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Letters: Guns not the answer

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  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    Jan. 16, 2013 5:43 a.m.

    Agreed, guns are not the answer.

    An honest discussion has never been put forward on what may have happened if a teacher had had a gun there. A teacher with a pistol would be have been terribly outgunned against someone with an assault rifle and body armor.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Jan. 16, 2013 6:38 a.m.

    I do not think the answer is either "always armed" or "never armed"

    We need common sense. Those that choose to arm themselves have every right to do so, however they have a huge responsibility that goes along with that.

    We can find countless examples of good and bad uses of guns.

    We need to find a reasonable balance.

    The far right says - Any weapons, any place
    The far left says - No weapons, anywhere.

    Both unreasonable. Lets look for the sensible middle ground.

  • Curmudgeon Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 16, 2013 7:00 a.m.

    Juana, thank you for your perspective. I believe that gun advocates who rationalize their fascination with lethal weapons by claiming they need them for defense of self and family rarely consider the adverse psychological consequenses of taking the life of another human being, even if that other person may be perceived as a "bad guy" who appears to threaten their own or a loved one's life. What if the perception is wrong?

    We all have to die of some cause. Existence does not end with mortal life. Personally, I prefer to bear the infinitesimal risk of dying at the hands of an armed lunatic because I was unarmed, than to bear the risk and lifelong burden that would accompany killing another person, particularly one who posed no actual threat (the perceived aggressor or an innocent bystander), with my own weapon. In Book of Mormon terms, I would be an Anti-Nephi-Lehite. To each his own.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Jan. 16, 2013 7:02 a.m.

    Re: "Guns are not the answer"

    We couldn't be more pleased to hear the outcome of your story, one in which pluck and intelligence won out over evil.

    But, with all due respect, for every story like yours, there are hundreds more with a different, much more tragic ending.

    None of us advocating respect for our Constitutional rights would deny you the opportunity to confront evil in your own way. All we ask is that you extend the same courtesy to us.

    Countless Americans would tell you THEY are here today because they were NOT helpless. They had the necessary tools to confront and triumph over evil. The same tools that were denied the courageous principal in that Connecticut elementary school. She was FORCED to confront evil empty-handed.

    She died, and was unable to prevent the deaths of 25 others. Not because she lacked your pluck and intelligence, but because, like too many before her, she was denied the tools.

    Confront evil as you choose. Use whatever tools you like.

    But don't deny us ours.

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    Jan. 16, 2013 7:19 a.m.

    You can't talk to terrorists. Neville Chamberlein learned that the hard way. By taking guns away from law abiding citizens than only criminals would have guns who ignore the laws anyway and things would be more dangerous.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Jan. 16, 2013 8:59 a.m.

    JoeBlow has posted one excellent comment here. Until BOTH sides of the argument become willing to sit down and listen carefully to the other, not much that is any good can possibly happen. Only after that happens is there any chance of finding GOOD solutions to a big problem.

  • Grundle West Jordan, UT
    Jan. 16, 2013 9:42 a.m.

    Re:JoeBlow

    Wow...I agree with you!

    I also agree with procuradorfiscal saying "Confront evil as you choose. Use whatever tools you like."

    Some really good points being made here.

    I would like to point out that the media has a spotlight on the gun issue right now. We are hearing about every incident in this country of 300 million (+) people. Sometimes we forget just how many people now occupy this land and even this earth. Statistically, your child, you, or anyone you know, will have a very very slim chance of ever encountering gun violence. The issue is being magnified.

    It is good that we talk about these issues but it should also be accompanied by education as to why this right to bear arms exists in the first place. I believe in the second Amendment with some obvious caveats(mental illness, felony history, responsible storage) simply because it is the nature of some men, that when they have a little power, seek to exert that power upon others.

    It is my INALIENABLE right, within the natural laws granted to me and enumerated in the constitution, to defend myself from tyranny. Individual or collective.

