The Park Record editorial, February 18-21, 2012
Ryan Summerlin February 17, 2012
If the Park City Council needs a nudge before deciding whether to join a national effort to help reduce the illegal sale of guns, its members need look no farther than the article on page A2 of this edition.
Thursday morning, local sheriff’s deputies confiscated a stash of weapons, drugs and cash from a condominium on Canyons Resort Drive. The weapons included hundreds of rounds of ammunition, several guns and an assault rifle.
A proposal to align with the coalition of Mayors Against Illegal Guns was broached by Park City Mayor Dana Williams but, so far, the council has not taken any formal action. That may be, in part, because officials don’t want to arouse the ire of Utah’s pro-gun lobby, which seems to view any attempt to tighten enforcement of current gun-registration laws as an infringement on their Second-Amendment rights.
We would hope that those fears are unfounded and that most rational gun owners support tough regulations and strict enforcement of the nation’s laws regarding the sale and ownership of all weapons, especially those known to be of more use committing crimes than for recreation.
Admittedly the national mayors’ group is weighted heavily toward the challenges facing larger cities, but small towns like Park City have unique challenges fighting crime including the sale and possession of illegal weapons and many criminals are acutely aware of those potential weaknesses. In fact, the more effective gun that enforcement becomes in urban areas, the more likely it is that those who traffic in illegal weapons will turn to smaller towns to conduct their business.
Last month, five members of Ogden’s police force were injured and one was killed in a hail of gunfire as they tried to execute a search warrant. The officers there were doing the same job that Summit County residents ask of their police officers and sheriff’s deputies every day. While the bust in Summit County netted two criminals and lots of evidence, thankfully no one was hurt. But, it is likely the tragedy that took place in Ogden in January weighed heavily on the lawmen’s minds as they raided the Canyons Resort Drive condominium in the predawn darkness on Thursday.
As we continue to press local law-enforcement officials to remove drugs and criminals from our midst, we should be willing to protect them and all citizens by taking a strong proactive stand against the illegal-gun trade. Joining the group Mayors Against Illegal Guns is a good place to express that commitment.