I have known A.J. a long time and have a great deal of respect for him, but this is simply wrong. This was not my idea.
The idea to place armed guards in all schools in the country came from the National Rifle Association’s Wayne LaPierre in his address one week after the Newtown school shootings, quote:
“I call on Congress today to act immediately, to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every school - and to do it now, to make sure that blanket of safety is in place when our children return to school in January,” LaPierre said.
What I said was that armed school guards could be part of the solution and one way to fund this would be for Congress to levy an excise tax on the sale of all guns and ammo.
A.J. went on to say that if an excise tax on guns and ammo was the answer, we should all be taxed on everything we use, and he gave examples of cars, fuel, liquor, etc.
But excise taxes, also known as user fees, have been levied on these commodities and others for many years. If you drive a car and buy fuel, you pay an excise tax, a user fee. If you use liquor or tobacco, you pay excise taxes, which are user fees.
If regularly occurring gun massacres are not a gun problem, but a societal problem, as A.J. said in his letter, then it can be argued that the consumption of alcohol and tobacco, to be fair, should be paid for by everyone, and not just the users of them, because they are societal problems.
I am not in favor of heaping it all on responsible gun owners. Of course, we all have a stake in this. But the term “private-sector solution” was never mentioned by Mr.LaPierre during his press conference, so an excise tax, a user fee, on guns and ammo, could be part of the solution.
—Patrick T. McGann