  • Steve C. Warren WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Jan. 16, 2013 9:44 a.m.

    Excellent comment, Juana. Thanks.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Jan. 16, 2013 9:48 a.m.

    Let's try some root cause alalysis...

    Gun advocates are simply scared and extremely insecure.
    They were more than likely bullied and picked on as children,
    and see MORE violence as the only way to counter violence.

    The childish play ground antics of;
    "My Daddy is bigger than your Daddy.
    And my Daddy will come beat up your Daddy."
    still apply in their world.

    The letter writer is right though,
    as a veteran - in any conflict, we were always taught to take out the threat, the guy with a gun, first.
    and Bad guys follow that same rule.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Jan. 16, 2013 9:59 a.m.

    Re: "Until BOTH sides of the argument become willing to sit down and listen carefully to the other, not much that is any good can possibly happen."

    OK, I'm listening carefully. What do you have to say that we haven't already heard?

    I'll bet it boils down to some disingenuous sophistry about how liberals can restrict my access to arms without violence to a wise Constitutional provision that says that right "shall not be infringed."

    Or, maybe it's some snarky censure of my "selfish" insistence that my rights be observed.

    Perhaps even some analysis of why the only "reasonable" thing to do involves surrender of the high ground to liberals and bad guys.

    But, I'm listening.

    What novel "solution" are you offering?

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 16, 2013 9:59 a.m.

    Guns is the answer, ah just no it.
    More guns is like combating drunk driving by ensuring everyone on the road is drunk.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Jan. 16, 2013 10:06 a.m.

    Open Minded Mormon (aka LDS Liberal),

    Scared and extremely insecure? How did you reach that conclusion? Is Obama scared and extremely insecure? Do you care to tell us how many armed men he surrounds himself with every time he leaves his bedroom in the White House? How about Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi or Joe Biden?

    Teachers should never be required to carry a firearm, nor should any citizen. We are free to choose to own and carry a firearm if we choose to do that. We are not compelled by the Constitution to keep and bear arms; we are guaranteed that right, if we so choose.

    In my opinion, no school child should ever have to watch his teacher shoot anyone. There are more simple solutions. Locks on the classroom doors would stop most people from entering a classroom without permission. Locks on the schools entrance door would be a great help. Putting a fence around the school with a one-way lock at the gate would be a simple solution.

    Requiring a teacher to arm herself is not the solution.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Jan. 16, 2013 10:12 a.m.

    Procura, I've posted this before. Did you ever bother to read it?

    I have a friend who is an expert on gangs in Utah. He works with the Utah Attorney General's office. He has some serious concerns with the lack of adequate background checks, the gun show loophole, and the fact that before being prohibited from possessing a gun, a person must have been convicted of a felony.

    According to him, at least two thirds of gang members cannot be restricted from packing. Most have fairly extensive records of misdemeanors, but no felonies -- yet. It is not unusual for police agencies to have to return weapons to gang bangers because their possession of the weapon is permitted under current law and the Second Amendment. Because there is no registration of gun serial numbers, there is no way of learning if the gun has been stolen.

    He also points out that in almost every case of a gun being used in domestic violence, the gun was lawfully possessed by the shooter. Even though the shooter may have had a long history of previous violence, nothing can be done until he crosses the line from misdemeanor to felony.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Jan. 16, 2013 10:37 a.m.

    Re: "Requiring a teacher to arm herself is not the solution."

    Agreed. But forcing a teacher NOT to arm herself isn't, either.

    Agreed, no child SHOULD be forced to watch a teacher shoot someone. But, in a case like Sandy Hook, we don't get a vote. The person creating the situation is not the teacher, it's the deranged miscreant.

    And, we should be able to agree it's better, when a criminal forces a child to witness carnage, that he watch the teacher shoot the criminal, than to be forced to watch the criminal shoot the teacher, then him.

    Locks on doors? Sure. Lockable fence around the school? Sure.

