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In the wake of the Sandy Hook elementary school bloodbath last month, National Rifle Association Vice President Wayne LaPierre summed up his group's Hobbesian vision for America this way: "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." He then proceeded to propose a massive new government program for protecting the nation's 100,000 public schools, one with a potential price tag in the range of $7-10 billion a year:

"I call on Congress today to act immediately, to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every school."
As it turns out, the NRA's idea is a popular one, especially among Republicans. Apparently the Obama administration and some Democrats are warming to it as well; the Washington Post reports that Vice President Biden's recommendations may include making "federal dollars available to schools that want to hire police officers and install surveillance equipment."

But public support for the idea shouldn't be confused with its efficacy. After all, armed guards didn't prevent the massacres at Columbine and Virginia Tech. And what starts with schools won't end with them: the next slaughter will prompt demands for gun-toting officers at churches, supermarkets and shopping malls. Even more important, state and local law enforcement agencies nationwide are confronting other urgent—and more frequent and probable—risks to public safety. And as it turns out, thanks to the recession which began in late 2007 they are facing those challenges with tens of thousands fewer officers and staff than just four years ago.

All of which is why Washington should instead consider a new twist on an old idea: 100,000 cops. Those new feet on the street won't just make communities around the nation safer. As we'll see below, they'll also be a badly needed boost for the U.S. economy.

(Continue reading below the fold.)

All told, the public sector has shed over 600,000 employees since mid-2009. (The figure was 89,000 over the last three months of 2012, representing one government job lost for five gained in the private sector.) The triple whammy of declining state and local tax revenues (which only returned to 2008 levels last year), draconian budget cuts and the drying up of federal stimulus funds have led to a record decline in government jobs.

The impact on police and first responders has been staggering. Last August, an analysis by the Hamilton Project recorded an 8.9 percent drop from July 2009, with the number of police department employees dropping from 667,000 to 610,000. The ranks of emergency responders also dropped, from over 69,000 to 39,000. An October 2011 Justice Department analysis ("The Impact of the Economic Downturn on American Police Agencies") reported steep budget cuts, furloughs of both staff and uniformed officers, and downsizing through attrition. About 30,000 law enforcement jobs were left unfilled, while 28,000 officers and deputies faced week-long furloughs in 2010. Over half (51 percent) of the departments surveyed reported budget cuts averaging 7 percent between 2009 and 2010; 59 percent anticipated further reductions in 2011.

The result isn't just that officer training has been reduced and investments in communications and other technology deferred or cancelled. "Some agencies have stopped responding to all motor vehicle thefts, burglar alarms, and non-injury motor vehicle accidents," the DOJ report noted, while others "have also reported decreases in investigations of property crimes, fugitive tracking, a variety of white collar crimes, and even low-level narcotics cases." The headlines tell the tale: In cities like Camden, Oakland and Las Vegas just to name a few), large layoffs and pay cuts have been accompanied by spikes in violent crime.

The conclusion is inescapable: America's police departments need more resources and they need more cops. And whether they're in Chicago, Illinois or Dothan, Alabama, police chiefs need the flexibility to decide their top priorities for deploying them.

Of course, the "armed guards in schools" crowd has another resource challenge to confront. Before putting security personnel in every school, they might want to first rehire some of the 220,000 teachers laid off across the nation between 2009 and 2011. As President Obama pointed out in August:

"This year, several thousand fewer educators will be going back to school. Since 2009, we've lost more than 300,000 education jobs, in part, because of budget cuts at the state and local level. Think about what that means for our country. At a time when the rest of the world is racing to out-educate America; these cuts force our kids into crowded classrooms, cancel programs for preschoolers and kindergarteners, and shorten the school week and the school year. That's the opposite of what we should be doing as a country."
Not according to the leading lights of the Republican Party and its conservative amen corner. In the fall of 2011, columnist George Will exulted that the public sector "happily shrank" and cheered "that's good." For his part, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) called those layoffs a "local problem." In June, Liz Cheney mocked President Obama for "actually trying to undo even the good that is being done at the state level."

Unfortunately for the American economy, what's been happening to government workers at the state and local level is far from "good."

In April, the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) showed how bad with the chart above. Noting that the private sector had gained 2.8 million jobs while federal, state and local governments shed 584,000 just since June 2009, EPI concluded that the public sector job losses constituted "an unprecedented drag on the recovery":

The current recovery is the only one that has seen public-sector losses over its first 31 months...

If public-sector employment had grown since June 2009 by the average amount it grew in the three previous recoveries (2.8 percent) instead of shrinking by 2.5 percent, there would be 1.2 million more public-sector jobs in the U.S. economy today. In addition, these extra public-sector jobs would have helped preserve about 500,000 private-sector jobs.

As the New York Times' Floyd Norris explained in "the Incredible Shrinking U.S. Government."
For the first time in 40 years, the government sector of the American economy has shrunk during the first three years of a presidential administration.

Spending by the federal government, adjusted for inflation, has risen at a slow rate under President Obama. But that increase has been more than offset by a fall in spending by state and local governments, which have been squeezed by weak tax receipts.

