We on The Other Side are wont to stray beyond the orbit of conventional thought from time to time, and it occurred to us in the rarified air that there’s a better way to protect our schoolchildren from mass murderers than arming teachers: bulletproof vests for every pre-k, kindergarten, grade-school, and high-school student in America.
Bulletproof vests cost as little as $200 and as much as $2,000 each, but more than half of the 50 million bulletproof vests required to save our schoolchildren would be smaller than those made for adults, and they could be bought in bulk. So let’s assume for the moment that the average cost per copy would be in the neighborhood of $300.
Bleeding-heart liberals would doubtless argue that our children would be more afraid of being gunned down by an armed maniac than less because, well, they’d be wearing body armor to school every day. There’s a solution for that: Make bulletproof vests fashion accessories. Young boys and girls could pick “SpongeBob Square Pants” or “Dora the Explorer” vests for example; older students could choose likenesses of rock stars, sports legends, or indicted government officials.
Colorful, age-appropriate vests would be more expensive than the usual black, black, or black, but the protection of our children would be a relative bargain nonetheless. If the 50 million vests we need could be procured for an average of $400 each, the total cost to taxpayers would be a mere $20 billion. But wait; there’s more. Bulletproof vests have a useful life of five years, so the amortized cost would be circa $4 billion per annum, or 5.9% of the US Education Department’s $68 billion budget.
To summarize: The bulletproof safety of America’s schoolchildren could be bought for less than 6% of the Education Department’s annual budget. What are we waiting for?