    But, unless schools have changed since I worked my way through a couple years of college as a school custodian, they already have 'em.

    They're not enough.

    Willing teachers, willing to undergo necessary training, willing to carry concealed, and willing -- as was the Sandy Hook principal -- to protect kids at all costs, should be permitted the tools to do so.

    Not made defenseless victims by operation of law.

  • Grundle West Jordan, UT
    Jan. 16, 2013 10:45 a.m.

    Re:procuradorfiscal

    "Not made defenseless victims by operation of law."

    Wow...great line!!!

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Jan. 16, 2013 10:52 a.m.

    Re: "Procura, I've posted this before."

    Yeah, I'm listening. Your solution is what?

    Disarm bad guys? We all know how well that works.

    There are several problems with your suggestion, besides the obvious one -- bad guys don't obey the law. So your new "background" check law would only disarm good guys.

    Additionally, what do you mean by "background check?" The devil's always in the details, and liberals are WAY short on those. How long would they take? Who decides whether your "background" is clean? What other use will be made of the submitted information?

    In the past, "background" checks were used to disqualify Black voters. How do we assure those abuses don't resurface with your suggestion?

    What in my "background" might disqualify me? Felonies already do. What about a traffic ticket? How about Tim DeChristopher's "civil disobedience?" How about Prozac use? Alcohol use?

    What if I were just opposed to the President's latest executive order?

    To many liberals, the most telling "background" flaw is that I want to own a gun.

    I'm listening -- where's your cutoff?

  • Salsa Libre Provo, UT
    Jan. 16, 2013 10:52 a.m.

    Mass shootings provide for NRA recruitment and fund-raising events with the added benefit of selling more guns to the benefit of the gun manufacturer's association.

    The victims of these shootings are acceptable collateral damage.

    To say the the NRA deplores these events is to detract from its business model. The more who are killed, the greater the generated fear, the better the NRA does.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Jan. 16, 2013 10:57 a.m.

    Mike Richards
    South Jordan, Utah
    Open Minded Mormon (aka LDS Liberal),

    Scared and extremely insecure? How did you reach that conclusion?

    We are not compelled by the Constitution to keep and bear arms; we are guaranteed that right, if we so choose.

    =============

    Tell me Mike --
    Does the Constitution guartantee the right to buy and sell arms?
    A: No. Only to "Keep and Bare" them. It makes NO mention of any mythical guarateed right to sell or purchase anything.
    So, the Govenment CAN constitutionally restrict and regulate their sale and circulation.
    They just can't Ghestapo like knock on your door and confisgate what you already have in your possesion.
    That is what "infriged" means.

    Unless you want to amendment the constituion and spell out "purchase and sale of" in addition to the right "to keep and bare" -- you will loose this one.

    BTW - I'm scared and feel insecre, that's why I have them. I'm fearful of Domestic enemies vigilanty mob rule types who seek to to over throw our Country. Not the Chinese, North Koreans or the United States of America like you paranoid far-right-wingers.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Jan. 16, 2013 10:56 a.m.

    procuradorfiscal,

    I have 23 grandchildren, meaning that I'm often invited to visit their classrooms and their schools. Not once have I been stopped when entering a school. Not once was any outside door or classroom door locked. Not once did anyone from the school question my presence in that school.

    Is that security? None of the teachers or principles or office personnel knew who I was.

    Some schools had a flyer taped to their front door asking all visitors to check-in at the office. I always asked if I needed to check in. Usually I was asked if I was there for a program or to visit a grandchild. Not once was I asked to sign any kind of register. Not once was I asked for I.D.

    Before deciding that every school is a war zone, how about just accounting for anyone who enters who is no a teacher or a student? How about using the locks that are already on the doors? How about making every visitor detour through a secured office area before entering into the school?

  • Moderate Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 16, 2013 11:10 a.m.

    procuradorfiscal says "Willing teachers, willing to undergo necessary training, willing to carry concealed ... should be permitted the tools to do so."