In the first quarter of this year, the real gross domestic product for the government -- including state and local governments as well as federal -- was 2 percent lower than it was three years earlier, when Barack Obama took office in early 2009.

All told, the unemployment rate without the hemorrhaging of public sector jobs could be a full point lower. "We're talking big numbers here. If government employment under Mr. Obama had grown at Reagan-era rates," Paul Krugman lamented in March, "1.3 million more Americans would be working as schoolteachers, firefighters, police officers, etc., than are currently employed in such jobs."

Yet when President Obama rolled out his $447 billion American Jobs Act including new assistance to state and local governments in the fall of 2011, Republicans made it clear why they opposed a bill former McCain economic adviser Mark Zandi forecast that could create up to 1.9 million jobs and add two points to U.S. GDP:

"Obama is on the ropes; why do we appear ready to hand him a win?"
In response to the GOP filibuster, a frustrated Obama could only ask:
"Are they against putting teachers and police officers and firefighters back on the job? Are they against hiring construction workers to rebuild our roads and bridges and schools?"
In a word, yes. Republicans remain opposed to putting teachers and cops back to work. Opposed, that is, until killings of 20 children and 6 adults in Newtown, Connecticut, became an obstacle to putting more guns in the hands of Americans. As Wayne LaPierre put it on Meet the Press last month:
"If it's crazy to call for putting police in and securing our schools to protect our children, then call me crazy,"
Of course, even a crazy man (as Stephen Colbert suggested) can have the kernel of a good idea. But before we put Blackwater in our schools, we should put more men and women in blue. Let's put teachers in the classrooms and, like Bill Clinton did in the 1990s, 100,000 more cops in our communities.
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Comment Preferences

  •  On the 'Government does not work' meme ... (26+ / 0-)

    As you wrote:

    The result isn't just that officer training has been reduced and investments in communications and other technology deferred or cancelled. "Some agencies have stopped responding to all motor vehicle thefts, burglar alarms, and non-injury motor vehicle accidents," the DOJ report noted, while others "have also reported decreases in investigations of property crimes, fugitive tracking, a variety of white collar crimes, and even low-level narcotics cases." The headlines tell the tale: In cities like Camden, Oakland and Las Vegas just to name a few), large layoffs and pay cuts have been accompanied by spikes in violent crime.
    Those consequences have not happened because government does not work. They have happened because Republican-managed and Republican-dictated government does not work, government hamstrung by artificially low tax rates, by the desire on the part of conservatives to compromise-if-not-eliminate government's ability to do nearly ANYTHING for the people of this country.

    Excellent diary, Jon Perr! Important stuff.

    "The opposite of war isn't peace, it's CREATION." _ Jonathan Larson, RENT -9.62, -9.13

    by BeninSC on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 06:07:08 AM PST

  •  What ? A 100,000 more .. (21+ / 0-)

    union members? The repubs will never agree to that. Given the choice between our children's safety and more union members, sorry kids.

    Clinton/ Warren 2016

    by artr2 on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 06:07:17 AM PST

  •  Creating new jobs...awesome... (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DvCM, Phil S 33, Sue B, Amber6541, Smoh, fugwb

    then watch rightwing heads explode.

    I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by cyeko on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 06:07:59 AM PST

    •  Nah, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cyeko

      they'll figure out a way to add this assignment to our already overburdened teachers.

      "Mrs. Smith, you will now be teaching Math, English and PE. Oh, and by the way, you'll also be patrolling the halls with your brand new Colt .45, which you will have to purchase on your own."

      "If fighting for a more equal and equitable distribution of the wealth of this country is socialistic, I stand guilty of being a socialist." Walter Reuther

      by fugwb on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 08:32:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thirty some years ago this was funny. (7+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DvCM, xaxnar, elginblt, TKO333, Amber6541, Smoh, thomask

    This is the NRA's dream....from SNL in 1975.

    Today, not so much.  

    Research Shows Poverty Creates the Biggest Achievement Gap.

    by Desert Rose on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 06:11:56 AM PST

  •  The right wingers are too stupid to understand (18+ / 0-)

    That people employed with decent salaries spend their salaries, and the color green doesn't discriminate between private and public employees.  The more people employed, the more they spend, and this spending creates more jobs - especially in their cherished private sector.  The unemployed do not spend, and slash their unemployment benefits as in North Carolina and they will spend even less, engendering more and more unemployment.

    "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals, now we know that it is bad economics." Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jan. 20, 1937

    by Navy Vet Terp on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 06:12:11 AM PST

  •  Wondering about the guns in schools issue. (8+ / 0-)

    If a teacher or armed policeman shoot a student in the malay, because we know how well ordered children are in mass confusion, anyway is a student less dead if they are shot by a teacher or policeman?  If a teacher shoots a student in the confusion is it murder or just an accident?

    "But public support for the idea shouldn't be confused with its efficacy"  Does this mean Congress will jump right in and approve the money or will they demand that for every dollar to be spent we give up a hundred books, 3 desks and turn the water off in the bathrooms?

