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A flash suppressor, threaded barrel, collapsible/folding stock, pistol grip, or bayonet lug will not make a rifle any more/less lethal than your run-of-the-mill deer hunting rifle. Banning cosmetic features and the appearance of some firearms because you think it will stop someone from using guns in a criminal act is no different than banning red cars because you think it will slow down traffic accidents. It simply doesn't make sense.
High-capacity magazines are convenient scapegoats, too, but at the end of the day, regulating magazine size doesn't improve the safety of my children either. California may have the most restrictive firearm laws. Magazines can hold no more than 10 rounds and cannot be detached from an AR15 without the use of a tool. American ingenuity should never be discounted. This video demonstrates how quickly magazines are changed. (Spoiler: It only takes a few short seconds to change a magazine). By the end of the video, it's obvious that if the goal is to "slow down" an assailant, magazine limitations are ineffective.
Even if we do try to put the toothpaste back in the tube, and new bans are put in place and they work (they won't, but we can live the fantasy for a moment), it doesn't change the fact that less than 10% of crimes are committed with these types of rifles. Do you really want to get behind a perfect world solution that may stop 10%? Shouldn't protecting the other 90%+ be part of the argument?
Preventing more school shootings is probably impossible, but that doesn't mean we have to give up. What we need to do is protect our children like the valuable assets they are. I don't know of anything more valuable to me than my children, and I am sure if you're a parent you agree.
Here is another excerpt from my email exchange with the principal; I wrote:
Until the perception that schools are a "free for all until the police show up" changes, I fear these types of tragic events will continue. In the last few days, I have found the thought that the primary thing standing in the way of great harm coming to one of my boys is a lack of willingness from a "shooter" troubling.
I think the evidence is pretty clear that taking defensive measures that allow anything to continue largely unabated until the police show up is a losing strategy for those faced with becoming victims. Even in Eau Claire, businesses (transport) a few thousand dollars in armored vehicles with armed drivers. At the same time, none of the staff have any type of reasonable ability to proactively stop someone. I think that needs to change.
I don't believe every teacher should be armed. My wife is a teacher, and like many educators, she is not well suited for armed guard duty. Some teachers do possess the skillset with a desire to protect school staff and children. For example, several educators teaching with my wife are former military, and ideally suited for defending against attacks. I believe it's foolish to remove the best chance of protecting our children we have.
We need attackers to change their perception of schools as "victim zones" and "soft targets". There are many ways to fortify our schools that include non-lethal means.
Taser International (TASR - Get Report) and other companies produce effective products for defense. Many schools already allow trained educators to possess concealed firearms, and it's time we defend all schools.
At the time of publication, the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned.Follow @RobertWeinsteinThis article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.