    Agreed, but you left off a very key point "willing to accept the responsibility".
    The teacher must face consequences if they lose control of their gun.

    I can imagine a student getting a hold of the teacher's gun as a prank.
    That teacher should face discipline.
    Worse to imagine a student getting the teacher's gun and firing off a round.
    That teacher should be fired.
    Worse to imagine a student getting the gun and accidentally shooting another student.
    That teacher should face criminal charges and jail.
    Worse to image a student getting the gun and killing another student.
    That teacher should face life in prison, or perhaps the death penalty.

    Gruesome examples, yet very possible because you've allowed a gun in the classroom.
    If a teacher is willing to accept the consequences, then let them carry.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Jan. 16, 2013 11:24 a.m.

    LDS Liberal,

    If you've decided to use Open Minded Mormon as your new identity, how about changing your writing style just a little?

    "Shall not be infringed" is a guaranteed right of the 2nd Amendment. Infringing on gun ownership by limiting the ability to buy arms or ammunition is "infringing". You're proposing an "ex post facto" law, which is illegal under the Constitution. (Article 1, Section 9, Clause 3).

    Why do liberals hunt for ways to circumvent the law? Why do they propose solutions that are clearly illegal under the Constitution? Why do they pretend that they honor and obey the Constitution when they (daily) mock that document?

    Guns are not the answer in the classroom. Others have proposed simple ways of securing a school and a classroom, but liberals aren't looking for a solution; they just want government control of firearms to limit the liberty of the citizens. Any means is acceptable to them - whether it is lawful or not. Just listen to the rhetoric of Obama and Biden. They don't care that what they propose is illegal under the Constitution. They have never cared that their programs are illegal.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Jan. 16, 2013 11:25 a.m.

    Mike Richards
    South Jordan, Utah

    Not once have I been stopped when entering a school. Not once was any outside door or classroom door locked. Not once did anyone from the school question my presence in that school.

    =============

    Perhaps it's because MOST of live knowing we are indeed safe.
    Most of us aren't paranoid.
    Most of us don't live life believing lunatics exist behind each and every corner and are always trying to get us.

    BTW - I don't know what school disctrict you go to,
    but in Davis County, EVERYONE must go to the fron office 1st and check-in.
    No one is allowed in without proper clearance.
    All exterior doors are locked, allowing only one way for emergancy exits.
    Anyone not showing proper chest high identification is questioned.

    How about before we arm each and every teacher.
    We take precatiouary mearures first?

    Rather than teach our children to be insecure and scared of their own shadows...
    We teach them to face reailty, and that they are safe in school, without seeing a bunch of scared adults visually packing heat.?

    BTW - the security problems you complain about are at the local disctrict level,
    not Obama's.

  • Moderate Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 16, 2013 12:06 p.m.

    J Thompson - I notice you ignore "well regulated militia". What does regulation mean to a pro-gun camp?

    I interpret "well regulated" to mean "this is the type of gun the militia may carry" or "this is the type of ammunition a militia uses". Regulation does not infringe. "Well regulated" is not a synonym for "well trained".

  • Grundle West Jordan, UT
    Jan. 16, 2013 12:15 p.m.

    Re:Moderate

    You bring up some good points. I too have thought about the logistics of a teacher being armed in a school. A six shooter on the hip is probably a really bad idea. An in class gun safe with a trigger lock, extensive training, and supervisor approval is probably a really good idea.

    I know that if my child were in a school with a armed murderer on the loose, I would want my child to have the protection of any means available to preserve his/her life.

    I realize that in the last twenty years of having children in the public (and private) school systems that the likely-hood of that scenario is immeasurably low.

    Thus, my objections to the knee-jerk reactions being made by our politicians.

    BTW - If I had made the connection Open Minded Mormon=LDS Liberal, I would not have bothered to respond.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Jan. 16, 2013 12:16 p.m.