    What about students that bring their guns to school?  Then do they become "teachers helpers" or part of the problem?

    •  I think people see people killed by guns (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      US Blues, Canis Aureus, FrankRose

      as somehow worse because it is so instantaneous.

      Of course, drunk driving provides daily carnage for America, killing tens of thousands of people, including 211 children last year (per something I read recently).

      Of course with a drunk driving death, you still have that "They were just here and now they are gone forever" trauma to deal with.

      People are NOT clamoring for more regulation of alcohol.

      And factoring in cigarettes and the 400000 toe-tags a year with THAT written on them prompts zero howling for reform of tobacco laws.

      Just observin'.

      The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

      by xxdr zombiexx on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 06:27:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  more teachers, less cops (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Van Buren, atana

        Teachers are an investment in the future.

        Legalize cannabis and cops can focus on preventing actual crimes- like arresting banksters, gun-loving whack-jobs like that imbecile in Tennessee, and drunk republican congress critters.

        "Political ends as sad remains will die." - YES 'And You and I' ; -8.88, -9.54

        by US Blues on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 07:15:37 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Actually, smoking is WAY down (5+ / 0-)

        due to laws.  Can't smoke in most public or private buildings in most States, if not all States now.  Not to mention the taxes on them.

        People DID clamor for more punishments for people who caused accidents and deaths from driving while drunk.  Back in the 1970's and 1980's I remember people dying from drunk drivers and it was just "another News Story" that people got tired of seeing on their Nightly News.

        And on a personal note, I keep a spreadsheet of all the people my husband and I have lost that we have known (family & friends).  Out of almost 100 names on the list, 7 were killed by a gun (5 were suicides and 2 were murders).

        We had one person die from a car accident and sadly, he was shot in a drive-by shooting 5 years earlier and left disfigured (not included in my gun deaths above but does represent the only person we know who has died in a car accident).

        -6.13 -4.4 Where are you? Take the Test!!!

        by MarciaJ720 on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 07:25:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Out where I live, deaths from automobiles (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Canis Aureus, FrankRose

          (mostly involving alcohol, but a fair number from icy/snowy roads) greatly outnumber deaths from firearms.

          At least, in terms of people I have known, and their relatives.

          National laws are going to have differing local effects.

          •  Out of the people I know it's cancer number one (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MarciaJ720

            and car accidents number two and a few drug deaths...2 of them.

            •  I have no gun related deaths in my friends or (0+ / 0-)

              family but a daughter of a friend was injured badly in a hunting accident.

                She had shot an elk and  tracked it and when she knelt down beside the elk... the elk started struggling.  Apparently she then got out a handgun, not the same as the one she shot the buck with, but somehow during the struggle she shot herself in the lower abdomen.  She lost a kidney.  She still hunts though, she is a journalist by trade and films her travels.  

      •  That may be because we have been able to get laws (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Smoh, atana

        about these things passed. We have stiffened laws against drunk driving in a major way, added warning labels to cigarettes as well as sued the manufacturers, and have had ad campaigns regarding these issues.

        There have been outcries about these things in the past and they have succeeded in adding restrictions and reducing the number of deaths.

        Those things are now more regulated than they used to be, but no one has come and 'taken everyone's liquor or smokes'. Much like most of us now want to regulate gun ownership, not 'take away all your guns'.

        •  I'm going to be lazy here and not (0+ / 0-)

          look up the statistics re: drunk driving deaths but I do think they are significantly lower since the inception of MADD, and we have tightened the laws, we are doing something and it is working.
          Tobacco is the same, we did have a tremendous number amount of news, studies, and legislature way back "in the old days" and we are making progress on that front.  I read somewhere where smoking is decreasing among the youth.  When I started in nursing patients were still allowed to smoke in the hospital rooms in their beds, oh we have come a long way.  It would be good news if there were no cigarettes but it would also be good news if there were no bad people or GOP but I guess there has to be some bad so the rest of us can feel good about ourselves.
          Oh alcohol, what can I say, I love my champaign and merlots, but since I don't have a limo or chauffeur I limit my use to home.
          Not particularly a fan of cannabis, so am not going to comment on one kind of burning substance in our lungs for another.  I myself prefer massage for relaxation and the above mentioned champaign.

          My initial questions about guns was to express my frustration with the blind side of the conversation that "a good guy with a gun and a bad guy with a gun"is different when it comes to death.  
          However, the deaths from all of the above are no less significant than any other.  For the sake of brevity I am not even going to mention how many beautiful people we have sent to their deaths in useless wars.

  •  Government employment is bad (11+ / 0-)

    unless there is a Republican in charge.

     Seriously, Republicans refer to government employees as leeches that are nothing but over-paid negatives.
       And then have the nerve to say we need more police officers.

    ¡Cállate o despertarás la izquierda! - protest sign in Spain

    by gjohnsit on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 06:13:12 AM PST

    •  Republicans LOVE the War on Drugs (12+ / 0-)

      and the War on Drugs is the essence of Big Government.

      It's also a hge, huge scam, joined right at the hip with that other massive scam, the War on Terror.

