Supporters of gun rights point out, rightly, that it takes a good guy with a gun to stop a bad guy with one. And that schools should be protected with armed personnel, whether that means school resource officers, faculty, staff or a combination of all three. The question is, are firearm owners willing to pay for that? Should the burden of paying for it fall solely on gun buyers?
That’s what’s being proposed by Democrats in South Carolina.
State leaders of all political stripes — Democrats and Republicans — agree every public school in the state needs a school resource officer on staff. But the state — and many of its school districts — say they can’t afford the up to $60 million it would cost to hire and train the nearly 600 police officers that would be needed to staff every S.C. school.
But some House Democrats say they have a solution.
Their idea is to tack a 7% tax on the sale of every firearm sold in the state to pay for posting a cop in each school. That would raise about $20 million or about a third of the cost of posting cops in schools that don’t already have them.
It won’t surprise you to hear that gun rights orgs in the Palmetto State think further hiking the cost of firearms would place an undue burden on gun buyers.
Gerald Stoudemire, president of Gun Owners of South Carolina, called Brawley’s idea “absolutely ridiculous.”
“People that buy firearms already pay extreme taxes,” Stoudemire said, referring to the state’s sales tax and a federal tax on the sale of ammunition and guns. “People are grabbing solutions for problems. … In my county, Newberry, we have SROs (paid for) through the sheriff’s department and that’s paid for by the taxpayers. That’s where it needs to stay.”
It’s almost as if South Carolina Dems think that firearms are the real cause of “gun violence” and are looking to penalize law abiding gun owners as a result. Never mind that a disproportionate burden placed on lower income buyers who can ill afford another $35, $50 or more tacked on to the price of a gun.
Brawley said it is not her intention to strip gun owners of their firearms, only to fill a need.
“I hope that both Republicans and Democrats see the value in protecting our children in South Carolina, particularly in schools,” she said. “I hope they put partisan politics aside and do what’s in the best interest of the schools.”
Can’t we all just get along?