    Procura, you probably are incapable of understanding this, but the best solution is one that is somewhere in the middle of the extremes.

    Background checks for ALL gun purchases whether at gun stores or private. Close the many loopholes. Vigorously prosecute anyone who lies on an application. Require training and insurance for anyone seeking to own a gun. Limit clip size. Increase sentences for anyone committing a crime with a gun. Increase sentences for anyone possessing a gun illegally, and without having complied all the suggested requirements for gun ownership. Vigorously prosecute anyone who loses control of a gun that is used by anyone else to commit a crime or cause an "accident."

    You can argue all you want. Arguing, however, is not necessarily a reflection of anyone's common sense or level of intelligence. Those things require a certain ability to think at a higher level than with nothing more than sound bites from either side of an issue.

  • Grundle West Jordan, UT
    Jan. 16, 2013 12:18 p.m.

    Oh By the way...My youngest daughter forgot her lunch today. I walked into her Jr. High, down the student congested hallways, into the office, to leave it for her. No one stopped me. No gave me a second look. No locked doors, classroom doors open. Just walked in.

    Just FYI.

  • Christian 24-7 Murray, UT
    Jan. 16, 2013 12:27 p.m.

    I am also a survivor, but I would not be alive if someone hadn't intervened in my behalf.
    If I had been carrying a gun on my person, I would have been spared 7-8 wounds, minutes of terror, nightmares, weeks of healing, pain, and missed work.

    One person's experience does not translate to everyone. That is why the right to bear arms is a choice, not a dictate. It comes with pro's and con's. Education about what the dangers are and what the responsibilities are with owning guns is imperative. I do not take gun ownership lightly. No one should. The benefits come with risks, but those risks can and should be minimized.

    Teachers are people, citizens, just like the rest of us. They should NOT have their right to bear arms INFRINGED based on their occupation. If you are afraid of teachers bearing arms, I am sure there are other like minded people you could join with and get a school co-op where no arms are carried. Just don't advertise. You will make yourself a target.

    Characterizing people's state of mind based on gun ownership is just plain bigotry.

  • Moderate Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 16, 2013 12:33 p.m.

    RE: Grundle
    "I too have thought about the logistics of a teacher being armed in a school."
    How many times do you hear someone ask "Where are my car keys? Where is my cell phone?"
    "Where is my gun?" could have tragic consequences in school.

    We're talking about a lot of guns. 99,000 public schools. For easy math, say 10 classrooms per school, and the proposed solution is to introduce 1 million guns into classrooms. To say "we won't have any accidents with a million guns" is delusional. Good luck finding an insurance agent to underwrite that policy.

    My sister is a teacher and notes that her school has an open design. Once inside, a shooter has access to everything. We tear down and rebuild schools for earthquake safety. Maybe it is time to tear down and rebuild with gun safety in mind.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Jan. 16, 2013 1:28 p.m.

    OMM/LDS Liberal,

    So why did you tell us yesterday that you swore an oath to the government to protect it from "wack-jobs". Redshirt reminded you that you swore an oath to protect and defend the Constitution, not the government.

    You tell us that schools are safe. Very well. How would you keep an intruder from entering a school and slaughtering children? Are you standing in line to give up your guns or do you think that anti-gun laws apply only to others?

    Our children and grandchildren are at risk when anyone can enter a school. It looks like you would strip citizens of their guaranteed rights to keep and bear arms just so you could force people to your way of thinking.

    What other guaranteed rights would you seize before you are satisfied?

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 16, 2013 1:33 p.m.

    I disagree, guns often ARE the answer.

    I got my carry permit after Trolley Square. At that time, a gun in the hand of a good person would have been 'the answer'. In fact it was, an offduty policeman from Ogden just happened to have a gun and it was the answer until the SLC police arrived. No one died after the off duty police began firing at the attacker.