      Republicans want to get rid of government SERVICES and retian the waste, fraud and corruption.

      The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

      by xxdr zombiexx on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 06:30:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  PBS just ran a set of documentaries (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Amber6541, Calamity Jean

      on Ronald Reagan.  I'm still watching them but he actually increased the number of people in Public Sector jobs (or ones that depend on the Government, i.e. Military) to get us out of the Recession of 1981-1982.  I did not realize that the Recession back then was as bad as the one we just went through.

      Difference is we have half a Congress who are total bullies and refuse to compromise because there is a black man in the White House.  Sorry, but it is obvious these Republicans are the party of the White Racists.

      Even Reagan knew who to get the message out that the new "Pro-White Man" is up for election.  Yeah, they pointed out where he first drew his lines.....

      -6.13 -4.4 Where are you? Take the Test!!!

      by MarciaJ720 on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 07:29:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I remember the 1980-1983 recession (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        atana, MarciaJ720

        It was bad. Real bad. But the bounce back was stronger.
          The difference is that the industrial base of America hadn't been completely hollowed out in the 80's.
          Not like now.

        ¡Cállate o despertarás la izquierda! - protest sign in Spain

        by gjohnsit on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 12:12:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  also... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MarciaJ720

          Another difference is that many "back office" operations were still in the city (state and country) of the home office.  

          "Corporate parks" began to open in the mid-1980s, and many mid-level New York City jobs were sent to developments upstate or in the far reaches of New Jersey or Connecticut, Kentucky. India or somewhere else.  

          Two examples:

          I used to remit payments for monthly billings directly to stores in New York; now, I send them halfway across the country, where labor is likelier to be part-time and cheaper.  

          Also, I used to call  my cable company's customer service number and speak with someone local.  Now, the calls are answered by someone in Canada.    

  •  Bill Clinton put a 100,000 new Police on the (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Phil S 33, DvCM, Powered Grace, Amber6541

    street.

     FBI Stats:
    Violent Crime and Murder in the USHave Decreased by 50% Over the Last 20 Years.
     http://www.fbi.gov/...

  •  Hogwash.. (6+ / 0-)
    All of which is why Washington should instead consider a new twist on an old idea: 100,000 cops. Those new feet on the street won't just make communities around the nation safer. As we'll see below, they'll also be a badly needed boost for the U.S. economy.
    Previous federal law enforcement stimulus measures have shown these federal dollars are simply used, in many cases, to militarize the local police force.

    If you could target these funds to only go to high crime areas, I might be all for it.. But the money-grabbing, pork-loving rules that run Washington guarantees that every municipality in America gets their hands on some of that free gummint money.

    But hey.. here's an even better reason for the feds not funding local police forces (and maybe why police forces are shrinking) - the crime rates have been dropping for 2 decades.

    U.S. violent crime down for fifth straight year

    So.. please.. keep the feds out of local law enforcement.

    There are plenty infrastructure projects federal funds could be used for that make a lot more sense.

  •  I dunno. (8+ / 0-)

    In looking for a job lately, I was annoyed although not terribly surprised to find that the one government system chugging along at full speed with positions open every week is the prison-industrial complex.  That and the DMV, which in Virginia has been turned into the State Department of Identity and Property Tracking (your papers, please.  Now.).  We're perilously close if not over the line into a police state already.

    I'm not arguing that we don't need more local public employees, but perhaps instead of cops, we could increase the number of social workers and public assistance personnel, so that problems don't turn INTO crime?  Or just by your chart, the ranks of emergency response teams have been pruned much more heavily.  Let's put our public dollars into building society up and solving its problems, not heavy-handed last-ditch bullying.

    •  Relegalize weed and create a new wave (8+ / 0-)

      of pink slips in the private prison INDUSTRY.

      Of course, if we ever get around to actually enforcing laws on WALL STREET we'll need some nice prison cells available.

      Yeah, I know....hysterical, right?

      The situation of filling for-profit prisons with harmless drug offenders is GOOD and just the thought of applying  the law to a demographic that has truly fucked America is bad.

      That is the essence of the America in which I live and the the face of what politics wishes to accomplish.

      It's immoral.

      The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

      by xxdr zombiexx on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 06:37:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Can we somehow make a rule that (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cedwyn, FrankRose, atana, Calamity Jean

    cops can't kill everything that moves?

    can we put ANY sort of structure to "I felt threatened"?

    Cops don't make me feel any better than criminals, really.

    The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

    by xxdr zombiexx on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 06:23:13 AM PST

  •  If the presence of guns in society (6+ / 0-)

    forces us to turn schools into armed camps, the the cost of it all should be imposed as a tax on the gun industry. Alternatively, instead of the next round of base closures, we could redeploy our military to elementary school patrol duty. We could overfly our middle schools with drones and bring the heavy armor and field pieces to high school. Best of all, we could have the gun industry pick up the tab for most of the military budget since it will now be deployed almost exclusively in defense of the second amendment. Sounds like a great plan. (snark-ish)

  •  but study after study (8+ / 0-)

    shows that spending on education and social programs does more to prevent crimes.

