Defense training more effective than weapon bans
In the last Pitkin Board of County Commissioners meeting, Francie Jacober expressed interest in an assault weapon ban. Instead, the BOCC should think about what it could do that would actually make a difference and not be just for show.
Assault weapons already aren’t sold in the county; you have to go to a federally licensed firearms dealer and go through a background check to buy one, even in a private-party sale, and that means going to a downvalley dealer; there aren’t any dealers actively selling ARs in Pitkin. And even Boulder’s ordinance would not have stopped the King Soopers shooter from legally acquiring his assault weapon because he wasn’t a Boulder resident and didn’t buy it there. There’s no reason to think that Pitkin could do any better.
But there is something that the BOCC could do that would actually help protect our community from the threat of mass shootings and not just be virtue signaling. Invest in getting more training for the lines of defense we have against mass shooters, and partner with them so they get the training they need. Not just law enforcement, but also school administrators, local municipalities, first responders and the local hospitality industry. “Active shooter” training is what it’s called. Check it out: https://dhsem.colorado.gov/info-center/readycolorado/colorado-hazard-information/active-shooter.
Maybe our local LEOs and others are already sharp enough. But we should find out. The training, by the way, needs to be recurrent. Hopefully, like a firetruck and trained firefighters at the ready, we’ll never need them. But we should ensure they have the tools and training they need to stay sharp. It would go a million miles further than some well-intended but ill-conceived, controversial and ultimately ineffective weapons ban in keeping our valley safe.