    I read about home invasions all the time, across the nation and here in Utah. Where families have guns and use them, either to pursuade the criminal to change course or to shoot him .. guns are the answer.

    The founders realized that government militias (police and military or national guard) aren't going to always to be able to help you in a timely manner, (anyone remember hurricane Katrina?). Were Utah to suffer a bit natural disaster, average people will be able to band together to protect their homes and neighborhoods, thanks to the 2nd ammendment.

    For this reason and others similar, it is important that the arms (guns) of average citizens be of military significance. Which is why banning assult weapons would be unconstitutional.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Jan. 16, 2013 4:51 p.m.

    Among the leading causes of death for those ages 15-24, homicide ranks second and suicide ranks third, with the number of firearm related homicides and suicides outnumbering the next nine leading causes of death combined.

    The five states with the highest firearm death rates are Louisiana, Alaska, Nevada, Mississippi and Arizona. The states with the lowest rates include Hawaii, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York and Connecticut. For most states, firearm suicide rates exceed those of firearm homicide.

    The risk of firearm death in very rural counties is the same as the risk for big cities. Rural areas have higher risks for firearm suicide and unintentional injury, while the risks for firearm homicide and assault are greater in urban areas.

    Firearm homicides declined in the early 1980’s, rose dramatically into the early 1990’s,
    declined to a new low by 2000 and have shown a moderate increasing trend since then.

    (U of Pennsylvania "Firearm Injury in the U.S." 2011)

  • WestGranger West Valley City, Utah
    Jan. 16, 2013 5:32 p.m.

    What we are seeing is hysteria. Demagogues are taking advantage of a crisis to fulfill their long term political goals. The phrase in the Constitution that states "right to bear arms shall not be infringed" is very clear. To have a gun or not is a personal decision. Criminals aren't going to suddenly decide to obey any new or present gun laws. Gun violence is already way down due to stricter penalties. The common link in mass murders has been failures to control or stop the actions of a small group of people who were extremely mentally ill, not assault rifles.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 16, 2013 6:46 p.m.

    Keeping and bearing arms should not include assault weapons. Or if you have one in your residence keep it off the streets if not locked in a case. The arms that are effective in modern warfare are drones, do you get to keep one of those?

  • Mister J Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 16, 2013 6:51 p.m.

    I'm sorry. What was the question and will it be on the test?

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Jan. 17, 2013 2:38 p.m.

    Curmudgeon, I'd be Captain Moroni and teach my people to use weapons only as a last resort, but also to be prepared and trained to fight for a righteous cause if need be. I for one would rather stay alive and live with the possible psychological problems that might occur. But then again, that is what shrinks are for.

    I personally don't want to have my life artificially shortened if I have another alternative. I choose to fight and be alive. The fact that you say that we all have to die at some point, is true, but I'm going to do everything in my power to stick around for my family and die a natural death. If you want to give up, so be it. That is your freedom of choice.

    My freedom of choice is to defend myself and my family any way possible. If it turns out that I have to shoot a bad guy to do it, so be it. I want to die at home in my Lazy Boy watching TV, after having lived long enough to enjoy a life and my grandkids. Or if need be go out screaming and kicking.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Jan. 17, 2013 2:55 p.m.

    Moderate, your definition of a well regulated Militia is just plain idiotic.

    We well regulated militia is the Army National Guard.

  • MapleDon Springville, UT
    Jan. 17, 2013 8:21 p.m.

    I love the logic of the left. Their argument is always the same: No defense is the best defense. That must be the "common sense" referred to.

    And they're right, if you're the opponent.

    In the game of chess, if you inadequately defend your king, you lose. On the football field, if your team has no defense, they lose. If you do nothing to defend your body against the cold, you lose. If a nation does nothing to protect itself, it falls to an enemy and loses its sovereignty. And the same goes for defenseless victims of any crime. They all lose.

    If you want to beat your enemy, convince them to put down their defenses. Convince them that no defense is the best defense. And the sheep will call it common sense.