    Other than shoring up a few cities with very specific problems - and maybe adding some FBI agents to handle domestic terrorism -  I don't see how billions spent on cops will help at all.

  •  As someone who is involved in education (6+ / 0-)

    I have to say that I will resent this effort to use tax dollars to purchase a false and doomed sense of security that will NOT fix the underlying problem of gun violence--all while I am forced to vote for cutting teacher's benefits and salaries, instructional days for children and delaying curriculum needs.  

    I resent it terribly.  

    This will only increase the number of unsupported, at-risk children who eventually will become unstable adults who resort to violence.  

    Metaphors be with you.

    by koosah on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 06:28:19 AM PST

    •  Hey... there is HUGE money to be made (9+ / 0-)

      in false security.

      Look at the war on drugs. People BLOW $20 billion a year just to enforce marijuana laws because they BELIEVE they will be SAFER.

      it's amazingly stupid but its real and true.

      The propaganda is built on lies and scaremongering. And the people pay for this with their own tax dollars.

      And it has been outrageously successful. Americans still think marijuana is more dangerous than guns.

      You want your kid finding a bag of weed on the street or a gun?

      (Or, how about he finds both and goes into business?)

      There is no end of money to be made selling a false sense of security.

      The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

      by xxdr zombiexx on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 06:42:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Instead of 100,000 cops, 1,000,000 teachers. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      koosah, atana, Calamity Jean

      Oddly, although the diary calls for more teachers, it never suggests how many...

  •  Someone will make money at this (4+ / 0-)

    I saw somewhere that one of the big proponents of security guards in schools used to, or still is a lobbyist for a large security company. I am picturing a lot of untrained Paul Blart types in the schools.  It should make for some great movies and probably a lot of accidental shootings.

  •  Washington bureaucrats should not dictate where (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    judyms9, Amber6541, rhauenstein, DSPS owl

    the new police should be assigned. That should be decided at the local level.

    •  Republicans LOVE local control (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Amber6541, We Won

      They are the ones who usually say the federal government should not stick its neck into state and local government.

      So why not give local governments money to employ "human resources" for "community safety" and then let local governments themselves decide where those "bodies" will do the most good?

      Sounds like an idea Republicans should be happy to go along with, no?

      Oh wait....

      "Historically, the most terrible things--war, genocide and slavery--have resulted not from disobedience, but from obedience." --Howard Zinn

      by NCJan on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 07:28:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Superb work here, Jon. Thank you! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    judyms9, Egalitare, Amber6541
  •  Totally Mixed (0+ / 0-)

    mixed messages in your diary.

    You make light of the idea of putting security officers in our schools and universities-- but then the last sentence of your diary states we should "put 100,000 cops in our communites". OK, cops doing what?

    Again, priorities folks. What are our priorties here; anything?

    Why not security officers in our schools? You don't present much of a case against the concept, other than the emotional/hyperbole "Blackwater in our schools". You mention the cost, $7-$10 billion per year-- but so what? we just spent several years spending that amount of money per month for the absurd war in Iraq. The notion "we can't afford to put cops in our schools" is nonsense.

    Further, anyone who is serious about the problem knows more security in our schools is just one aspect of a multi-pronged solution-- other aspects being banning large capacity magazines, much stricter enforcement regarding heeping guns and ammo out of the hands of the mentally ill, etc.

    "A civilization which does not provide young people with a way to earn a living is pretty poor". Eleanor Roosevelt

    by Superpole on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 06:46:34 AM PST

  •  Not Only More Cops... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gosoxataboy, Amber6541, schnecke21

    We also need to focus on the plea that police departments nationwide are making: gun control laws that keep military-styled weaponry out of the hands of civilians. Cops are being outgunned far too often. So if those who are in our corner to serve and protect can't do their job because of the NRA and its influence in Congress, how are we going to keep these massacres from taking place? Once again, the NRA and its cronies in Congress prove they just don't get it. Even if you have good guys with guns to take down the bad guys with guns, how can you be assured of a positive result if the bad guys have more fire power? Put simply, automatic and semi-automatic weaponry need to be banned in America. In turn, background checks and mental health care need to be bolstered to further ensure that a Newtown, Aurora, or Columbine won't happen again. All it takes is to look at the stats of countries where gun laws and adequate mental health care are already in place. No, NRA, your take on the situation is STILL wrong. And by the way, the Founding Fathers weren't talking about UZI's and AK47's when they wrote the Second Amendment. They were talking more along the lines of muskets and blunderbusses.

  •  8 Innocent Civilians were shot by NYC Police (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Dead Man

    The Civilians having been caught in the crossfire in an incident near the Empire State Building in August of 2012.

    If you can't kill Bambi in 3 bullets stick to the supermarket.

    "Tyranny" will be in the form of a Hellfire Missile fired by a drone a considerable distance away from your home blasting your house to splinters and you into goo once you've been declared an enemy combatant courtesy of the Authorization to use military force  and the Patriot act. So the notion of having your weapon to fend off "Tyranny" is horse and buggy antiquated in a post 9/11 world.

