an insignificant number of deaths and injuries, we believe that the other 28 million children will be saved from gun death or injury as a result of our proposal. We also believe these deaths and injuries are a reasonable price to pay for the preservation and protection of the constitutional freedoms Americans enjoy.
As a result, we urge each of you to contact your representative and senators in Washington DC and demand they swiftly enact a comprehensive program to arm all children in the United States. Thank you for your support.