    As the Elites Come Together to Rise Above to Find a Third Way to do Rude things to the 99%

    by JML9999 on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 06:49:28 AM PST

  •  NRA question (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541, Orinoco, Calamity Jean

    Will private schools also get municipally paid police protection?   What about church Sunday schools?  This is a slippery slope we should expose-- there is no way to protect large groups of innocents from gun toting, untreated, gun toting crazies.  Better to have the crazies unarmed.

    I'm always amazed that gun control advocates never conflated this issue with "terrorism."  To avoid religious fanatics, we need to consider assault weapons as  toosl for al quaida.  Play one insanity (fear) against another fear.  Right wing nuts will have a harder time talking out of both sides of their mouths.

    Apres Bush, le deluge.

    by melvynny on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 06:51:21 AM PST

    •  I doubt this (0+ / 0-)
      Right wing nuts will have a harder time talking out of both sides of their mouths.
      They seem to  be expert at it, and will only get more practice. If cognitive dissonance actually made right wing heads explode, we'd have a lot more mopping up to do.

      Here's how the right wing mind comparmentalizes:
      Bad apples and lone wolves are white
      Terrorists are not white.

      People who can do nuance know this isn't true, of course, but right wing nuts don't do nuance any more than they suffer from cognitive dissonance.

      "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

      by Orinoco on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 10:58:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  more guns, more cops, more firemen (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar, Amber6541

    okay--along w regulation (relative to danger, musket are different then semi auto pistols and sniper rifles) tax bullets.

    no really, tax the hell out of them--cigarette tax is GIGANTIC and reflects their danger to society.

    all of the money going toward making us safer and less enabling to crazy monstrous acts like the death of 20 six  year-olds..

    the right to have a weapon has been uncoupled with the responsibilities of those weapons. surely the second amendment doesn't willingly enable the actions of the insane... and we are talking about the NEXT 20 six  year-olds.

  •  Tollbooths. We need toll collectors. (0+ / 0-)

    EZ-Pass should be abolished and every toll transaction should involve a human collector.  

    Better, public freeways and highways should be converted to toll roads, with tolls starting at a nickel. Every freeway on-ramp in L.A. should have toll booths.

    Unemployment problem solved!

    Too late for the simple life, too early for android love slaves - Savio

    by Clem Yeobright on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 07:06:35 AM PST

  •  since when (0+ / 0-)

    does VA Tech have armed guards?  they didn't when i attended.

    Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

    by Cedwyn on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 07:09:59 AM PST

    •  All major universities have an armed police force, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cedwyn

      so far as I know.  Certainly did where I taught.

      •  every campus has police, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Heart of the Rockies

        and all police are armed.  va tech's police station is way the hell out the back of campus by the stadium; they did not -- and i suspect do not -- maintain a consistent presence throughout campus.

        The Violence Policy Centre said that Columbine High School in Colorado had armed law enforcement agents on call when two teenagers, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, embarked on a shooting spree in 1999. The agents were unable to prevent the deaths of 12 students and one teacher. They were "outgunned by the assault weapons wielded by the two teens", the VPC said.

        Similarly, Virginia Tech had armed police on campus who were unable to prevent the deaths of 32 people in a mass shooting in 2007.


        that is not the same thing as armed guards posted in the halls of education.

        Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

        by Cedwyn on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 08:00:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  "..not the same thing..." (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cedwyn

          This is true

          The campuses I've been on did have police patrolling the campus, but certainly not stationed in or near the classrooms.  

          Three profs were murdered in a building about 100 yds from me.  A disaffected and mentally off grad student hid a gun in a classroom and used it to shoot all 3 of his thesis committee members when they arrived for his defense.  It would take metal detectors and security scans at the doors to prevent something like this.

          I've said elsewhere that if the classrooms had become armed camps (whether armed guards and/or concealed carrying students), I'd have quit teaching.

  •  OR we could just get rid of mass killing weapons.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541

    1. Ban em'

    2. Make a rule that anyone who even contemplates a scenario where they need the tools to commit mass murder,  not be allowed to own em'. Guns, ammo or clips.

    3. Remove them from anyone who currently owns them, based on the fact that it proves they are the category of people who fit into #2.

  •  The Recession is a Feature, Not a Bug (4+ / 0-)

    The longer it goes on, the happier it makes conservatives.

    Inflation is low, so their wealth remains constant - plus there are really good buys out there for people with money: towns, politicians, struggling companies to be looted, etc.

    The horrible employment picture makes it easier to screw workers into making concessions and other give-backs and destroy unions too.

    And the longer the economy sucks, the more they can scream that we need tax cuts to 'create jobs' and demand government payrolls be slashed and worker benefits cut.

    Is it any wonder the Republicans in Congress don't seem to give a damn that their demands are only making things worse? Worse for who?

    They really do hate America. They're nothing but snake oil salesmen.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 07:15:20 AM PST

  •  Wild West Fantasy (3+ / 0-)

    These idiots have harbored a Wild West fantasy, where everyone walks around town, goes to the bank, and to chruch, strapped. One where disputes are handled by gunfights at high noon, and everyone is their own law. Unless you were an outsider factor (member of a minority group, etc.). The fact that those pioneers living in such times could hardly wait for law and order (civilization) to arrive in their frontier towns is lost on the NRA. They have apparently watched too much cowboy themed television shows when they were children.

    •  all the "cowtowns" had very specific laws (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Calamity Jean

      prohibiting the carrying and display of guns.  This was usually the first thing a new lawman did when he arrived to begin "taming a town"
      Historically, not all Wild West lawmen carried guns either; there are several documented examples of those who carried out their duties unarmed

  •  How about 100,000 more EPA staff? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541, Calamity Jean

    If you look at Kevin Drum's story over at Mother Jones, the big crime drop in the 90's wasn't just because Clinton put more cops on the beat. It was because we'd taken lead out of gasoline 20 years earlier.

    Think about it: the EPA did more to reduce crime than the FBI, the NRA, Homeland Security, any other group you'd care to mention. Not to mention all the prisons we built and filled.

    And the job is not done; there's still a lot of lead to clean up. So while more police could be a good thing, there are other places we could be putting government (and people) to work with good effect.

    And if we're looking for a way to put people back to work AND make this world secure, here's the war we really need to fight.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 07:29:54 AM PST

  •  East La, Chicago's South Side, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean

    and other high-crime areas obviously have too few guns. NRA logic teaches that the answer to gun crime is MORE GUNS.

    So we need to flood these neighborhoods with more guns. Every resident needs to be armed-- and armed competitively, to guarantee higher firepower.

    Gangs are taking the right lead here and need to be supported with more arms. A gang is just a local militia defending community turf. Turn street gangs like the Crips, Bloods, etc. into "well-regulated militias" by giving them better arms and paramilitary training. The NRA could foot the bill for this.

  •  Putting a cop in every school to prevent murder (0+ / 0-)

    is like putting a cop in every car to enforce traffic laws.

    If people don't obey traffic laws, there aren't enough cops.  If guns are everywhere, people are going to pick them up and shoot people.  

    Check out the resistance to my petition that people should actually keep their arms.  People think this is a game of cops and robbers with a base to touch and holler 'free'.  

    Playground rules apply not Constitutional wording.

    Sign my White House Petition Enforce the KEEP in the Second Amendment We don't have a problem with gun control, we have a problem with gun owners controlling their guns.

    by 88kathy on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 07:37:30 AM PST

  •  Easy solution (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    88kathy

    It seems they are already tagging students in Texas with RFIDs so ...

    If you want a gun, you and the gun have to have an RFID at all times. So it would be possible to warn a school if anyone with a gun was approaching a school.

    The society is just going plain NUTS. Guns in schools ... what is next? Bulletproof vests for all students ... bulletproof glass in all windows ...

    Got to keep everyone afraid ... of everything. The sheeple are much more malleable that way.

    There's room at the top they're telling you still But first you must learn how to smile as you kill If you want to be like the folks on the hill

    by taonow on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 07:43:29 AM PST

  •  How ,exactly, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maryabein, 88kathy, Amber6541

    does one cop secure a school against Rambo?

    and I wait for them to interrupt my drinking from this broken cup

    by le sequoit on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 07:45:04 AM PST

  •  schoolboard in neighboring county OKed armed (4+ / 0-)

    deputies patrolling in all the county's schools.  I have not taken the time to determine the number of schools in the county nor the number of deputies re-assigned to this duty but I made a blind guess of at least one cop per school with at least three schools at an absolute minimum.  
    I also did not check the size of the sheriff's dept but I assume there are no more than a dozen deputies on duty at any one time or during any one shift.  This would mean a redistribution of at least 25% of personnel for at least one shift five days per week or about $125,000 diverted from other police duties.

    My question is if taxes will go up so they can hire more deputies to cover all of their duties or if they will simply leave certain areas uncovered or certain duties undone?
    It will be interesting to see next year's budget battles as this is a poor county with few tax sources and high unemployment.  It will also be interesting to see what their crime rate is in the coming year as scarce resources are allocated to this new task

  •  Disaster capitalism. Cops in schools. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Egalitare, atana

    The end of public education in America.  And the beginning of mercenary troops enforcing marshal law.  You probably couldn't call it marshal law because it would be mercenary law.

    Sign my White House Petition Enforce the KEEP in the Second Amendment We don't have a problem with gun control, we have a problem with gun owners controlling their guns.

    by 88kathy on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 07:47:38 AM PST

  •  Nope!!!! (0+ / 0-)


    "federal dollars available to schools that want to hire police officers and install surveillance equipment."
    If School districts want this let them raise their own revenues to pay for, Especially as it's heavy in support on the tepublican side and the gun owners, i.e. states rights or doing for themselves!

    This is what tepubs do best, propose policy, off the cuff, anyone hear LaPierre say how this was to be paid for while supporting reps with millions to cut taxes and programs, then come not begging but demanding everyone pay for their policy ideologies that are destructive, think wars, think voting rights, think workers rights, think health care, think...............................................!!

    Vets On FLOTUS and SLOTUS, "Best - Ever": "We haven't had this kind of visibility from the White House—ever." Joyce Raezer - Dec. 30, 2011

    by jimstaro on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 08:06:03 AM PST

  •  there are far too many... (0+ / 0-)

    There are far too many students who are afraid to go to school -- children who are worried that the teacher or other children will laugh at them if they give a wrong answer; children who are terrified of the older/bigger students who might pick fights with them; etc.  

    We must do all we can to make schools seem inviting and unintimidating, so students will feel encouraged to go -- and to learn.  

    If we convert all of our schools to armed camps, children already less than excited about going to school will be even more resistant and less likely to learn.  

    We must reduce the number of guns, not the quality of life.  

  •  The "security in schools" idea (0+ / 0-)

    isn't a totally bad idea, but it is also not a panacea. It would be expensive and create a lot more bureaucracy (training, a system of quality reviews for personnel promotions, figuring out health & benefits, etc), and of course it would be one more budget for the Rethugs to cut, cut, cut and allow to wither on the vine to show how "useless" government is.

    One more problem is related to the above, in that while looking solely at armed guards at schools, people are ignoring a lot of other potential ideas. How schools are funded and staffed, regular evacuation drills, maybe constructing "safe rooms" in future school construction, etc.

    Another big problem is that the idea was floated by the NRA, so of course people will attack the idea even if it may be worth some consideration.

  •  If there are armed guards at every elementary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bontemps2012, Calamity Jean

    school, there will be armed guards at every polling place.

    See how that works?

    Sign my White House Petition Enforce the KEEP in the Second Amendment We don't have a problem with gun control, we have a problem with gun owners controlling their guns.

    by 88kathy on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 09:35:30 AM PST

  •  Big difference: violent crime is way down (0+ / 0-)

    Clinton entered office at the peak of a violent crime wave that has since declined dramatically.

    Are you saying that nonviolent property crime is up? In any case, I'm not sure the "more cops" reflex would be the best use of resources.

    BTW, the disappearing crime wave is one of the biggest unsolved mysteries in the study of crime and society. Recently there has been some fascinating speculation on a likely cause: lead poisoning (which can interfere with impulse control). See Kevin Drum's article in Mother Jones (with a link to an equally good earlier piece).

    What is valued is practiced. What is not valued is not practiced. -- Plato

    by RobLewis on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 09:44:43 AM PST

  •  No money for education. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    atana, Calamity Jean

    But plenty to feed the gun manufacturers.

    If Democrats go along with this, they're fucking lost.  

    The tent got so big it now stands for nothing.

    by Beelzebud on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 10:50:42 AM PST

  •  100,000 fewer cops (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean

    What, crime is down, so we need more cops ?

    The last thing this country needs is more cops. As it is, federal grants skews police priorities all over the country (how many SWAT teams would there be without Federal support?). I think it would be much more sensible to reduce this federal support, not to increase it.

    If we want to stimulate the economy, hire more teachers.

  •  Hire cops, fire teachers. The Birchers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean

    will go for that.

    But hire the cops first, then go real slow with firing the teachers. 1% of them a year till people fergitaboutit in the second year.

    "We have done nothing to be ashamed of. We have nothing to apologize for." NRA 12/14/2012

    by bontemps2012 on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 12:06:01 PM PST

  •  Assault Weapons Are Constitutionally Protected (0+ / 0-)

    I came to the disturbing conclusion recently that weapons like the AR-15 are protected under the 2nd amendment. Why/how I did is covered here:

    http://www.tbbps.com/...

    Agree, disagree, whatever you like, the debate is over in my mind. One thing MUST happen, however: Strict regulations must be developed and diligently enforced to protect innocent people from gun violence.

    Debating bans, magazine limits, and the like is pointless; Most of these issues are rendered moot by the Constitution. What ISN'T moot is the issue of regulation, and on THAT, we must fight HARD.

    It sucks, but that's how it is. The Founders weren't protecting our right to kill a deer. They were protecting our right to FIGHT.

  •  Who pays for the cops in the schools? (0+ / 0-)

    If that idiocy passes, then it should be funded by the source of the problem - the gun makers and gun sellers.

    I do not want to see cops taken off the beat to sit in schools. Nor do I want my local tax money used to pay for those cops. One cop costs abut $80,000 per year and the proposal to put at least one cop in every school Would cost $billions.

    That money should be raised by taxes on every gun sale in the U.S. And the tax should be variable. As gun sales decline the total amount to pay the police in the schools should be funded out of the remaining gun sales. And yes, that means the tax will increase on the remaining guns sold as gun sales decline .

    The US Supreme Court has by its actions and rhetoric has ceased to be legitimate. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot - over

    by Rick B on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 04:28:21 PM PST

  •  Why only 100,000 (0+ / 0-)

    new cops?  Why not a million, or ten million?  Hell, while we are at it, let's deputize and arm the entire country - with semi-automatic firearms for all to make sure the playing ground is equal.  Everyone will be a whole lot safer.

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